Books · Monthly Tags

February TBR – The TBR Raffle

February TBR - The TBR Raffle

Hello, fellow readers!

Welcome to the February TBR! January felt like it lasted for a year, and I’m already enjoying February way more than I enjoyed January. It’s nice to have a short month once in a while, isn’t it?

January was a very hard month, and I read only 7 books, only one of which was a 5-star. You can see my January wrap up here.

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 February TBR raffle commence.

The February 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 February TBR

✨ 1. Fantasy

House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1) by Sarah J. Maas is a book I have had on my TBR shelf since last April, but when fantasy came up, it felt like the perfect time to start it, and I can’t wait for it.

Synopsis:

Bound by blood.
Tempted by desire.
Unleashed by destiny.

Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life—working hard all day and partying all night—until a demon murdered her closest friends, leaving her bereft, wounded, and alone. When the accused is behind bars but the crimes start up again, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation. She’ll do whatever it takes to avenge their deaths.

Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His brutal skills and incredible strength have been set to one purpose—to assassinate his boss’s enemies, no questions asked. But with a demon wreaking havoc in the city, he’s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.

As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent City’s underbelly, they discover a dark power that threatens everything and everyone they hold dear, and they find, in each other, a blazing passion—one that could set them both free, if they’d only let it.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

✨ 2. LoveReading

LoveReading is a website that I have been an ambassador for about 2 years now, and they send me amazing books before publication. That is why I have a special prompt made just for the books they’ve sent me. This time, I am choosing The Gilded Ones (Deathless #1) by Namina Forna. I know I will definitely enjoy this book, and I think it will one of the most popular YA fantasies this year!

Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in Otera, a deeply patriarchal ancient kingdom, where a woman’s worth is tied to her purity, and she must bleed to prove it. But when Deka bleeds gold – the colour of impurity, of a demon – she faces a consequence worse than death. She is saved by a mysterious woman who tells Deka of her true nature: she is an Alaki, a near-immortal with exceptional gifts. The stranger offers her a choice: fight for the Emperor, with others just like her, or be destroyed…

Purchase Links:
 | Amazon UK | Amazon US |

✨ 3. Instagram Pick

This month’s Instagram Pick was The Elephant in the Room by Holly Goldberg Sloan. I always love the Instagram polls that we do, and you seem to also enjoy it as well. It’s quite fun how we come up with a random title that most of you want me to read. I am in love with my copy of this book, and I know I will truly enjoy it!

Synopsis:

It’s been almost a year since Sila’s mother traveled halfway around the world to Turkey, hoping to secure the immigration paperwork that would allow her to return to her family in the United States.

The long separation is almost impossible for Sila to withstand. But things change when Sila accompanies her father (who is a mechanic) outside their Oregon town to fix a truck. There, behind an enormous stone wall, she meets a grandfatherly man who only months before won the state lottery. Their new alliance leads to the rescue of a circus elephant named Veda, and then to a friendship with an unusual boy named Mateo, proving that comfort and hope come in the most unlikely of places.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US

✨ 4. Highest Rated

The current highest rated book on my Goodreads TBR is Unspoken by Guvna B, and I am so excited to read about his book that speaks about toxic masculinity.

Synopsis:

Men are bold. Men are brave. And men are strong in the face of fear. But what happens when that strength crumbles?

Growing up on a council estate in East London, rapper Guvna B thought he knew everything he needed to know about what it means to be a man. But when a personal tragedy sent him reeling, he knew he had to face these assumptions head on if he was going to be able to overcome his grief.

In this intimate, honest and unflinching memoir, Guvna B draws on his personal experiences to explore how toxic masculinity affects young men today. Exploring ideas of male identity, UNSPOKEN is an inspirational account of Guvna’s journey.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK |Amazon US |

✨ 5. TBR Jar

My TBR Jar picked The Summer Job by Lizzy Dent, and I couldn’t have asked for a better choice! It’s the perfect book to get me into a spring/summer mood, and it will be a light read to brighten up the gloomy rainy February days.

Synopsis:

Have you ever imagined running away from your life?

Well Birdy Finch didn’t just imagine it. She did it. Which might’ve been an error. And the life she’s run into? Her best friend, Heather’s.

The only problem is, she hasn’t told Heather. Actually there are a few other problems…

Can Birdy carry off a summer at a luxury Scottish hotel pretending to be her best friend (who incidentally is a world-class wine expert)?

And can she stop herself from falling for the first man she’s ever actually liked (but who thinks she’s someone else)?

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

✨ 6. Sent By Publisher

The Man I Didn’t Marry by Anna Bell was kindly sent to me by the team at HQ Stories, and this book is coming out this month, which is why I chose to read it. The synopsis is intriguing, and I have heard amazing things about Anna Bell’s writing, so can’t wait to dive into it!

Synopsis:

What happens when the man she married can’t remember her?

Ellie has the perfect life: a happy marriage, a gorgeous daughter and a baby on the way. But when her husband Max develops amnesia, he forgets everything about the last five years . . . including their relationship.

Now the man she said ‘I do’ to has become a stranger, and she has no idea why. Yet Ellie is determined to reconnect and find herMax again – he has to be in there somewhere, right?

As they get to know one another afresh, Ellie finds herself seeing Max clearly for the first time. But then she discovers that before his memory loss, Max was keeping a huge secret from her. Will their new beginning prove to be a false start, just as it seemed they might fall in love all over again?

Purchase Links:
 Amazon UK | Amazon US

There are also a few extra books I am planning on reading this month, as well as the ones from last month that I didn’t get to yet, but I won’t reveal these titles to you yet, as I have some special TBR mystery surprises ready. Make sure to follow me on Instagram, so you can stay up to date with my current updates during the month.

And that’s (part of) my February TBR. Wish me luck, because this month, I’ll need it! <3
What is on your February TBR? Let me know in the comments!

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Blog Tour · Book Review · Books

The Burning Girls by C. J. Tudor [BLOG TOUR]

I am delighted to be part of the huge blog tour for The Burning Girls by C. J. Tudor. Huge thanks to Gaby from Michael J Books, for this amazing opportunity. If you have a chance, please go and check out the other participants as well!

★★

The Burning Girls was the first book I read from C. J. Tudor and it didn’t disappoint. I loved the horror elements, as well as the multi-layer mysteries over the years, and the many plot twists. It is definitely a thriller you will not want to miss this year, and I’ll certainly pick up more books by the author. I was only disappointed with the very end of the book, and I’ll elaborate more on the why’s below:

Synopsis:

500 years ago: eight martyrs were burnt to death
30 years ago: two teenagers vanished without trace
Two months ago: the vicar committed suicide

Welcome to Chapel Croft.

For Rev Jack Brooks and teenage daughter Flo it’s supposed to be a fresh start. New job, new home. But, as Jack knows, the past isn’t easily forgotten.

And in a close-knit community where the residents seem as proud as they are haunted by Chapel Croft’s history, Jack must tread carefully. Ancient superstitions as well as a mistrust of outsiders will be hard to overcome.

Yet right away Jack has more frightening concerns.

Why is Flo plagued by visions of burning girls?
Who’s sending them sinister, threatening messages?
And why did no one mention that the last vicar killed himself?

Chapel Croft’s secrets lie deep and dark as the tomb. Jack wouldn’t touch them if not for Flo – anything to protect Flo.

But the past is catching up with Chapel Croft – and with Jack. For old ghosts with scores to settle will never rest…

My Thoughts:

From the very first moments, The Burning Girls grips you and doesn’t let you go until you’re finished. I started this book very late, and was quite certain I’d miss my blog tour deadline as well. But I was so intrigued by it, that I couldn’t put it down and I finished it in a day.

I loved Jack and Flo, and their mother-daughter relationship.

It shows quite well that it doesn’t matter what profession the parent might be having, the children always treat you the same. The need for attention that they’ll never admit to, the secrets they will keep from you, and the mischievous ideas they are going to come up with.

When they move into the new village, they both feel both excited and sad. It’s never easy to leave behind a life you’ve created, especially for a teenager like Flo. Going into a new school, meeting new friends, being distant to the old friends – it’s all very scary at first. And through Jack, we can see how she feels about it all as well – not happy that she’s leaving, but also trying to make it the best experience at the time.

The horror and mystery elements come very early in the book, which is something I really enjoyed. I was very intrigued with not one, not two, but three mysteries that were going on, all in the same town, and all not quite resolved. Those parts, where more clues would come, or something supernatural would happen would be my favorite scenes in this book, and I was eagerly waiting for more. The atmosphere was spooky and very uncomfortable at times. I mean, you only need to imagine a chapel, burning girls and paganism, and you get the idea.

I also liked the town setting, and their behaviour.

Everyone in the small town seemed to be hiding their own secrets, and doing their best to protect them, and this part reminded me a bit of Tana French’s The Searcher. You could feel the townspeople’s animosity in every interaction, and you can’t help but get the chills.

To conclude, this book did satisfy my needs for horror, mystery and plot twists. I definitely did not expect all of those plot twists that came my way, and the book just kept surprising me in a spectacular way. I definitely recommend it to all fans of horror, mystery and thriller, it’s a book that you will devour!

The Disappointment:

My disappointment at the end of the book was huge, and it was the only reason this book went from 5-stars to 3-stars. I can’t share my full thoughts, because of obvious spoilers, but I will do my best to do this right. If you have read the book and want the full notes, please send me a message.

As soon as I read the last few chapters, we end up finding an answer to a mystery that was lingering from the very beginning of the book, and throughout. But knowing what we know now, it feels as if the whole book was a lie, and I cannot really trust a particular character because of it. The knowledge made me question my whole opinion of the book and left a bitter taste in my mouth, and that’s the only reason why I can’t give this book a higher rating. I feel that many things could have been written in a different way, and from other people’s perspectives.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

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Book Review · Books

Dostoevsky in Love: An Intimate Life by Alex Christofi [BOOK REVIEW]

★★★

If you, just like me, are a fan of Dostoevsky’s work, you will definitely enjoy Dostoevsky in Love:An Intimate Life. And even if you haven’t read any of his books, you’ll learn about what it felt like living in 19th century Russia (and other European countries), and I am certain that upon reading this, you’ll go and grab one of Dostoevsky’s books.

Synopsis

Dostoevsky in Love: An Intimate Life is a detailed biography of the life of Dostoevsky, mixed with a bit of creative freedom. Alex Christofi tells the story of Dostoevsky’s life using quotes from Dostoevsky’s books, as well as from letters and diaries.

My Thoughts:

It’s not very often I read biographies. If I read a biography, it has to be from someone I know a lot about and am curious about. I was going to say that it’s also from people I really admire, but I love reading biographies about serial killers, so maybe that’s not the best statement to put in words. However, from all the biographies I’ve read, this one certainly jumps at the top of my list, firstly because of its uniqueness. Alex Christofi not only shows us the life of Dostoevsky and his works, but he digs much deeper than that. We get to know Dostoevsky on a very personal level, able to read his thoughts, re-live his experiences and witness his many tragedies in life and few of his moments of happiness.

Starting with his mock execution, we immediately get a glimpse of the terror Dostoevsky goes through. I can only imagine how that experience can leave a mark on you – for life. Then we follow his years in prison, his illness, his romantic life and his gambling addiction. The joy he experiences when his first child is born, and the pain he suffers when many people he loves keep dying around him.

“Suffering and pain are always mandatory for broad minds and deep hearts. Truly great people, it seems to me, should feel great sadness on this earth.”

I went into Dostoevsky in Love: An Intimate Life with only a basic knowledge of Dostoevsky’s life, but a more broader knowledge of his works.

And I know now, where this genius has come from.

He always had the truly remarkable gift to be able to write, but his experiences in life certainly made him understand pain, grief, human psychology and interaction on such a deeper level, in a way that not many people can truly comprehend. This biography not only made me much more understanding of his life, but also made me eager to re-read all his works now, knowing what I know about his life. And not only his life, but also the period he lived in as well, the politics, the social groups of authors and people’s interactions with one another.

“Everywhere in Russia there have always been, and always will be certain strange individuals who, while humble and by no means lazy, are destined to be broke for ever.”

I admire Alex Christofi for his detailed research and the work he put into this book.

He was able to combine extracts from Dostoevsky’s books into experiences that Dostoevsky lived through. And connect the events with when the books were written. I had mixed feelings on this creative freedom at first, but very soon I started to enjoy it, and it brought the writer and the works closer together in my world. We can feel moments, when an event would happen to Dostoevsky, and how this reflects in his books. How it inspired him to start a book, how a character matches a person from his life. I really wished that we read more about the time he was writing “Crime and Punishment”. It was mentioned a lot of times, but it never was associated with any moment in his life. I am wondering about how this book came to be, and the initial response it received from the public.

There’s a reason why Dostoevsky is such an important person in the world literature. Why many of his books are classics and are being read and studied in schools even today. He has brought a view on psychology and sociology through fiction. There is yet an author to try and create something as remarkable as what Dostoevsky did in his time.

“If we take the trouble to honour the dead, perhaps one day someone will remember us.”

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

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Blog Tour · Book Review · Books

We Played With Fire by Catherine Barter [BLOG TOUR]

I am so happy to be participating on this blog tour for We Played With Fire by Catherine Barter! Huge thank you to the team at Andersen Press and Kaleidoscopic Tours, for sending me a copy of the book. Please check out the other participants as well.

★★★

Inspired by a true story of the Fox sisters, the girls who made their fortune in 19th century America by speaking to ghosts, We Played With Fire is a story you won’t want to miss!

Synopsis:

Maggie has witnessed impossible things. But no one believes her, and now her family has taken her away to spend the winter upstate in a remote, freezing farmhouse.

Bored and angry, Maggie and her younger sister Kate start to play tricks: rapping on the floorboards above their parents’ bedroom, cracking their toes under the table, and telling tales about noises in the night. Then the house starts to make sounds of its own. Neither Maggie nor Kate can explain it, but it seems as though someone – or something – is trying to speak to them…

My Thoughts:

We Played With Fire takes a much more serious and realistic approach on the subject of ghosts and people being able to speak to them. What starts as a game begins to grow into something much more and gets out of hand very easily.

“Besides, it’s not wrong to deceive people if they want to be deceived.”

Maggie is quite a unique character; kind and thoughtful, yet strong-willed and not afraid to speak up for what she believes in. She is very observant, and through her eyes we can see things that many people would usually rather ignore. This was something I really admired about her! We can realise early on how affected she actually is from being banished from her town and being labelled of doing something she is sure she didn’t do.

I loved the spontaneous spookiness in the book and the uneasy atmosphere.

During their seances, we are aware that the girls love to pull pranks, and create the random knocks to make people believe there are ghosts in the room. But as readers, we don’t get to know whether something is a prank or a supernatural activity, which leaves us wondering. The mood fills with intensity and these scenes managed to make me shiver many times. It’s such a gripping and eerie novel and I think people would really enjoy reading it during Halloween.

“She remembered hearing somewhere once that when somebody died you should open a window to let their soul out.”

Aside from the spooky elements, this book covered many different topics that are very important, especially today! Activist against racism and slavery existed, but it was led by white people who didn’t let people of colour to speak at events on topics that concerned them directly. The corruption of the church and their propaganda against not only people like the Fox sisters, who talked to ghosts, but against anyone that disagrees with their agenda. And the fact that women weren’t treated as equals, and their opinion, knowledge, experience wasn’t even taken into consideration. I found myself so infuriated with these issues. But also glad that they were mentioned in the book, so we can highlight them, and start discussions.

“When a person is determined to see the world in one way, they won’t allow anybody to challenge it. I’m sure it’s a kind of illness.”

We Played With Fire is a magnificent book!

The perfect eerie book to give you the shivers and transport you to a 19th century. Imagine an old house full of candles and knocking sounds coming out of nowhere. If you love horror and ghost stories of the past, pick up We Played With Fire today!

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

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Book Review · Books

The Glass House by Eve Chase [BOOK REVIEW]

★★

I am so glad I got the chance to read The Glass House by Eve Chase! I read it for a readalong, alongside some amazing people! It was a very good book, and I enjoyed it a lot. However, it lacked some mystery elements, which was the main reason I picked it up.

Synopsis

When the Harrington family discovers an abandoned baby deep in the woods, they decide to keep her a secret and raise her as their own.

But within days a body is found in the grounds of their house and their perfect new family implodes.

Years later, Sylvie, seeking answers to nagging questions about her life, is drawn into the wild, beautiful woods where nothing is quite what it seems.

My Thoughts:

The Glass House is a well written drama with a couple of mysterious elements. Through a couple of characters and two different timelines, we discover how two families end up connected to each other, and what secrets they have been keeping over the years.

It was very easy for me to get into this book, as the writing is captivating and colourful. I started to connect the dots very early and from then on, I was more and more curious to see what direction the story will take.

I loved Rita, the nanny. She was the one person in the book I truly cared about and I really wanted the best for her. I was invested in the other characters as well – they were all likeable in their own way and I enjoyed getting to know them better. However, apart from Rita, no one else made a huge impact on me.

The story and the development were set up very nicely.

I could predict almost all plot twists way before they happened, which was slightly disappointing. I was expecting more thriller elements, as there is a murder involved, but that wasn’t quite the case. The focus was on secrets and family drama, and this part managed to keep me entertained. There was a slight lack of suspense though.

The Glass House tells a lovely tale about how secrets can connect two completely different families. And also how fate can reunite them. It was gripping and full of family secrets and drama. If you are looking for the next murder mystery or suspenseful thriller, this is not it. But if you love a good story with likeable characters and a lot of family secrets buried in the past, you will definitely enjoy this one!

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

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