Book Review: Honey & Spice


Bolu Babalola

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

published: 5th July 2022
spoilers? vague

Goodreads

Kiki Banjo is an expert in relationship-evasion.

In fact, she has made it her mission to protect the women of Whitewell University from the dangers of players and heartbreak, supplying advice, tips and essentials to paying men no mind on her student radio show, Brown Sugar.

And then Kiki meets distressingly handsome newcomer Malakai Korede, who threatens to tear apart the community of women she’s fought so hard to protect.

Kiki publicly declares Malakai the ‘Wasteman of Whitewell’ on Brown Sugar and brings a stop to her girls chasing his attentions. But when she and Malakai suddenly find themselves shackled into a fake relationship to salvage their respective reputations and save their academic futures, she is in danger of falling for the very wasteman she warned her sisters about.

With her heart compromised and defences weakened, Kiki has to learn to open herself up to the perils of love… and face up to a past that forced her to close down in the first place.

A funny and sparkling debut, Honey & Spice is full of delicious tension and romantic intrigue that will make you weak at the knees.

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Book Review: The King is Dead


Benjamin Dean

Rating: 3 out of 5.

published: 7th July 2022
spoilers? no

Goodreads

James has been a prince all of his life, and since he was born, he’s been thrust into the spotlight as the first Black heir to the throne. But when his father unexpectedly dies, James is crowned king at seventeen. Now, the secrets he could keep as a prince with no real responsibility – namely, his sexuality and hidden relationship – are rocked as his life irrevocably changes.

When his boyfriend suddenly goes missing, the royal secrets and scandals that only he knows start to leak online. And when it becomes clear that whoever is behind the messages isn’t going to stop anytime soon, James begins to question everyone around him.

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Book Review: The Godbreaker


Mike Brooks

Rating: 4 out of 5.

published: 23rd June 2022
spoilers? no

Goodreads

Two armies will clash – led by two fearsome generals. Rumour claims one is a demon, and the other is a god reborn…

In the West, Marin and Alazar are in the army of the Godsworn following Tyrun, who claims to be Nari Reborn. In the East, the demon known as The Golden lands with Tjakorsha at its back, looking to slay a god. In the City of Islands, Jeya and Bulang try to survive as factions seek to use Bulang’s ancestry for their own gain. In the South, Daimon and Saana fight to keep the peace they brokered alive amid the onset of war. And in amongst it all is Tila Narida, the Divine Princess, who has always turned chaos to her own advantage…

The legacy of Narida’s God-Kings spans a continent, and will end in blood.

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Book Review: Dirt Town


Hayley Scrivenor

Rating: 4 out of 5.

published: 23rd June 2022
spoilers? no

Goodreads

My best friend wore her name, Esther, like a queen wearing her crown at a jaunty angle. We were twelve years old when she went missing.

On a sweltering Friday afternoon in Durton, best friends Ronnie and Esther leave school together. Esther never makes it home.

Ronnie’s going to find her, she has a plan. Lewis will help. Their friend can’t be gone, Ronnie won’t believe it.

Detective Sergeant Sarah Michaels can believe it, she has seen what people are capable of. She knows more than anyone how, in a moment of weakness, a person can be driven to do something they never thought possible.

Lewis can believe it too. But he can’t reveal what he saw that afternoon at the creek without exposing his own secret.

Five days later, Esther’s buried body is discovered.

What do we owe the girl who isn’t there?

Character-rich and propulsive, with a breathtakingly original use of voice and revolving points of view, Hayley Scrivenor delves under the surface, where no one can hide. With emotional depth and sensitivity, this stunning debut shows us how much each person matters in a community that is at once falling apart and coming together.

Esther will always be a Dirt Town child, as we are its children, still.

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Wrap-up: May 2022

Fashionably late this month (thanks work), but I’m finally here with May’s wrap up! So, without further ado, let’s dive in.

The key:
🐝 = favourite
🕊️ = reread/rewatch/relisten
☀️ = 4 or 5 stars, highly recommend
☁️ = 3 or 4 stars, enjoyed/had fun reading
🌧️ = 2 or 3 stars, was alright/not for me but someone else might enjoy
🌩️ = 1 or 2 stars, bored out of my mind/it was awful

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Book Review: They Drown Our Daughters


Katrina Monroe

Rating: 4 out of 5.

published: 12th July 2022
spoilers? no

Goodreads

If you can hear the call of the water,
It’s already far too late.

They say Cape Disappointment is haunted. That’s why tourists used to flock there in droves. They’d visit the rocky shoreline under the old lighthouse’s watchful eye and fish shells from the water as they pretended to spot dark shapes in the surf. Now the tourists are long gone, and when Meredith Strand and her young daughter return to Meredith’s childhood home after an acrimonious split from her wife, the Cape seems more haunted by regret than any malevolent force.

But her mother, suffering from early stages of Alzheimer’s, is convinced the ghost stories are real. Not only is there something in the water, but it’s watching them. Waiting for them. Reaching out to Meredith’s daughter the way it has to every woman in their line for generations-and if Meredith isn’t careful, all three women, bound by blood and heartbreak, will be lost one by one to the ocean’s mournful call.

Part modern gothic, part ghost story, They Drown Our Daughters explores the depths of motherhood, identity, and the lengths a woman will go to hold on to both.

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Book Review: Locklands


Robert Jackson Bennett

Rating: 5 out of 5.

published: 23rd June 2022
spoilers? no

Goodreads

Sancia, Clef, and Berenice have gone up against plenty of long odds in the past. But the war they’re fighting now is one even they can’t win.

This time, they’re not facing robber-baron elites, or even an immortal hierophant, but an entity whose intelligence is spread over half the globe—a ghost in the machine that uses the magic of scriving to possess and control not just objects, but human minds.

To fight it, they’ve used scriving technology to transform themselves and their allies into an army—a society—that’s like nothing humanity has seen before. With its strength at their backs, they’ve freed a handful of their enemy’s hosts from servitude, even brought down some of its fearsome, reality-altering dreadnaughts. Yet despite their efforts, their enemy marches on—implacable. Unstoppable.

Now, as their opponent closes in on its true prize—an ancient doorway, long buried, that leads to the chambers at the center of creation itself—Sancia and her friends glimpse a chance at reaching it first, and with it, a last desperate opportunity to stop this unbeatable foe. But to do so, they’ll have to unlock the centuries-old mystery of scriving’s origins, embark on a desperate mission into the heart of their enemy’s power, and pull off the most daring heist they’ve ever attempted.

And as if that weren’t enough, their adversary might just have a spy in their ranks—and a last trick up its sleeve.

A god wages war—using all of humanity as its pawns—in the unforgettable conclusion to the Founders trilogy.

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Book Review: Briefly, a Delicious Life


Nell Stevens

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

published: 23rd June 2022
spoilers? nope

Goodreads

In 1473, fourteen-year-old Blanca dies in childbirth in a hilltop monastery in Mallorca. Nearly four hundred years later, when George Sand, her two children, and her lover Frederic Chopin arrive in the village, Blanca is still there: a spirited, funny, righteous ghost, she’s been hanging around the monastery since her accidental death, spying on the monks and the townspeople and keeping track of her descendants.

Blanca is enchanted the moment she sees George, and the magical novel unfolds as a story of deeply felt, unrequited longing—the impossible love of a teenage ghost for a woman who can’t see her and doesn’t know she exists. As George and Chopin, who wear their unconventionality, in George’s case, literally on their sleeves, find themselves in deepening trouble with the provincial, 19th-century villagers, Blanca watches helplessly and reflects on the circumstances of her own death (which involves an ill-advised love affair with a monk-in-training).

Charming, original, and emotionally moving, this is a surprisingly touching story about romantic fixation and a powerful meditation on creativity.

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Book Review: So Happy For You


Celia Laskey

Rating: 3 out of 5.

published: 7th June 2022
spoilers? no

Goodreads

Robin and Ellie have been best friends since childhood. When Robin came out, Ellie was there for her. When Ellie’s father died, Robin had her back. But when Ellie asks Robin to be her maid of honor, she is reluctant. A pussy academic, Robin is dubious of the elaborate wedding rituals now sweeping the nation, which go far beyond champagne toasts and a bouquet toss. But loyalty wins out, and Robin accepts. 

Yet, as the wedding weekend approaches, a series of ominous occurrences lead Robin to second-guess her decision. It seems that everyone in the bridal party is out to get her. Perhaps even Ellie herself. 

Manically entertaining, viciously funny and eerily campy, So Happy for You is the ultimate send-up to our collective obsession with the wedding industry complex and a riveting, unexpectedly poignant depiction of friendship in all its messy glory.

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Book Review: Glorious Poison


Kat Dunn

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

published: 9th June 2022
spoilers? no

Goodreads

Robespierre is dead. The Reign of Terror is over.

As Royalist strength grows, the Duc de L’Aubespine plots a coup that will consign the revolution to history. With Olympe in his clutches, he believes nothing can stop him. But he’s reckoned without the intrepid Battalion of the Dead!

Reunited in Paris, Ada is poised for action – but if she plays her hand too soon, everything she’s sacrificed to gain his trust will be lost. Meanwhile, an unlikely alliance with an old enemy might be Camille’s only option to save Olympe and stop the duc in his tracks.

The glittering and macabre bals des victimes and the eerie catacombs make the perfect backdrop for the final episode of the Battalion’s tale.

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