Uncategorized · Wrap-ups

A Year Like No Other: 2020 Reading Review

Happy new year booksicles!

This year has been like no other and it was hard for us all to varying degrees. Now that it has come to an end I will be reflecting in this post on how this year has been overall in terms of my reading and blogging.

Although I didn’t read as many books as I had hoped to at the start of the year I did find a lot of new favourites and I am proud of what I did manage to achieve in this year of turmoil and uncertainty.

To do this, I will be using the End of Year Survey made by Jamie @ Perpetual Page Turner—  thank you so much Jamie for making such a detailed and interesting survey!


Number Of Books You Read: 53
Number of Re-Reads: 0
Genre You Read The Most From: fantasy (who would have guessed it)

Best in books:

Best book of 2020:

I have read many amazing books this year but I’d say Mirage by Somaiya Daud was the best because it was the first book I have ever read with Moroccan and Amazighi representation. As someone who is half Moroccan and Amazighi it meant so much to me— especially as it was so beautifully done. It’s the book of my heart!

A book you were excited about and thought you were going to love more but didn’t:

I was so excited to read All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace but it fell so, so flat for me.

 The most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read:

The Damned by Renée Ahdieh surprised me very much because of how unexpectedly different it was to the book before it in both good ways and bad ways.

 A book you “pushed” the most people to read (and did they?):

It was probably These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong. I have been endlessly recommending this book to just about everyone and the people I have convinced to read it have loved it!

What was the best series you started in 2020? The best sequel of 2020? The best series finale of 2020?

Best series I started: A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown

Best sequel: The Kingdom of Copper by S. A. Chakraborty

Best series finale: The Burning God by R. F. Kuang (the ending of this trilogy still haunts me)

 Favourite new author you discovered in 2020:

I think it would be Chloe Gong. I love her writing style and creative online book promo— I can’t wait to read what she writes in the future!

Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone:

Punching the Air by Yusef Salaam and Ibi Zoboi was a brilliant and powerful novel in verse that I’d highly recommend. I’d never read a novel in verse before reading this book so it was a very new experience and I loved it.

 Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year:

Dangerous Remedy by Kat Dunn was full of action and adventure and it was a lot of fun to read.

 A book you read in 2020 that you would be most likely to re-read next year:

I barely ever re-read books but I guess I would most likely re-read A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown because it was just that good.

Favourite cover of a book you read in 2020:Court of Lions by Somaiya Daud

Court of Lions by Somaiya Daud (which is the sequel to the book I mentioned earlier, Mirage) because of all the Moroccan and Amazighi cultural details in the book cover. It is truly stunning!

Most memorable character of 2020:

Kallia, the protagonist of Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles. I loved her vibrancy and determination, she was a force and I adored her.

Most beautifully written book read in 2020:

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong… I think some people will have found it a bit too much but I loved the writing style and was thoroughly immersed in it.

Most thought-provoking/ life-changing book of 2020:

Punching the Air by Yusef Salaam and Ibi Zoboi was extremely thought provoking in the way it took on themes like institutional racism, gentrification and hope surviving in the depths of despair.

Favourite passage/quote from a book you read in 2020:

This passage is from the anthology Once Upon an Eid, specifically from the short story Creative Fixes by Ashley Franklin:

“It’s hard to see the beauty in things when you can’t see past your insecurities”.

Shortest and longest books you read in 2020:

I got this from by Goodreads ‘year in books’.

Shortest book: The Drowning Faith by R. F. Kuang (I know it’s not technically a book but *shhhh*)

Longest book: House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas (yes I actually read this 800 page smirk fest sometimes I question my life choices)

 The book that shocked you the most:

There were several contenders but I think Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko takes the cake… those plot twists!

OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship):

(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)

I feel like I’ve talked about These Violent Delights too much already but I loved Juliette and Roma’s childhood friends to lovers to enemies to lovers to ??? romance and I will go down with this ship!

Favourite non-romantic relationship of the year:

Rin and Kitay from The Burning God by R. F. Kuang. The relationship between these two was the highlight of the book for me. The way they were inextricably intertwined in each others lives, clinging onto each other to cope with the horrors they had committed and experienced, the way they would do anything for each other until the very end made me feel all the emotions. I’ve never seen a m/f friendship so close without romance in a book before so it was also very refreshing!

Favourite book you read in 2020 from an author you’ve read previously:

Wicked as You Wish by Rin Chupeco, this is the second book by this author that I’ve read and I loved how imaginative and wild it was.

Best book you read based solely on a recommendation from somebody else:

I wasn’t planning on reading Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko but I saw lots of people recommending it on Twitter and that was what convinced me to read it!

Best world building/most vivid setting you read this year:

The world building in A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown was incredible— especially for a YA fantasy novel because they usually have less.

A book that put a smile on your face/was the most fun to read:

Love is for Losers by Wibke Brueggemann made me laugh so many times with its dry humour and relatability.

A book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2020:

The book that got closest to making me cry was probably The Empire of Gold by S. A. Chakraborty.

The book that crushed your soul:

My first thought when I read this was Attack on Titan because it definitely crushed my soul but then I remembered it was an anime so not applicable. The *book* that crushed my soul was The Burning God by R. F. Kuang with its unending despair and pain.

The most unique book you read in 2020:

Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin  because I found its writing style very unique.

The book that made you the most mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it):

Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed made me SO MAD and I didn’t like it at all. It made me mad for many reasons, which will all be in a review coming to you sometime soon, but the main reason was the casual sexism rife throughout the book.

Blogging/ bookish life:

New favourite book blog/bookstagram/YouTube channel you discovered in 2020:

SO MANY! Here are a few amazing blogs/ booktube channels that I discovered this year:

Favourite post you wrote in 2020:

It would be this recommendation post about books for fans of Avatar: the Last Airbender because it was really fun to write.

Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year:

It was definitely the pandemic. Even though I had so much extra time over lockdown in which I could have read lots of books and written lots of posts I didn’t because it drained all the motivation and productivity out of me. I couldn’t do a thing. I was reading so much at the start of the year and as soon as lockdown was officially announced I read and blogged much less which seems very counterintuitive but that’s what happened.

Most popular post this year on your blog (whether it be by comments or views):

The recommendation post I wrote in Ramadan about SFF books by Muslim authors.

A post you wished got a little more love:

My review of These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong because I put a lot of time and passion into it!

Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year:

I completed my Goodreads challenge to read 50 books!

Looking Ahead:

One book you didn’t get to in 2020 but will be your number 1 priority in 2021:

Not including review copies it would be The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winters.

The book you are most anticipating for 2021 (non-debut):

The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He!

2021 debut you are most anticipating:

She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan!

A series ending/sequel you are most anticipating in 2021?

There are four sequels I am anticipating: A Psalm of Storms and Silence by Roseanne A. Brown, Our Violent Ends by Chloe Gong, When Night Breaks by Janella Angeles and Broken Web by Lori M. Lee.

One thing you hope to accomplish or do in your reading/blogging life in 2020:

Blog. More. Consistently. 

A 2021 release you’ve already read and recommend to everyone (if applicable):

I’ve already read Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart which comes out next year and it was so good please preorder it and give it as much support as possible!

So how was your reading year? What do you think of mine? Let me know in the comments! 

✨Here’s to a fabulous 2021✨


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Uncategorized · Wrap-ups

Monthly Wrap-up: August 2019

Welcome, one and all, to my August wrap-up!

I have read a lot this month which is great- and probably linked to the Retelling-A-Thon. I haven’t blogged as much as I wanted to though which isn’t as great but it’s not that bad (and I was on holiday so it’s a miracle I got any blogging done). It’s been a very exciting month so without further ado, let’s dive in!

What I am reading:

Tiger Queen by Annie Sullivan

What I plan to read next:

Wonderland edited by Marie O’Regan and Paul Kane

Books I’ve Read:

(1) The Orphanage of Gods by Helena Coggan:

  • 1 star
  • It was an absolute waste of time and trees.

(2) The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller:

  • 3.5 Stars
  • An interesting and moving retelling of The Iliad but it wasn’t as good as Circe.

(3) The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker:

  • 4 stars
  • Another moving and powerful retelling of The Iliad.

(4) The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco:

  • 4 stars
  • It was an imaginative read based on the theme of climate change but framed in a fantasy setting.

(5) Song of Sorrow by Amanda Allen:

  • 3 Stars
  • An alright prequel to Rapunzel which I overall enjoyed.

(6) Shadow Frost by Coco Ma:

  • 4 stars
  • This was a fun, fantasy book- perfect for fans of Throne of Glass.

(7) Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce:

  • 3.5 Stars
  • This was a very different Little Red Riding Hood retelling with a satisfying ending.

(8) Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik:

  • 5 STARS!
  • I adored this book. It was perfect in every way!

(9) The Demon World by Sally Green:

  • 4 Stars
  • The gripping sequel to The Smoke Thieves that ended on the most cruel cliffhanger.

ARCs I’ve received:

ARCs (Advanced Readers’ Copies), proof copies or review copies are books freely given to people like book bloggers by publishers or authors before the release of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Digital ARCs:

  • The Monster by Seth Dickinson
  • Steel Crow Saga by Paul Krueger

Physical ARCs:

I’ve been emailing various publishers for months requesting physical ARCs to no avail. However, when I came back from holiday during August to not one but six physical ARCs and an awesome snake pin waiting for me! It was a dream come true! Here they are:

  • The Demon World by Sally Green
  • The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young
  • Wonderland edited by Marie O’Regan and Paul Kane
  • The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh
  • Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron (I got the limited edition snake cover proof)
  • Exclusive Kingdom of Souls snake pin
  • Our Bloody Pearl by D.N. Bryn

Books I’ve Reviewed:

Discussion Posts:

Characters vs Plot… DISCUSS!

“What’s more important in a book: character development or a gripping plot?
The answer seems obvious: both are equally important. However, I’ve noticed that some books tend to lean towards either characters or plot to drive the story forward.

Antiheroes… DISCUSS!

“Well, remember when you were younger and in every story you thought there was a ‘goodie’ and a ‘baddie’? An antihero is both of those things and neither of them at the same time.”

My favourite post of the month:

This month I did my 100th post and it was all about my reading journey. It was a very emotional and special post to me.

Read the post here!

That’s all the reading and blogging of August wrapped up! What was your bookish month like? Let me know in the comments!

Uncategorized · Wrap-ups

Monthly Wrap-up: July 2019

Hi, hello and welcome to my monthly wrap-up for July!

I have read and blogged much, much less than I wanted to this month, mainly because for some reason it took me ages to read Darkdawn and I have been quite busy. However, I feel like my reading is picking up again and I hope to read loads this August- especially because I am co-hosting the RetellingAThon.

What I am reading:

The Orphanage of Gods by Helena Coggan

What I plan to read next:

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

Books I’ve Read:

(1) The Beckoning Shadow by Katharyn Blair:

  • 3.5 stars
  • It was an alright book that was basically about cage-fighting X-men. I liked learning about the different powers and unraveling the mysteries.

(2) Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff:

  • 4.5 Stars
  • It was the conclusion to one of my favourite series and while I loved it, I was slightly dissapointed with the ending.

(3) The Resurrecionist of Caligo by Wendy Trimboli and Alicia Zaloga

  • I have no idea what to rate this one!
  • A very weird book about murder, magic and medieval medecine. I still need time to mull over it!

Books I’ve Reviewed:

My favourite post of the month:

My post with all of the details about the RetellingAThon because I am really excited to co-host it this August!

Read the post here!

That’s all the reading and blogging of July wrapped up! What was your bookish month like? Let me know in the comments!

Uncategorized · Wrap-ups

Monthly Wrap-up: June 2019

Hello! This is my monthly wrap up for June.

Generally, it has been a really good month although I feel like I have recently hit a reading slump.

What I am reading:

The Beckoning Shadow by Katharyn Blair

What I plan to read next:

Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff

Books I’ve Read:

(1) The Beholder by Anna Bright:

  • 3 stars
  • It was a fun read with many references to fairy tales and mythology but the characters were a bit unrealistic and the romance contrived.

(2) Below by Alexandria Warwick:

  • 5 Stars
  • One of the most original books I’ve ever read and it certainly made for a magical ride.

(3) Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson:

  • 5 Stars
  • I adored everything about this book! The characters, the plot- it was all perfect!

(4) Queen of Ruin by Tracy Banghart:

  • 3 stars
  • I enjoyed it more than the first book but it was still far, far too slow paced for my liking.

(5) The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen:

  • 4 stars
  • It was an intriguing, imaginative read- I especially liked the magic system!

Books I’ve Reviewed:

My favourite post of the month:

I’ve two favourite posts!

My first is my post detailing the winners of the exciting event I recently held on my blog- The Book Character Awards. Read it here: The Book Character Awards | Winners!!!

The second is my post about my favourite names of characters and locations in fantasy books. Read it here: The Best of Bookish Names!

That’s my reading and blogging in June all wrapped up! What was your month like? Let me know in the comments!

Uncategorized · Wrap-ups

Monthly Wrap-Up | February 2019

Hello everyone! Today, I’ll be doing a monthly wrap up for February. This has been a really good month for books and I’ve read and reviewed loads of really good ones!

Books I’ve Read:

The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty:

4 stars

I liked this book but not as much as I thought I would because it was really long and dense. The characters were also a bit annoying.

The Martian by Andy Weir:

5 Stars

I loved The Martian! I would never, ever want to be stuck on Mars because it sounds TERRIFYING but the story was really engaging, exciting and funny and I really enjoyed it.

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo:

5 Stars

King of Scars was amazing and it was a joy reading about Nina, Nikolai and Zoya again. I’m so excited for the next book to come out! Also, after reading it I realised that I really need to reread the Shadow and Bone trilogy and Six of Crows. Sometime soon, I’m going to write a super long gushing review for this book so watch out for it!

eARCs I’ve Read:

the mermaid’s voice returns in this one by Amanda Lovelace:

3 stars

I liked the message this book gave but I really didn’t like the writing style- it just didn’t agree with me.

Descendant of the Crane by Joan He:

5 stars

Descendant of the Crane was amazing! The plot twists, the characters, the writing- everything was just mind-blowingly good. I really hope the author writes a second book.

Whispers from the Depths by C. W. Briar:

4 stars

I liked this book because it felt like a cinematic experience while I was reading it. The characters were trapped in a house with evil water spirits trying to kill them and tension was built up so skilfully.

Beware the Night by Jessika Fleck:

3 stars

This book was pretty average because I felt like I’ve seen it all before. It wasn’t bad but I had loads of Red Queen and The Hunger Games vibes whilst reading it.

Books I’ve Reviewed:

This month, I’ve reviewed SO MANY good books. As you can see, they were all 5 or 4 stars. Generally, I tend to rate books highly because I’m really picky with what I read and I tend to read things that I know I will like- it’s not always a good thing but I do try to challenge myself occasionally.

My favourite post of the month:

My post about the link between slavery and Valentine’s day because it’s a really major issue that not many people seem to know about and I wanted to raise awareness about it. (Read it here: Roses: Symbols of Romance or of Suffering)

That’s my February in books all wrapped-up! How was your February? Let me know in the comments and if you’ve done a wrap-up feel free to link it- I’d love to read them!