Go To Authors


Welcome back to Monthly Recommendations, that once a month post dedicated to all the books based on a particular topic. July is our ‘Go To Authors’ so those authors whose books we will automatically purchase and pre-order.

I certainly have a few and the majority of these authors are some of my favourites at the moment. Because of that, I won’t ramble on about why their books are automatic purchases, unless you want me to repeat myself every couple of authors.

With that out of the way, who are they?

Cassandra Clare:
– YA Urban Fantasy

Laini Taylor:

VE Schwab:

J.K Rowling:
Fantasy, and Crime

Sarah J Maas:
YA/NA Fantasy

Samantha Shannon:
Fantasy and Dystopia

Victoria Hislop:
 Historical Fiction

Kate Morton
Historical Fiction

Oscar de Muriel

Tess Gerritsen

Philip Pullman

Of course there are probably some authors I have missed off, but that’s it for now.

Who are your auto-buy authors?
Do you have some that are the same as mine?

Thanks for reading and have a good day!




Monthly Recommendations – Retellings


Welcome back to Monthly Recommendations, the Goodreads group set created by Trina and Kayla Rayne on YouTube. Each month we recommend books based on a particular topic and for the month of June we have got retellings!

I love a good retelling so this should be fun!

Continue reading

MR: Contemporaries


Welcome back to Monthly Recommendations, the Goodreads group set up by Kayla Rayne and Trina , both on Booktube.

For May, the topic is contemporary and I think this is perfect for spring and the start of summer. I personally don’t read many contemporary novels at all so those on this list are not going to be surprising or new to a lot of people. In fact if anyone can throw any decent ones my way I would be exceedingly grateful.

Right. My limited and popular choices are:

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(Although you could argue that this borders into fantasy because there is some magical realism in the form of Evie’s little bone dragon)

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And that is it. Apologies for not having any summaries or anything to go with the books but they would have been mini essays instead and I didn’t want to make this post any longer than necessary.

Again, if anyone has any great recommendations for contemporaries (YA or Adult) that have little to no romance then please leave them in the comments below. I would love to get back into reading them because they are a nice change once in a while.

Thanks for reading and have a good day!

Monthly Recommendations – Big Books


Welcome back to Monthly Recommendations, the Goodreads group where we recommend books every month based on a particular topic. As you can see from the title, this month is dedicated to big books, those huge and chunky books that have 500 + pages.

I reckon that I have quite a few of these on my shelves, particularly if they are part of a series, and classic novels.

Anyway, you are not here to read my ramblings so let’s get to it:

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This is one chunky series but it is really Book of Life that is 500 + pages long, coming in just over at 561.  I absolutely love this trilogy, particularly the magic system, and it develops so much with every book. It’s a witch-vampire story with history and intelligence and I don’t think I’ll come across another series like it.

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Another series with the final book being the chunkiest, coming in at 849 pages. This dragon-based series caught my attention whilst I was at university and I just wanted to devour it, especially since two of my best friends were head over heels in love with it. It took me a very long time to read but I still enjoyed it, and Inheritance was in fact my favourite even though the ending seemed a little rushed.

Coming in at 620 pages, this is one book that really surprised me.  I remember passing one afternoon sitting in the Novel Café in Lancaster and devouring half of the book in a few hours. I loved it, maybe even more so than the Twilight Saga at that time. I heard somewhere that this was actually the first book in a trilogy but because there has been nothing for years, I’m perfectly happy with having this as a standalone.


This book just peeks into this list at 507 pages. I’m not entirely sure where I stand with this classic but the more I think about it, the more I realise I do actually like it. I’ve only read it once, maybe twice, but it is one of those classics that is so engrained in literature that it almost becomes necessary reading.


Coming in at 608 pages, this is the classic novel that inspired the hit musical. Oliver is one of my favourite musicals so when I decided to read the book, I knew that I would love it just as much. The grittiness of Victorian London seems to be something I instantly connect to and I don’t think you can find that without having to delve into the subject of the workhouses and deal with child labour.


At 679 pages, this is probably one of the biggest Gaskell novel that I have read. It is a good but rather lengthy and slow-paced novel about the different personalities that make up a northern English country society. Molly Gibson is the main character and when her quiet life becomes invaded by her new step-mother and step-sister, she is thrown into the gossiping and watchful eye of a developing society. I related to her a lot when I was a teen – wanting to stay in my own quiet world, watching rather than participating, and avoiding the gossip of everyday life.


When WWI hit, women were drafted into varying positions. Many also volunteered and Vera Brittain was one of them, leaving Oxford University to enrol as a VAD (Voluntary Aid Detachment) nurse. She served in London, France, and Malta and by the end of the war she was acutely aware about how destructive this war truly was. It has been a good number of years since I read it but the one thing I remember is that it really hit me hard in the feels. I was constantly in tears but I felt it important to read in order to understand the personal cost of the war and what society was going through at that time.

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Back to fantasy and I’m including this trilogy because the last book does clock in at 613 pages. I adore this trilogy not just for Laini Taylor’s beautiful and amazing writing, but for the story and the many different characters that I kept falling in love with.


The first in the Dark Artifices Trilogy, this Shadowhunter instalment comes in at 698 pages and takes us deep into the murkier world of shadowhunters,, faeries, and demons. I can see the problems and flaws relating to the specific characters – mainly Emma and Julian – but I personally loved the story and the chance to explore the world from a different perspective. With familiar faces popping in and out of the book, it brings the world to life and I certainly cannot wait for the release of the second instalment.

And that is it.

I thought I had more but it turns out that most of the big books I was thinking of using are actually on my TBR, and there’s no way I can recommend books without having read them first.


Have you read any of these?
What big books would you recommend?

Thanks for reading and have a good day!






Monthly Recommendations – Favourite Canon OTP

Hello, and welcome back to another Monthly Recommendations. For those of you who don’t know, this is a Goodreads group whereby we recommend books each month based on a particular topic. For February we have got favourite canon OTP. 

OTP – Original True Pairing. 

To tell you the truth, I’m not usually a bit shipper of characters. I’ll like them as singular characters and as a pairing, but I won’t go all crazy for them. In that respect I don’t have a lot compared to most peoplpe and nearly all of these will be quite well-known. 

So let’s get started:

Ron and Hermione – Harry Potter by JK Rowling

Nina and Mathias – Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo

Jem, Will, and Tessa – The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare 

(yes this is a technically a love triangle but it is the only one I condone, and since Will and Jem were parabati I can count them as one whole.)

Nathan and Gabriel – Half Bad Trilogy by Sally Green

(I’ve not got over what Sally did to one of these characters in Half Lost. No. Still in denial)

Matthew and Diane – All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness.

Lizzie and Darcy – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen/The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick

Jo March and Professor Bhaer – Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.

Magnus and Alec – The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

Catherine Norton and Henry Tilney – Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Mik and Zuzana – Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth – Persuasion by Jane Austen.

And that is it. 

Who are your favourite OTPs? 

Thanks for reading and have a good day!

MR: Historical Fiction

Hello everyone and welcome back to Monthly Recommendations, a challenge created on Goodreads to share and recommend books based on different topics. This month is historical fiction so that can be books based on real historical events, alternate universes, historical romance etc…

As I have quite a number of books, I’m not going to describe them but hopefully the photos should link to each of their Goodreads synopses:

Victorian era:

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I know I’ve done this post slightly differently than normal but the one thing that I do know is that most of these books leave a lot of themselves behind. They’re also very popular in other ways as some of them have TV series, films, and even theatre productions.

I really like historical fiction books so if you have any recommendations, especially any set during the Victorian era, please leave them in the comments!

Have you read any of these?
What did you think?

Thanks for reading and have a good day!


Monthly Recommendations: Family Focus

Hello everyone, and welcome back to another Monthly Recommendations. This is a Goodreads group created by Youtube channels Kayla Rayne and Between Chapters where we share recommendations each month based on a specific topic. For November it’s Family Focus and I think this is one of my favourite topics so far because family means a lot to me and I love reading books that have family as a central and important focus, even if they are unconventional.

Before I start, I’m going to mention now that I’m not going to include Harry Potter. You might shout why because it obviously does have it’s wacky, varied and important family dynamics, but it comes up so regularly in these posts that I want to give other books and families a chance to shine and not feel overshadowed by it.

So with that out of the way, let’s get started:

The Bone Dragon by Alexia Casale:

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Whilst the main focus of this story is Evie’s mental and physical recovery from her unstable childhood, it is truly about family and how they support each other to have a better and happier life. Both Evie and her adoptive parents (Amy and Paul) have secrets they don’t want to share, but once they do they realise that they all need each other in order to move forward. The family dynamic is what I really like about this book and makes it stand out from other YA contemporaries I’ve read.

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen:

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Family and friendship are the two important themes of this book and that’s what makes it another favourite next to The Bone Dragon. Sydney doesn’t get much notice from her family after her brother’s sentencing but when she meets Layla and her family, a lot changes for both of them. Layla’s family isn’t perfect but they’re close and understand the importance of supporting each other no matter what’s going on. I found myself relating a lot to Sydney in this and seeing her being supported by Layla and her family was great to read and witness.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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The first encounter we have of the Bennets is as a family, that there are five daughters and it’s at the top of Mrs Bennet’s mind that they all must marry, particularly Jane and Elizabeth. Without marriage they remain destitute (by the standards of their societal circles) and the older they become, the less advantageous they are at finding a decent match. It becomes important for Jane and Elizabeth to marry into good fortune but at the hands of their unconventional family, that is easier said than done. You’ve got Mrs Bennet who always has problems with her nerves and is very highly strung; the witty and blunt Mr Bennet who shuts himself in his library; Mary, the middle sister who wants nothing more than to be noticed by her family; and Kitty and Lydia who are flirty, flighty, and fall in love with anyone who’s in uniform. It’s only with re-reads that I realise how dysfunctional the Bennet’s are and yet I love them so so much. But it’s not just the Bennet family that are a big part of Pride and Prejudice. There’s the Lucas’s, Bingley and his sisters, and then Darcy and his sister Georgiana. It is the love and respect between the latter two that influences Elizabeth to re-evaluate her opinions and what’s important for her as well as her family.

And with that very same summary, I feel the need to also mention The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet, the modern day retelling that retains the family dynamic of the Bennets. For those who haven’t come across it before, this is the compantion book/novel to the acclaimed Lizzie Bennet Diaries series on Y0utube, and it is fantastic. If you love Pride and Prejudice, I hightly recommend that you check it out.

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Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

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And in particular the Blackthorn family consisting of Mark, Julian, Ty, Tavvy, Livvy and Dru. Without parents Julian is the figurehead and responsible sibling and he does an incredible job at protecting his siblings as well as being a good Shadowhunter. He burdens himself with a lot of weight and it is the love for his siblings and Emma that keeps him sane. Ty might be the Blackthorn that pulls at my heartstrings but I love them all, and I’m excited to see what Cassie Clare does with these characters.

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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Usually single parent families don’t come across as a strong, cohesive unit but with Atticus Finch as the figurehead, Atticus, Scout and Jem are a completely different matter. They struggle with prejudice, narrow-minded viewpoints of other inhabitants of Maycomb but Atticus doesn’t let that affect how he parents Scout and Jem. He will teach them the ways of the world one moral at a time and be the father who always listens.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Séanz

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Why I haven’t re-read this book in a while is beyond me but what hit me the most when reading this is the different family situations for both Ari and Dante. Ari’s family has many personal problems and Dante’s is very affectionate. Similarly to Saint Anything, the great thing is that both of them develop and change over the course of the story to suit both the needs of Ari and Dante.

Once Upon A Time Reawakened:

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I must have something for dysfunctional family units because Emma Swan’s family is one of the most dysfunctional I have ever known. Based on the events of ABC’s hit show Once Upon A Time (season 1, and arguably the best season), it follows Emma Swan as she arrives in Storybrooke. She is also witness to a lot of different changes that are occurring since her arrival, including building a relationship between herself and her son Henry, whom she originally gave up for adoption. If you’ve seen the show or even heard about it, you’ll know that family plays a big part in this show and this one is all over the place. It’s unbelievable but at the same time you can’t help but sit back and watch it all unfold

The Selection Series by Kiera Cass

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Whilst it is split up into two different mini series, the one aspect that doesn’t change is the family relationships. America has a close relationship with her sister May in the first trilogy but when it comes to the end duology, the family dynamic between America, Maxon, Eadlyn and her brothers is heartwarming. What I particularly liked about The Heir and The Crown is that Eadlyn learned that she has to be independent, diplomatic, sensitive but at the same time understand the strength that comes from family.

Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell:

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There are multiple family dynamics in this classic that make it interesting. It mainly centres around Molly Gibson and her father who have led a life of solitude until he realises he must marry again, for the sake of giving Molly a mother. When he does marry, Molly also gains a step-sister, Cynthia. Once firmly situated into each others lives, the narrative follows them on their journey into womanhood. Between the four of them, it is an uneasy relationship and I always feel sorry for Molly because she is completely coddled and pushed in directions she doesn’t want to experience. However on meeting the Hamley family, she opens up and becomes the woman she wants to be. She is also instrumental in helping the Hamley’s understand their own complicated familial situation.

That is all I’ve got for this month’s recommendations.

What books would you recommend?

Thanks for reading and have a good day!


Monthly Recommendations – Science Fiction.

Hello! and welcome to Monthly Recommendations, a group set up on Goodreads for the sole purpose of recommending great books to each other and expanding on what we read. September’s topic is Science Fiction and I’m not going to deny that this is not the easiest genre for me as I don’t read much Sci-Fi. However, I have managed to scrape a few books together so without further ado, let’s get started:

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

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I’m in the rather rare category of people who don’t particularly like this book because the format, whilst interesting and unique, made it slow to read. I was also not a big fan of the main character Kady. You may then ask why I’m including it as one of my recommendations? Because, the intent to portray the characters and plot through varying styles is well thought out, the format is unlike anything I’ve seen before, and in parts it is fun to read. I just had a hard time getting into it. For how big it is at the moment, I wouldn’t be surprised if you have already heard of it and/or currently have it somewhere on the enormous tbr pile.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

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I mainly describe this as horror but at the time Mary Shelley was writing, it is an example of science-fiction. What truly does terrify me about this book is that with western medicine and our medical advances, someone like Frankenstein’s monster could become a reality. You can go here to read my synopsis and analytical thoughts about this book, but I do feel it is one of those classics that we need to read once in a lifetime, just to understand and learn about what it means to be human.

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

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This is a perfect blend of sci-fi and fantasy and it is a fantastic series. Each book is based on a well known fairy tale (Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Snow White) and I think Marissa Meyer did an amazing job at creating such well-rounded characters and making the sci-fi aspects of this series very accessible. It’s also highly addictive and you want more with each read or re-read.

The Host by Stephenie Meyer

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Moving on far past the lives of sparkly vampires, The Host is Meyer’s first foray into science fiction and I think it was done rather well. This time “souls” are implanted into human hosts and take over their bodies but sometimes that’s easier said than done. For me it has a similar feel to Frankenstein in that it makes us think on what it means to be human and how we perceive everyday actions and emotion. I definitely think that Stephienie Myer improved on her writing, character development, and story when it came to the Host, and it is worth reading at least once.

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

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Vicious is what you get when you cross humans, superpowers, and the blurriness between good and evil. It follows the two characters of Victor and Eli who become entangled in the world of EOs (ExtraOrdinaries) and move from being best friends to mortal enemies. They each have a different idea of what life should be and it’s interesting to witness this moral battle unfold as the plot progresses. Further highlighting VE Schwab’s fantastic writing and storytelling, this is one book not to be missed!`

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

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If you ask me what the ultimate sci-fi book/series is, I would instantly say this series. It is a cult classic that is hilarious, incredibly well written, ingenious, and an absolute blast to read. If you like audiobooks then the narration by Stephen Fry and Martin Freeman is excellent! This series has launched me into the world of science fiction and I’m super excited to discover everything to do with this series. I cannot recommend it enough and I think it is the perfect starter for anyone just getting into science-fiction.

Honourable mentions:

  • Divergent by Veronica Roth (particularly book one)
  • The Time Machine by HG Wells

That is all I have for this month’s recommendations. As I said, I’ve not read many sci-books and at the moment I am on the lookout for more. So if you have any recommendations, please leave them in the comments below and I will go and check them out.

Thanks for reading!