Thursday, December 31, 2020

My 2020 Wrap-Up



So 2020 happened.

I'm lucky that I have some good memories to take away from this year but it was definitely a . . . mixed year to say the least.

However, I'm going to focus on the positive things that happened because we sure don't need any more negativity right?






I read 101 books in 2020 and, having set my reading goal at 80 books, I'm really happy with that. I've read over 100 books that past seven years, but I wasn't sure if I'd be able to keep that up this year.

I read some new favourites this year, which include:

The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by H.G Parry

The Constant Rabbit by Jasper Fforde

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

and my favourite book of the year, The Empire of Gold (The Daevabad Trilogy, #3) by S.A. Chakraborty.



I didn't get to see as many films as I was hoping to this year for obvious reasons, but I did still get to see a few at the cinema:



I enjoyed all of these to varying degrees, but 1917 and Tenet were my favourites, closely followed by JoJo Rabbit and Little Women.






 2020 has been quite the adventure personal life-wise.

Having taken redundancy from my job in Dec 2019, I went to New Zealand mid-January to live with my friend for several months and help look after her daughter. I was essentially a live-in nanny and looked after my friend's daughter when she wasn't at nursery and her parents were at work. Having never worked in childcare, it was quite the baptism of fire, but it was a valuable experience and I made some lovely memories. 

I was very lucky that I got to see Elton John as part of his Goodbye Yellowbrick Road tour which was absolutely incredible and definitely a highlight.

After several flights getting cancelled, I eventually returned to the UK in July, less than a week after I originally planned to return, so that was lucky.

Since then I've had my first lockdown in the UK, and the past five months have been a mix of me applying for jobs, reading and watching TV. 

But things could be a lot worse. 2020 has made me feel very grateful for the things I do have, like friends, family, my health and a roof over my head.

Fingers crossed 2021 brings us all happy times and a return to normality.


What good memories will you be taking from 2020?


Wednesday, December 30, 2020

December Wrap-Up


*Contains spoilers for the December FairyLoot book*


 I can't believe 2020 is nearly over! December went so quickly!

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas if you celebrate it.




Leia, Princess of Alderaan (Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi) by Claudia Gray - paperback - 3.5/5 stars.

The Whispers of War by Julia Kelly - eARC - 3/5 stars - read my review here.

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson - audiobook - 3.5/5 stars.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern - hardback - 3.5/5 stars.

The Life and Medieval Times of Kit Sweetly by Jamie Pacton - eARC - 2.5/5 stars - read my review here.

The Haunting of Tram Car 015 (Fatma el-Sha'arawi, #2) by P.

The Merciful Crow (The Merciful Crow, #1) by Margaret Owen - FairyLoot hardback - 3/5 stars.



As well as the above reviews, I posted:

My Top Ten Books that I want to re-read

 My December TBR

My stop on the Mortal Sight blog tour

 My Top Ten Books I want to read in winter 2020-2021

My stop on the Curse of Roses blog tour

My Top Ten Books I hoped Santa would bring

My most disappointing reads of 2020 and books that I DNF'd in 2020

My Top Ten favourite reads of 2020




 Written in History: Letters that Changed the World by Simon Sebag Montefiore

What did you read in December?


Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday - Favourite Books of 2020


  Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week the topic is
Favourite Books of 2020

Here are my top ten books of 2020 . . .

10. You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson
3.5/5 stars

Having seen lots of love for this book, I wanted to read it even though contemporaries aren't my favourites. I ended up enjoying this and can see why people like it so much.

9. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern 
3.5/5 stars

 After putting off reading this because of the hype, I finally read The Night Circus!
While I didn't love it, I did enjoy it and would definitely watch an adaptation of it.

8. Powers of a Girl by Lorraine Cink and Alice X. Zhang (Illustrator)
4/5 stars

As a Marvel fan who hasn't read many of the comics, I found Powers of a Girl really interesting and loved that there are so many kick-ass, intelligent women.

7. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
4/5 stars

I listened to the audiobook of this and found it really interesting.

6. All Boys Aren't Blue by George M. Johnson
4/5 stars

I listened to the audiobook of this and really enjoyed it.

5. The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary
4/5 stars

It's not often that I read a contemporary romance but I ended up really enjoying this one.

4. The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by H.G. Parry
4/5 stars

This was such a fun read with literary characters appearing in the real world, and I loved that it was set in New Zealand.

3. The Constant Rabbit by Jasper Fforde
4/5 stars

Jasper Fforde is my favourite author, but the premise of The Constant Rabbit was so bizarre that I wasn't sure if I would enjoy it or not. Luckily, I did end up really enjoying it.

Read my review here.

2. Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
4.5/5 stars

I really enjoyed this book. I loved the idea of the libraries and talking grimoires, and loved the main characters.
Read my review here.
1. The Empire of Gold (The Daevabad Trilogy, #3) by S.A. Chakraborty
5/5 stars

The Daevabad Trilogy is one of my favourite series ever and the last installment of it, The Empire of Gold, is my only five star read of the year. I absolutely adored it. It was perfection.

Read my review here.


What are your favourite reads of 2020?

Monday, December 28, 2020

Review - Red Noise by John P. Murphy




 Title: Red Noise

Author: John P. Murphy

Pages: 440

Publisher: Angry Robot

Release Date: 9th June 2020


Blurb from Goodreads: 

Caught up in a space station turf war between gangs and corrupt law, a lone asteroid miner decides to take them all down.

When an asteroid miner comes to Station 35 looking to sell her cargo and get back to the solitude she craves, she gets swept up in a three-way standoff with gangs and crooked cops. Faced with either taking sides or cleaning out the Augean Stables, she breaks out the flamethrower.


 Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US | Bookshop





My Review:

*I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to NetGalley and Angry Robot*

The Miner isn't looking for trouble when she arrives at Station 35 wanting to sell ore, but that's what she finds.

Station 35 is occupied by two rival gangs fighting over control of the space station, while the corrupt law enforcement takes money from both sides.

The Miner decides to take things into her own hands, but might soon wish that she hadn't.

The concept of the book really intrigued me and I went into it ready for some gripping action. However, I ended up disappointed.

The Miner was an intriguing protagonist. Her backstory was interesting, but I didn't feel that I really connected with her or that she was fleshed out enough. I liked the relationships she formed with some of the other characters as well as seeing how the Miner dealt/coped with different situations.

The plot took a while to get going and the pacing was too slow for me, but I understand that the author needed to set things up before getting to the action, which there wasn't as much of as I was expecting. There were a couple of things that happened that I didn't see coming, but overall I found the plot a bit lacklustre, despite a few engaging action scenes.

The writing style was one where I had to take my time reading every sentence, as opposed to one where I could fly through the pages. Because of this and the slow pacing, it did feel like it took me a very long time to finish the book.

I did enjoy the book to begin with, but after a while, when things didn't pick up, I found myself enjoying it less and less as it went on. However, I kept on reading in the hope that I would get back into what was happening, which I didn't.

I'm disappointed that I didn't enjoy this more, and, unfortunately, this is a case where the execution of the book fell short for me, despite the promising premise.

Overall, this was an okay but disappointing read.


Sunday, December 27, 2020

My Most Disappointing Reads and Books I DNF'd in 2020



Let's get straight to the tea with



5. Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

3/5 stars

I had been excited to read Autoboyography for ages but I ended up having mixed feelings about it, although I did enjoy it overall.



 4. The Storm Crow (The Storm Crow, #1) by Kalyn Josephson

2.5/5 stars

The premise of The Storm Crow really intrigued me and I loved the idea of crow riders, but I ended up losing interest.



3. Viper (Isles of Storm and Sorrow, #1) by Bex Hogan

2.5/5 stars

Having seen a lot of love for these books, I was excited to read Viper, but I ended up really disappointed by it. I got bored and wasn't a big fan of the writing style.

Read my review here.


2. Havenfall (Havenfall, #1) by Sara Holland

2/5 stars

Havenfall was a book that I was really looking forward to reading, but I ended up really disappointed by it. The setting was interesting, but the plot was predictable and the pacing was too slow at times.

Read my review here.


1. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

3/5 stars

It's not unusual for me to have unpopular opinions and I definitely have one of the most unpopular opinions of 2020 - I was really disappointed by The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue. I didn't like the characters and preferred the first half of the book.

Read my review here.






I'm a big believer in DNFing books that I'm not enjoying, so it's not really a surprise to me that I ended up DNFing nine books this year.

A lot of these were books that I was really looking forward to reading, so I was incredibly disappointed that I ended up not liking them.

Here are the books I DNF'd and why . . .


 My So-Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma

DNF at 34%

I really struggled with the writing style and to stay interested in what was happening. I also couldn't connect with the characters.

Read my review here.

We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya, #1) by Hafsah Faizal

DNF at 34%

Oh boy. I was so excited to read this but straight away I struggled with the story and writing style. The pacing was also off for me and I couldn't connect to the characters.

 Read my review here.



 The Rage of Dragons (The Burning, #1) by Evan Winter

DNF at 12%

Going into The Rage of Dragons I wasn't sure how much I would enjoy it, but the blurb intrigued me so I decided to give it a go. Unfortunately, I became confused and wanted more description than I was given. I struggled with the writing and decided to stop reading because I wasn't enjoying what I was reading.

Read my review here.

Infinity Son (Infinity Cycle, #1) by Adam Silvera

DNF at 39%

Going into this book I had seen a lot of mixed reviews, so I wasn't expecting to love it. While there were aspects that I did like, the pacing was too slow for me and I couldn't connect with the characters or the writing style. In the end, I decided to stop reading.

Read my review here.

The Never Tilting World (The Never Tilting World, #1) by Rin Chupeco

DNF at 27%

Having been disappointed by one of the author's previous books (The Bone Witch. Controversial I know), I was a bit hesitant going into this one. While the concept was intriguing, I found there to be too many points of view. I also didn't really care about the characters or the romance. I struggled to stay interested in the plot and decided to DNF rather than force myself to read on.

Read my review here.

The Black Hawks (Articles of Faith, #1) by David Wragg

DNF at 34%

I was really looking forward to some good action scenes going into this book, but none of the characters stood out for me and I didn't feel invested in the storyline. I also struggled with the writing style and decided to stop reading.
Read my review here.



The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow

DNF at 32%

I really liked the sound of this book, but I found parts of it confusing and couldn't connect with the characters. This was another case where I struggled with the writing style and the plot and ended up deciding to stop reading.

Read my review here.

Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust

DNF at 39%

I'd heard a lot of good things going into this book, so I was excited to read it. However, I found the main character very frustrating at times and not much happened plot-wise. I felt like I might have gotten more into the book if it had been written in first person instead of third person.

Read my review here.



Circle of Shadows (Circle of Shadows, #1) by Evelyn Skye

DNF at 194


I actually enjoyed this to start with, but after a while I lost interest and couldn't get back into the storyline.

  What are your most disappointing reads of 2020?

Did you DNF any books this year?