Recent Reads #20

In a previous post, I renamed ‘Weekly’ Wrap-Ups to Recent Reads, as I feel like that reflects the timescale between posts more accurately!

As ever, today I will briefly reviewing all the books I’ve read since my last post in approximately fifty words.

1. Rose, Interrupted by Patrice Lawrence ⭐️🧠

I just didn’t love this story, which felt a bit messy and like Lawrence was trying to cram so many plotlines into one book. It’s a shame, as I’ve loved her previous work, but I will still be picking up her next book! Three stars.

2. Jemima Small Versus The Universe by Tasmin Winter 🧠

I love a heart-warming, body positive book and Jemima Small brought me that in bucketloads. Jemima is such a wonderful character, brave, smart and funny, but also incredibly relatable and easy to sympathise with. A brilliant book about learning to love yourself that will be so helpful and inspiring for many teens to come. Four stars.

3. All The Bad Apples by Moira Fowley-Doyle 🧠🏳️‍🌈 ⭐️

This book just blew me away. Full review here. Five stars.

4. D.O.G.S by M. A. Bennett ⭐️🧠

Bennett is vicious. That ending left me completely stunned and desperately needing the next book. Four and a half stars. Series review (so far) here.

5. What She Found In The Woods by Josephine Angelini ⭐️🧠

Another amazing YA thriller that had me utterly hooked, devouring it in one long bus journey. Full review here. Four and a half stars.

6. Dracula by Bram Stoker

I’ve been reading this gargantuan, atmospheric monster of a book over summer and have been loving every minute of it. This is a classic for a reason, packed full of intricate details and brilliant characters. Four stars.

7. The Million Pieces of Neena Gill by Emma Smith-Barton 🧠🏳️‍🌈 ⭐️

I was intially drawn to this dark gem of a book by the ownvoices representation of a British-Pakistani protagonist and severe anxiety, as I always feel they add a layer of power and nuance to a story. The way the book’s writing style perfectly matches Neena’s  mental spiral was just such a clever touch and it pulls you in with her, able to completely empathise with her situation. Four stars.

8. Because You Love To Hate Me 🧠⭐️

I was intrigued by this anthology, as I’ve always been fascinated with villains, but overall, it fell slightly flat for me. The stand-outs for me were Sea Witch, Beautiful Venom, Sera and You, You, It’s All About You, which just took my breath away with phenomenal characterisation and intricate stories that I didn’t want to end. Three and a half stars.

9. Dead Popular by Sue Wallman 🧠

Wallman is always such a great writer of YA thrillers that contain great characters and twisty, heart-racing mysteries that keep you guessing. Dead Popular was no exception, pulling me with a little hook, before perfectly building the characters and isolate, incredibly privileged setting of the boarding school. Kate is not always a likeable character, but is always a realistic and understandable one that I couldn’t help but sympathise with (mostly). Four stars.

10. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Stiefvater has such a unique, brilliant way of writing such detailed, visual prose that I ended up savouring pages of descriptions and plenty of quotes to pull out. It feels like a dreamy wonderland adventure with instantly memorable and brilliant characters that I am intrigued to continue. Four stars.

11. The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis 🧠🏳️‍🌈

This is a complex, phenomenal book that filled me with rage and left me speechless. Full review here. Five stars.

12. Suspicious Minds by Gwenda Bond 🧠

I’d just finished series 3 of Stranger Things before diving into this companion novel, so I was in the perfect mood to return to Hawkins. This focuses on Terry Ives and slightly on Brenner, with some interesting cameos and gives a partial insight into the awful experiments that occurred, but doesn’t add that much to the world. Three stars.


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