The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by MacKenzi Lee

Right off the bat I’m going to warn you that there is homophobia, biphobia, abuse, suicidal thoughts, racism and ableism. But it’s set in the 1700s so it’s expected and there is on the page tackling of issues.

Monty and Percy are set to go on a wild tour of Europe before Percy goes to school in Amsterdam and Monty starts to learn about the estate he is to inherit. Monty is a huge playboy who spends the majority of his time drunk and gambling so their trip doesn’t go exactly as planned after a slew of different accidental occurrences. But then the pair along with Monty’s sister Felicity stumble upon a much darker plot that could change the world.

You have to listen to this on audiobook because it’s read by Tom Riddle (Christian Coulson) and he reads it so perfectly, he IS Monty.

We have some really good representation in this book as the main character is bi in a time when that was definitely not accepted and his best friend is his love inferest who was brought up by a white rich family even though he is mixed race so it was good to read their points of view in the historical terms. It also brought about some interesting situations in the novel as well as there being some really horrible behaviour from adults that bears talking about as LGBTQ+ issues are often glossed over or forgotten about if we’re talking anything before the 1800s but after the Romans.

Percy has epilepsy and this is going to sound bad but it was so good to read about because for 1: it’s not really mentioned in books; and secondly as it’s set before modern medicine it’s seen as like something supernatural and he needs to go to an asylum which I found really interesting to read because I’d never thought about epilepsy being understood as something that isn’t medical.

The whole adventure of this novel was wild from start to finish I had no idea what was going to happen next. It’s not often I say that because hey I read a lot I get pretty good at guessing. Because of how wild Monty is you never know what he’s going to get himself into next and how that’s going to change every thing. Things get a little farfetched at times but the author is so completely unapologetic about it that you get so swept up in the story that you forget that it’s unrealistic.

I think part of the reason I could not stop listening to this was because Lee really made me care for the characters. Monty is horrible, in a truly teenage boy way. But you really find yourself caring for him because he does silly things because he’s coming from a misguided place. When things head south for him you really worry about how things are going to work out.

Percy is my soft bean I love him so much and I just want him to be happy forever. And Felicity is so magical, she’s sarcastic, hilarious and smart and I’m really excited to read her spin off novel.

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Cheer by Mia Archer

Cheer follows a girl, Alex, as she realises that she might not be straight. She decides to join her best friend in becoming a cheerleader and falls for her but all the while another girl in her grade has it out for her as she seems to think that Alex is after her boyfriend. TW: slut shaming, casual homophobia, casual ableism.

I got this on a whim from a bookbub email so I honestly hadnt planned to read it any time soon. But then I got into a romance kick and I wanted to read a wlw relationship so this one was the one I spotted in my kindle library so went with it not expecting much.

I was pleasantly surprised though. Yes the writing could use some work and it’s your classic WLW romance in that a person comes out in the process of the story but it was honestly just super cute at times.

I loved reading the parts where the MC was struggling over her feelings towards a woman because I’ve been there I know what it’s like trying to convince yourself that you’re not feeling that way for someone of the same gender because sadly some people still find it taboo and thought things aren’t as bad as they used to be it’s still a possible struggle.

There were random moments where feminist ideas were brought in about both sexuality and gender and it was so good to read in a YA novel. I say this every time I read a YA novel with feminist parts but it just makes me happy to think of teenagers growing up in a world where feminism is more “mainstream” as it wasn’t when I was a teen and I was so misinformed and it was awful.

I might get around to reading more of Archer’s books as she’s now on my radar and honestly I love wlw stories and I can’t get enough of soft girls.

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Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith

Thank you to netgalley and Pan Macmillan for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Somehow when scheduling my posts I missed this one so I’m sorry if my review isn’t great because when I read this it was still May and now it’s September.

Alice buys her best friend, and crush, a lottery ticket for his 18th birthday and somehow it’s the winning ticket and Teddy comes into more money than you could even imagine. Then they have to navigate the new rich world they live in.

This kind of read just like any tv program where a young person comes into a lot of money. They go silly spending a lot of money, their friendship suffers, then they realise what they’ve done. And I’m sorry if you thank that’s a spoiler but I mean it’s the same story every time. The writing was good though, so I’d definitely be open to reading more stuff from Smith as I think she would be good with a less cliche story line.

There were 2 love interests in this book, though it wasn’t a love triangle it was just the main character trying to explore new people. Honest to god though Teddy was the worst guy ever, like honestly. He was just such a dick for the majority of the novel and I really struggled to feel sympathetic to Alice when her best friend was an arse and she knew it but continued to be upset by it. I get that they had a long history but my god I just wanted to slap that boy.

However I did feel like I read the book pretty quickly, so if you’re wanting a light read this might be the one for you. If you haven’t seen to many shows/films with a kid coming into a lot of money give it a shot because it was ok, but I’ve just seen it too many times.

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Rebekah Weatherspoon Round Up

Over the past few months I’ve gone on a bit of a Rebekah Weatherspoon marathon, I’ve not read all her books but I’ve read a lot of them and I don’t have enough to say about them all to make a post each so I thought I’d put them all into one. I fell in love with Rebekah’s writing style after reading Haven which was recommended to me by like everyone on twitter. I really love how she brings light bdsm into the plot without it being like super hardcore. And as a black woman she always has good racial representation as well.

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Fit

This book honestly made me slightly uncomfortable at times with the relationship being someone in a position of power, but it wasn’t a huge thing. But I did love the idea of some of the sex scenes in this.

 

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Treasure

I really liked this one. It featured a wlw relationship with a stripper. And I am all about books that portray sex work in a good light. It dealt with outward and inward judgement about both being in an f/f relationship and being with a stripper. Trisha was so unapologetic about herself and her job and I absolutely adored her.

So Sweet and So Right

I haven’t finished this series yet but I don’t know if I will because I’m just not sure if I can be bothered because So Right didn’t really bring anything new to the table for me. However I did really like So Sweet. It was like Sugar Daddy by Sawyer Bennett without the weird murder-y undertone. Don’t get me wrong I didn’t not like So Right but it just was kind of a bit plot-less but hey I’ll probably read the final book just for a light read at some point.

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I hit 500 Followers! Giveaway!

On Sunday night I hit 500 followers and I’m so happy. I started this blog just as an attempt to push myself to start reading again and here I am. I didn’t think I would get 100 followers let alone 500.

Thank you so much for following me, I appreciate every one of you. Thank you for your likes thank you for your comments. Just thank you for the support you’ve given me.

I hope you’ll stick by me over the next few months when posts might not be so on time with how hectic I think uni is going to be. I love you all!

So I’ve set up a give away as a thank you for any preorder of your choice. It’s international if TBD, amazon or a company that is easy for me to pay through ships to you. The rafflecopter will be live for 2 weeks!

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Cyberlove Series by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell

Ok so you need to read this series. If you like gay romance this is for you. If you’re new to my blog you should be made aware that I love when books involve technology and the internet so this series is perfect for me. Strong Signal features a twitch streamer, Fast Connection has grindr, Hard Wired involved conventions and Mature Content is about youtubers.

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Strong Signal

This is the first book of the series and isn’t the best but I think that’s because Megtino hadn’t quite got into their stride yet, however that doesn’t mean it’s not good. It’s still damn good.

This book has anxiety rep, Kai who is the twitch streamer and one of the main characters has really bad anxiety. He has anxiety to the point where he doesn’t really go outside of his apartment and for me I found this so important as whilst I do go outside and go to uni, there are days where I really feel like it would just be so much easier to just stay in bed. And it was also just really good to see someone in a book with anxiety doing something like streaming whilst not being able to go out because so often people don’t understand the idea of having anxiety but being able to do stuff online. It shows you the idea of safe spaces and I just loved reading it. I loved reading something like anxiety in an erotic romance novel.

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Fast Connection

Fast connection features grindr and I’m all about the de-stigmatising of dating apps. As someone who uses Tinder and OK Cupid I’m so glad that it’s so much more common now because it means there’s more people on the apps and it means people don’t think you’re “sad” for going on them. So I love reading books that feature dating apps because it means more and more people find it normal.

If you like age gaps this book is definitely for you because our 2 MCs have a ~15 year age gap or something like that. Luke has kids and one of them is the same age as Dominic’s sister and it brings some interesting and funny situations.

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Hard Wired

Hard Wired features some characters we meet in the first 2 books who are the moderators on Kai’s twitch channel. They go to a convention and hook up but then some secrets get in the way. I’m a bit funny about books that feature miscommunication but I enjoyed this one, though at times I did find the characters just really irritating. However the characters deal with a lot of their own personal struggles, which again I loved reading in a romance novel.

Jesse, our main character who is a surfer living in California realises he’s not straight in this novel and I felt like it was dealt with really well. The little bits of discussion of sexuality being fluid and how it’s ok to realise you’re not straight later on in life were something I just enjoyed reading because so often it’s just expected that once you’re past adolescence you should know exactly who you are and what you’re into, which is more often than not not the case.

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Mature Content

Mature Content is my favourite of the series and I’m really excited to read the next book whatever it is because I feel like Megtino are really hitting their stride. I really loved the hate to love trope in this. I loved the drama of fighting youtubers. It kind of felt like a bit of a call out to certain youtubers at times which made me laugh a lot.

At times this book felt less heavy than the previous books but then you get hit with the characters being super self diminishing and it was so relatable. The pair definitely have more ups and downs than the others which I think was really good because otherwise I think Beau could’ve been a bit boring but bringing Zane into his life made him fun to read.

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They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

Thank you to edelweiss and Harper Collins for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

After reading History is All You Left Me this was one of my most anticipated reads. Knowing that Adam had been working on this for such a long time as well had me super hyped up.

Obviously the title itself is a huge spoiler so you can’t hate me for talking about the characters dying, and if you have triggers to do with death, violence and suicide do not read this. Now I’m one of those heathens who sometimes reads the final page of a book so this didn’t really bother me, though I felt like I actually read a bit too fast at times because I was so desperate to know how they died. So I might reread this book soon and change my feelings about it because I was definitely aware of reading things a bit faster than I normally would out of sheer impatience.

I actually feel like my enjoyment of this book was a little bit diminished because it was just so unfair that the characters had to die because you got to learn about their lives and how bad a hand they’d been dealt and knowing they were going to die just left me feeling kind of hollow because of how unfair it was. As someone who has grown up dealing with the loss of young relations things like this really effect me.

I don’t know the technical term for it, but Mateo has anxiety that manifests itself in a kind of agoraphobia and Adam wrote it so well, even though I don’t experience these feelings, sometimes I do have times where I feel close to it and I related to it a lot.

Like in The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon you get snippets of other people’s lives  as they are involved in the lives of Mateo and Rufus and I loved getting to see that and see how the Death Cast would effect people and how they tried to set the world to rights.

The idea of the book and living in a world where you get phoned the day of our death is really interesting to me and I think is actually a really good discussion piece for teenagers and adults alike. Would you want to know if you were going to die that day? Would you rather just live your life without the presence of that knowledge in the back of your head?

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August Wrap Up

So I started uni, it’s only been a week but I already feel worried about the workload so hey ho I might have to go on a hiatus at some point but we’ll see, hopefully I can schedule posts well enough.

I’m back in Glasgow which is where I want to be always, apart from when I miss my dog. I have a new flatmate and she’s super nice and our flat is really great and really easy for uni.

I posted blogs about my adventures in China and Hong Kong.

Books I read this month:

The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan
The Tiger’s Watch by Julie Ember
The Melody of You and Me by M. Hollis
The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins
Illegal Contact by Santino Hassell
Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst
Sanctuary by Rebekah Weatherspoon
The Lady of Royale Street by Thea De Salle
Saga Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples

Books I reviewed this month:

Frostbite by Richelle Mead
The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord
The Queen of Dauphine Street by Thea De Salle
Dark Lover by J.R. Ward
The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid
Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde
Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

Books I bought this month:

The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan
The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan
Sofia Khan is Not Obliged by Ayesha Malik
I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
Temeraire by Naomi Novik
Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik
Empire of Ivory by Naomi Novik
Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo
Wicked Like Wildfire by Lana Popovic (Fairyloot)
Scandalized by Tara Frejas
Shockaholic by Carrie Fisher
Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
The List by Siobhan Vivian
Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

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The Goodreads Book Tag #2

Thank you to Heather for the tag! I’ve done this one before so I’m not going to tag anyone but I did it some months ago so I thought I’d do it again for the questions that would’ve changed!

1. WHAT WAS THE LAST BOOK YOU MARKED AS “READ?”

Sanctuary by Rebekah Weatherspoon

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2. WHAT WAS THE LAST BOOK YOU MARKED AS TBR?

Truth or Dare by Non Pratt

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3. WHAT BOOK DO YOU PLAN TO READ NEXT?

Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard

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I have this book out from the library so I kind of have to read it next.

AND

Meet Cute

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5. ARE YOU DOING THE 2017 READING CHALLENGE?

Yes I challenged myself to read 100 books and I am at 88 books read (28 ahead of schedule).  I am kicking the challenge in it’s ass.


6. DO YOU HAVE A WISHLIST?

Here.


7. WHICH BOOK DO YOU PLAN ON BUYING NEXT?

I’m trying to stop myself from buying books right now, but I do pop into charity shops every now and again and scoop up some bargains so we’ll see.

 

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The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

I saw a lot of hype on this book and my friend Den recommended it to me so I decided to pick it up. And I have seen a lot of discussion on the possibility of there being a slave/master relationship and it’s a very difficult concept in this book as there’s so much more to it than that, however if you are not a fan of a slave/master relationship be careful with this book, it isn’t exactly that type of thing but certain parts could trigger you.

Paige is a clairvoyant in London, 2059 where it is illegal to be a clairvoyant. She works for the criminal underworld as that’s all she can really do without risk of being caught, though it comes with it’s risks regardless. One day she’s unlucky enough to be on a train with a raid and gets caught. But instead of dying she is taken to Oxford, which has been the home of aliens called Rephaites for 200 years as they’ve been gradually taking more clairvoyants.

This book was super complicated, it felt like I was reading a high fantasy even though it was more sci-fi/dystopian/paranormal, but for all the different jargon and terms I had a hard time remembering what everything was. The world building is incredible an there’s so much in it that it really does feel like it’s own world and not a variance of our own world but it is a bit hard to wrap your head around at times. It did take me about half the book to figure out what the deal was, though I don’t know if that was because I was reading it in Asia or not.

Whilst I remembered the main characters easily enough there were a lot of side characters and I found it really hard to remember who each of them were. Especially once Paige had moved to Oxford.

Whilst there was no romantic relationship between Paige and her owner, Warden, in this novel I could see it being built up which kind of annoyed me because it’s not necessary to always have a relationship just because they’re the main 2 characters. Never mind the fact that their relationship is so complicated, him being her owner after all. But as you go through the novel you find out that things are even more complicated and Warden isn’t exactly like the rest of his kind. This obviously doesn’t nullify the problematicness (is that even a word?) of the relationship being in fiction with the past the world has had with slave and owner relationships. I think it’s up to you where you stand on the issue, I’ve had POC friends find it really offensive and some who have adored it.

I’m scared to jump into the next book because I’m currently not really in the mood to read it but I worry if I leave it too long I’ll forget everything that happened in this book.

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