#WWW Wednesday – 21/4/21

This one of my favourite weekly tags, so many people do it that it’s really fun – and it’s always nice to rant about how excited I am for my next read. WWW Wednesday is hosted over at Taking On A World Of Words, go and check out their site! If you’ve had a go at this tag, feel free to link your post in the comments. And here’s what I’ve been up to this week!


What I Finished Recently

I’ve been lucky these past few weeks. I read two books I’d been waiting forever for and wow, were they worth it. You can find my review for Rule Of Wolves here (still feels amazing to be able to say that) and Yes No Maybe So here. I can’t believe that Shadow and Bone is coming out on Friday – it’s been this far-off date for so long it’s strange it’s now a weekday. Honestly, I have too many thoughts to fit on here (and I don’t want it to get mixed up with WWW Wednesday stuff) so I’m going to do a discussion and predictions tomorrow or Friday, so keep an eye out for that! I’d love to see what other people think.

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What I’m Currently Reading

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I have fallen in love with this book. It’s absolutely gorgeous, from the idea to the characters. If I could, everything I say about The Falling In Love Montage book would be in italics. It’s a rom-com about lesbians in Ireland and a cynic and her girlfriend who teaches her to believe in romcoms. What more could you want!!

I’m not going to be posting a full review because I just wanted to enjoy reading without making notes on every other page. Or spending hours trying to get my love for this book into words (it would have taken hours). Also, if I went into problems, I’d end up down a rabbit hole of picking apart flaws. There are a few problems, and I know some people would find the main character irritating, but you know what? We’re not going to think about that. It’s a rom-com about lesbians in Ireland – what more could you want?

What I Want To Read Next

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I may have forgotten everything that happened in The Mortal Instruments, but I didn’t forget my bestie Magnus and I want to see the chaos he’s created since then. For all the flaws I had with the original series, I’m pretty excited to try this. There are illustrations!! Do you know why is it written by three authors? If you can clear that up in the comments I’d be very greatful haha.


What are you reading? Have you tried any of these? Let me know in the comments!

Slooowww Burn: ‘Yes No Maybe So’ Book Review

Happy Ramadan to everyone celebrating! I’d been meaning to read Yes No Maybe So for weeks, so it seemed good timing to read a book set during Ramadan… during Ramadan. Literally the only things I knew going in was when it was set; that it was well received and co written by Becky Albertalli. Which is enough for me!


Name: Yes No Maybe So

Authors: Aisha Saeed and Becky Albertalli

Published: 2020

Jamie Goldberg is cool with volunteering for his local state candidate – as long as he’s behind the scenes. There’s no way he’d ever knock on doors to ask people for their votes…until he meets Maya.

Maya Rehman’s having the worst Ramadan ever. Her best friend is too busy to hang out, her summer trip is cancelled, her parents are separating and now her mother thinks the solution to her problems is political canvassing – with some awkward guy she hardly knows … 

Going door to door isn’t exactly glamorous, but maybe it’s not the worst thing in the world. After all, the polls are getting closer – and so are Maya and Jamie. Mastering local activism is one thing. Navigating the cross-cultural crush of the century is another thing entirely. 

Blurb and image from Goodreads


I’m English. And I think that’s a factor I should have considered more before I read a YA book about teens canvassing for an American election. Which is certainly a unique premise for a rom-com. As you’d expect, there’s quite a bit on the American electoral system (and Target) that I don’t really understand. The politics both interested me and bored me because I don’t fully know how American politics works. It was quite funny how anti-Trump the book was (I loved it) but if you prefer your books to be more neutral then that’s a factor to consider.

“But I’m not talking about the world righting itself. I’m talking about us righting the world.” 
– Yes No Maybe So

It was nice that the boy was the klutz for once, but Jamie was the male embodiment of Bella Swan. Unconfident and shy, I could see a very obvious character development for someone who wanted to become president – and had to give a big speech at the end of the book. But the story dragged out for so long that the development wasn’t that concise. Three hundred pages in, the canvassing felt repetitive and I wasn’t entirely sure what had happened to fill that many pages. However, the end quarter (it’s pretty long for a contemporary!) went off-piste and wasn’t as predictable, which I enjoyed.

Also, I found it strange that the font and chapter formatting was exactly the same as Becky Albertalli’s other co written book, What if It’s Us. You can find my review here. That collab is one of my favourite books of all time, so I was playing the dangerous game of comparing the Yes No Maybe So to it. One of the reasons my rating dropped was because Yes No Maybe So just wasn’t as good as I thought it would be – it’s also aimed at a younger audience than What if It’s Us.

“It’s ridiculous. Women are problematic if they show too much skin and problematic if they don’t show enough?” 
– My favourite quote

I loved the activism in Yes No Maybe So. Despite the fact I was rooting for the side characters more than Maya and Jamie, it had a strong, political message and here was decent queer representation that I thought was well handled. I’ve seen some reviews criticising Maya’s character – it’s not my place to comment, but they said said that she fell under the trope of Muslim women having to step away from their faith to date white men.

To sum up, Yes No Maybe So is an easy read with a strong message. Despite its considerable size, I barely noticed how fast I was getting through it and it’s a pretty funny book. The cover is adorable too! It felt so obvious what would happen that some of the canvassing could have been cut, but I liked that the ending wasn’t what I expected. Yes No Maybe So tackled more serious issues than I’d first expected in a really well- thought out way and I’m encouraged to try some of Aisha Saeed’s other books – if you have any recommendations, let me know in the comments!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The End Of The Grishaverse? Rule Of Wolves Review

Hanne Brum and Nina Zenik are my new OTP and they deserve all the waffles in the world.


Name: Rule Of Wolves

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Published: 2021

The Demon King. As Fjerda’s massive army prepares to invade, Nikolai Lantsov will summon every bit of his ingenuity and charm—and even the monster within—to win this fight. But a dark threat looms that cannot be defeated by a young king’s gift for the impossible. 

The Stormwitch. Zoya Nazyalensky has lost too much to war. She saw her mentor die and her worst enemy resurrected, and she refuses to bury another friend. Now duty demands she embrace her powers to become the weapon her country needs. No matter the cost.

The Queen of Mourning. Deep undercover, Nina Zenik risks discovery and death as she wages war on Fjerda from inside its capital. But her desire for revenge may cost her country its chance at freedom and Nina the chance to heal her grieving heart.

King. General. Spy. Together they must find a way to forge a future in the darkness. Or watch a nation fall.
Blurb and image from Goodreads


This review contains mild spoilers

I can’t believe I can finally review this book. Hell, I can’t believe I’ve finally read this book. Rule Of Wolves was one of those memorising the publish date and counting down the days books and believe me when I say it did not disappoint.

If you’re confused, Rule Of Wolves is the sequel to King Of Scars; the third series in Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse and what I fully thought would be the last. This review will make sense on its own but you can find some context with my review of King Of Scars here. At the end of KOS, it was revealed that the antagonist from the original Grisha series had returned and was one of the (many) problems Nikolai had to face in this book. But I still think there should be a new villain. Cameos aside, I enjoy the fact that the Grisha series are relatively standalone and I’d have thought that Leigh Bardugo has enough imagination to create another villain. The revival of the Darkling sort of invalidates all other deaths – is it really goodbye if there’s a chance they could just be resurrected by a saint?

His return felt like the biggest red flags that this was a finale to the Grishaverse. Rehashing old plots like going to the Ice Court; the return of the Darkling; characters from other series coming back for slightly unnecessary side plots – if not a closing, it felt like the end of an era. Which made me unspeakably sad. But!! Imagine: it’s one in the morning and I’m promising myself that I’ll finish the book tomorrow (it’s happened to the best of us) but my brain is telling me… only twenty more pages… you’re nearly finished… you may as well. I wish I could swear on here because it was one f-bomb worthy last line. And I’m happy again.

“The 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 while it all went to ruin.”

– RULE OF WOLVES

Originally, I had liked Mayu’s perspective. Like in other Grishaverse books, Rule of Wolves was narrated through various characters and there hasn’t had a Shu pov before so I was interested by this insight. But in other Grishaverse books I’d been equally interested in all perspectives. By the end of Rule Of Wolves, I was literally pressing the pages together to see if I could spot who the next POV will be from! It wasn’t that they were boring, but that the distribution of perspectives was so uneven. Nikolai almost became a side character in a series named after him. Although my theory is that Mayu will become a main character in another book… because frankly, I’m not sure what other storylines could be developed. On the other hand, I enjoyed an opportunity to get a perspective from the Darkling (even if there were too many of them) and I was appreciative of his redemption arc. If that’s the right word. I can’t believe I actually sympathised with the Darkling.

Only Leigh Bardugo could make me cry over plant metaphors. As always, her writing was just perfect and she EXCELLS at dialogue – if you enjoy character banter then this is the book for you. Also, I really like how the world is on the brink of industrial revolution because most fantasy worlds are well before or past that. Rule Of Wolves explored the relationship between religion and science; public sway and the divine. The sheer power in some of the quotes…

“Let the hounds give chase. I do not fear death, because I command it.”

– OOF

Lastly, I like that this was a book about war but it wasn’t a war book. The fighting was in depth and had all the emotion of any Leigh Bardugo scene but was in no way all that the book is about. There’s magic! Love! Character development! An abundance of politics I’m not going to pretend to fully understand. I spent about 400 pages cursing Bardugo for not getting all the couples together quick enough, but it was undeniably worth it.

I can’t believe that the way things turned out with Hanne and Nina hasn’t been done before (look at me being all non-spoilery) but it’s amazing. Like, the amount of memes and fanart that I’m hoping for. I loved the two of them so much – I was traumatised for like a page until I figured out what had happened and then I was grinning. It’s very hard to discuss without giving it away, but if you also are ridiculously happy for Hanne Brum, let me know in the comments!

To sum up, this is a beautiful fantasy book. I’m a strong believer that you can have things you’d change about a book and still love to to pieces. From the characters to all the plot twists, this was a book worthy of being a finale to the Grishaverse but I’m thrilled that it’s not. I was hooked from the first page and whilst I won’t say that the months of waiting weren’t annoying, they were worth it.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Have you read Rule Of Wolves yet? Were you also bawling your eyes out at Zoya’s garden? Or do you want to read it and have any predictions? Let me know in the comments!

Three Bookish Things Tag

This was so fun!! A big thanks to Georgia over at the lovely Lost In Neverland – you can find her answers to the tag here (she has a great taste). I’ve had a look at various takes on this tag but I can’t find any that credit an original creator or any rules, so I guess the usual just apply. Nominate whoever you want and make sure you mention who nominated you – if you’d like to have a go, let me know in the comments and I’ll add your site to the list.


The Prompts

3 Characters I Love.
It takes me a while to love (and then subsequently become obsessed with) a character, but my most longstanding favourites are Baz Pitch from Carry On, Kaz Brekker from Six Of Crows and Remus Lupin from Harry Potter.

3 Book Goals For the Year.
I want to: only buy more books when I don’t have too many left on my physical tbr pile; read 80 books and read more queer and indie literature.

I’m not sure whether I’ll be able to complete the first one, but I had gotten into a really irritating cycle where I was overwhelmed with books… but at the same time had so many more I wanted to read!! My other goal is to reach 500 followers by the end of 2021 – if you could help me achieve that by liking, following or sharing I’d be very grateful.

3 Current Favourite Covers.
I think the more I love a book the prettier the cover becomes because I can look at them and get ✨serotonin✨. But based purely on aesthetic, I love:

Click on the images to find my reviews!

3 Weirdest Things I’ve Used For Bookmarks.
I love this prompt! Honestly, it’s hard to narrow it down to three but I’m a big believer in if it can fit in the book, use it. I’m talking tissues, bus tickets, hair brushes, even shoes. But if I think I’ll like the book and want to save the spine then I’ll use a proper bookmark!

3 Read Once and Loved Authors.
These are authors I’ve read one book by and really want to read more. Some of them don’t have other books out, or I just need to find their others, but you can click on the image to find my reviews!

Shared by SexyTrash04. Find images and videos about gif, scene and series  on We Heart It - the app to get lost in w… | Umbrella, Under my umbrella,  Future boyfriend

3 Titles I’ve Watched but Not Read
I can’t think of a lot! I try and read the book before watching an adaptation, but there’s a few tv series that I watched before knowing they were based on comics. I really want to try the Umbrella Academy and I Am Not Okay With This graphic novels to see how much changed.

3 Series I have Binged.
In quite literally the last few months:

3 Favourite Authors.
Ahhh I feel like I’m always going on about the same books and the same authors… but they’re my favourite for a reason. These are authors I will gladly ditch whatever I’m currently reading for, and will be endlessly recommending their books to my friends:

  • Becky Albertalli
  • Leigh Bardugo
  • Holly Black

Click on the books to find my reviews!

3 Unpopular Bookish Opinions.
I don’t know how necessarily unpopular this is, but I’m a firm believer that you need to separate the art from the artist. Whatever an author’s wrongdoings are, you shouldn’t not read a series because the author is problematic and it doesn’t feed into the book. If the book and the author are problematic then it’s a bit different but I think it’s a shame that some people refuse to read brilliant series because of the authors’ mistakes.

Also, an author not naming a characters’ sexuality isn’t an example of biphobia or panphobia?? I’ve seen some criticisms of Carry On saying that Rainbow Rowell needs to give Simon a label but I don’t agree.

Lastly, hardback books always feel nicer to read than paperback books. They’re more expensive but worth it. What do you think? Let me know in the commments!

I Nominate


March Wrap Up

Do you know, I’ve never done a wrap up before. I wasn’t sure if it’s something you’d be interested in andI’ve never really had enough to talk about, but I’ve found some gorgeous books and posts this month. So here goes!!

Books I’ve Read In March

A pretty modest number! Realistically, I read between 4-6 books a month but it’s steadily decreasing with school and sleep and homework becoming a factor again. Ew. Also, I did a lot of rereading this month. Honestly, I’ve reread as many books this month as I normally would in a year. There’s been rereading to catch up on series, impulse rereads of aw remember that book and some more boring reads to tackle my rapidly increasing tbr!

  1. Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. This was a reread after buying the Collectors Edition and owning a copy for the first time – I’d forgotten how amazing the first book is.
  2. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. So of course I had to read Crooked Kingdom again (for posterity). I bought this straight after borrowing the first from the library and have read it so many times the spine’s kind of caved in. Oh no, I’ll just have to buy the Collectors Edition…
  3. You Should See Me In A Crown by Leah Johnson. This was an absolutely adorable sapphic prom read and you can find my full review here.
  4. They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera for the third time? Fourth time? You can find out why it’s my comfort read (and probably shouldn’t be) here.
  5. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I’m glad I finally read this, but I wasn’t the biggest fan. The writing felt excessively flowery – with the actual meaning second behind having nice metaphors. And whilst they were nice metaphors, I was confused. I also found myself almost sympathising with Gatsby, which I don’t think you’re supposed to do? If you’ve tried it, let me know your opinions in the comments!
  6. All The Young Dudes by MsKingBean89 on Archive Of Our Own. I don’t normally log fanfiction as if they’re real books, but this thing is three times as long as Cassandra Clare’s longest novel. And three thousand times as good. Find my cross-stitch inspired by this marauders fan-fiction (and why it is absolutely iconic) here.

What I’m Currently Reading

I’ve definitely talked about this before so I’ll keep it brief, but my copy of Rule Of Wolves arrived today!! I’ve been rereading King Of Scars because my memory of this book is a hot mess of a long car journey and some very traumatising plot twists. The last line, anyone?

I’m now in a frantic rush to finish both of them before the meme pages have time to make spoilers, but it’s a very good stress. I love this universe so much!

My Favourite Posts Of March

This is another thing I’ve never done before, but I really wanted to celebrate some of the posts by really talented bloggers I’ve seen this month. I could have included so many more, but here (in no particular order) are my five favourites.


How many books have you read this month? Anything you’re excited to try in April? Have you read any of mine? Let me know in the comments!

#TTT 30/3/21 – Books Coming Out In Summer 2021 That I NEED

I am so bad at reading newly released books. It’s no lie – most of the time, I read books that came out years and years ago and if they’re not sequels, I’m not in the loop with books coming out recently. Preordering? Not my forte. But, I thought I’d celebrate the release of Rule Of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo today by revisiting a TTT topic from a few weeks ago I missed. Today’s topic is Places In Books I’d Like To Live; feel free to link up your post in the comments and I’ll try and check it out! Are there are any books you’re looking forward to? I’d love to find some more, let me know in the comments!

All images from Goodreads.


1. She Who Became The Sun by Shelly Parker-Chan

This is absolute number one. ‘Song of Achilles meets Milan’ in a queer lyrical imaging of the Ming Dynasty? My face fell when I realised it wasn’t out yet (years of ordering books for the next day has made me soft) and THE COVER!

Release date: 20th July 2021

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2. The Last Stop by Casey McQuinnston

I – just yes. Yes. Yes yes yes yes yes.

Release Date: 1st June 2021

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3. Once Upon A Crime by Robin Stevens

Not me preordering it seconds after it comes out knowing nothing about it…

But it’s murder most unladylike! And Robin Stevens! So I’ll take anything I can get of this iconic series.

Release date: 5th August 2021

4. Any Way The Wind Blows by Rainbow Rowell

I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S FINALLY HERE. I have not waited for two and a bit years for this sequel to Wayward Son and Carry On to be bad. I swear. Sometimes I feel like the anticipation will exceed the actual book, but I also am unconsolably excited to read this. To put it on my shelf. For me, it’s feels unusual that my favourite series is uncomplete (reference back to never reading new books) and I’m ridiculously nervous/excited to finally finish the series.

Although we still haven’t got a UK cover?

Release Date: 6th July (I may know that off the top of my head. I may be counting down the days. It’s one of those books).


As is emphasized by this tiny list, I’m not very clued up on recent books coming out! I’d love to get some recommendations though, let me know in the comments 😊

The ‘Never Have I Ever’ Book Tag

A big thanks to Cherry over at Letters To The Lost for nominating me for this tag! You can find her gorgeous site here. ‘Never Have I Ever’ was a staple birthday party game and this is such a fun take on it. What would your answers be? Let me know in the comments!


Rules:

  1. Link back to the original creator: Madame Writer
  2. Link back to the person who tagged you.
  3. Answer all prompts.
  4. Add one more prompt of your own.
  5. Tag at least five people.
  6. Don’t lie!
  7. Have fun.

The Prompts

NEVER HAVE I EVER: Read a later book in a series before the first
Something I try and avoid, but the order in which to read a series can be so confusing sometimes. I need nothing short of those massive numbers on the spines of the books to direct me. I read Carry On by Rainbow Rowell before Fangirl, which I’m told is a faux pas, but I think it’s the better order for plot twists and character development.

Or I just don’t want to admit I read them in the wrong order.

NEVER HAVE I EVER: Burned a book
I’ve never been so disappointed in a book that I felt the need to physically destroy it, but I’ve definitely come close before (Truly Madly Awkward anyone?). If it counts, I was always a big fan of the ‘tea stained pages and singed edges’ look to primary school history homework.

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NEVER HAVE I EVER: Gone into a shop to buy one book and come out with many more…
So. Many. Times. I think I’m incapable of buying just one thing in a bookshop (aren’t we all?).

NEVER HAVE I EVER: Loved a book when I was younger and hated it when I was older
As for quite a lot of these, no! I did read Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell ages ago and I’d be interested to revisit it to try and pick up on some of the underlying racial stereotypes I’ve seen it get hate for. Whilst I wasn’t aware of it, I didn’t really recognise anything when I first tried it.

NEVER HAVE I EVER: Read a book I knew I’d hate
I was pleasantly surprised by how much better From Blood And Ash was than I’d expected. I still had some problems (and we don’t talk about Kingdom Of Flesh And Fire) but you can find my review of the former here and the latter here 🙂

NEVER HAVE I EVER: Wrote a fanfiction about my favourite book
Read? Too many times to count. But I’ve never written one.

NEVER HAVE I EVER: Dressed up as my favourite literary characters
Cosplay scares me. Some cosplayers are incredibly cool and I love that I’ve made it to Marauders/ Harry Potter Tik Tok buttttt I’ve seen some cosplay that have ruined characters and scared the living daylights out of me. They weren’t even supposed to be creepy!

So, other than World Book Days many many years ago, no.

NEVER HAVE I EVER: Hated a book by an author I love
Luckily, this hasn’t happened to me… yet. I’m slightly horrified by the thought.

NEVER HAVE I EVER: Skim read a book
Not the entire book, but I stopped trying about 80% of the way through Crier’s War. It wasn’t terrible, but you know when a book is such a let down you want to get read it quickly to get out of the way? Yeah.

Find my review here!

NEVER HAVE I EVER: Pretended to read a book when I haven’t
What can I say – books are a great conversation starters!

NEVER HAVE I EVER: Read a book without a dust cover
As I’ve started to buy fancier books, this has become something I find myself doing. I used to be confused why you’d pay so much money for a dust jacket and not look at it whilst reading, but now I understand the joys of looking back at a dust jacket without any stains or tears or random bits of food on it. I was particularly careful when reading How The King Of Elfhame Learned To Hate Stories by Holly Black – it was the black Waterstones edition and one of the prettiest books I own.

Find my review, and some of my favourite artwork, here.

NEVER HAVE I EVER: Had a book boyfriend/girlfriend
I – is this calling me out for liking fictional characters, or asking if I’ve ever dated someone who likes to read? I think some people take it a bit far (I’m sorry to do this to you, but Draco Malfoy is a racist ) and I still don’t really understand shifting. Not to say I’ve never pictured meeting a fictional character…

NEVER HAVE I EVER: Picked up a book based on the cover alone
I had no clue what happened in The Language Of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo (I still don’t to be honest) but LOOK AT THE COVER! How could you not want to read it.

Find my review here.

NEVER HAVE I EVER: Read the end of a book before the beginning
WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS? I can’t think of anything you’d gain from reading the end first, other than some major spoilers. Although, I once saw someone who’d read the end of Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows first by mistake, seen Ginny kissing someone called Albus and been very confused.

NEVER HAVE I EVER: Read a history or anthropology book for fun
Not me having to google what anthropology means – I can now confirm that I’ve never read a book about the scientific study of people. But it sounds very interesting! If it counts, I want read The Illiad by Homer one day. Otherwise, I much prefer fiction.

NEVER HAVE I EVER: Participated in a readathon
I’ve always been too intimidated by the year long ones, but I hosted by own last summer.

NEVER HAVE I EVER: Bought multiple books in a series before starting it
Biggest mistakes of my life: buying the entire Mortal Instruments series with no prior knowledge other than that ‘they had pretty spines’. This also ties into the last prompt: Never have I ever kept reading a series even if I didn’t love the first book. I’d bought all the books and kind of had to read them to get the pretty spines on my shelf.

It wasn’t a fun summer.

Cherry’s Question

NEVER HAVE I EVER: Written in a book
I really want to try tabbing a book; using stickers to mark down my favourite parts and make notes on the sides of the pages. It’s probably too much effort than it’s worth, but I might try it with an old favourite one day.

My Question

NEVER HAVE I EVER: Filled up an entire bookshelf and had to have stacks of books balanced precariously throughout various rooms
What an oddly specific question!

I Nominate:

And you! If this is a tag you like the look of, let me know in the comments and I’ll ad your site to the list.

Feel Good: You Should See Me In A Crown

Just as cute as it sounds…

Name: You Should See Me In A Crown

Author: Leah Johnson

Published: 2020

Liz Lighty has always believed she’s too black, too poor, too awkward to shine in her small, rich, prom-obsessed midwestern town. But it’s okay — Liz has a plan that will get her out of Campbell, Indiana, forever: attend the uber-elite Pennington College, play in their world-famous orchestra, and become a doctor.

But when the financial aid she was counting on unexpectedly falls through, Liz’s plans come crashing down . . . until she’s reminded of her school’s scholarship for prom king and queen. There’s nothing Liz wants to do less than endure a gauntlet of social media trolls, catty competitors, and humiliating public events, but despite her devastating fear of the spotlight she’s willing to do whatever it takes to get to Pennington.

The only thing that makes it halfway bearable is the new girl in school, Mack. She’s smart, funny, and just as much of an outsider as Liz. But Mack is also in the running for queen. Will falling for the competition keep Liz from her dreams . . . or make them come true?
Blurb and image from Goodreads


I was so excited to try this. Whilst I feared that the plot would revolve around her coming out or that there would be zero relationship development (another uncomfortably recurring theme in sapphic YA novels), have you seen the blurb?

I was right to be excited.

Liz Lighty is an anxious punk-nerd who needs a music scholarship to get into the college of her dreams – but when that falls through, she decides to try and win the $10,000 available for winning prom queen. Which is definitely a reasonable amount of money for a school prom. I love that You Should See Me In A Crown tackles how ridiculous and exclusive the whole prom system is. That being said, I’m British and a lot of American traditions seem a little bizzare to me! (My prom will also be a orange-squash at the local brownie hall affair, so I kind of love the romanticized hype of this dance). Although it didn’t impact the story, I did miss a few of the references as a British person. But we have Hamilton references; Timothee Chalamet references; all-my-favourite-bands references – after reading too many romances from the early 2000s, You Should See Me In A Crown felt refreshingly modern. A romcom for the modern age.

“This whole race is set to mimic some twisted fairytale. The queen is supposed to be the best among us: the smartest, the most beautiful, the worthiest. But the people who win are rarely those who deserve it. Like with any monarchy, they’re just the closest to the top. You don’t earn queen; you inherit it.”

– YOU SHOULD SEE ME IN A CROWN

The formatting is gorgeous. From the calligraphic chapter titles to these little fake phone screens at the start of each chapter – whilst pretty set ups don’t a book make, they sure help. Mack and Liz are brilliant. All their interactions are so cute and perfect and cinematic; I could see You Should See Me In A Crown being an amazing tv show one day. Moreover, the description was so good that you could create a really clear picture of the scenes in your head. There are more plot points than just Liz’s relationship which kept the book moving, but there’s a big enough focus on the two of them. It’s predictable in the best way.

This paragraph contains minor spoilers.

As for criticisms, I don’t have many. It sounds petty, but Liz didn’t seem to act as horrified or surpised to some of the situations as I would. Some very inspiring, or traumatic, or just really freaking cool things happened to her and I wanted a bigger reaction. Also, I was irritated that even if the novel wasn’t centered on Liz accepting her sexuality, there was still a forced coming out. Can we move past the need to have these things as plot points? It’s great to talk openly about coming to terms with your identity and I can see why you can’t totally compare wlw books to straight books… but after writing that, why can’t you? I want to read more YA that’s a teen romance, and they both happen to be girls. You Should See Me In A Crown did a pretty good job, but if you have any recommedations, let me know in the comments!

“I never needed this race, or a hashtag, or the king to be a queen. I was born royalty. All I had to do was pick up my crown.”

– OOF

Additionally, the ending was quite fast, felt a little rushed. Liz and Mack were spending less and less time together but that did give the author time to round of all the (numerable) plots to an acceptable standard. There’s a lot of illiteration names (J.K Rowling who?) that added a fun, whimsical flavour to the book and it’s funny!

You Should See Me In A Crown is a really sweet book. With a focus on family and friends, it felt like a really fresh and modern romance. I love the idea even if I can’t see the title without singing the Billie Eilish song. A great book with a great message: that if you hold your head high enough, anyone can be a queen.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Have you read this book? Would you try it? Got any similar recommendations? Let me know in the comments!

Goodreads Monday – 22/3/21

As much as I love a bit of Top Ten Tuesday, I thought I’d try a different weekly tag today. I first saw Goodreads Monday over at Confessions Of A YA Reader and it’s hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners.  This is my first attempt at this tag, but I think all you need to do is show one book from your TBR that you’re excited to read. Images and blurbs are from Goodreads (hence the name!).


A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.

The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart. 

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE. 

I’m slightly in love with that blurb. It’s definitely got polarized responses, but with Gossip Girl off Netflix indefinitely, I need some rich kid drama to fill my day! For the next book, I got a bit confused and thought I had to mention a book from my WTR read pile too, oops. I don’t know if this is a famous book and I just live in a hole, but I’d only first heard of Eliza And Her Monsters really recently. It looks like a great rec for mental health issues, although I’m never that good with books about people losing their sanity.

Her story is a phenomenon. Her life is a disaster.

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, she’s LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves the online one, and she has no desire to try.

Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea’s biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and as he draws her out of her shell, she begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile.

But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart.


Feel free to link up your Goodreads Monday in the comments and I’ll try and check it out. Have you read any of these? Would you try one? Let me know in the comments!

Comfort Books – They Both Die At The End

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Seeing as it’s the weekend, I thought I’d try something different and subject you to the ranting of someone who’s just finished They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera… for the third or fourth time. I’ve lost count! Undeniably, it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read and is an ineffably beautiful book. Like, I can’t put into words how it makes me feel. Insightful, funny and so clever, I love that I can read it again and again without getting bored. It’s a totally different experience rereading a book for the second time. I once saw someone say that they read every book three times to fully appreciate it; whilst I do not have the time or the patience to do that, you’re not wondering what’s going to happen and can spend so much more time actively appreciating the book.

It follows Mateo and Rufus, two strangers who receive alerts from ‘Death Cast’ telling them that will die that day. The boys meet through an app called ‘Last Friend’ and try and live an entire lifetime in a single day. For more information you can find my original review here, but I thought I’d mention my favourite details that I’ve picked up from rereading. What is your comfort book? Have you read They Both Die At The End? Let me know in the comments!

  • There is so much foreshadowing. Adam Silvera is cruel – I’ll see something and realise… but he doesn’t get to do it… or that it parallels the very last line. It makes it all the more sadder (disclamer: it’s a hopeful book, but not a happy one. Although with a name like They Both Die At The End I guess you know what to expect!)
  • Whilst the only first person perspectives are from the two main characters, you get many other third person narratives. They’re sometimes super short and build up this massive picture of an incredibly 3D world. There’s a huge focus on cause and affect, how your actions will always have some sort of impact and it’s so CLEVER.

I physically cannot talk about this book without crying, or disintegrating into an endless list of positive adjectives.

  • They Both Die At The End is science fiction, thriller, mystery and yes a romance but I love that Mateo and Rufus are very much seperate characters. They work so well together but aren’t built with one of them as the ‘love interest’ and the other the main character.
  • So much happens. If you’re worried (like I was) that there wouldn’t be enough plot crammed into one day, there is!
  • One of my favourite parts is the idea of ‘Death Cast’, and learning about its impact on the world. Very well thought out!
  • They Both Die At The End is feminist and diverse and inclusive in such a normalised way. Because these things are normal. But I love how offhandedly side characters are introduced as female CEOs travelling to meet their girlfriends.

Last thing: do you ever hear a song and just think THIS WAS MADE FOR THIS BOOK. It’s rare, but the other night I was thinking of They Both Die At The End and Hold Back The River by James Bay came on the radio. I nearly started sobbing.

Once upon a different life
We rode our bikes into the sky

Hold back the river, let me look in your eyes
Hold back the river, so I
Can stop for a minute and be by your side

I’M NOT THE BIGGEST JAMES BAY FAN BUT THIS IS FLIPPING PERFECT

Maybe I should try and find a comfort book where the main characters don’t die, but They Both Die At The End is beautiful and changes your perception of the world as much as paper can.