Books · Monthly Tags

January TBR – The TBR Raffle

Hello, lovelies!

Welcome to the January TBR! I always love January, because I love planning, and I also love making stats about my reading from the previous year. This January, I was quite busy, so I am still catching up with my stats, but I did enjoy playing my TBR Raffle Game and choosing my books for the month.

December was a very interesting month, and I ended up reading a lot of Christmas books and books that I was sure I’d enjoy.

You probably already know this, but just a reminder that I share my current reading updates on my Instagram posts and stories, so don’t forget to follow my Instagram to see what I am reading at any given time during this month. And this month, there will be a lot of surprises there as well, which you don’t want to miss.

And with that being said, let the January TBR raffle commence.

The January TBR Raffle

I am filming my TBRs on my Instagram Stories. Make sure to follow me on Instagram, and check out the “Monthly TBR” highlight at the beginning of each month!

My TBR Raffle game is simple: I have a number of prompts that I put in small papers, into a jar. I draw a prompt, and I fit in a book that matches my prompt. Here is a list of the current prompts I have. Feel free to leave any prompt suggestions in the comments. Once the paper is drawn, I put it back into the jar, so it has an equal chance to get drawn again. I draw a total of 6 prompts, which result in 6 books for the month. If I fail to read a book, it automatically goes into the next month.

My January TBR

✨ 1. 5 Star Prediction

Keeper by Jessica Moor is a book that I feel I will really enjoy, which is why I chose for my 5 star prediction prompt. I am currently in the mood for thrillers, and you will notice a trend this month as well.

Synopsis:

When Katie Straw’s body is pulled from the waters of the local suicide spot, the police decide it’s an open-and-shut case. A standard-issue female suicide.

But the residents of Widringham women’s refuge where Katie worked don’t agree. They say it’s murder.

Will you listen to them?

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

✨ 2. Gift

I am so happy to be picking this book up in January, because it already means so much to me. My high-school teacher recommended this book to me, and my boyfriend bought it for me back in November for my birthday, because I wouldn’t stop talking about it. The synopsis sounds so intriguing, and I am really looking forward to reading this one!

Synopsis:

Discover the forty rules of love…

Ella Rubinstein has a husband, three teenage children, and a pleasant home. Everything that should make her confident and fulfilled. Yet there is an emptiness at the heart of Ella’s life – an emptiness once filled by love.

So when Ella reads a manuscript about the thirteenth-century Sufi poet Rumi and Shams of Tabriz, and his forty rules of life and love, her world is turned upside down. She embarks on a journey to meet the mysterious author of this work.

It is a quest infused with Sufi mysticism and verse, taking Ella and us into an exotic world where faith and love are heartbreakingly explored…

Purchase Links:
 | Amazon UK | Amazon US |

✨ 3. Borrowed

To be honest, when borrowed pops up, there is only one person that I borrow books from, and that’s my sister. So the genre and the titles are usually YA fantasy and/or romance. Ever since I read The Bane Chronicles, which is a collection of short stories featuring Magnus Bane, I wanted to read Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy. This book is a collection of short stories featuring mostly Simon. I love the Shadowhunter series, even though I read them a long time ago. I actually think it’s time for me to re-read them soon as well.

Synopsis:

Ten stories with brand new illustrations following the adventures of Simon Lewis, star of the #1 New York Times bestselling series The Mortal Instruments, as he trains to become a Shadowhunter. Simon has been a human and a vampire, but after the events of City of Heavenly Fire left him stripped of his memories, he isn’t sure who he is any more. When the Shadowhunter Academy reopens, Simon throws himself into this new world of demon-hunting, determined to find himself again. Whomever this Simon might be…

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK |Amazon US |

✨ 4. Sent by Author

I wish this prompt came up more often, as I do have a bit of a backlist of titles that authors have sent me. And this time, I am choosing After the Last Battle by Matthew Moss.

Synopsis:

In a post-apocalyptic world, where the Hordes of Hell reign supreme, the only thing anyone could ask for is peace and quiet. Having lived his entire life in a secluded village, Telarious has had exactly that, yet for him it was misery. Bored of his monotonous life as a hunter, Telarious looked for any chance of conflict, so that he might prove himself to be more.

When a band of demons tear through his village in search of an angel in hiding, one of the last of the nearly extinct species, his wish is granted tenfold. This one act reveals Telarious’s hidden potential and sends him and his new angelic counterpart into a neighboring colony, where the struggle for power rages on.

In over their heads, the two must learn to work together and with new, powerful allies to defeat the demons that have claimed Earth as their own. 

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK |Amazon US |

✨ 5. Mystery

Last One to Die by Cynthia Murphy is a book that is being published in January. Also one that I am very excited about. I am also participating in a blog tour for it, and my review will be up on the 14th January. Spoiler – I already read it and it’s a 5 star.

Synopsis:

Young, brunette women are being attacked in the city of London.

16-year-old, Irish-born Niamh has just arrived for the summer, and quickly discovers that the girls being attacked look frighteningly similar to her.

Determined to make it through her Drama Course, Niamh is placed at the Victorian Museum to put her drama skills to the test, and there she meets Tommy: he’s kind, fun, attentive, and really hot! . . . Nonetheless, there’s something eerie about the museum.

As the two strands of present-day serial attacker and sinister Victorian history start to collide, Niamh realises that things are not as they seem. Will she be next?

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

✨ 6. Instagram Pick

Well, I asked Instagram, and Instagram chose Fled by Meg Keneally for me.

Synopsis:

Gayle is a highly successful and motivated business woman, but her success has come at a price – she hasn’t spoken to her daughters, Ella and Samantha, for years. But when Gayle has an accident at work, she realises she needs to make amends with her family.

And so she invites herself to join Ella and Samantha for their Christmas in the beautiful Scottish Highlands. The sisters are none too pleased that their mother has inserted herself into their Christmas plans. They have each other – and don’t need their mother back in their lives. Or so they think…

As they embark on their first family Christmas together in years, will the three women learn that sometimes facing up to a few home truths is all you need to heal your heart?

Purchase Links:
 Amazon UK | Amazon US |

And that’s my January TBR. There are only 6 books in here, which means I will most probably be reading more. Keep an eye on my blog posts and social media. And wish me luck! <3
Make sure to follow me on Instagram, so you can stay up to date with my current updates during the month.
What is your January TBR? Let me know in the comments!

Social Media:
Wishlist | Ko-fi | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Pinterest |

Blog Tour · Book Review · Books

Keeper by Jessica Moor [BLOG TOUR]

I am so happy to be the one starting this amazing blog tour for Keeper by Jessica Moor! Huge thank you to the team at Viking, for sending me a copy of the book, to read and provide an honest review. Please check out the other participants as well.

★★★

Keeper by Jessica Moor is one of the most gripping thrillers I have read this year!

Synopsis:

When Katie Straw’s body is pulled from the waters of the local suicide spot, the police decide it’s an open-and-shut- case. A standard-issue female suicide.

But the residents of Widringham women’s refuge where Katie worked don’t agree. They say it’s murder.

Will you listen to them?

My Thoughts:

As soon as I started reading Keeper, I couldn’t put it down. The story is gripping from the very first moment, and the intensity keeps growing with each page.

Scenes from THEN and scenes from NOW give us a story of Katie’s life before, and the investigation of Katie’s death now. In the past, we get a detailed view of Katie’s life in her new relationship, and how it progresses from true love to something very unhealthy. In the current time, we meet a couple of refuge women, who all suffered domestic violence, as they are being interviewed by the detectives, in the hope to shine some light to Katie’s death.

There is no evidence to point out that Katie took her own life, but there is also no evidence to suggest that she has been killed. And the detectives now have to rely on small clues, to try and figure out what exactly happened that day. Some secrets that Katie kept also don’t help their investigation at all.

Even though this is Katie’s story, it is also the story of the refuge women. Even more so. Through their experiences, we can fully understand Katie’s perspective. And through their lives, we find out secrets hidden that should never have come to surface.

The main subject of the book is about domestic violence, both physical and psychological. This can be a trigger warning, as many scenes go into a lot of detail. We meet different characters that suffered in their relationships in different ways. And while they are in the refuge home, we see the aftermath that these relationships have on the women. Some women are unable to speak to men anymore. They are unable to trust people. Nothing is ever the same. And some decide to go back to that horrible environment, because it’s the only thing they know. On average, a woman tries to leave her partner seven times before she succeeds. This tells you all you need to know, of how hard it is to leave in the first place, and why it is so easy to also go back.

I loved the main mystery. The fact that we assume something happened to Katie, but we are not sure. It is not until the very end that we actually find out the truth. The plot twists in the end were very well done, and I really enjoyed that WOW factor. I have the urge to read the book again now, just to capture the secrets clues that were right in front of me, but I never saw them coming. I also loved the issue this book raises about domestic violence, the refuge centres, and how little help they are getting. Struggling for budgets and being ignored by large organisations is very a very common practice, and the women staying there can feel this, which results in them not feeling as safe as they should be, or not getting the help they really need.

Keeper is set in a very uncomfortable atmosphere. In each chapter, you can almost feel what these women are feeling, and even though I cannot relate to them, I could feel their pain and felt so anxious to help them. Jessica Moor was able to perfectly capture their fear, their anxiety, their struggle, and I could empathise with them.

Beautiful fast-paced thriller that you can’t put down, with amazing plot twists and topics so unfortunately common and infuriating! I definitely recommend it, you won’t be able to forget Keeper easily.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

Social Media:
| WishlistKo-fi | FacebookTwitterGoodreadsInstagramPinterest |

Blog Tour · Book Review · Books

Our Little Cruelties by Liz Nugent [BLOG TOUR]

I am so glad to be part of the blog tour for Our Little Cruelties by Liz Nugent. Huge thank you to the team at Penguin Random House, for sending me a copy of the book, to read and provide an honest review. Please check out the other participants as well.

★★★

Our Little Cruelties by Liz Nugent took me on a wild journey I never knew I needed. Be ready for a very intense family and many unpredictable secrets!

Synopsis:

This is a story about three brothers. One of them is dead, lying in a coffin.

Will, Brian and Luke grew up competing for their mother’s unequal love. As men, the competition continues – for status, money, fame, women… They each betray one another, over and over again. Until one of them is murdered.

But which one?

My Thoughts:

Our Little Cruelties is the first book I have read by Liz Nugent, and now I know why her books are so gripping. This book is very dark and brutal, but also raw and honest. It captured a troubled family so well and created a very uncomfortable and unpredictable atmosphere.

The book is split into four main parts; three parts from the perspective of each brother, and the last part that covers the conclusion scenes and culmination. There are also special parts throughout the book, where the two brothers are attending the funeral of the third brother. The full beauty of this setting is that we don’t know who the dead brother is until the very end, and the reason why he was murdered.

Throughout the book, we slowly get to know all three brothers, their parents, their loved ones , their hopes, dreams and fears. But most importantly, the rivalry between them, than only increases over the years. All the brothers are fighting their own battles. They all do horrible things and they are all mean to each other. Being three of them, there is always a two versus one game as well, and they keep changing their sides and alliances. It was very interesting to read about their thoughts and experiences, especially when they have different opinions on the same situations, and each opinion is valid and makes sense based on their personality. This was very cleverly written.

After the first part, I made my own opinions about the characters, but after reading the other parts, my opinions changed drastically. Because there are always more sides to one story. And people react in different ways. Also, small things trigger to bigger chain events.

I absolutely loved the psychological aspect. How three brothers can grow up with different childhood experiences while living in the same household. The power and responsibility that the mother has when raising her children. This has always fascinated me and I loved discussing it with my boyfriend and my friends.

The book itself is very dark and has a lot of plot twists. The last part of the book is very intense and was so fun to read. Sometimes it had too much drama for my taste, but considering that this is a family thriller, it was inevitable.

Our Little Cruelties is the perfect thriller to make you wonder how dysfunctional your family is. It is gripping and dark from the very first pages, and keeps this atmosphere until the very end. I loved it and I definitely suggest you pick it up.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

Social Media:
| WishlistKo-fi | FacebookTwitterGoodreadsInstagramPinterest |

Blog Tour · Book Review · Books

Last One to Die by Cynthia Murphy [BLOG TOUR]

Last One to Die by Cynthia Murphy [BLOG TOUR]

★★★★

Last One to Die by Cynthia Murphy is the first book I read this year, and my first 5 star as well. I am now confident that 2021 won’t be that bad. I knew I was going to enjoy it, I just didn’t expect to enjoy it this much. Huge thank you yo Kaleidoscope Tours and Scholastic Press, for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my review.

Synopsis:

Niamh just moved to London, with the hope to pursue acting, meet friends and have fun. When she starts making new friends and these women keep getting attacked and murdered, she realises that this might be all somehow connected to her. Because all women that are being attacked look very much like her.

My Thoughts:

Last One to Die is suspenseful from the very beginning, because Niamh knows that she’s in danger. She just doesn’t know what/who the danger is. Trusting people is hard and so is making new friends again. And as the book goes on, the intensity increases and the stakes get higher.

It’s so hard to write a spoiler-free review for this book, because I want to share everything I felt while reading it. Niamh was a character I really liked, and she was very easy to relate to as well. I went in for a YA thriller and I got a supernatural horror that kept me on my toes.

The friendship with Jess, the family closeness and the love interest scenes were a wonderful addition to the suspense we get, like breathing a bit of fresh air as well. I loved it when scenes made me giggle or give me the butterflies. It was very light as well, which helped break the scary moments and make you believe everything was good, before another plot twist happened.

I also loved the history element too.

The library, the museum, the old scary stories that happened in the part and brought eeriness… These were some of my favorite scenes in the whole book.

This is one of those books where you’ll have a theory, be eager to know the villain, and see your theories change at least three times. I made so many prediction, and got it correct in the end, but even then I still had to wait until the end to confirm it and get a satisfying explanation.

If you love YA thrillers, with horror elements and supernatural moments, don’t miss this one. This trope is now on my books. It might even be my favorite genre if my next reads are good as well. Cynthia Murphy as an author is also now on my list. I will make sure to read the next book she writes! I couldn’t recommend it enough!

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

Social Media:
| WishlistKo-fi | FacebookTwitterGoodreadsInstagramPinterest |

Book Review · Books

October, October by Katya Balen [BOOK REVIEW]

October, October by Katya Balen [BOOK REVIEW]

★★★

I am so glad I read October, October by Katya Balen and illustrated by Angela Harding. It is a perfect middle grade book that not only brings us to a beautiful wild adventure, but also teaches us that it’s okay to be different. Thank you to Bloomsbury and LoveReading 4 Kids, for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my review.

Synopsis:

October and her dad live in the woods. They live in a house that her dad built and enjoy the nature and the animals and the trees. They love the river and they love looking at the stars at night. It’s always been just the two of them, and that’s how it is.

And then October turns eleven. That’s the year she rescues a baby owl. That’s the year her dad fell from the tallest tree and was taken to hospital. The year when the woman who calls herself mother came back.

That’s when everything changes.

My Thoughts:

Through October’s passionate and, at the same time, innocent thoughts, we enter her world surrounded by wilderness and freedom. A child raised in the wild, whose life changes in a way she never deemed possible. She now has a new life that she needs to adjust to. But October doesn’t understand this. She doesn’t feel the need to adjust, because the wilderness is her home. Together with her dad. And now she lives in the city with this woman who calls herself mother, who tells her she needs to go to school, and who doesn’t approve of the baby owl.

“A pocket of people in a pocket of a world that’s small as a marble. We are tiny and we are everything and we are wild. We live in the woods.”

“Being wild and free is different for every person and every thing and it can be folded into the woods or whirling through the city streets. I know not everything has a perfect ending and I know that some things have a perfect place and that some things don’t and that all this can change anyway.”

With each paragraph and each chapter, I could feel October’s frustration. How her life is very unfair, and her questioning everything, trying to figure out why people want her to behave differently.

“What feels best isn’t always right, you know.”

This book resonated with me so much.

Perhaps because I was once in a similar situation to October as a child. I loved exploring the world from her point of view and I loved her wild personality. The relationship she has with her father was so precious. He understands her the most, and they get along together very well.

The story developed in a very nice way, and the ending was quite satisfying. Without giving anything away, I will just say that many characters realised many things by the end of the book. The learning journey they all went thought was very prominent and it left me with a melancholy, but also happy feeling. The ending felt very bittersweet.

“Sometimes it’s a kindness to let something go even when you love it very much.”

October, October is a beautifully written book about wilderness, happiness and freedom. The beautiful illustrations just add up to the writing and give a life to the story. I recommend it to both children and adults. A gem worth discovering!

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

Social Media:
| WishlistKo-fi | FacebookTwitterGoodreadsInstagramPinterest |