I definitely didn’t enjoy this novel as much as The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. I think there was something about Monty’s chaotic existence and personality that drew me in. I just didn’t quite feel as attached to Felicity. This was still an amazing novel. But just not quite as grabbing as Monty’s story.
One of the aspects of Felicity that I found most difficult to connect to, but, also the most realistic, was how judgemental she was about other women. Its a conversation that is often had – there is no right or wrong way to be a woman. There is no right or wrong in being strong and independent and a feminist. Sometimes we are our harshest critics and its definitely something that needs to be changed. As is pointed out very beautifully in this story.
There is an element of asexuality in this story that I found beautiful. Instead of being a romance and ending with the off kilter couple running off together, there is that sense of me about romance and sexuality. I’m not sure if there was an aim for an asexual character, but it was definitely how I read it.
Lee is able to bring up a lot of very relevant social issues and realities in a seamless manner. It’s a rollicking adventure that had me smiling. One that I would happily read again. But maybe not for a little while…
Title: Tower of Dawn Author: Sarah J. Maas Series: Throne of Glass #6 Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again) My Bookshelves:Fantasy, Romance, Strong women Dates read: 2nd – 17th October 2021 Pace: Fast Format: Novel Publisher: Bloomsbury Year: 2017 5th sentence, 74th page: She straightened.
A GLORIOUS EMPIRE A DESPERATE QUEST AN ANCIENT SECRET
Chaol Westfall and Nesryn Faliq have arrived in the shining city of Antica to forge an alliance with the Khagan of the Southern Continent, whose vast armies are Erilea’s last hope. But they ahve also come to Antica for another purpose: to seek healing at the legendary Torre Cesme for the wounds that Chaol received in Rifthold.
After enduring unspeakable horrors as a child, Yrene Towers has no desire to help a young lord from Adarlan, let alone heal him. Yet she has sworn an oath to assist those in need – and will honour it. But Lord Westfall carries darkness from his own past, and Yrene soon comes to realise it could engulf them both.
And deep in the shadows of distant mountains, where warriors soar on might ruks, long-awaited answers slumber. Answers that might offer their world a chance at survival – or doom them all.
I did struggle with this book more than I had expected to. I’ve been putting off the last 2 books of the series. Partly because I know that it will destroy my heart (seems to be a talent of Maas). But, more so, because I just don’t want this series to be over! Sure, I can reread it… but it just won’t be the same. Having said that, I didn’t fall head first into this book like I have the others.
I think that the thing that takes me a while with this story is that Chaol spends the first part just being incredibly whiney. I get that he’s been dealt a hard hand, but my lordy, he’s just a bit too bitter and painful. For those who feel the same… Read on! Once I got to the second part, I started to fall head first into the storyline as expected.
Of all the characters in this, it was Yrene that I loved the most. The fact that she has an intertwined past (like many of the other characters) just makes her all that much better. I love how much of this story involves her fight to get over her horrible past and move forwards with her life. Her story, when Chaol’s was a bit painful made this book still a 5 star I my view.
Whilst I had a few moments of discomfort and “huh” throughout this, ultimately I loved this book. After the first 200 pages, the character development is so wonderful and intense that I couldn’t put it down. And, much of the whiney that was irritating made so much more sense.
Title: The Fountains of Silence Author: Ruta Sepetys Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect) My Bookshelves:Historical fiction, Romance, War Dates read: 14th – 15th August 2021 Pace: Medium Format: Novel Publisher: Penguin Books Year: 2019 5th sentence, 74th page: He’s about to reach for his camera when he hears the laugh.
‘TRUTH BREAKS THE CHAINS OF SILENCE’
Daniel, young, wealthy and unsure of his place in the world, views the city through the lens of his camera.
Ana, a hotel maid whose family is suffering under the fascist dictatorship of General Franco.
Lives and hearts collide as they unite to uncover the hidden darkness within the city.
A darkness that could engulf them all…
This is one of those “holy crap” “wow” “Oh My God” kind of stories. I had no idea if I was going to like this when I first started it… but then I got my teeth hooked in… and… I just can’t even. I pretty much read this whole 500 page book in one sitting. It was just impossible to put down, look away, forget about. And then, like the fool that I am, I finished it late at night and couldn’t sleep. Because. So many thoughts. Too many thoughts.
I think the thing that really threw me about this book was the fact that a lot of the history in this book is only recently coming to light. The fact that an estimated 300,000 babies were taken from their parents and put up for adoption (after telling the parents that they had died) is… unfathomable. And it happened RECENTLY. It’s not a part of history that we can say, oh, that was another time, it happened forever ago. It happened in the past forty-odd years. And it’s only just coming to light and people are only just being bought to task for what they’ve done… it’s… unfathomable. Like, my brain literally cannot grasp this fact.
There is a sweet romance throughout this story. It’s not at the forefront and it’s not as in your face as the actual romances that I read. But it is incredibly sweet. Ana and Daniel are that quintessential falling in love when young romance. That one that sticks with you for the rest of your life. Some of us are lucky and find that we are actually going to spend the rest of our lives with that person. But the others? Well, it’s those stolen moments in time, in this one summer that Ana and Daniel are able to spend together.
This is a brilliant story. It is filled with history and the darker parts of our recent past that need to be bought to light. There is an intense feeling of humanity and intensity throughout that plucks at your heart strings. You can’t stop reading and look away from the pages. There is mystery and horror, all lightened by the love, both romantic and familial that ties all of these amazing characters together.
Title: The Phoenix’s Fault Author: Cynthia So In: Proud (Juno Dawson) Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again) My Bookshelves:Chinese mythology, LGBTQI, Romance Dates read: 15th August 2021 Pace: Medium Format: Short story Publisher: Little Tiger Year: 2019 5th sentence, 74th page: An infinite variety of them, as manifold as human hearts.
All those with a phoenix are supposed to present themselves to the Emperor and his dragon. But Chilli Oil and her owner don’t want to do that… they’ve got their heart set on someone else.
There was a great intersection of Chinese mythology in this story. The use of the dragon and phoenix as symbols of marriage and happiness. What I enjoyed most though was the way in which the author was able to use this symbol to show another kind of marriage and happiness.
I desperately was hoping for a happy ending to this story. Considering the collection it was in, I thought it might happen. But, honestly, up until I turned that final page… I just wasn’t sure.
The imagery in this story was brilliantly done. And the way that the mother accepts her daughter… just beautiful. Definitely a short story that I will read again.
Title: The Silk Blade Author: Natalie C. Parker In: A Universe of Wishes (Dhonielle Clayton) Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again) My Bookshelves:LGBTQI, Medieval fantasy, Romance Dates read: 30th June 2021 Pace: Slow, Medium, Fast Format: Short story Publisher: Crown Year: 2020 5th sentence, 74th page: I have him exactly where I need him to be, but before I can swing around to his other side, Rabi is there.
It’s the competition of a lifetime – three competitors competing to be the consort to the ruler of them all – the Bloom. But a chance meeting just before the final battle may change everything.
I love that from the get go of this story, gender and sexuality isn’t even a thing. There are multiple attractions and couples, but no set expectations for which genders are together. The way that there is no big deal made out of this needs to happen more frequently in YA stories as far as I’m concerned.
The idea of a great big challenge to be the consort of the Bloom was fun. There was this beautiful poetry and feeling of elegance that I got throughout this book. One that I wasn’t really expecting. But definitely enjoyed. Especially when there is that final challenge / battle at the end…
All in all, I loved this short story. I found it adorable and fun. With a great sense of action and drama. Add to that the romance and connection that weaves through the tale and the fantastic world building… I was sad when this ended.
Title: Kissing Tolstoy Author: Penny Reid Series: Dear Professor #1 Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again) My Bookshelves:Contemporary, Contemporary romance, Romance Dates read: 25th January 2021 Pace: Medium Format: Novel Publisher: SmartyPants Romance Year: 2014 5th sentence, 74th page: I couldn’t bring myself to look at him again, so I directed a short wave at the room.
What do you do when you discover that your super-hot blind date from months ago is now your super-hot Russian Lit professor?
You overthink everything and pray for a swift end to your misery, of course!
I fell stupid, crazy in love with this novel. Like, completely, totally and utterly head over heels for it. Not only was it fun and brilliant. But, as with every one of Reid’s books, the characters were a little quirky and impossible not to love. Particularly Anna with her slightly zany and very unique outlook on life. And Luca? Oh my goodness! Completely drool worthy! (Nobody look at my book… there are drool stains through the pages).
Every time I read a story that features academia, I kind of want to return to that world. Although, this is a perfect way in which to return without having all of the crap that actually comes alongside a life in the area. It’s a great window into a world that is seriously intense and complex. One that is fascinating and intriguing. The fact that it’s the setting for this book, and series, but not really a feature of it left me thinking of all of those wonderful positives. Whilst not dwelling on any of the negatives.
This is one of those stories in which things seem to go wrong, one thing after the other. That no matter what Anna tries to do, she’s drawn into Luca’s orbit and just isn’t quite sure how she got there. But, she wants to stay. It’s got that fate kind of feel to it that makes you think that those who are meant to be together will be, even if they’re not quite sure how to go about it. Which, honestly is the kind of thing that I love in a good romance – that feeling of inevitability that lends itself to a happily ever after.
All in all this was a fantastic, fun and impossible to put down book. I completely fell in love with it and don’t know that it is one that I will forget anytime soon. I most definitely can’t wait to sink my literary teeth into Kissing Galileo now!!!
A gargoyle with a crush realises that the woman he’s been crushing on might just be his ticket to looking… well, less gargoyle-like. But he has to sacrifice his Heart first.
This was such a cute and sweet short story. I love that there are so many different meanings to the title, depending on what point of the story you are at. The different meanings drew me in completely and left me feeling very happy and content.
I don’t get the privilege of reading many stories about gargoyles. But, ever since watching The Hunchback of Notre Dame, I’ve been fascinated with gargoyles. Happily looking forward to any of the stories I can find that feature these creatures.
The lore and the worldbuilding in this short story are intense. I honestly can’t believe that there aren’t more books set in this world. It is just so damn textured and detailed. I want more!
He’s finishing his final day at work, and about to step into the adult world. But there’s this gorgeous girl that he just can’t stop thinking about…. And then a kiss lets him see the ending of their love and he asks himself… if you can see the ending, should there be a beginning?
I really loved the question that this short story posed – namely, if you can see the ending, do you even bother trying for a beginning?
That question, and the brilliant writing in this story made it incredibly difficult to look away from the pages and left me constantly pulling for the narrator of the story. After all, I don’t know if I’d have the guts to start a relationship when I know that it’s going to end in heartache. I’m not sure that I’m that brave or tough… it also highlights the risk that love is, no matter what the situation.
This was a great, cute and seriously fun short story. One that is all about first loves and the fact that sometimes happily ever after isn’t, well… quite happily ever after. But that doesn’t mean that all of the bits in between aren’t worth it! And it’s definitely a great idea to live in the moment as much as you possibly can…
Title: The Gentleman’s Guide to Getting Lucky Author:Mackenzi Lee Series: Montague Siblings #1.5 Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again) My Bookshelves:Historical fiction, LGBTQI, Romance, Young adult Dates read: 25th September 2020 Pace: Fast Format: Novella Publisher: Mackenzi Lee Year: 2018 5th sentence, 74th page: “Why?” I bite down gently on his lobe.
In this funny and frothy novella that picks up where the New York Times bestselling The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue leaves off, freshly minted couple Monty and Percy fumble through their first time together.
Monty’s epic grand tour may be over, but now that he and Percy are finally a couple, he realizes there is something more nerve-wracking than being chased across Europe: getting together with the person you love.
Will the romantic allure of Santorini make his first time with Percy magical, or will all the anticipation and build-up completely spoil the mood?
This was such a fun, funny and cute way to round out the novel The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. It had me laughing out loud, repeatedly. Away from the adventure and drama of the novel, this is just a great little novella that makes you think about your first time…
The first time with anyone can be supremely awkward. But the adventures that Percy and Henry find themselves on in this… well, they just take the cake. My first time was certainly not this awkward! Thank goodness!
This is a great, light addition to this series. And it’s got me salivating for The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy. I certainly hope that we get to see Scipio in the next few books! He is just such a kind pirate-man and I want more of him!
Title: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue Author: Mackenzi Lee Series: Montague Siblings #1 Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again) My Bookshelves:Historical fiction, LGBTQI, Romance, Young adult Dates read: 19th – 22nd September 2020 Pace: Medium Format: Novel Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books Year: 2017 5th sentence, 74th page: Instead he says to me, very calmly, “How dare you speak to him like that.”
Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions – not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.
But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.
Still, it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.
I absolutely loved this novel just as much as I had expected. There is something fun, intriguing and seriously intense about this journey that makes it impossible to put down. And, even more importantly, seriously difficult to forget after you’ve turned that final page. This is definitely going to the top of my reread list and I think it’ll be one that I pick up again and again over the years.
Henry is a fantastic lead for a story which has a title such as The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. He’s seriously damaged, a little bit neurotic, and honestly, just so damn cute. The fact that his cuteness is offset by some seriously stupid decisions… it works well. Then, partnering him with his best friend Percy (who is nothing like what you would expect) and his incredibly strong sister Felicity. Well, the characters alone are a recipe for a great story. Luckily though, there is a great adventure in here too.
Not only is this a fantastic historical fiction story (I’m not sure how realistic it is, but it is certainly fun), it is also a great social commentary. I knew that it dealt with LGBTQI+ issues in the form of Henry being in love with his male best friend. But what I didn’t expect was that it also dealt with issues of race (again Percy’s character), illness and sexism. Even the moment in which Felicity questions Henry’s sexuality and morality is so well written. Instead of this being accepted like some of the historical fiction books I’ve read, there is a constant issue with the sexuality and race of some of the lead characters. And, let’s face it, they’re still issues that are painful and not quite dealt with in today’s society.
Even though I loved the character of Henry, his backstory did actually break my heart a little. How could it not when there are just so many horrid moments throughout? I’m glad that he was able to find his own happily ever after. And, although the story doesn’t end with him completely finding his own bliss and getting over his vices… there is certainly some great movement towards it. Which left me feeling seriously optimistic after I turned the final page of this book.
Now, I just can’t wait to sink my literary teeth into Felicity and the Goblins’ stories… surely this series is just going to continue getting better from here on out?