📚The opposite book tag!📚

Hello friends, I’m here again this time with the opposite book tag! I can’t remember where I saw this so if you do know the original creator please let me know so I can tag their blog.

Q – First in my collection and last book I brought.

The first book in my collection is my Chronicles of Narnia series and the last book I brought was If I can’t Have You by Charlotte Levin.

Q – A cheap book and an expensive book.

The cheapest book is one of my charity shop ones, it’s Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick and it was 50p. And the most expensive book on my shelf is my hardback copy of Midnight Sun.

Q – A book with a male protagonist and one with a female protagonist.

Male – Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh. Female – The End of Mr Y by Scarlett Thomas.

Q – A book you read fast and one that took you long to read.

One that I read fast is Percy Jackson and the Lightning thief and one that took me forever to read was The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson. (Absolutely no hate on that book, I loved it I just took soooo long to get into it haha).

Q – Pretty cover and ugly cover.

Pretty cover is Landline by Rainbow Rowell and ugly cover is The Canal Boat Cafe at Christmas by Cressida McLaughlin.

I don’t really have any books with ugly covers so I’ve just picked one that is my least favourite instead. I love the colours of Landline they’re so simple and work really well!

Q – A national book and an international book.

I don’t really think I have any to include for this one!

Q – A thin book and a thick book.

A thin book is my copy of Psycho by Robert Bloch and a thick book is IT by Stephen King.

Q – Fiction book and a non-fiction book.

The Chain by Adrian McKinty (fiction) and Very British Problems by Rob Temple (non-fiction). I picked these 2 because they are both red so I wanted to have matchy matchy ones!

Q – Very (way too) romantic book and action book.

Taken: Captive Romance by Esme Devlin. (I don’t read many action books so I picked this one instead) It Came From The Multiplex: 80s Midnight Chillers by various authors.

Q – A book that made you happy and one that made you sad.

One that made me happy is The Scam List by Kurt Dinan and one that made me sad is New Moon by Stephenie Meyer.

As always if you want to take part consider yourself tagged and be sure to let me know if you do so I can check out your post!

Until next time, Em xxx

His and Hers, Alice Feeney – A Review.

Hello friends and fellow bloggers! I’m here again with a review, this time of His and Hers by Alice Feeney. You can read the synopsis here on Goodreads.

Overall rating – 3 stars.

I’ve decided to rate this one 3 stars because I am in two minds about it. There are definitely aspects that I thought worked really well, but then there are other points where I was banging my head off the wall at how ridiculous it was.

From the start I felt that His and Hers was going to be a wild ride and I was right. At no point did I feel like this book let up on the drama and shock factor.

In some ways this was points in favour of the book, but in others it was definitely a negative, especially when some of the shocks didn’t add anything to the story and were there for shock factor alone.

The layout of the book, flitting between Anna’s perspective and Jack’s perspective was incredibly clever and helped to build the mistrust that stuck with me through the whole book. Every chapter from either POV brought another hint that implicated both characters, I was totally confused – in a good way.

The two POVs allowed the story to progress without it becoming stagnant, which made it feel like I got through this book quicker than I did.

One of my favourite things about this book is the depth of the writing, when Feeney was writing about a crime scene I felt as if we were there, seeing the scene through our own eyes. It felt so realistic.

There were also lots of links to the past and comments made about Jack and Anna’s previous relationship which brought another layer to the book, it added a personal feel and helped to bring the characters to life. While I didn’t form any attachments to any of the characters (they were all quite irritating) I did feel like they were 3D and had life in their eyes.

Towards the end of the book I did get incredibly frustrated, the ending really spoiled this book for me. I don’t want to give too much away but it just seemed so crazy, and unrealistic especially after what I’d read in the rest of the book…

On the whole, His and Hers was a good book. There were positives and negatives of the story, but it just didn’t stand out enough for me to rate it any higher than 3 stars.

Until next time, Em xxx

📚Books I’ve added to my to buy shelf recently📚

Hello bookworms and friends, I recently asked on Twitter for people to recommend me their favourite book of the year so far, and then I combined that with posts I’ve saved from blogs I follow to create this list of books that I have added to my to buy shelf!

Kololo Hill by Neema Shah – synopsis here.

Amelia Unabridged by Ashley Schumacher – synopsis here.

Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley – synopsis here.

Crown of Bones by A K Wilder – synopsis here.

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert – synopsis here.

Verity by Colleen Hoover – synopsis here.

Deity by Matt Wesolowski – synopsis here.

The Split by Laura Kay – synopsis here.

The Nothing Man by Cathrine Ryan Howard – synopsis here.

Black Coral by Andrew Mayne – synopsis here.

The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward – synopsis here.

The Castaways by Lucy Clarke – synopsis here.

Another Life by Jodie Chapman – synopsis here.

Greenwich Park by Katherine Faulkner – synopsis here.

The Lost Hours by Susan Lewis – synopsis here.

The Open House by Sam Carrington – synopsis here.

When I finished adding these to my “to buy” shelf on Goodreads, I also got rid of some that no longer interested me! Leaving me with a total of: 120 books that I want to read and 33 books that I need to purchase/lend from the library to read.

I honestly don’t know if I will ever stop adding books to my TBR (probs not) so I imagine I will be updating this list as time goes on!

Be sure to let me know if you’ve read any of these books and if you’d recommend them and if you’ve reviewed them.

Until next time, Em xxx

PJO review and discussion post.

Hello friends! I am here with my review/discussion post/word vomit all about my Percy Jackson and the Olympians series reread.

Let me start off by saying I am SO GLAD I decided to do a reread of the PJO series, it has brought so much joy into my life, right at a time when I needed it.

These will not be proper reviews of each book, there will be a star rating but it will mostly just be me banging out about how much I loved the books, maybe with a few quotes thrown in and definitely a few memes!

One of my favourite things about this series as a whole is how much I learnt after reading the 5 books, I answer quiz questions and people are like “how do you know that?!” thanks PJO👀 but at the same time it doesn’t feel like learning because the books are so much fun.

BOOK 1 – THE LIGHTNING THIEF.

Overall rating – 4 stars.

The way this book starts immediately draws you in and entertains you from the very first page and compels you to keep reading. This is made even better by Percy’s narration and the chapter headings, my personal favourite of which is “I become supreme lord of the bathroom”.

Straight away I warmed to Percy and his Mom, the love she has for him clearly oozes through the pages, especially in the way she tries to allow Percy to be as normal of a child as possible, given that he’s actually half God and is at risk of dying every time he goes somewhere.

And the characters only got better from this point onwards, Annabeth and Grover stand out (obviously) due to them being a focal point through the book.

Riordan has this wonderful talent when he writes, you truly believe you are at Camp Half Blood or on Mount Olympus with Percy and co, you could practically taste the fresh air of camp or the electricity from Zeus’s lightning strikes. I was made to feel like a part of the camp and quest too.

This book still makes me feel the same as I did when I was younger, I loved it!

This is LITERALLY how Zeus felt when Percy started riding the elevator to the 600th floor…

BOOK 2 – THE SEA OF MONSTERS.

Overall rating – 5 stars.

This one definitely has a dramatic opening, which I personally loved! I know they all open quite dramatically but for me, this one is the best opening chapters.

We also get introduced to Tyson, who I adore. A particular favourite part of mine about this book is how Percy feels embarrassed when Tyson is claimed and is his half brother, before he goes on a journey to realise that in actual fact he could do a lot worse – it shows us that Percy is still just a teenager and that he has the normal thoughts and feelings of a teenage boy. It felt real.

The chariot racing though has to be my favourite part! I feel like we’re riding in the chariot with them, you can feel the wind on your face and hear the shouts from the other cabins, it is described perfectly.

Sea of Monsters is also when Percy starts to open his eyes and realise how much he likes Annabeth and we really start to see them grow (which is a huge plus for a Percabeth fan like me!)

Oh and my favourite chapter heading from this one is “I have the worst family reunion ever”.

BOOK 3 – THE TITAN’S CURSE.

Overall rating – 4 stars.

This one is my least favourite of the series, nothing against it I just don’t enjoy reading it as much as the others, I think it’s the lack of Annabeth and the way her and Percy bounce off each other…

That being said, I love how we finally get to meet some other Gods, Artemis and Apollo for a start, and of course Artemis’s hunters are introduced.

I start this book with a very strong dislike of Thalia, I don’t like the way she treats Percy when they play capture the flag. I also dislike Bianca’s decision to join the hunters and leave Nico behind to deal with this overwhelming new life on his own. However, once we get to the end of the book (and this is testament to Riordan’s character development) I loved the two of them, they really grew on me.

This one was a little slow for me though, which is why it’s my least favourite.

My favourite chapter heading from this one has to be “I have a Dam problem”.

BOOK 4 – THE BATTLE OF THE LABYRINTH.

Overall rating – 5 stars.

I actually have two favourite chapter headings from this book, I couldn’t decide between them both and they are… “Nico buys Happy Meals for the dead” and “I open a coffin”.

EEEEEK, this one is my FAVOURITE of the series, I would rate it higher than 5 stars if I could. I feel like this is the one where things take a much darker turn and we start to realise how much danger Percy and the camp are actually in.

Throughout this entire book I felt as though we were in the labyrinth with our heroes, I could feel the same fear that they felt and as someone who is claustrophobic and scared of the dark it really got under my skin.

I love this book so much that I cannot think of what to write about it, except that I LOVE IT. Tyson going with Grover, even though they both dislike each other, Annabeth getting annoyed with the Sphinx because it isn’t a riddle she’s been given, Rachel hitting Kronos in the eye with a plastic hairbrush. It’s just a masterpiece.

There are so many layers within this story but everything weaves together to create an incredible story for us to enjoy.

BOOK 5 – THE LAST OLYMPIAN.

Overall rating – 5 stars.

I have lots of feelings towards this book and I admit, I cried when I finished reading it because it really is the best end to the series.

I get goosebumps when I read this book, from start to finish the whole thing is excellent. There are so many different aspects that all work together to create this book that will make you feel every emotion under the sun.

The description that went into this book were second to none, I felt like we were in Poseidon’s realm fighting alongside him, or in the Underworld with Hades and Percy and Nico, or in May Castellan’s kitchen when we learn why Luke is the way he is. I cannot fault the description and writing from Riordan.

Throughout the various battles there were heartfelt moments too, that helped us to tie up any lose ends and brought the perfect ending to the books.

You could feel the emotion through the page with the scenes with Hermes and the scenes with Percy and Annabeth when they finally got together (Percabeth for life) and when the Gods were discussing how to honour the heroes and Nico finally got the recognition he deserved. I cried a lot during this book lmao.

And my favourite chapter heading has to go to… “My parents go commando”.

This 5 book series is just a true masterpiece and an absolute joy to read and I’m so glad I reread them, they were absolutely worth it!

This is my personal favourite meme, I can see Percy doing water aerobics…

📚I Dare You book tag📚

Hey guys and welcome back to my blog! I’m super excited to do this tag so I won’t waste time introducing it…

1 – What book has been on your shelves the longest? A – This is still The Green Mile by Stephen King, someone literally is going to have to force me to read this book!

2 – What is your current read, last book you read and next book you will read? So my current read is His & Hers by Alice Feeney, my last read is Cinderella is Evil and my next read will be an undecided Christmas themed one (I have some left over from last year and I really want a feel good romance🙈)

3 – What book did everyone like that you hated? A – I probably can’t say this as I’ve not read it the entire way through but IT by Stephen King, I just cannot get stuck into it no matter what I do, I’m not saying I hate it but yeah I strongly dislike it…

4 – What book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read but probably won’t? A – 100% The Green Mile, it has been on my shelf FOREVER.

5 – Which book are you saving for retirement? A – I’m only 25 I have definitely not planned that far ahead!

6 – Last page: do you read it first or wait for the end? A – I wait for the end, I don’t want to spoil it.

7 – Acknowledgements: are they a waste of paper and ink? A – I love a good acknowledgement, especially with larger authors that have a lot of published books when they thank their wife or husband or whoever it makes my heart feel happy❤️

8 – Which book character would you switch places with? A – Hermione Granger, yes she had to save Harry like all of the time but could you imagine being a witch and attending Hogwarts?!

9 – Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life? A – Not really, I used to use books to get away from real life when I was younger so I’ve blocked out some of those memories.

10 – Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way? A – Oohhh! I have a collection of ghost story books that are coming up 90 years old which came from some distant relative who’s house we helped clear out when they died, they were in their loft for ages and we found them so I was allowed to have them.

And I have a copy of Macbeth that we found in our own loft at home, we have no idea who it belonged to and none of my family recognise the handwriting in the front of the book…

11 – Have you ever given away a book for a special reason to a special person? A – I’m probably really harsh but I don’t give books away to people, they only go to the charity shop if I hated them haha.

12 – Which book has been with you to the most places? A – That would be The End of Mr Y by Scarlett Thomas.

13 – Used or brand new? A – Either, before lockdown I would regularly hunt in charity shops for used books, I’m not fussy.

14 – Have you ever read a Dan Brown book? A – Yes all of them! I love Dan Brown.

15 – A book that made you hungry? A – Probably Harry Potter, whenever I used to read about the feasts they had at Hogwarts my mouth would WATER.

16 – Most read author? A – Stephen King, easily.

I feel like you can learn a lot about people from book tags so I hope I’ve done this one justice, I never want to write loads for each answer as it can become quite long!

As always if you want to play along consider yourself tagged.

Em xxx

ARC – Face of Evil, George Morris De’Ath – A Review.

Hello friends, I’m here with a review of Face of Evil by George Morris De’Ath, this was an ARC that I very kindly received from NetGalley and Aria & Aries – so thank you to them!

Overall rating – 2 out of 5 stars.

From the start I thought Lydia was rude, insensitive and an awful character… I didn’t warm to her at all, she was very up herself and I found her really hard to like. I really struggled with how she constantly thought she was better than everyone else, it made her very irritating as a character.

I’m not sure if the author has tried to deliberately make Lydia as unlikeable as possible, if that’s the case then they’ve certainly achieved their aim!

Because the book focused on Lydia I found it very hard to enjoy. I also feel like we didn’t get a fair share of the other characters, they were very 2D and flat and as such were hard to form an opinion on.

I felt very indifferent to the book on the whole, it didn’t exactly fill me with enjoyment to read it but I didn’t hate it.

It wasn’t the most original plot, it felt like a cheaper version of Silence of the Lambs and didn’t really offer anything new that I hadn’t already read. There were no real shock factors.

I also felt the book alluded to a lot of backstory that was never fully expanded upon and I feel would have made Lydia more likeable and generally added more the story.

There were sections of this book that I enjoyed, namely the interactions between Lydia and the killer she was interviewing, they were written really well and were a breath of fresh air through this book.

However, the remainder of the book just didn’t hit the spot for me.

I will admit I was shocked by the turn of events within this book, but, once it started to unfold I very quickly guessed where it was headed and what was going on. I don’t want to give too much away but I pretty much guessed what was happening/had happened previously…

The final ending of the book just was not it. It added absolutely nothing to the story, and actually went against the image of Lydia that had been portrayed to us throughout the book.

Sadly, this book just was not good, in my opinion. As we focused a lot on Lydia it was hard to enjoy due to the nature of her character, and with the boring and predictable story I just didn’t enjoy it.

Please let me know if you’ve read this book and what you thought!

Until next time, Em xxx

NetGalley Update!

Hello friends, if you follow me on twitter (I’m @WhatEmsReadingX if you don’t already follow me) you’ll have seen I was using February to attempt to make a good way through the ARCs that I had from NetGalley, some of which had been sitting on my kindle for far longer than I want to admit…

My first update was on the 1st Feb 2021:

Feedback ratio: 67% 🔸 36 approved / 24 feedback sent 🔸 9 books on TBR shelf

And as of 23rd Feb 2021:

Feedback ratio: 97% 🔸 36 approved / 35 feedback sent 🔸 1 book on TBR shelf

I tried so hard to work my way through as many ARCs as possible and I did it! WOOOOOOP.

The only reason I have 1 remaining book on my shelf is because it isn’t being published until July and I know if I read it now I’ll forget what happened and writing my review would be super difficult.

The books I read were:

337 by M Jonathan Lee – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Pastel Effect by Arly Carmack – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Bad Karma by Debi Chestnut – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A Conventicle of Magpies by LMR Clarke – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Players by Darren O’Sullivan – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The House of Whispers by Anna Kent – ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Ghost Town Girl by Debra Cunningham – ⭐️

I was really lucky to read some truly excellent books and my reviews for all except The Players and The House of Whispers will be coming on my blog in the next 5 weeks or so.

Thank you so much to everyone who has supported me in achieving my goal of clearing my shelf, I am taking this as a win because my final book to read isn’t published until July, which is months away!

Until next time, Em xxx

The Christmas Truce, Rosalind Palmer Jones – A Review.

Hello friends! I’m here again with another festive review for you all, after my small break at Christmas I’m still catching up on my December 2020 reads and reviews…

The Christmas Truce by Rosalind Palmer Jones.

Overall rating ❄️❄️ out of 5 snowflakes.

I seem to be in the minority of people who really disliked this book…

From start to finish I didn’t get that festive vibe from it at all, which was really disappointing considering the title of the book. The only relation to Christmas we had was that it was set at Christmas!

As individuals the characters really stood out to me, Emma was strong and independent and prepared to not back down to get what she wanted. Where as Miles was the strong type when it came to his business but hid that soft side that was just waiting for someone to care enough to bring it out of him.

But together they just didn’t work. They lacked that spark between them, it just felt awkward and forced at points and was really disappointing.

For me The Christmas Truce was just another bang average romance book, that was set at Christmas and claimed to be a festive read.

It wasn’t completely terrible, but it was disappointing.

Until next time, Em xxx

2020? Completed it mate.

Hello fellow book blogging friends and happy Christmas month! I feel like this year has simultaneously been the slowest and quickest of my entire life, it still feels like we should be back in March or something and in actual fact we’re about to ring in 2021!

Back in June I shared my halfway through the year blog post, with all the books I’d read so far as I suck at doing monthly wrap ups…

I still suck at doing monthly wrap ups and that is something I’m working on for next year but in keeping with June’s post here is my second half of 2020 reads.

2020???? COMPLETED IT MATE! (At last).

P.S. I increased my Goodreads goal again, up to 100 this time so we shall see what I end up on 🙂

Grab your hot chocolate, fave Christmas snack and a blanket and let’s get cosy AF. I’ve also tagged all my reviews that are live if you fancied a nosey!

July (10 books) – I FINALLY hit double figures after my slump in June and I was so happy. Granted some of these were short stories I still count them towards my goal. July’s reads were definitely aided by my two weeks off work where I literally chilled with my bf and read for hours on end.

My July reviews were: Reckless Nights in Rome, The Garage, Turn Her Face to the Wall, Honeymoon Alone, A Deadly Delivery: A Psychic Cafe Mystery, The Room Upstairs, Bones, The Cry of the Lake, The Scam List and Falling For The Cowboy.

August (7 books) – August was a strange one for me, I read a few books that I loved and couldn’t rate highly enough but I just struggled to read that many in total, it just felt a bit of a strange month to me. Coupled with not reading for an entire weekend because I was visiting my brother I felt really behind compared to July!

My August reviews were: Gerald’s Game, Heaven’s Peak, Silenced For Good, Extreme Malice, Intergalactic Interloper, Abandoned: A Ghost Story, The Fear.

September (6 books) – Ahhhh September, the month of possibly the WORST reading slump I have found myself in this year, I am so thankful I had some short stories on my Kindle to read else this would literally have been like 2 books… September also saw me read one of my favourite (if not favourite) reads of the year so it wasn’t all bad!

My September reviews were: It Came From The Multiplex, Evangeline: Memoir of a Teenage Serial Killer, Sleeping Beauti, Secrets on Sale, Death’s Door, The Proctor Hall Horror.

October (9 books) – So during October I made a pact with myself to read only books that were horror or thriller themed, which honestly just got me SO in the mood for Halloween. You can see my round-up post for my October reads here as I also detail how many pages I read in total, amongst lots of other stats!

My October reviews were: Be Careful What You Wish For, I Can’t Sleep, Dr Sleep, The Ghost In The Closet, Typhoid Mary, Psychosis, What Goes On In The Walls At Night, Horror Stories, The Haunted.

November (7 books) – After my highly successful October TBR list I decided to set myself one for November too, which you can read here. I was pretty ambitious with my TBR for November and I worried I wouldn’t get through that many books that I’d almost rebel against myself but I did pretty well!

My November reviews were: Tales of Lunis Aquaria, The Stranger, Dreaming of Florence, Squall, Lord of the Flies, Fiddleback and Love Among the Recipes.

December (10 books) – December was the month where I pledged myself to read just Christmas books and that I did! I still haven’t written the reviews for these so they’ll be appearing in January some time but honestly I had such a blast reading these books.

My December reviews were: The Christmas Bake Off, Six Geese A-Laying, A Beginner’s Guide To Christmas, Sex, Snow and Mistletoe, A Cornish Christmas Reunion, Christmas Wishes Come True, The Christmas Truce, Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes, Snowed In with the Billionaire and Midnight Sun.

Well bookworms that took me a total of 101 books in 2020!!!!! I changed my Goodreads goal three times, from 50 to 60 and then finally to 100.

Honestly, I don’t think I’ll ever hit that number again but my work allowed me to work from home during most of this year so that gave me an extra 30-35 minutes to read per day (no commuting time!) and I was furloughed fully for 3 weeks before going onto flexi furlough for a period of time, meaning I was doing half my usual hours and I had soooo much more time on my hands.

Without books I would have been in a much worse place this year, and I will be forever grateful for having access to so many books❤️

Anyway, there you have my half yearly wrap up, happy 2021 everyone!

Em xxx

Top 10 books in 2020…

Good morning friends! In light of what has been absolutely terrible year, I’ve decided to bring some cheer to my blog by reminding myself of my top 10 books in 2020.

I’ve picked these because not only did I give them a 5 star review at the time, but I would give them that review time and time again, even if I re-read them in the future – I just thought they were that good!

In the interest of transparency, I did receive ARCs of those bolded, these were free copies in return for an honest review.

1 – One Week Till Christmas by Belinda Missen. Even though I read this in January and it’s actually a Christmas read it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside was my first 5 star review of the year!

2 – Coraline by Neil Gaiman. I had no reason not to include Coraline on this list, it genuinely terrified me…

3 – The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza. The Night Stalker is a stand-out read of 2020 for me, it kept me completely on my toes.

4 – The Lost War by Justin Lee Anderson. Possibly my most unexpected 5 star rating of the year, I didn’t expect to love this book as much as I did!

5 – The Whisper Man by Alex North. I absolutely loved this book, it was definitely a contender for my absolute favourite of the year…

6 – The Scam List by Kurt Dinan.

7 – Silenced For Good by Alex Coombs. I felt like I was on a rollercoaster ride reading this one and I loved it!

8 – Intergalactic Interloper by Delas Heras.

9 -The Proctor Hall Horror by Bill Thompson.

10 – Dreaming of Florence by T A Williams. Dreaming of Florence was just one of the most beautiful reads of the year, I loved every second of this book and I was so gutted when I reached the end.

And there you have it, my top 10 favourite books of the year! I definitely enjoyed the majority of the books I read this year but the 10 in this list were standout for me!

Let me know what your top reads were of the year, or pop a comment with a link to your post below so I can check it out.

Em xxx