WWW Wednesday (16th September 2020)

Hi friends, it’s time for WWW Wednesday again. So, what’s it about? This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived on Taking on a World of Words. Here are my answers to the three Ws!

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson. It’s not my usual read of choice but it’s definitely captured my interested. It is a historical spy thriller with a really amazing opening. The pace slows after that but I feel like we’re getting into the meat of it about a third in.

What did you recently finish reading?

I recently finished One To Watch by Kate Stayman-London. It’s a really cool body positive story about a plus size blogger who becomes the focus of a Bachelor-style reality TV show. Honestly, it’s really heartwarming amongst the typical reality TV drama, and it even made me cry in places. There’s also a great romance, and the central character Bea is honestly amazing and I just want to protect her. Check out for my review here!

What do you think you’ll read next?

Next on the list is probably Dangerous Remedy by Kat Dunn. I don’t know much about it except it is f/f which I’m really excited about. On the list of eARCs to read is You Exist Too Much by Zaina Arafet. It sounds really cool and I’m looking forward to reading it.

What do you think of these choices? I am so excited to make more progress on my to be read.

WWW Wednesday (9th September 2020)

Hi friends, it’s time for WWW Wednesday again. So, what’s it about? This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived on Taking on a World of Words. Here are my answers to the three Ws!

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading an eARC of Poisoned by Jennifer Donnelly. It’s been really good so far – it’s such an awesome feminist retelling of Snow White and I am absolutely here for it. I may even like it more than Stepsister? Who knows, we’ll see what happens. Can’t wait for this one to come out next month.

What did you recently finish reading?

I finished Tumbling by Caela Carter! It’s a book set over the two days of the USA gymnastics Olympic trials, an event I always stay up for because it’s like a mini-Olympics in itself the competition is that high! This book helped fill the Olympic sized hole in my 2020. It’s about 5 girls of varying levels of experience who are all competing to be one of the five that make the team in 2016. I loved the journey each girl went on over the course of the two days and it had a really satisfying ending (even if it was a bit unrealistic). Definitely recommend it if you care about gymnastics – might be a bit boring for you if you’re not a fan of the sport. After finishing Tiny Pretty Things which is a book full of drama, it was nice to see drama where the girls end up supporting each other despite the competition between them.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I have too much choice right now! I’m probably going to go with Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco, which I know nothing about but recently received an eARC of so I can buddy read it with my friends. I hope it’s good. After that I might read The Deep Blue Between by Ayesha Harruna Attah which sounds like it could be a really special book.

What do you think of these choices? I am so excited to make more progress on my to be read.

WWW Wednesday (2nd September 2020)

Hi friends, it’s time for WWW Wednesday again. So, what’s it about? This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived on Taking on a World of Words. Here are my answers to the three Ws!

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading Legendborn by Tracy Deonn. I am loving the premise, loving the execution. It gives me a strong feeling of nostalgia for YA of the past whilst bringing characters with loads of depth and important messages of colonialism and race. This book is legendary! It builds on King Arthur and makes it contemporary with some cool magic systems and a college setting. Definitely pick it up when it releases in the UK on 1st October. I can’t wait to see how it ends.

What did you recently finish reading?

The last book I finished is The Last Story of Mina Lee by Nancy Jooyoun Kim. It follows a mother daughter Korean and Korean-American pair through flashbacks and present times in a murder mystery and plot full of family secrets. It’s wonderfully executed and made me feel so much for the characters. I did guess the way things would work out but it didn’t take away from the book at all. Margot learns so much about her mother than she never new and it broke my heart to know that they would never have a close relationship. The flashbacks into Mina’s life are the best bit of the book in my opinion as she struggles with moving to America on her own with the grief of losing a husband and daughter. So good, I cried.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I think next I’m going with Chasing the Stars by Malorie Blackman. It’s a sci-fi that I don’t know much about – but I love Malorie’s Noughts and Crosses series and standalone contemporary Boys Don’t Cry. She’s honestly an amazing children’s and YA author who I read extensively from my school library as a teen. If you haven’t ever read a Malorie book you should absolutely pick one up! Also I love the cover of this one.

What do you think of these choices? I am so excited to make more progress on my to be read.

WWW Wednesday (26th August 2020)

Hi friends, it’s time for WWW Wednesday again. So, what’s it about? This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived on Taking on a World of Words. Here are my answers to the three Ws!

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern for the second time. It’s one of the most unique books I have ever come across, and is such a beautiful novel full of stories within stories. I highly recommend it if you like Strange the Dreamer and books written like it, because it’s so dreamy and whimsical with gorgeous writing.

What did you recently finish reading?

Only the best book I’ve ever read? The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab, which I was very lucky to receive an eARC of recently. It has some of the most beautiful quotes ever, made me feel things no book ever has, and broke my heart over and over. This is not one to miss and is Schwab’s best work in my opinion!

What do you think you’ll read next?

I got sidetracked with my re-read of The Starless Sea, so I’m thinking that Ace of Shades and King of Fools will be next so I can go in fresh to Queen of Volts. I can’t wait to see how Amanda Foody ends this trilogy!

What do you think of these choices? I am so excited to make more progress on my to be read.

Book Review: Meat Market

It’s time to review my favourite contemporary YA novel of all time for this blog. Meat Market by Juno Dawson is a stunning story with a protagonist that as an adult I wanted to protect with everything I have. I don’t think I’ve ever cared about a character in this way before, it honestly hurt so much to read her story because it felt so real. It is brutal, emotive and honest, feels so faithful to London, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

Jana Novak is the child of immigrants from war in the Balkans (Serbia to be exact). They’re not devastatingly poor but they do struggle for money on occasion. Jana is tall and androgynous looking, which has resulted in frequent bullying from the other kids at school. But one day, on a trip to a theme park, she is scouted by a modelling agency which changes her life forever.

Entering the world of modelling is a shock to the system for Jana. She has to learn to walk in heels, work the catwalk and figure out what the hell she’s supposed to do at photo-shoots, all whilst taking a full load of A-levels as she begins Sixth Form. It’s not all glamour – Jana never had to worry about what she chooses to eat before, but now she’s always being watched. Not to mention the petty drama from her classmates.

As Jana becomes a worldwide star, her life is anything but glamorous. She is put up in dodgy modelling apartments across the world that are barely fit to live in, sharing with other girls who are all exhausted from demanding schedules. Castings are uncomfortable, sometimes including hours of waiting with nowhere to sit. Jana’s life is a merry-go-round of flights, shoots, catwalks, and the odd stop at home to catch up with her boyfriend Ferdy. But the money is great, and every time she feels like she wants to quit she thinks of her family, and decides to keep going.

Naturally, her mental health deteriorates, particularly after a harrowing event in which she is sexually harassed by a famous photographer. Her modelling agency is full of irresponsible adults who do nothing for the protection well-being of the models, and even send them unaccompanied to known sex offenders. Xanax helps but turns the world to a foggy, repetitive mess.

Despite the darkness, there are moments of light. There is so much empowerment of women and girls, Ferdy is an incredible boyfriend, and Jana’s friend Sabah is so supportive.

Never have I felt so protective of a character before. Jana is so innocent and caring, and it hurt so much to see her go from dealing with petty stuff from people at school to every nasty thing the modelling world threw at her.

Anyway, I can’t give this book enough praise. It’s conversational style makes it so easy to fly through which is great given how addictive the plot is. The ending is powerful and fitting. Every chapter has a purpose. Juno Dawson has created a masterpiece, and I will always recommend it. Do look out for the trigger warnings: eating disorders, sexual assault, drug use, body shaming.

I don’t know anyone else who has read this book so please comment if you have. Did you like it? Have you read any other books by Juno Dawson? Let me know!

WWW Wednesday (19th August 2020)

Hi friends, this is the first time I’m taking part in WWW Wednesday. So, what’s it about? This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived on Taking on a World of Words. Here are my answers to the three Ws!

What are you currently reading?

Well, at the moment it’s The Burning God by R.F. Kuang. I enjoyed The Poppy War and The Dragon Republic so much, and I’m really grateful to have an eARC of The Burning God. I am so excited to see where the story goes!

What did you recently finish reading?

Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers. It follows a whole cast of interesting characters who are linked in subtle ways. I love how quiet the plot is because it really gives the characters opportunity to shine and draw you in. My favourite character was definitely Pip because he reminds me of me, especially when I was also 16. You can see my thoughts on Becky Chambers Wayfarers series here.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I have just been approved for an eARC of Queen of Volts by Amanda Foody. I really liked the earlier books in the series so I will probably go with that. Or Chasing the Stars by Malorie Blackman which I bought last week when I was on holiday.

What do you think of these choices? I am so excited to make more progress on my to be read.

Spotlight: Becky Chambers

“The only way to really appreciate your way is to compare it to somebody else’s way. Figure out what you love, specifically. In detail. Figure out what you want to keep. Figure out what you want to change. Otherwise, it’s not love. It’s clinging to the familiar–to the comfortable–and that’s a dangerous thing for us short-term thinkers to do. If you stay, stay because you want to, because you’ve found something here worth embodying, because you believe in it. Otherwise…well, there’s no point in being here at all, is there?”

Science fiction is always very hit and miss for me – sometimes it’s too technical, sometimes it misses the character-driven aspects of fiction that I love. Then I discovered Becky Chambers’ Wayfarers series and I fell in love with the quiet plots, fascinating character stories and the cultures of entirely new imaginary species that are so detailed they could be real.

There are 3 books to date in the series, with a fourth to arrive in 2021. They can be read in any order, but I chose to read in order of publication. The first is The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, which I have now read twice. It focuses on Rosemary, a young girl who is looking to escape her past by joining a long-haul spaceship where the crew is made up of multiple species. The second is A Closed and Common Orbit, which takes the AI from book one, Lovelace, and puts her in a body kit. Lovelace becomes Sidra, and the book centres on her friendship with Pepper, whose past is explored alongside the main plot. The Third book is a Record of a Spaceborn Few, which may have my favourite quote ever written in it. It follows a group of humans born in Space who live on Fleet – a very large space platform that houses the descendants of humans that left Earth behind. The characters are at different stages of their lives – a mix of parents and children.

What I love about Becky Chambers is the diversity she brings to her characters, whether through culture, gender or sexuality. It is so interesting to read about the cultures and worlds she creates because they are incredibly detailed and unique, without being over-complicated. The plot in each book is quiet which allows the character journeys to shine.

These books have made me laugh and cry and I empathised with many of the characters – particularly Rosemary from The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet and Kip from Record of a Spaceborn Few. Everyone feels a bit lost at times and Becky captures that emotion beautifully. They also have beautiful covers. I highly recommend reading them, and I can’t wait to read Becky’s novella: To Be Taught if Fortunate.

Let me know if you loved these books just as much as I did!