HELLO my lovely friends and followers, welcome to my celebratory post! Celebratory because on this day 5 years ago (2nd May) I shared my first blog post (which you can read here) where I also thought that having 20 books on my TBR was out of control… HOW WRONG I WAS :)))))))))

Anyway, in honour of my 5th blogging birthday (is that a thing? it should be a thing) I wanted to share my favourite ARCs that I’ve been lucky enough to receive over the years of blogging. Shedding some light on some of the best books I’ve had the pleasure of getting to read as a result of this blog.

A lil explainer and disclaimer before we kick off – every one of these books was provided to me, for free, in exchange for an honest review. And, whilst I do try and make sure that my reviews are spoiler free I cannot guarantee this, so please proceed with caution.


Unethical by Marla L Anderson – a book full of fear, suspense, and excitement that was a real page-turner and made me fearful of the world around me.

The Proctor Hall Horror by Bill Thompson – a ghost story that hooks you in from the opening pages, gives you a twist you weren’t expecting and has an ending that rounds everything off PERFECTLY.

337 by M Jonathan Lee – an easy book to get caught up in, with a high level of attention to detail and left me with goosebumps at the end.

Chopping Spree by Angela Sylvaine – a very Goosebumps style book, but with more of a teenage feel and a short enough book to hold your attention if you’re looking for a good scare.

The Woman in the Water by Kelly Heard – a twisty read that I had no idea how it would finish, full of darkness and super eerie.

The Neighbour by London Clarke – the sense of fear and unease that this book filled me with whilst reading was second to none, it was such a good thriller and I was covered in goosebumps by the end of the story.

She Kills Me by Jennifer Wright – the only non-fic book on this list, but definitely the most worthy! A book about female serial killers, showing that anything men can do, women can do and usually better too.

Silvers Hollow by Patrick Delaney – a book that gave me equal parts existential crisis and fear, this one was so incredibly thought provoking, immersive and atmospheric.

The Intergalactic Interloper by Delas Heras – quite possibly one of the best, light hearted and fun reads I’ve ever had the pleasure of receiving from NetGalley.

And there you have my all time favourite ARCs that I have ever had the pleasure of receiving from NetGalley and various publishers (all publisher details are detailed within each individual post).

I’m really fortunate to be in a position to have access to these books and that’s why I wanted to do this post, to celebrate some of the excellent works that I’ve had the opportunity to access through this blog.

ANYWAY, if you’ve read any of these books or plan on reading them – let me know!!!!! I’d love to discuss them with others.

Until next time, Em xxx

Songs that fit book characters🎶📚

Hi friends, it’s my songs I think fit with book characters post today!

Today’s book character of choice is Gale Hawthorne! I’ve picked a few songs for Gale, personal favourites that I feel really reflect him…

Gif is not mine, all credit to the creator.

First up we have… Should I Stay or Should I Go by The Clash. It just really reminds me of Gale, like he can’t leave Katniss alone despite the way it’s hurting both of them (mostly Katniss, but leave me alone I have a soft spot for Glae OKAY)

You can see the playlist this song is from here – it’s the 70 and 80s HONEY

Next (and this is a personal fave) we have… Out Of The Woods by Taylor Swift. They literally met in the woods and spend their time there, not necessarily the song but the title matches perfectly!

You can see the playlist this song is from here – some poppy trash THINGS

And finally we have… Somewhere Only We Know by Keane. Mostly because they have their own little spot in the woods and at the start of the story before we learn that Gale is a bit of a prick (I could still fix him tho) it’s kinda sweet.

You can see the playlist this song is from here – pov ur in luv.

Until next time, Em xxx

Songs that fit book characters🎶📚

Hi friends, it’s my songs I think fit with book characters post today!

Today’s book character of choice is Katniss Everdeen! I’ve picked a few songs for Katniss, that I feel reflect certain points in her journey through the entire series really.

Gif is not mine, all credit to the creator.

First up we have Leave Out All The Rest by Linkin Park. I just feel like this song really fits Katniss, her whole volunteering for Prim as a tribute, doing her best to keep Peeta alive at her own detriment, the way she was with Rue. It just really fits her.

You can see the playlist this song is from here – IT’S NOT A PHASE MOM.

Next up we have Ever Fallen In Love by Buzzcocks. Again you cannot tell me this song just not fit Katniss, like just the title I think, but it definitely makes me think of her!

You can see the playlist this song is from here – it’s the 70s and 80s HONEY.

Lastly, we have Can’t Help Falling in Love by Elvis Presley. This one is sort of a guilty pleasure song for me, but the more I listen to it it reminds me of Katniss and Peeta, especially the way she was so confused about her feelings for him and then BAM one day she just knew she was in love with him. BE STILL MY BEATING HEART.

Until next time, Em xx

The Cult on Fog Island – Mariette Lindstein.

Link to book – The Cult on Fog Island by Mariette Lindstein.

Rating – 3 out of 5 stars.

I’m really on the fence about my overall feelings towards this book because there were several aspects that I really enjoyed and then others just completely ruined it for me, but HEY that’s what review writing is for!

To start with, and I have to get this off my chest… I hated Sofia. She’s our main character and honestly I could not have disliked her more if I tried, she just really wound me up the wrong way and I found her to be a difficult character to enjoy. I’m not sure if it was made worse by the fact the book was written in third person, perhaps she would have been more likable if we were able to see the story from her perspective.

HOWEVER, the rest of the characters absolutely SMASHED it. They brought the entire book to life with their personalities and traits just weaving through the pages. They really sold the story to me.

Moving on though to the writing, I did enjoy the writing and the style of it, there were just a couple of things that niggled me… Namely the time jumps mid chapter, we would be part way through a page and we would just skip forward 3 weeks?! Without any break in the page either, I just felt the time jumps could have been better executed.

I did LOVE how the author managed to make the entire story so atmospheric though. Of course helped by the idea of a foggy island but they ensured that we had the scene set perfectly, a tense and eerie atmosphere created when the fog came and it made me feel as though I was caught up in it too. The same with the intrigue, the author built this story that reached it’s crescendo at just the right point, whilst also leaving breadcrumbs throughout the earlier story to keep us on edge.

The plot is possibly the biggest area that I’m split on… The story was really good and I love anything to do with cults so this was a real selling point for me. However, I did find that there were a couple of aspects that were bigged up (for want of a better phrase) that never really came to fruition throughout the story and it made me wonder why they were included at all.

On the whole though I did enjoy this book! The idea of the cult on an eerie, foggy island really intrigued me and I’m glad I took the time to read this one.

Until next time, Em xxx

The House Guest – Mark Edwards

Link to book – The House Guest by Mark Edwards.

Rating – 3 out of 5 stars.

I’m kind of still in two minds abut this book, I mean don’t get me wrong it was good, and I didn’t want to DNFR it at any point, I just felt like something was missing. For me, I feel like there wasn’t enough focus on the cult aspect of the story, and there was too much focus on Adam running around trying to solve the mystery… It felt as though it lacked that little bit of direction to make it into a great book.

But, I did think that the writing was good. The story flowed nicely, there was no awkward silences so to speak and the author clearly has a way with words that translated onto the page. This was best shown through the intrigue that the author managed to build up in every line and paragraph – part of the reason I was pushed to keep reading.

That being said I did find the characters lacked that extra bit of jazz that would have made them more 3D and more likeable. I found it really difficult to form an attachment to any of them and tbh at points they pissed me off more than anything!

It was the same with the plot, it was good but it definitely lacked something. And whilst I did enjoy the idea of the Cult, how they recruited people and the whole vibe they had going on, I do feel like the story got a little lost and there wasn’t much discussion around the Cult. The only time we really got any glimpses into it were the scenes with Ruth and Adam, but they were too focused on Adam trying to play vigilante. It just felt like the balance was tipped in the wrong direction.

And without sounding too mean, the last few chapters were a waste, they didn’t add any value and didn’t really compare to the high stakes vibes of the rest of the book.

On the whole, The House Guest had all the makings of a good story, it had a solid foundation and some characters that just needed a little bit more jazz, however, it wasn’t executed in the best way and the balance of the book just tipped the wrong way, leaving me disappointed and underwhelmed.

Until next time, Em xxx

The Burning Girls – C J Tudor

Link to book – The Burning Girls by C J Tudor.

Rating – 5 out of 5 stars.

Oh my goodness, this book was everything I had hoped it would be and more! I cannot wait to do a reread of this one and see if it holds my attention in the same way that it did on my first read…

Starting with the characters, I actually really enjoyed reading all of them. It’s not often that happens for me, usually I get quite nit-picky and find fault but I enjoyed reading about every single character in this book, they were all worthy to be included.

Focusing on Jack and Flo, who are two most featured characters, they were portrayed excellently. The author worked hard to make their relationship as realistic as possible was a positive point for me, it was written really well and the way Flo was portrayed as a rebellious teen only added to the excellently written relationship.

And the intrigue and atmosphere that the author built throughout the story were second to none. I honestly couldn’t put this book down I was so desperate to keep reading, it had me hooked.

This was only enhanced by the authors impeccable writing style that allowed the book to flow and grow (soz for the rhyming lmao) as the story progressed.

I’m not a religious person so upon first reading the blurb I was a bit worried I would struggle with it, but it was the complete opposite. Religion didn’t feature heavily within this story, it was more there for scene setting purposes.

Onto my absolute favourite part now though… The plot. The story was absolutely excellent, the way everything came together and clicked into place was just out of this world. I shouted out loud when I finished the book because I was just in shock at the ending! And the way the author made sure to finalise everything and tied off the lose ends only added to my enjoyment of this book.

On the whole, I absolutely adored reading The Burning Girls and I cannot wait to reread it in the new year!

Until next time, Em xxx

The Switch – Beth O’Leary

Link to book – The Switch by Beth O’Leary

Rating – 4 out of 5 stars

This book was an absolute joy to read, I loved it! From just reading the blurb I was instantly excited to read it and it definitely didn’t disappoint. 

Throughout the book we mainly focus on our two main characters, Eileen and Leena, who were both gold! They were written to be funny, heartfelt people who you just couldn’t help but love and want to be best friends with. And the supporting characters were given the same level of attention by the author, who wrote them to be the perfect accompaniment to our two leading ladies.

One of the best bits about having two leading characters, for me, was how the chapters bounced between the two of them. It worked really well with the premise of the book and really aided my visualisation of the story. 

And the story itself was fabulous! I loved it, and I loved the whole premise. It felt fresh and different, and it was just a truly lovely story – plus it had a happy ending which is literally the best thing ever.

I also found The Switch to be incredibly easy to read, it felt like an easy going book, one you could just get lost in and sit there with a small smile on your face the entire time. It made me feel warm and fuzzy inside when I finished it. 

On the whole, I loved reading The Switch and I definitely will be doing a reread at some point in the future!

Until next time, Em xxx

Men I would let punch me and then say thank u daddy

GOOD MORNING (or afternoon or evening depending when you’re reading this post) another non-bookish related (and kinda wild) post from me today!

I think my followers on twitter were SICK of me lusting after these fictional characters, so I’ve decided to IMMORTALISE my thoughts with this blog post.

I want to preface this post with several things…

I have a wonderful and loving and gorgeous boyfriend, who I absolutely think the WORLD of and this post is just a bit of fun! And that I am 10000000000% a whore and probably going to hell after writing this post (Like I wasn’t already going there LMAO).

I’m including some GIFs because well, ya know.

1 – Geralt of Rivia, but (and this is oddly specific) only if Henry Cavill is playing him because there is something about him wielding a sword and him sitting in the bath and him fighting monsters, basically I just love Geralt aka Henry Cavill OKAY. Honestly, though this man is the OG could punch me in the face. Plus he seems super respectful and would definitely put you first – if ya know what I mean.

2 – Draco Malfoy. I will not be taking questions or providing any reasonings other than this man is a GOD and I have been obsessed with him since I was like 12.

3 – Billy Hargrove. OKAY, let me start this by saying I know Billy is a dick of a character, but just going off pure sex appeal alone, you can’t deny he’s fit as fuck. Granted he would be extremely cocky (with good reason) and probably would be super rough, but that’s fine because 1) he’s hot and 2) I like that kinda thing soooo🤷‍♀️

4 – Enzo (Dmitri Antonov). Sure this man is cute at the start of the series, but at the end when he’s all battered and bruised and clearly STARVED of a woman’s touch, yes please. He’s definitely going to pick you up and throw you round like a ragdoll, but only after discussing it first with you and making sure you consent. That alone would have me saying thank u daddy I swear to god.

I can’t get a gif that fits so you’ll have to make do with a photo, soz

5 – Jasper Hale. SWEET JESUS that southern accent is enough, let’s not even THINK about the baseball scene. It did things to me at 13 years old when I first watched Twilight and 10+ years later it STILL does things to me. He probably would be selfish but that’s not gonna stop me.

6 – Rick Grimes – I have LITERALLY just restarted The Walking Dead (from the beginning) and I forgot how HOT this man is. Clean shaven – yep, 5 o’clock shadow – yep, stubble – YEP. And a man in uniform is just drool worthy. He’s the type to be quiet but also firm and ALWAYS gets you to do what he wants…

I can’t lie, there will likely be additions to this list so expect to see me immortalising more fictional characters that I would let punch me in the face.

Also, if you’re my BF and you’re reading this I love u and would not trade you for any of these fictional men I promise ❤

Until next time, Em xxx

Guess who’s back, back again!

I’M BACK!!!! And ready to start posting again, I’m so excited!

I just want to say HELLO to the new people that have followed me recently, even though I wasn’t posting anything and a huge thank you to everyone who has stuck around during my brief break.

I’m back on my own terms this time though, there will be no set schedule to my posts and it won’t always be bookish related when I do post, though anything non-bookish will be few and far between.

There are LOADS of reviews I have in my drafts, so expect a flurry of posts from me over the next few weeks before I taper off a little bit.

And (a bit of shamless promo now) I also have a twitter account, so if you like reading my ramblings you cna also read my 240 character ramblings on WhatEmsReadingX (it’s chaos over there I apologise in advance).

ANYWAY! My reviews will start going live soon and I can’t wait to ge tback and enjoy my hobby again!

Em xxx

Why I’m going on a hiatus…

Hello friends and welcome to What Em’s Reading, which has been home to my book reviews, book tags and all manner of bookish content for nearly 4 years now!

In that 4 years A LOT has changed and that is why, with a heavy heart, I am taking a hiatus from my blog.

Book blogging doesn’t hold the same joy and passion that it used to at the moment, and whist I try not to get brought down by poor views and engagement on my posts, especially as this is a hobby for me and not something I am trying to make money from, it’s hard not to.

And with me taking on more responsibility at work, alongside undertaking my AAT qualifications, I feel like I can’t commit the time to this blog that I used to.

I plan to continue writing my reviews and sharing them on Goodreads and StoryGraph, both of which you can add/follow me on, I’m here on Goodreads and @whatemsreadingx on StoryGraph.

I just feel I can’t commit to the other bits that come with posting the reviews on my blog, the editing of the post (still h8 you wordpress block editor), the linking everything, the scheduling and then the boosting the post for minimal views and engagement.

Ever since I joined the bookish community all those years ago I have felt at home and welcomed, and my taking a break is nothing to do with not feeling like I belong or like I’m unwelcome. In fact, it’s completely the opposite, I feel so incredibly safe in this community that I know no one will judge me for the decision to take a step back for a lil while, at least from my blog.

Before I finish and say see ya soon, I wanted to share some of my favourite posts from over the years in the hope that you too will get some enjoyment from reading them.

My 2019 TBR back when I was young and foolish and barely had any books to read!

My take on the TTT books that would make good band names…

And the characters I would like to be stranded with, ya know if I had a choice when I got stuck on an island.

My top books of 2020!

My top ARCs of 2021!

And my personal favourite, my review and discussion post of the PJO series reread I did.

This isn’t a goodbye as such, it’s more of a I’m taking an extended break and hope to be back soon when I’ve got the time and energy to commit to this blog. In the meantime, I am on Goodreads and StoryGraph and you can always find me tweeting random shit over on @WhatEmsReadingX

Lots of love to you all and happy reading.

Em xxx