🧣 JANUARY TO MARCH 🌷
2022 has begun. I’m still not ready yet New Year’s Day feels so long ago.
*grapples around the concept of time*
Anyway, welcome to a wrap up of sorts. Looking back at my books, TV series and blog posts from the last few months.
I focused on the oldest books on my shelf… and you can tell. But, then I did branch out a bit as I don’t think most YA books are my thing anymore.
QUEENIE BY CANDICE CARTY-WILLIAMS // I knew this was popular, and I knew I wanted to read it but still, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Perfect if looking for messy, lovable characters with an engaging voice, focus on friendship, a complex relationship with sex and a journey into healing yourself. I loved it.
THE JASMINE THRONE BY TASHA SURI // review soon, but for now, I will say I am impressed and in love with Malini.
MORE HAPPY THAN NOT BY ADAM SILVERA // This book shocked me, made me emotional and gave a beautiful and realistic message. I hope more and more people pick up this book to match the hype of They Both Die At The End. Want to check out my review?
great books to read
HABEN (A MEMOIR) BY HABEN GIRMA // It was an educational, entertaining read that allowed you to experience the world from a different point of view. My favourite part was how Haben was determined and career-driven. I enjoyed existing in that mindset.
AMARI AND THE NIGHT BROTHERS BY B. B. ALSTON // This had the perfect middle-grade fantasy charm. A lot of heart, fun, adventure, and magic.
INDIAN HORSE BY RICHARD WAGAMESE // the use of storytelling was great. It focused on small details and used them to transpire big things felt really powerful. It is a heartbreaking story but one that needs to be told.
FINDING HOME VOLUME 1 & 2 BY HARI CONNER // the aesthetics and core of the story were beautiful. Want to check out my review?
THE INFERNAL DEVICES BY CASSANDRA CLARE // current read: clockwork princess // “Jem is my great sin” sums up the strength of this series, and describing Will as handsome on every page is apparently a pet peeve of mine. Review soon.
ILLUMINAE BY AMIE KAUFMAN & JAY KRISTOFF // the novelty of all pages being multimedia wore off on me eventually. AIDAN entirely carried the book for me.
THEY BOTH DIE AT THE END BY ADAM SILVERA // I wished I had been moved to tears. Want to check out my review?
YOU ASKED FOR PERFECT BY LAURA SILVERMAN // I felt anxious about school after reading this book. I no longer attend school… I stopped 5 years ago.
EMPRESS & ANIYA BY CANDICE CARTY-WILLIAMS // it was too short to enjoy and rate. It wasn’t anything terrible, just nothing grand.
ODD AND THE FROST GIANTS BY NEIL GAIMAN // this was a reread as I never saw the illustrations the first time. I don’t know why I was so determined to experience this story again. It wasn’t bad, just an average pleasant book that I didn’t need to read twice.
CITY OF CIRCLES BY JESS RICHARDS // this was actually a unique fantasy. Intentionally slow-paced whilst exploring grief through magical realism. The romance was not for me at all, and to an extent, I’d even say unnecessary. I think ultimately the book just wasn’t my cup of tea, but I still loved the writing and distinct nature of it.
KISS & TELL BY ADIB KHORRAM // the title disappointment. Perhaps unfair due to my high expectations, but sadly it fell short on a few things. Thankfully there were some strong elements of it too. Check out my strengths and weaknesses list below…
❌ Hunter was complex, but I found him ever so slightly unlikeable as well.
❌ The secondary characters felt underdeveloped. I didn’t feel like a bond was established between them and Hunter. In fact, the novel really had too many relationships and not enough time.
❌ I felt like there were moments when I could forget there were in a boyband. It was not a big topic in the novel.
❌ The conclusion/resolution was far too rushed. Even felt a little cut short.
✅ One character stood out for me… Kaivan. He was kind, likeable and faced his flaws well. Plus, I would love to hear his band’s music. I get why he wasn’t the main character, but part of me still wishes he was the main character.
✅ The exploration of media, in particular being queer in the spotlight, was GREAT. From viewing queer relationships with a heteronormative lens, bottom-shaming, white privilege, sex positivity and ‘how to be a respectable gay in the spotlight’. The discussions were by far the strength for me… the nuances and breadth of topics. It is worth the read to see these points being made.
THIS IS GOING TO HURT // I felt so exhausted just from watching it. It was an un-glamorised look into being a doctor. It was so important to see. As if you can ever say it enough, thank you, NHS.
THE TOURIST // the characters made this show. They were all not the typical ones and improved the mystery journey. One weird episode but overall a decent series.
BAD BUDDY // it was great for a drama, romance series. It had stunning chemistry between the characters, healthy representation and lovable side characters.
EUPHORIA S2 // I actually really enjoyed this season, although I am aware it is open to a LOT of fair criticism. I really do think its success is down to it being such a conversation piece… and the filming style… and the music… and Zendaya.
ONLY MURDERERS IN THE BUILDING // I did enjoy aspects, and the comedy led approach was fun. But, I struggled to care about anything character/plot-wise.
WANDAVISION // this was really good and genuinely nice to see Marvel tackle something different.
THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLIDER // social media made me underestimate this one. IT WAS SOOO GOOD! I honestly loved it a lot!
LOKI // how was Loki still a side character??!?! Not a big fan of Sylvie or the plot to be honest. My highlight was Richard E Grant’s Loki. The Loki I had been waiting for forever.
WHAT IF? // Some episodes were better than others… I liked how it was open to riskier plots that don’t need satisfying endings. Those episodes were my favourite.
PAM & TOMMY // The strongest moments of the series were when the focus was on Pam. The rest was more questionable. It will be interesting to see Pam’s documentary later on. Sebastian Stan’s smile was almost too innocent for this show.
A slightly rocky start to blogging this year. Thankfully, March has been more successful.
I dedicated some time to revamping my ‘The Me & Music Tag‘ to make the post more “user-friendly”. With a new icon, new rules and new graphics, all at the top of the post. I feel better for doing it. It was probably too late, but at least I know I’ve done it.
I got a letterboxd account. If you have it and want to share it, let me know. I would love some people to follow 👀
What I did manage to post…
- 2021 WRAP-UP | books & blogging
- 2021 WRAP-UP | non-bookish media
- To My Favourite TV of 2021
- REASONS TO READ THE GREEN BONE SAGA BY FONDA LEE | flipping through fantasy
- Reading Heartstopper For The First Time
- SISTER’S COLLAB: The Battle of the Tropes | romance edition ❤️
- GRAPHIC NOVEL REVIEWS | intergenerational trauma, harley quinn & a space adventure
- THE WAILING WRITER | sticky starts (how do you begin writing a novel… seriously HOW?!?)
- Reading Adam Silvera (for the first time) | do I cry? 🥲
from the community…
24hr.YABookBlog talked about book blogging in the era of BookTok. It was a really interesting, relevant, well-written discussion that I loved reading and imagine lots of other people would as well.
Kaya @ A Fictional Bookworm gives the perfect starter recs to get into the fantasy genre. I loved the idea and Kaya always has a way of talking about book recs that makes you want to read them ASAP.
Caro @ bookcheshirecat shares a giant list of middle-grade books she wants to read. It is perfect for finding lots of different recommendations and celebrating the joy of middle-grade novels.
Suhani @ Random Reader’s Rambles talks about favourite books but with a twist… the things not to like in them. It was a fabulous read… full of personality, art and fun. You need to check it out.
Lais @ The Bookish Skies shares book recs based on the sour album. An aesthetically beautiful post that was a joy to read. I loved Lais’ blogging voice, and all the interesting book recs which I don’t see mentioned a lot in the community.
Katja @ Life and Other Disasters talks about The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake and whether you should read it. It made my desire to read the book quadruple. I loved how it was a well-considered review.
Sahi @ My World of Books does The Bookish Academy Awards 2022. I loved this post… firstly, it was so fun and creative. Then secondly, it was full of adult fantasy recs (and more). Please read it.
Sofia @ Bookish Wanderess talks about the books she wishes to read for the first time again and I loved reading her list. It made me want to read all the books or reminisce on my own favourites.
Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books gives 10 tips on how to write SEO-optimized posts. Perfectly displayed and full of great advice. Check it out.
Maria @ The Character Study shares where to buy books as an international reader. Such a great resource full of bookshops to try out.
Sofi @ A Book. A Thought. discusses different review structures including her own new style. It was so interesting and it made me think about my favourite review structure too.
May @ Forever and Everly completed a reading experiment by disconnecting from social media. It was so increasing to see how this affected her reading. You need to read it.
Ashmita @ The Fictional Journal shared a list of specific favourite tropes and it was glorious. I loved the setup of this post and, of course, all the tropes. A masterpiece.