Book Reviews

Review: A Dress for the Wicked by Autumn Krause

As you saw in my 20 Books of Summer TBR post, this is my oldest review copy. I’m so pleased to have finally made time to read it – and I enjoyed it just as much as I’d hoped!

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TBR Spotlight: The Fairy’s Tale by FD Lee

Monday’s rolled round again, and the random number generator this week picked book #214, The Fairy’s Tale by FD Lee!

Whoever said fairy tales were easy has never been a wannabe fairy godmother. The truth is, making dreams come true can be a total nightmare.

Bea is a lowly cabbage fairy, but she dreams of being an official Fairy Godmother. So when Bea is finally given a chance to prove her worth she is determined to make a success of it. Besides, how hard can a Happy Ever After story be? Every girl wants to be rescued by a handsome man, don’t they?

Apparently not.

Bea’s heroine doesn’t want to be in her story, and her hero is much more interested in the ugly sister. The same ugly sister who is trying to overthrow the Kingdom.

Suddenly, Bea must confront the fact that her characters are as real as she is – and just like her, they are determined to go their own way. The problem is, if Bea fails to finish the story, she faces a fate much worse than being put to sleep for a hundred years. 

Now Bea must figure out what Happy Ever After really means – and whose Happy Every After she’s prepared to fight for…

I love a snarky take on fairy tale tropes, so this take on fairy godmothering as an industry seems like it will be right up my street! This is a self-published book I picked up at Worldcon 2019, where I met the author in person after following her on Twitter for ages – which means it’s sat on my shelf for nearly two years at this point, eek. It’s the beginning of a series, so I’m really hopeful that if I like it as much as I think I will, then there’s plenty more to dive into!

Have you read this one? I’d love to know your thoughts – or if you have any recommendations for other sideways looks at fairy tales!

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TBR Spotlight: Poisoned by Jennifer Donnelly

Today’s random number pick is book #284, Poisoned by Jennifer Donnelly!

Once upon a time, a girl named Sophie rode into the forest with the queen’s huntsman. Her lips were the color of ripe cherries, her skin as soft as new-fallen snow, her hair as dark as midnight. When they stopped to rest, the huntsman pulled out his knife . . . and took Sophie’s heart.

It shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Sophie had heard the rumors, the whispers. They said she was too kind and foolish to rule — a waste of a princess. A disaster of a future queen. And Sophie believed them. She believed everything she’d heard about herself, the poisonous words people use to keep girls like Sophie from becoming too powerful, too strong . . . With the help of seven mysterious strangers, Sophie manages to survive. But when she realizes that the jealous queen might not be to blame, Sophie must find the courage to face an even more terrifying enemy, proving that even the darkest magic can’t extinguish the fire burning inside every girl, and that kindness is the ultimate form of strength.

I loved Donnelly’s take on the Cinderella story in Stepsister, which I reviewed here, so I when I spotted her Snow White retelling pop up on NetGalley I couldn’t resist requesting it. However, I then went into a big YA slump in the second half of last year, so this kind of got pushed to the sidelines a little bit. I’m definitely starting to enjoy YA again, so I’m really looking forward to diving into this soon. There are so many interesting things you can do with Snow White, and I’ve seen people say that this draws more from the bloody Grimm story than the sanitised Disney version, so I’m intrigued. Hopefully I can get to this before long!

Have you read this one, or is it on your TBR? I’d love to know your thoughts!

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20 Books of Summer 2021 Challenge

I’m a little late signing up to this reading challenge, but I only just spotted some of my friends talking about it! This is a three-month challenge hosted by Cathy at 746 Books, running from June 1st to September 1st. The aim of the game is to read 20 books across the summer, and while I’ll definitely manage that, I think this would be a great way to tackle my review copy list, which is stacking up. I’ll be aiming to read and review these 20 books – read on for my TBR!

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Author's Note

May 2021 Wrap Up

I’ve changed the name of my TBR Check In this month – it’s shifted over the years to a more conventional wrap up, so I’m going to lean into it!

Goodreads Challenge

I ended up reading 46 books in May, which I’m very happy with! I was vaguely aiming for one a day, but I had a few really productive reading days, especially this last weekend. That takes me up to 195 for the year, though I haven’t updated my actual Goodreads in a good few months – it’s just so clunky to use and takes more effort than simply keeping track on my TBR page… I must go through and copy my reviews across, though. I’m over 60% of the way to my year’s goal of 300, with only 40% of the year gone!

My Owned TBR

My goal for May was to fix the damage done to my TBR by my birthday book haul, and get the total back down from 473 to 460 books – and I’m pleased to report I’ve done even better than that, and I’m down to 433! That’s a reduction of 40 books from May 1st. I didn’t go on an official book buying ban, but I think I only bought two books for myself, and I’ve been trying to keep my requests to a minimum too, so I only had 19 books come in during May. I also DNFed a few older Kindle freebies. This is really starting to feel doable!

I’d like to keep going with the monthly goals, since they still seem to be working, so I’m going to aim to get my TBR down to 420 by the end of June. That’s 13 books down – fingers crossed!

Physical Review Copies

My physical review copies are only down a little bit, to 57, but several more books have been read and are just awaiting review, and a good quarter of books remaining on the TBR are picture books or board books, so they’ll easily be swept up into Kitten Corner posts! I wish I’d made a little more progress, but maybe this month I can get it down to 50.

Wrap Up

My reading was a little bit less intense this month, but I still had some books I really enjoyed! 

Least favourite: The Light of the Midnight Stars by Rena Rossner; To Love A Scandalous Duke by Liana de la Rosa

Favourites: The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune; Jackdaw by KJ Charles; Fine Deceptions by Stephanie Burgis

Shortest: Princess Princess Ever After by Kay O’Neill

Longest: Some of the Best from Tor.com 2016

I’d love to read more wrap up posts, so drop me a comment below if you have one!