Review | The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

languageofthornsTitle: The Language of Thorns (2017)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Illustrator: Sara Kipin
Publisher: Orion Children’s Group
Read: 27th – 28th January 2018
Genre: young-adult; fantasy
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

“Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns. Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid’s voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy’s bidding but only for a terrible price. Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, no. 1 New York Times-bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love. Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans of the Grishverse. This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them beautifully illustrated with art by Sara Kiplin that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.” (Synopsis from the publisher)
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Femmeuary Cosy Reading Night | TBR

Hello, folks! I come to you today with a tentative TBR for the upcoming Cosy Reading Night. It will take place during the hours of 7:00-10:00pm GMT on Wednesday 21st February and I’m really looking forward to dedicating an evening to getting cosy with a blanket and a book, a cup of tea, and maybe some snacks, whilst I hunker down and get to reading.

For those unaware, Cosy Reading Nights are hosted by the lovely Lauren from Laurenandthebooks from YouTube you can check out her announcement video here. This Cosy Reading Night takes places during “Femmeuary”, an initiative Lauren is following for the month of February in which she reads, watches, and listens to things created by women. In the spirit of this comes the Femmeuary Cosy Reading Night, and so I’m going to put any male reading on hold for a night whilst I tuck into some writing created by women.


  1. Carol/The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith
  2. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Illustrated Edition by J.K. Rowling, illustrated by Olivia Lomenech Gill
  3. the sun and her flowers by rupi kaur

As you can see, I’ve tried to be realistic about my TBR this time round, and I’ve chosen a novel, an illustrated book, and a poetry collection so that I can take my pick of whatever medium and genre I feel like reading on the night. Hopefully (fingers crossed!) I will be able to complete at least one of these fully in the three-hour readathon but, if not, I’m sure I’ll complete them soon since they’re all on my existing TBR anyway. It would be really great if I could get to reading The Price of Salt in particular because I really want to watch the film starring Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett (and I need to read the book first, obviously) and the novel also conveniently fulfils the “read an own voices book” for the Around the Year in 52 Books reading challenge – two birds with one stone, eh? But mostly I just hope to enjoy the low-key fun that is Cosy Reading Night.

Are you joining in with the Cosy Reading Night on Wednesday? Have you participated in a Cosy Reading Night before? Let me know in the comments!

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Feature | Weekend Watching #3

Welcome one, welcome all, to a new feature to this blog which I have decided to call: Weekend Watching. This will be a hopefully regular post uploaded on Saturdays or Sundays (hence the “weekend watching”) where I talk about a film, TV show, or maybe even YouTube channel/video that I’ve particularly enjoyed recently. I’m hoping to spotlight at least one thing to watch each week and hopefully someone at least will get a kick out of these posts – I will, if no one else does!

Last week’s Weekend Watching showcased British sitcom Lovesick and this week I’ve decided to highlight the first film in this feature. To anyone who knows me at all or knows what films are out at the cinema right now, it’ll come as no surprise that the film I’m talking about today is (of course) the incredible latest offering from the MCU, Black Panther.


“Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” follows T’Challa who, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king. But when a powerful old enemy reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king—and Black Panther—is tested when he is drawn into a formidable conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people and their way of life. “Black Panther” stars Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, with Angela Bassett, with Forest Whitaker, and Andy Serkis. The film is directed by Ryan Coogler and produced by Kevin Feige with Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Nate Moore, Jeffrey Chernov and Stan Lee serving as executive producers. Ryan Coogler & Joe Robert Cole wrote the screenplay.” (Synopsis from Marvel)

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Feature | Favourite Eateries #1 ft. Tavern Co, Liverpool

If you are at all a frequenter of my Instagram, you will find many a picture of breakfast food. The reason for this is twofold: 1) I really love breakfast food, give me pastries and bagels and toast ALL DAY, and 2) I spent a lot of time eating breakfast at The Tavern Company in Liverpool.

Anyone who has been to the Tavern will understand this and I have to say I’m very glad I didn’t go to university in Liverpool because a lot of my student loan would have been “wasted” on said breakfast food. Except when it comes to their food, I don’t really think “waste” is the appropriate verb because oh my god it’s worth every damn penny and every damn calorie.

Is this just really a not-at-all-veiled love letter to one of my favourite eateries? Yes. So buckle in whilst I gush about it.

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London Trip 2017 | Day Four aka Breakfast, Sightseeing, and Art

Welcome to the fourth and final post in my wrap up of my (not so) recent trip to London  – you can check out the incidents of day threewhat I got up to in day two or take a look a day one. It’s took me far to long to get to the point of talking about the final day of a four day trip but here we are, it’s the home stretch now!

And we started the day off extremely strongly – with breakfast at Dishoom. I’m pretty sure I saw the rec on Twitter at some point, as one of the unexpected perks of following A LOT of London-based publishing people is that you see a lot of yummy-looking food which become instant London restaurant recs! It’s also quite possible I Googled too… because I’m thorough like that. Anyways, the point is, before we got to London I knew I wanted to try Dishoom for breakfast/brunch to see if it lived up to the hype. Reader, it did. Not only did it live up to the hype, it far exceeded it and, in fact, I fully intend to try to work another Dishoom breakfast trip into any London itinerary in the future. It was just that good.

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Review | Princess Diaries: Take Two by Meg Cabot

Title: Princess Diaries: Take Two (2001)
Author: Meg Cabot
Narrator: Anne Hathaway
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Read: 10th – 11th January 2018
Genre: young-adult; contemporary
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

“Fourteen-year-old Mia Thermopolis is still struggling to come to terms with the fact that she’s a princess – and heir to the throne of Genovia! But when she announces on national TV that her mum is pregnant by her algebra teacher and plans to marry him, a right-royal fuss results! Because now Mia’s totally out-of-control Grandmere is all set to plan the year’s biggest society wedding, with every A-list celeb invited. But will the bride and groom even turn up? And how can Mia find out the true identity of her mysterious secret admirer?” (Synopsis from the publisher)

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Feature | Weekend Watching #2

Welcome one, welcome all, to a new feature to this blog which I have decided to call: Weekend Watching. This will be a hopefully regular post uploaded on Saturdays or Sundays (hence the “weekend watching”) where I talk about a film, TV show, or maybe even YouTube channel/video that I’ve particularly enjoyed recently. I’m hoping to spotlight at least one thing to watch each week and hopefully someone at least will get a kick out of these posts – I will, if no one else does!

Last week’s inaugural Weekend Watching showcased The Good Place and this week I’ve decided to stick a little closer to home by highlighting one of my new favourite British sitcoms, Lovesick

Originally broadcast as the horrifically-named Scrotal Recall, Lovesick is a British sitcom first broadcast on Channel 4 in the UK and now commissioned by, and available via, Netflix worldwide. Starring Johnny Flynn, Antonia Thomas, Daniel Ings, and Joshua McGuire, it focuses on a group of twenty-something friends living in Glasgow, Scotland, and the trials and tribulations of their various love lives. The show opens on Dylan (played by Johnny Flynn) discovering that he has contracted chlamydia and so has to contact his previous sexual partners to let them know they may have it too. From what sounds like a rather bleak premise emerges a hilarious (and often unexpectedly emotional) TV show, with each episode focusing on (and named after) a previous sexual partner of Dylan. The episodes are, in effect, flashbacks to months or even years before, and the non-linear structure of these episodes disjointedly builds up a picture of each character’s past and present, and perhaps their “growing up” along the way.

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Down the TBR Hole #15

Welcome folks to the fifteenth round of Down the TBR Hole! As I mentioned in my last round of DtTH (nope, that acronym isn’t particularly attractive, is it?), this little project has been a great way of weening down my TBR over the past year so I’ve decided to keep it up and make it a semi-regular feature in order to spring clean my TBR aka be realistic about what books I aspire to read and what books I actually will read.

For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, check out the previous posts via the tag or check out Lia at Lost in a Story who is the creator of this wonderful meme/project.

I’m trying to make this a regular feature of my blogging schedule because it’s good to regularly reevaluate if/why you want to read a book – that way you don’t come back to your TBR years later and have no clue why a title piqued your interest in the first place. I’ve also added a summary of results bit at the bottom of each round so I can track how many books I’ve kept and ditched from my TBR shelf in each round and overall.

Just a reminder of how this works:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Outside of doing these posts semi-regularly I have also been culling my TBR list at random points when I’m bored – all of this is good in terms of getting my TBR to a reasonable amount of books but it also means that these posts are getting harder for me to do as I’m beginning to really agonise over whether to ditch or keep books on there. Not that any of this is a bad thing! Let’s get going on the 10 books under scrutiny today…

1. Grimm Tales: For Young and Old by Philip Pullman

Why is it there? Because Philip Pullman re-wrote a collection of his favourite Grimm brothers fairytales and the cover looks like that… is that not reason enough?
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Keep

2. The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens

Why is it there? I think it’s part of most English students’ desire to say they’ve read a Dickens or two. Well, I have read a Dickens or two by now, but for some foolish reason I decided to add the complete novels of Dickens to my TBR when I was gifted them a couple of Christmases ago. I’m still yet to read this but, as it’s an unfinished novel, it’s quite short for Dickens so I’ll likely get to it sooner than some of his other books (*cough*The Pickwick Papers*cough*).
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Keep

3. Longbourn by Jo Baker

Why is it there? I love Pride and Prejudice so when I saw this novel floating around the online book community, I immediately added it to my TBR. It tells the story of the aforementioned Austen novel but centres around the life of those “downstairs” i.e. the servants – sounds very promising!
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Keep

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Review | Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

fangirlTitle: Fangirl (2013)
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Read: 2nd – 4th February 2018 (original review)
Genre: young-adult; contemporary
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

“Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, everybody is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath it’s something more. Fandom is life. It’s what got her and her sister, Wren, through losing their mom. It’s what kept them close. And now that she’s starting college, introverted Cath isn’t sure what’s supposed to get her through. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fanfiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone. For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?” (Synopsis from author’s website)

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Top Ten Tuesday | Kindle Books That Have Been On My TBR the Longest

Welcome one, welcome all, to Top Ten Tuesday! For those who are unaware (or who might need a reminder) Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by book bloggers and list lovers, The Broke and the Bookish, and is now hosted fantastically by Jana from That Artsy Girl! Each week a topic is chosen for bloggers to respond to.

This week’s topic is Books That Have Been On My TBR the Longest (and I Still Haven’t Read!) Now, because this is practically the story of my (reading) life I’ve actually done this topic previously and the answers still remain pretty much the same, with the exception of Madame Bovary which I have now read (go me!). But I do really like this week’s topic so, inspired by Kelly over at Kelly’s Rambles’ post about the books that have been on her Kindle the longest, I decided to take a leaf out of her book and check out my Kindle collection for the books I bought a long time ago and still haven’t read. I have a tendency to forget ebooks and my Kindle exist at times so this should be fun…

A small caveat: I probably won’t include all the classics I enthusiastically downloaded when I first got my Kindle – since they were free, I just went crazy with the downloading of things I’ll never in a million years actually read. We’ve all done it, let’s not mention it again and move on.

10. Thinking About It Only Makes It Worse by David Mitchell

I enjoy David Mitchell’s comedy and his writing… that’s probably about as far as the thought process went when I bought this. It’s likely that it was also cheap, because I’m a sucker for ebooks priced under £2 and can’t help myself – I get ridiculous ‘gotta catch ’em all!’ urges when books are so cheap. If I’m presuming correctly, this is a bit like the Charlie Brooker books I own where they’re essentially compendiums of previous columns from the newspaper, and I like the short format so I’m sure that eventually I’ll dip in and out of this when I’m in need of a laugh… hopefully anyway!

9. The One You Really Want by Jill Mansell

This one isn’t even on my Goodreads TBR shelf… so that should say something about how impulsive of a buy this was and how the rapidly closing window of opportunity (read: desire) to read this has definitely slammed shut. But I own it and it’s on my Kindle so it’s kind of hard to delete it entirely but I’ll likely never get around to this unless I’m stuck on holiday somewhere and I’ve read all the other books on my Kindle already.

8. Brilliance by Marcus Sakey

As far as I know this is a sci-fi thriller book and that’s pretty much all I know. It isn’t on my Goodreads TBR shelf so, much like the Jill Mansell book above, it’s hard to imagine that I actually still possess a desire to read this. I think I bought it because it was cheap and Regan from Perusse Project had hauled it… but then she didn’t rate it highly so I likely forgot about it completely. So it goes…

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