My list of books I
need could be writing reviews for is extremely long & today I realised that a large amount of them are books I read in 2019 so I’ve decided to put together a post that’s made up of my short GoodReads’ reviews of some of these books. None of the books in this post are ones that I’ve been sent to review & I’ve added a little extra to a few reviews, depending on the notes I made when I was reading them. Doing this post means I can still recommend some fantastic books, whilst also taking some of the pressure off myself!
Julián is a Mermaid by Jessica Love
Julian is a Mermaid is a beautifully illustrated book about a little boy who loves mermaids. I absolutely adored the pastel colours used in this book & I loved that the pictures told so much of the story as it meant that even the youngest of my Preschoolers was able to follow the story!
I used this book as the Book of the Week for my preschoolers from March 18th to the 22nd last year & it definitely had an impact on how the children I look after think. The boys, & girls, have gone from thinking than only girls can be mermaids & princesses, & that boys can be superheroes like Iron Man from understanding that we can dress up as & be whoever we want to be. Whenever one of our children says that a certain costume is for boys or for girls, I’m now able to remind them about our friend Julián the mermaid! I can’t thank Jessica Love enough for writing this book as it’s helped me to get across a very important message to lots of young minds!
A Lesson in Thorns by Sierra Simone
This story is very different from every other book I own & I can’t be sure how I feel about it. A Lesson in Thorns falls into erotica but there’s not really any sex until the last quarter so it wasn’t quite what I expected. The characters didn’t feel real enough to me; I found it difficult to believe that a friendship group like this one (where they all want to have sex with each other) could exist, but maybe I’ve just never had that kind of friendship group!
The book isn’t all about sex, despite first impressions & I found the sub-plot of the disappearance of Poe’s mother really intriguing &, I think that if that hadn’t been part of the story, I probably wouldn’t have finished it. Also, one of the main characters is a librarian & she spends a lot of time creating a library database & I found that quite interesting. For a reason I can’t really explain I really do want the sequel – I liked the characters & I want to know more. It was definitely an intriguing story.
⚠️ This is an (new) adult book with scenes of a sexual nature,
including violent (consensual) sex ⚠️
Voyager by Diana Gabaldon
I was really unsure of what star rating to give this book as I actually ended up reading it on-&-off for just under a year; this meant that it was hard for me to judge how much I enjoyed it. I do like this series, genuinely, & I do plan to read the next book, however I do sometimes feel like the series is incredibly longed out & that there’s too many random details & subplots. I love Claire & Jamie & they are the reason I’ve continued to read the series – plus, the depth of the writing makes the books great for escapism… I just think there’s a far too many words… *shrug*
Blood Heir by Amélie Wen Zhao
Blood Heir was my final read of 2019 after my mum gave me the Illumicrate special edition for Christmas – it was a fantastic book to end the year on & I finished it feeling very eager for the sequel. At first, the book felt a little predictable & I was worried I’d be let down, but Amélie blew me away with the second half!
This world is very clearly drowning in secrets & lies, & I for one cannot wait to find out what happens next. I absolutely loved the world-building in the story as well, which pretty much always means a book goes down well with me! I’ve got the sequel, Red Tigress, preordered & I cannot wait to get my hands on it!
⚠️ This book contains a lot of bloody violence & gore, slavery & trafficking of a fantasy minority, death & injury of children & other tricky subjects ⚠️
Shadowsea by Peter Bunzl
Shadowsea is the final book in the Cogheart series & it was, without doubt, a lot more intense (& scary) than the other three books in the series, which made it very clear that author Peter Bunzl wanted to go out with a bang! I was on the edge of my seat (bed) for most of the second half, & despite knowing that the story had to end happily, the writing still ended up making me nervous (at the age of 24)! There were some brilliantly created similarities between book one & the finale, with Dane & Lily having a great deal in common, which felt like a really neat & heartfelt way to end the series.
Middlegrade stories are incredibly important to me & I really wish Peter Bunzl would go on writing this series forever because I completely adore it – I was so sad when I picked this up, knowing it was the beginning of the end, but I was also so curious to see how Peter closed the series! Series like this make me wish that I’d been a big reader as a child, because I know I would’ve adored books like this & I would’ve loved to experience mysteries like this without my adult brain making constant predictions! I absolutely cannot wait to see what Peter Bunzl writes next.
⚠️ Death of parents & mild age-appropriate violence ⚠️
I loved reading all of these books & I’m annoyed with myself for not writing full reviews of them but now that I’m studying again I have less time & it feels incredibly satisfying to be able to tick five books of my reviewing list! I hope you’ll check out some of these stories because they truly are fantastic – if you’ve already read one or two, be sure to let me know what you thought of them in the comments.