Iron Widow: A Raging Review

Gloriously brutal. Feminist and furious. There’s a reason Iron Widow has been on the New York Times Best Seller list for 34 weeks. Here’s why.


Name: Iron Widow

Author: Xiran Jay Zhao

Published: Oct 2021

The boys of Huaxia dream of pairing up with girls to pilot Chrysalises, giant transforming robots that can battle the mecha aliens that lurk beyond the Great Wall. It doesn’t matter that the girls often die from the mental strain. 

When 18-year-old Zetian offers herself up as a concubine-pilot, it’s to assassinate the ace male pilot responsible for her sister’s death. But she gets her vengeance in a way nobody expected—she kills him through the psychic link between pilots and emerges from the cockpit unscathed. She is labeled an Iron Widow, a much-feared and much-silenced kind of female pilot who can sacrifice boys to power up Chrysalises instead.​ 

To tame her unnerving yet invaluable mental strength, she is paired up with Li Shimin, the strongest and most controversial male pilot in Huaxia​. But now that Zetian has had a taste of power, she will not cower so easily. She will miss no opportunity to leverage their combined might and infamy to survive attempt after attempt on her life, until she can figure out exactly why the pilot system works in its misogynist way—and stop more girls from being sacrificed.


Historical, dystopian, sci fi – Iron Widow such a blur of genres that everything is new and nothing is predictable. It follows Zetian, a fiery and empathetic female (non binary?) protagonist as she fights aliens and tries to dismantle the constructs of her patriarchal planet; alongside a personal mission of vengeance.

Without fail, every scene is crafted and unexpected and so, so interesting. The plot keeps you on your toes, and is written in unexpectedly modern dialogue that I really enjoyed. Iron Widow touches on race relations, media control, monogamy. Zetian learns. There’s a thought-provoking exploration of gender juggled between a complicated plot and world building and character development. That’s a lot crammed into 400 pages!

“How do you take the fight out of half the population and render them willing slaves? You tell them they’re meant to do nothing but serve from the minute they’re born. You tell them they’re weak. You tell them they’re prey. You tell them over and over, until it’s the only truth they’re capable of living.” 

– IRON WIDOW

However, it’s such an interesting world that some details get lost. I was left with questions: what actually happened to “Big Sister”? Despite revenge being the point of Zetian’s journey, I thought her mission didn’t get a conclusive ending. Who are the Gods and why do they need all the metal? How do Hunduns and Chrysalis actually work? Iron Widow is intended as a series, so maybe these questions will be answered in the sequel, but I wouldn’t have minded an extra 75 pages to expand the world and fully flesh out Zetian’s relationships. The setting was fascinating, which is why I had so many questions remaining.

As for other criticisms? I saw some reviews saying there’s too much telling and not showing; sure the writing is rather simple but it works. It fits the blunt truth the book is trying to convey. Blunt and brutal – check trigger warnings! You can find them on the author’s website.

“He will not kill me. He does not get to make me a statistic.” 

– YOU ARE VENGEANCE.

Also, there could be more female characters. It’s difficult to avoid the ‘she’s not like other girls’ trap with YA heroines, and while I think the author danced around the hole pretty well, they could have been certain not to fall in by having more women who were just as eager as Zetian to escape the patriarchal regime. Maybe that’s something we’ll see in the sequel?

So, despite the dystopian setting, Iron Widow is an uncomfortably timely book. I loved how it discusses media – so much of the plot is depressingly relatable despite the archaic, patriarchal setting. Every chapter hits like a punch to the gut. Have you read The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna? The Iron Widow is similar… but better. What The Gilded Ones was trying to achieve but executed (lol) properly, with all the feminist brutality of Wilder Girls by Rory Power. Iron Widow is really funny at points. A manifesto at others.

A radical book for the YA genre. Game changing. If you read one book this year, make it this one.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

May Reading Round Up: All The Places I’ve Travelled To

This was not posted in June. Your eyes deceive you.

I’ve never been to America. I’ve never been to Asia, or battle field, or dark space… but sometimes it feels like I have. It’s a cliché, but reading really does transport you. You can travel time and space to places you’ve never been or never will. It’s pretty cool!

I first saw this idea on the brilliant Budget Tales Book Blog, and you can check out her post here – she’s been a lot more places than me! Where have you travelled to recently? Let me know in the comments!

So where have I been this month…

Gossip Fueled Alabama High School

I have never been to Alabama… but now I feel like I have. I Kissed Shara Wheeler was one of my most anticipated reads of 2022 and it did not disappoint – I fully felt immersed in the claustrophobic culture of Alabama High School due to McQuiston’s gorgeous writing and even better characters. Review incoming!

*

Cyborgs and Cinderella in New Beijing

Even if I could, I wouldn’t want to go to New Beijing’s dystopian, robotic future! Alongside the robots, it’s also plagued by an incurable disease that made me a bit uncomfortable – pandemic books have been ruined for me. What about you?

Honestly, I was expecting Cinder to be forgettable but it was actually really good! All of my smug predictions of a fairytale retelling didn’t come true, the plot was really well paced and the characters genuinely sympathetic. I might actually try the rest of the series. Very aluminium-ating!

(I’m sorry).

1960s Liverpool

Do you enjoy reading plays? Nothing compares to seeing live theatre but recently I’ve been reading quite a lot of plays and this month was Blood Brothers. I listened to the soundtrack as I read and it’s been stuck in my head all month – a brilliant and moving story. The soundtrack is even better!

*

Deep Space… 200 Years In The Future

Ahhhh Aurora Rising! When what I expected to be one of my favourite books of the year (I’m a sucker for sci fi) turned out to be… very disappointing. Although the Star Wars-esque, space army was really original, the narrative style irritated me to no end. Amongst other things. Find out why I wanted the narrator to ‘just shut up’ in my review here!

The Patriarchal Planet of Huaxia

The Iron Widow! One of the COOLEST books I’ve ever read, utterly impeccable. Although you won’t catch me traveling to Huaxia anytime soon…

Excited, rant-filled review incoming!

Can the narrator please shut up? ‘Aurora Rising’ Book Review

While the chatty, informal style is for fans of Percy Jackson, the main difference between Percy Jackson and Aurora Rising? Percy Jackson is actually funny…

Name: Aurora Rising

Author: Amie Kauffman and Jay Kristoff

Published: 2019

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find. Nobody panic.


While the chatty, informal style reminded me of Percy Jackson, the complex space tech is for fans of Gideon the Ninth. It’s very sci-fi! Lots of made up words, space stations and astro-physics – if you’re not into all that, I’d keep 10ft away. And I’d maybe advise sci-fi fans to steer clear too, because the main difference between Percy Jackson and Aurora Rising? Percy Jackson is actually funny…

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad book. Once you got your head around it, the space world was super immersive – not only did the authors create new space species, but new cultures and traditions for each one which is really cool. There’s subtle commentary on ethics, climate change and family under the (many layers) of snark. The action is really well structured and I was pretty emotionally invested in a lot of characters. There’s a good dollop of pining and romance. Fast paced, emotional and pretty disturbing, the ending was near perfect and almost made up for the rest of the book. Almost.

My biggest gripe was the writing style. While the heavy sarc works for a short story, I didn’t enjoy it for a full book. There was some really good moments! But there was no need for a lot of poignant scenes to be interjected with a ‘funny’ quip – I don’t care! Can the narrator just shut up? Just my personal opinion, but it felt a bit overdone and did my head in after a whole 500 pages.

Aurora Rising is did feel like a Marvel film – perhaps one that was dropped because the cast would be too big! One main character? Yes please. Dual narrative? Sure. Six quite similar perspectives in a book where 50% of page time is taken up by quips? There just wasn’t enough time for each character. I was genuinely interested in each storyline but there were too many characters for the depth of background the authors were aiming for. Some characters were pushed aside: I really wanted more time exploring Aurora, who was dumped on a space station 200 years in the future. That’s interesting! And there’s literally four pages on Zila, their violent, space-tech. Leigh Bardugo managed to pull 6 narratives off in Six Of Crows by sharing the backstories between books, so maybe I’d learn more about the characters in the later books. But I won’t be reading the rest of the trilogy – I don’t think I could put up with the narrator…

Rating: 3 out of 5.

🪶 The Raven Boys Cross-stitch 🪶 


I lost the thread (literally and metaphorically), pricked my fingers and messed up the pattern too many times for this, so I hope you enjoy!

Ever since I finished The Raven King (and subsequently binged all the released books in The Dream Thieves series) I’ve been in a reading slump: Maggie Steifvater’s world is unparalleled. If you’re not familiar, The Raven Boys a four book series that’s a blur of almost every genre under the sun, wrapped up in the most beautiful, chilling writing. While the trippy plot kind of makes you lose your mind, the characters are messy and perfect. It’s a very, very cool series andI wanted to commemorate my new obsession with a cross stitch!

Check out my review comparing my experience listening to the (insanely good) audiobook of book one vs physically reading book two here!

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I got into cross-stitch over lockdown and have kept it up ever since. I’ve been really enjoying the total range of things you can make – you can find my other cross-stitches of fanfics, book covers, characters and favourite quotes here. Like I said, a range!

I’ve always wanted to cross stitch the Raven Boys gang because I have loads of great patterns for the trees and flowers of Cabeswater – I’m working from a pattern book from the 80’s, so there’s a lot of flower motifs meant for cushions. Poor cushions. So in the cross-stitch, you’ve got vines and flowers for Cabeswater; an Irish celtic knot for Ronan that my eyes did not appreciate; a cute sleeping cow; one of my favourite quotes nestled in the side; and the gang – can you spot who’s who! Let me know in the comments!

What do you think! Are there any crafts or hobbies you’ve been enjoying recently? Have you read the Raven Boys? Let me know in the comments!

Recent Release Review: She Gets The Girl

Although the book brings a lot of much needed representation to rom com genre, I doubt I’ll remember it very well…

Name: She Gets The Girl

Author: Rachael Lippincott and Alyson Derrick

Published: April 2022

Alex Blackwood is a little bit headstrong, with a dash of chaos and a whole lot of flirt. She knows how to get the girl. Keeping her on the other hand…not so much. Molly Parker has everything in her life totally in control, except for her complete awkwardness with just about anyone besides her mom. She knows she’s in love with the impossibly cool Cora Myers. She just…hasn’t actually talked to her yet.

Alex and Molly don’t belong on the same planet, let alone the same college campus. But when Alex, fresh off a bad (but hopefully not permanent) breakup, discovers Molly’s hidden crush as their paths cross the night before classes start, they realize they might have a common interest after all. Because maybe if Alex volunteers to help Molly learn how to get her dream girl to fall for her, she can prove to her ex that she’s not a selfish flirt. That she’s ready for an actual commitment. And while Alex is the last person Molly would ever think she could trust, she can’t deny Alex knows what she’s doing with girls, unlike her.

As the two embark on their five-step plans to get their girls to fall for them, though, they both begin to wonder if maybe they’re the ones falling…for each other.


For fans of Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, She Gets The Girl follows Alex and Molly in their first year of college as they struggling to get (or in Alex’s case keep) their girls. Both characters were so likeable: Molly felt similar to Fangirl’s Cath as she struggled to fit in at college, while Alex’s confident exterior masked a complicated back story. There were so many female characters! So many queer women! And a non binary character!

She Gets The Girl has flawless rom-com energy, complete with a ‘teaching to flirt’ scene and a shopping montage. I do love a good friends to lovers, falling for each other while trying get other people deal… even if Alex’s motivation for getting Corey and Molly together was a bit weak. I didn’t think her girlfriend would really care that she’d been playing Cupid, but as long as it meant loads of tropes, I don’t mind!

This will be easy. Selflessly help Molly get with Cora. Show Natalie I’m basically Mother Theresa, and not an emotionally unavailable and unable to get close to people. She gets the girl. We get back together. Everyone wins.

– THIS WAS ALEX’S LOGIC! IS IT SOUND? WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Also, it’s super easy to read – there’s loads of action and no info dumps or unnecessary scenes. Alex and Molly had nice character developments that weren’t overly predictable (I know! In a rom com!). A range of tricky topics are handled well, so that they don’t overshadow the plot but are not just there to tick a diversity box. And if that won’t make you read it – just look at the cover!

My only criticism is that, because She Gets The Girl is dual narrative and a relatively short book, you don’t that time for much depth of character for both Molly and Alex. It was also a very slow burn: I’m talking snail’s pace, yelling through the pages for both characters to please be more observant… For such a fast paced book it was surprising how slowly the romance moved. What did you think? Have you read this book? Let me know if you also thought the romance was too slow in the comments!

The downside to it being the perfect rom-com is that a lot of the scenes weren’t particularly original, although the book brings a lot of much needed representation to the genre. It’s a fun book and I’d recommend it to anyone who wants a fun light read, but I doubt I’ll remember it very well.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The Feelings Book Tag

Hey everyone! It’s been a while since I did a tag, so I thought I’d give this a go! I’ve done a lot of tags, but never a ‘feelings’ tag, and it was really fun to try – and super quick! A huge thanks to Riddhi over at Whispering Stories for the nomination, find her post here.

Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and give a link to the blog. 
  • Answer the 5 feelings given to you.
  • Write the reason in 5 to 6 lines of why does that particular book come under that feeling. 
  • Nominate between 5-12 other bloggers.
  • Give your nominees 5 feelings too.
  • Notify your nominees once you’ve uploaded your post.

My Feelings From Riddhi

A book you did the mistake of reading during a slump

A book that I thought would get me out of a slump, but only made it worse? I literally just finished Undercover Princess by Connie Glynn – I thought it would be brilliant, and while the queer rep was great and the story was fun, the writing style made me want to rip my head off. It was very primary school-esque.

Although, it’s made me appreciate how good the writing styles are in most of the books I read!

A book that is super unrealistic, and unreasonable, but you love it all the same

All the best books are completely ridiculously! It’s pretty unlikely that The Nobleman’s Guide To Shipwrecks and Scandal would have actually happened, given the historical context, but it makes me love it even more. Find out why in my review here!

A book that was way too deep for you to enjoy.

The Great Gatsby totally went over my head. I found all the characters irritating and really didn’t understand the big meaning behind it. Did you? Let me know in the comments!

A book character you feel a strong connection to.

I really love Leah from the Simonverse – I got into that series when I was pretty young and it’s like I’ve grown up with her. I’d also love to be able to play the drums as well as she does!

A book that made you feel whole.

That’s a pretty hard one. The feeling of completing a series, especially if it’s an exceptional one, is always bittersweet but turning the final page on The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater made me feel pretty whole. I knew I wouldn’t be forgetting the series in a hurry!

People I tag:

My prompts:

  • The saddest book you’ve ever read
  • A character that made you really angry (this was one of Riddhi’s prompts and I really like it!)
  • A hopeful book
  • A book coming out soon you’re excited for
  • A book that made you feel clever – the opposite of the prompt I answered, one that was deep but you enjoyed!

‘Lady Midnight’ Book Review: Is It Worth the hype?

The biggest plot twist of the book: I actually ended up loving it!

Name: Lady Midnight

Author: Cassandra Clare

Published: 2016

It’s been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Shadowhunters to the brink of oblivion. Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering what killed her parents and avenging her losses.

Together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, from the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. If only her heart didn’t lead her in treacherous directions…

Glitz, glamours, and Shadowhunters abound in this heartrending opening to Cassandra Clare’s Dark Artifices series.


Cassandra Clare is incredibly good at the found family trope, witty one liners… and writing ridiculously long books!

Lady Midnight is 700 pages long. I could maybe exuse the length if it was the finale of a series, but as the first book? However, I’m being forced to read the next two books because the characters have stolen my heart and will only give it back if I pay buckets of money for the sequels, but I’ve heard that the sequels are also super long.

However, despite the length, I flew through Lady Midnight. I never thought I’d describe a 700 page book as a sort of ‘guilty pleasure’, but honestly; the drama! The gossip! The relationships! I always feel that Cassandra Clare books consider themselves quite high with the biblical references, and complicated lore… but they’re really just teenagers being dramatic and fighting demons at the weekend. Lady Midnight is packed full of action, with really strong main characters to pull you through the few moments of peace.

Strong main character no.1: Julian. While at first I was worried he’d be a copy paste Jem/Jace bad boy, Julian felt like an empathetic, really likeable love interest…with enough bad boy energy for the fangirls. He had to raise his siblings himself, and I’m ridiculously invested in his relationship with them all. His struggles bring real depth to his character and I found myself reading on to catch a scene with him and his siblings.

Ahhh Julian’s siblings. Cassandra Clare has mastered the found family trope, and manages to juggle an engaging mystery and romance whilst fleshing out all of the (many) Blackthorn siblings. While they’re a little contrived in places, I love Ty’s neurodivergent storyline and Dru’s struggle with Shadowhunter beauty standards. I really enjoyed seeing the (already immense) Shadowhunter world expand again.

Ty’s thoughts, his beautiful, curious mind, were not like everyone else’s. Julian had heard stories— whispers, really—of other Shadowhunter children who thought or felt differently. Who had trouble focusing. Who claimed letters rearranged themselves on the page when they tried to read them. Who fell prey to dark sadnesses that seemed to have no reason, or fits of energy they couldn’t control.

Whispers were all there were, though, because the Clave hated to admit that Nephilim like that existed. There were no words to describe Shadowhunters whose minds were shaped differently, no real words to describe differences at all.

– LADY MIDNIGHT, CASSANDRA CLARE

There’s another Blackthorn sibling who deserves my love: Mark. He’s a half fey estranged brother that The Mortal Instruments series loosely followed and one of my new favourite characters. Bittersweet and a little wild, he’s the strongest character I’ve read in a while. There were a few other characters I recognised from previously books and if you’re an avid CC fan, you’ll be very excited by the return of some of them.

Mark set his jaw. He had never looked more like a Blackthorn. “If there is one thing I have learned in my life, and I grant I have not learned much, it is this: Neither Fair Folk nor mortals know what love is or is not. No one does.”

Last but not least, I really liked Emma too. With a strong sense of self, she was funny and not deterred by gore (which, dear reader, you will also need to get through this book). Julian and Emma were inevitable, and I’m intruiged by the dangers that come from them being parabatai but they were so INTENSE. They went from 0 to 100 in a second (although that wasn’t a bad first kiss for Julian…). I don’t understand how clumsy some of Julian and Emma’s big moments or relationship were when other characters are so nuanced.

I thought I wouldn’t like Lady Midnight. I haven’t particularly enjoyed Cassandra Clare’s earlier books, so it was a welcome suprise to have it be… actually amazing! It’s such a unique position to be able to see how her writing has improved over the course of nearly two decades. Lady Midnight feels like a much more refined writing style than first books in the Mortal Instruments series. Although one similarity – the plot twists were sooo gooood in both. What do you think? Let me know in the comments!

Maybe this is a lesson: don’t give up on an author too soon! Give them a second chance, see if they’re worth the hype surrounding them. Because Lady Midnight was certainly worth the hype.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

#TTT 12/4/22 – Quiz! Which fantasy books are these places are from? ANSWERS

As always, this great tag was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish but is now hosted over at That Artsy Reader Girl. I thought it would be fun to do a quiz, so can you guess which urban fantasy books these words are from? And as promised, here are the answers! I’ve also got some shoutouts for the highest scores – I think it was a little harder than I meant it to be, so well done to them. Let me know how you did in the chat!

If you missed it, here is the quiz without the answers!


The Answers

  1. Mundane – The Shadowhunter World by Cassandra Clare
  2. Speaker – Americans in Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
  3. Muggle – Harry Potter by J.K Rowling!
  4. Normal – British people in Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
  5. No – Maj – Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

Now for some places from some of my favourite urban fantasy books! How are you doing so far?

  1. New Beijing of the Eastern Commonwealth – Luna Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer
  2. Aglionby Academy – The Raven Boys Series by Maggie Stiefvater
  3. Erudite Headquarters – Divergent Series by Veronica Roth
  4. Kerenza IV – The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
  5. Cairnholm, Wales – It’s where Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children is! The books are by Ransom Riggs

Shoutouts to…

The quiz was a little harder than I thought it was… so a big well done to these top three for getting the highest scores! Go and check out their brilliant sites 🙂

  1. Jordyn Reads
  2. Down The Rabbit Hole
  3. Fangirl Flax

#TTT 12/4/22 – Quiz! Which fantasy books are these places are from?

As always, this great tag was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish but is now hosted over at That Artsy Reader Girl. I’d messed up my dates, so I’m doing last week’s freebie prompt this week! I thought it would be fun to do a quiz, so can you guess which urban fantasy books these words are from?

They increase in difficultly as you go along (number 10 is pretty nasty, I’ll be impressed if you can get it!). How many do you know? Let me know in the chat and I’ll give a shout out to those with the most correct answers when I post the answers tomorrow!


Some names for ‘non magical people’ in urban fantasy books!

  1. Mundane
  2. Speaker
  3. Muggle (if you don’t get this one…)
  4. Normal
  5. No-Maj

Now for some places from some of my favourite urban fantasy books! How are you doing so far?

  1. New Beijing of the Eastern Commonwealth
  2. Aglionby Academy
  3. Erudite Headquarters
  4. Kerenza IV
  5. Cairnholm, Wales (this one’s quite hard!)

How many do you know? Let me know in the chat and I’ll give a shout out to those with the most correct answers when I post the answers tomorrow!

3 Bookish Things Tag

Can I squeeze in this tag before it’s been a year since I was nominated? You’re reading this, so I guess I can! I was nominated for this tag by the amazing Madeline Todd nearly a year ago – backlog piles are the real deal. Go and give their brilliant site some love, and here are my (long awaited) answers!

3 Read Once and Loved Authors

  • Maggie Stiefvater. She’s not my favourite author, but she has my favourite writing style. Ever. Want to know the comparisons between reading her books and listening to the sumptuous audiobooks? Find my review of the Dream Thieves here!)
  • Mackenzie Lee. I read one chapter of her hilarious, witty characters and knew I was done for. Find my review of her book that made me cry the most sad tears, the Nobleman’s Guide to Shipwrecks and Scandal here. The one that made me cry the most happy tears, the Lady’s Guide To Petticoats and Piracy here.
  • Leigh Bardugo. She wins the prize for my favourite author. Ever. Find me alternating between ranting and crying in my review of possibly the last book in the Grishaverse, Rule Of Wolves, here.

3 Titles I’ve Watched but Not Read

  • The Kissing Booth. Although I have no desire to see the film again, or read the books.
  • Gone Girl. That was a good film.
  • The Hobbit I got up to the bit in the book where the Hobbit is in the hole in the ground… and then gave up. Is that the first sentence? Maybe…

3 Series I have Binged

  • Sadly, I think I read too slowly to count reading a full series as a ‘binge’. If it takes you months to finish the series, would you count it as a binge? How long does it normally take for you to read a full series? Let me know in the coments! However, I just finished The Bell Jar, and read it pretty speedily. Find out why in my review here!

    The reason isn’t because it’s only 200 pages, I promise.

3 Characters I love

How can I can only pick three!

  • Remus Lupin. I love you bby xxx
  • Baz Pitch. Is he the reason I play the violin? Maybe. The obsession is real, so find my soundtrack to if Carry On was a movie here!
  • Felicity Montague. She would have made me a woman in STEM… if only I liked Science.

5. 3 Current Favorite Covers 

I think it’s a sort of Stockholme Syndrome from staring at these covers for too long recently, but all these books are ones I’ve finished super recently.

  • Mister Impossible. I loved the Call Down The Hawk cover more, but I’m living for the whole ‘white border interrupted by the drawing so it looks 3D’. This cover also has Ronan Lynch and Jordan Hennessey on it, so it’s an objectively cool cover. Objectively.
  • The Bell Jar. I just love the symmetry! One of the best ‘rebrands’ of a classic I’ve seen in a while.
  • The Starless Sea I couldn’t have a favourite book cover list without having at least one Erin Morgernstern book. I think the cover perfectly encapsulates the madness within, and it was included in my list of the most aesthetic book covers ever. Check the list out here!

6. 3 Things You have used as bookmarks

  • Ribbon. If I’ve paid all that extra money for a fancy hardback with a ribbon inside, I’m using it!
  • Train tickets are my personal favourite at the moment – they’re the perfect size to not fall out of a paperback.
  • Bookmarks…? I’m not one to fold over pages, so I’m the friend with a stash of bookmarks to throw at you the minute I see a folded corner.

8. 3 Unpopular Bookish Opinions

  • I really don’t like Cassandra Clare books. Her writing style irks me, as do a lot of her characters. Find out why ‘Clary Fray Is Not My Bae’ in my City Of Bones review here.
  • Regulus Black deserved more…
  • Just because it’s on Booktok, doesn’t mean it’s a good book. Some of the books I’ve read because of Booktok have been… awful. Has that ever happened to you? Let me know in the comments!

9. 3 Book Goals For the Year

  • Read 65 books. This is a bit less than normal, but I have loads of exams this year.
  • Read more classics! Now libraries are opening again, they’re a great place to get classics from because they nearly always stock some.
  • Not have more than physical 5 books to read at once. It’s only March, but so far I’m sticking to this rule! Last year I just ended up buying so many books, and it took ages to get to the ones I actually wanted to read.

And that’s all for the tag, now it’s time to tag! There’s no rush to do it, under a year will be faster than me 🙂 If you’d like a go and I haven’t mentioned you, let me know in the comments and I’ll link your site below!

  1. Hardcover Haven
  2. Lost in Neverland (one of my favourite sites!)
  3. Her Bookish Desires
  4. Caley Kapowski’s Blog
  5. Another Bookworm
  6. Frappes and Fiction (love the name!)
  7. Monogamist Reader
  8. Tessa Talks Books
  9. The Sassy Library Fox (another of my favourite sites!)
  10. Frayed Books
  11. Word Wonders
  12. CJR The Brit