The Orchestra Book Tag

The words 'orchestra book tag' with a music note icon beside. A photo of the books The Loneliest Girl in the Universe, Radio Silence and Warcross in a pile on a checked blue duvet cover.

I love creating new tags even more than I enjoy doing them so I HAVE A NEW TAG EVERYONE. It’s a book tag based on instruments in the orchestra, because I am kind of a music nerd and definitely a book nerd.

Unfortunately I couldn’t include every instrument since a) I didn’t want the tag to be too long and b) I probably couldn’t think of that many things but no personal offence is intended to any instruments. I couldn’t find any tag similar to this so I just decided to go for it — I have no intention of copying another tag but if you find another one around let me know!

How the tag works: link back to this post, if you were tagged then link back to the person who tagged you, do some or all of the questions, and then tag as many more blogs as you like. 🙂 You can also tag it on WordPress with ‘the orchestra tag’ so that it can be found more easily. I’ll put all the questions in a nice, easy-to-copy list at the end.


a character likely to mastermind an evil plan

I mean, Kaz Brekker is an obvious answer, but it’s CLEARLY Kaz Brekker. He literally already did this in Six of Crows.

Cover of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. Half-burnt matchsticks arranged in a simple house shape (a square with a triangle on top). The title in a brush font inside the house.



a popular book you enjoyed

I read Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (which I believe is a Sunday Times bestseller) for my school book club and I actually…liked it a lot? It’s one of my favourite books I’ve read for school book club.


a character who surprised you

Daniel from Radio Silence by Alice Oseman! I mean, I love this book DEEPLY so obviously must include it in as many posts as possibly. I didn’t pay too much attention to Daniel at the start of Radio Silence but as the book continued some stuff happened and now I love him a lot.


an overlooked book

The comic Patsy Walker, AKA Hellcat! written by Kate Leth and illustrated by Brittney Williams. I absolutely ADORED this comic and I’m so upset that it got cancelled?? I understand it might not be for everyone but I can’t understand the multitude of negative Goodreads reviews because, man, it just clicked with me SO MUCH and I deeply wish more people would know about it so they can love it too.

Cover of Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz. Two fish hooks arranged in a heart shape over a white scaley background. The title within the heart and the tagline 'Miracles aways come at a price.'


a book with an unusual premise

This immediately calls to mind Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz, which is about gay magical fish. It sounds weird, and it definitely is weird, but it’s also VERY good. Just trust me.


a book you’d recommend to anyone

(I am personally a clarinetist so obviously I had to include us. Clarinets are very versatile, folks.) The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James. I think this could apply to so many books (and versatile doesn’t necessarily mean a book is better or  anything) but The Loneliest Girl was just such a gripping read for me. Sci-fi has a reputation for being a bit dense but I think this is super easy to understand and enjoy. (Bonus piece of music: have you heard the Saint-Saens clarinet sonata? Isn’t it lovely?)


a character who stands above the rest

I just read Indigo Donut by Patrice Lawrence and I loved Indigo, she was such an engaging & interesting character. (Bonus piece of music: Carillion from L’Arlesienne by Bizet. You might have already heard bits of it but it has a Very Nice wind section in the middle which I played in my orchestra.)

Cover of Love, Hate & other filters by Samira Ahmed. A person with brown skin and dark hair in a bun taking a photo with the camera pointed at the reader. They stand in front of a red wall with colourful tessellating patterns at the bottom. The title and author above.


a talked-about book on your TBR

I’ve heard so much about Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed and I just downloaded the eBook to read this week! I’m super excited! (UK readers, it’s on sale on Amazon for only ÂŁ0.99 which is an amazing deal. This isn’t sponsored, I just love a bargain haha.)



a historical book

I don’t read much historical fiction, but the last historical thing I read was the novella Caroline’s Heart by Austin Chant. It’s a historical fantasy which really gave me Howl’s Moving Castle vibes. Also! I love reading books with multiple trans characters! Please give me all the sweet sweet trans books!!


a book which strongly informs how you are as a person

(Because tuba is the bass, like a basis for you, get it? I don’t know. Maybe that’s a bit tenuous.) Probably Les Miserables by Victor Hugo? That might sound pretentious but getting into Les Mis has had a really big effect on my life in terms of affirming my own beliefs and identity.

Cover of The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman. An old-timey engraving-esque illustration of a boat with two figures riding a wave under a stormy sky. Two animals climb over the gold title text.


a very long book

I mean, I already banged out the longest book I’ve ever read which was Les Mis (oops), but I wanted to keep this one open for both already read books and those on your TBR. So I’ll go with The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman. I loved His Dark Materials when I was younger but I haven’t yet got round to this because I’d like to reread the original trilogy first. I guess I’d better get going… (Bonus piece of music: we’re doing this movement from the Beethoven Pathetique sonata for GCSE music and it is a TUNE.)


book which finished with a bang

Hmmm. HMM. (Don’t you just love it when I have to think real hard about answering my own questions?) OH OH I KNOW. Warcross by Marie Lu! This one had me VERY shook. Obviously I don’t want to spoil it but you should 100% read it.

Anyway, during the course of writing this post it has become apparent to me that the left and right alignment of images does not work on my actual blog webpage anymore which is rather annoying. Anyone else getting this?? Or is it just my super old theme?

Never mind — I do hope you enjoyed this tag! Once again, the questions are as follows:

Conductor – a character likely to mastermind an evil plan
Violin – a popular book you enjoyed
Cello – a rich, nuanced character
Viola – an overlooked book
Oboe – a book with an unusual premise
Clarinet – a versatile book you’d recommend to anyone
Flute – a character who stands out from the rest
Trumpets – a talked-about book on your TBR
Horn – a historical book
Tuba – a book which strongly informs how you are as a person
Timpani – a book which finished with a bang
Piano – a very long book

And I’m tagging Lia @ Lost in a Story, Michelle @ The Writing Hufflepuff, Jess @ Bookends and Endings and anyone else who wants to do it! But there’s absolutely NO pressure, please don’t worry. 🙂


New Years Resolutions Book Tag

Hey everyone! Today I’m going to be talking books in this book tag which I saw on Lia’s blog Lost in a Story — thanks Lia for letting me do this! I believe this tag was created by Charr Frears on Youtube but the video has been deleted, so I don’t actually know. That was what I found anyways!

1. An Author You’d Like To Read That You’ve Never Read

I really want to read Muhammad Khan’s debut book, I Am Thunder! It’s released at the end of this month and it sounds like it’s going to be amazing.

Cover of I Am Thunder by Muhammad Khan. Red, puple and blue illustration of a girl's face inside a lightning bolt shape. The words 'I am thunder and I won't keep quiet' beside.

2. A Book You’d Like To Read

Hahaha… SO MANY BOOKS. How could I choose! But I just bought Indigo Donut and Autoboyography with my Christmas book token so I’m planning to read those soon.

3. A Classic You’d Like To Read

I hope to read Pride and Prejudice at long last; it’s one of my mum’s favourite books ever and she’s desperate for me to discuss it with her. I’ve been meaning to read it for so long but I just…haven’t quite got round to it. I need to get it out from the library instead of reading my badly formatted digital version haha.

4. A Book You’d Like To Re-Read

Oh gosh! So many options! I’ve been saying this for a while now but I do want to re-read Les Miserables (especially in preparation for the BBC tv show which FINALLY HAS SOME NEWS HECK YEAH). In particular I’d like to try a different translation, if I can find it.

5. A Book You’ve Had For Ages and Want To Read

I picked up an ARC of The Fandom by Anna Day at YALC, but it got buried in my room and I never got round to it. I’ve been hearing positive things though so I look forward to it.Cover of Middlemarch by George Eliot. Painting of an old-timey British countryside and village with two people in the foreground. A black panel at the bottom with the title and author.

6. A Big Book You’d Like To Read

Hmm, this might be cheating a tiny bit, but I’ve almost finished Middlemarch by George Eliot which is almost 900 pages and I am very excited to finish it (although I enjoyed it a lot).

7. An Author You’ve Previously Read and Would Like To Read More Of

Alice Oseman — I adore her book Radio Silence and I am desperate to read her 3rd book, I Was Born For This, which is due to release in spring. I NEED IT SO BADLY.

Cover of We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby. A wet kitten meowing on a bright yellow background.

8. A Book You Got For Christmas and Would Like To Read 

I’m so excited to read We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby. It’s a non-fiction book which is a bit unusual for me, but I’d like to read more essay collections and non-fiction this year.

9. A Series You Want To Read From Start to Finish 

To be honest I don’t really know anything about the Australia trilogy but I can’t actually think of any other series at this time…? Also, I won the 3rd book in this series so I already have it! Which is useful!

10. A Series You Want To Finish That You’ve Already Started

*sweats* I obviously am not reading many series at the moment as I can barely think of any that aren’t still in progress. Perhaps The Young Elites by Marie Lu? I preferred Warcross but I still enjoyed the first two books in this series and would like to complete it.

11. Do You Set Reading Goals? If So, How Many Books Do You Want To Read in 2018?

Yes, I do, but I try to keep them achievable — I’ve set my Goodreads goal at 100 books again, which I’m usually able to finish without too much stress.

12. Any Other Reading Goals?

To prioritise reading more books by authors of colour, in particular reading more UKYA books by PoC. I can do a lot more to support and uplift these authors and I know I’m missing out on so many great stories. If you haven’t already, do check out the UKYA novels by British PoC being published in 2018 in this list by Mariam Khan!

I’m not tagging anyone, but if you fancy doing this tag please do go ahead! I have mock exams right now so I’m rather behind on commenting back, but I hope you have a wonderful day wherever you are. ❀

do you have any 2018 reading goals? any books you’re excited for? are you reading anything at the moment?

My 2017 in Books

Background of many open books, with the title 'My 2017 in Books' written on a banner.

Hey everyone! I enjoyed doing my 2016 in books post so much last year that I am VERY excited to be doing my yearly bookish wrap-up here today. 😀 I feel like I’ve read so many great books this year, as well as getting more into comics which I’ve been wanting to do for AGES.

overall summary

According to Goodreads, this year I read 134 books at the time of writing, which is the highest number since I started using Goodreads. However, I think this might be due to the aforementioned fact that I read way more comics this year which are faster than books! (Especially if it’s a single issue.) I completed my reading challenge of 100 and then later 125 books which I’m really happy about.

Diagram showing all the books read in 2017, arranged by star rating, with a pie chart of shelf names at the side.

I didn’t rate a bunch of books this year because I’ve sort of been feeling a bit ‘meh’ about rating… I dunno. I went through a phase of that, anyway. I can’t quite decide where I stand now — I feel like it would be best for me to write a short review for every book but that’s probably never going to happen so, who knows.

In terms of genres, Young Adult is still my most popular shelf — no surprises there for me. Within that contemporary actually rates ahead of fantasy, with comics right after, which I was a little surprised by. Although I’ve read some excellent contemporary and comics so maybe I shouldn’t be.

favourite books

I am a little nervous about saying this since I am indeed planning to read more books before the end of the year, but, alas, this has to be posted at some point. I can always add them to next year’s. 😛 These are the ten books I read this year which I feel I enjoyed the most, and gained the most from. I haven’t put comics in here, but you can check out all my posts about comics here.



I love Everything Leads to You so much! It’s such a cute soft queer girl read and it REALLY  needs to be a movie okay. I love the Shades of Magic series so A Conjuring of Light is probably no surprise here; it was such a thrilling conclusion. I don’t read much non-fiction but The Good Immigrant, an anthology of essays by BAME writers, has really stayed with me. Strange the Dreamer took a little while to get into — I was intimidated to begin with — but then suddenly I was utterly absorbed. The Hate U Give truly deserves all the success it has had; it was one of the most beautifully written and powerful books I have read, like, EVER.




Oops, two VE Schwab books in here? What can I say. Our Dark Duet dazzled and destroyed me. Release is one of my favourite Patrick Ness books; he’s one of the only (mainstream published) authors I’ve read who can ROCK third person present tense. Wild Beauty’s beautiful magical realism & sisters was SO SO GOOD; Anna Marie-McLemore is one of my favourite authors writing today. I read all three of Adam Silvera’s books this year (he’s excellent) but History is All You Left me struck me most in the heart. Finally, The Loneliest Girl was a pacy, gripping read with lots of science and space and a twist I totally didn’t see coming.

hidden gems

These books are lesser-known ones which I’d love to see people discussing more, or in a genre/style which was new and exciting to me.



Openly Straight is an awesome book set in boarding school which is super cute and also looks at the pressures of being openly gay as a young person. I really think that I should read more m/m books by actual queer men, and this is a great one!

Margot & Me surprised me as I sped through it way faster than I thought I would; it’s a wonderful story about the power of women and family. Also some history! See, I read historical fiction too, promise…

Wild is a Deaf/hearing romance which features lots of running. (Yikes. As in, I could never do that much running. But a great book.) Hannah Moskowitz continues to be excellent and in my opinion very underrated.

Truth or Dare was such a cool concept and beautiful physical design, but that’s not all — I adore Non Pratt and she’s written another gripping story here.

The Diviners is a mash-up of fantasy, mystery and the occult in 20s New York — and I can’t wait to read the next book! It’s super cool and I love everyone in it.

Y’ALL, I JUST READ SO MANY GOOD BOOKS THIS YEAR. I can’t wait for all exciting books out next year! (Maybe that’s a post idea. *winks*)

were your top books of 2017? have you read any of these? what books are you excited for in 2018?


7 Beautiful New Book Covers

Two hardback books, Release and Wild Beauty, on a stripey blue blanket, with the words '7 beautiful new book covers'

I just adore talking about book covers, and it’s that time again y’all! I am here to flail about 7 wonderful covers of recent or upcoming YA books, and I am so excited. (Also, all these are either cool books I’ve read or cool books I would like to read.) It was super difficult for me to pick just 7 because uGHH SO MANY. But, you know, I’ve got to keep that brand consistency of lists with 7. The things I do for you. *shakes head*

Cover of Release by Patrick Ness. An illustration of a figure walking down a blue river among darker silhouettes of trees, which when viewed from afar are the profiles of two heads.

1. Release by Patrick Ness It took me several months of looking at the poster I have of this cover on my wall to realise that the river also outlines two faces looking at each other. I know, right?!? IT’S AN OPTICAL ILLUSION. Anyway, yeah, the shades of green are great, I love that it’s so clean and just, mmm. Such a good cover. (I managed to find a nearly-new hardback in the charity shop and IT WAS SO EXCITING. Hardbacks are just so pretty.)

Cover of When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon. A smiling Indian girl holds a plastic cup of coffee with the title written on it in pen.

2. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon I sometimes dislike covers which use photos, especially of faces, but this one is SUPER COOL. It’s so aesthetic, it’s cool to see Dimple on the cover (and yes for more PoC on book covers because we need that!!) and also that writing on the coffee cup combined with the font of the author’s name? So great. I love me some good fonts.

Cover of We Are Okay by Nina Lacour. Illustration of a girl standing on a bed, both coloured pink, who looks into a blue lake whilst snow falls. width=

3. We Are Okay by Nina LaCour This book always looks so beautiful in photos. *heart eyes* The colour combination of the blue and pink in the illustration is so nice, and the drawing itself is kind of surreal but also cool; I love the drawing style. It makes me so curious about this book!

Cover of The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee. Photo of a young man wearing old fashioned clothes, with the title in hand-doodled font and smaller doodles of a ship, a music note, playing cards, a violin, and a top hat around.

4. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee Hey, those doodles and doodle-y font? I LOVE THEM. MY ACTUAL FAVOURITE. Such a good font choice. Everything works well. Gives off a teen movie-vibe. Honestly, when will I get round to reading this book. (Answer: probably when it comes out in paperback.)

Cover of Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore. The title in gold, fairytale-esque font in the centre with lush flowers all around, and a gold outline of a girl reaching out to the title.

5. Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore I feel so lucky to own this hardback because IT. IS. GORGEOUS. Props to whoever designed this — not only is the actual cover image  beautiful, but it has such nice phsyicality. Impressions of the flowers on the dustjacket! Gold foil title underneath! The end-papers are such nice paper! The font for the chapter titles! To be honest, it’s just beautiful to fit such a beautiful book.

Cover of Want by Cindy Pon. Illustration of a young person with short dark hair wearing a glass helmet. The blurred bright lights of a city shine behind and the title text glows.

6. Want by Cindy Pon Firstly, this book sounds super awesome and it’s terrible that I haven’t read it yet. Time to go bug the library more to reserve it. Anyway, this illustration is so beautiful; I love the glowy neon title and general vibe and also the reflected lights just asdfjkl awesome.

Cover of History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera. Illustration of light and dark blue stripes lines which look like waves, with each word of the title on a different wave.

7. History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera For once I…like the UK cover more, I think? The illustrations of water are so effective, and also reflects the story without being super spoilery if you get me. Plus, I believe I’ve seen a special shiny WH Smith edition which is cool.

I hope you enjoyed my rambling about the pretty covers! It’s nice to be writing about books again. 🙂 At the moment I’m hoping to keep up the Wednesday posting schedule I have going on, so stay tuned for another post here this time next week. *nods*

what are your favourite covers? have i missed any out?? (probably!) do you have a favourite book you own?

Reading Recap // three mini reviews

The words 'reading recap' in a white brush script over a blue patterned background, with the words 'at twist in the taile' and an illustration of an open book below.

I confess: I haven’t had much blogging inspiration lately. My brain is very much filled with school and then — well, yeah. School. So I have a LOT of school-related things to say but not much of anything else, oops! However, I’ve been reading some great books lately so I thought it would be fun to, you know, actually do a bit of book blogging and have a bit of a chat about them.

warcross by marie lu

Cover of Warcross by Marie Lu. The word 'Warcross' on each side of a metallic rainbow cube on a white background, with 'Marie Lu' in rainbow at the top and the words 'player hunter hacker pawn' below.

I barely ever buy hardbacks for myself, but one of my friends gifted this to me for my birthday and I feel SUPER BLESSED. I absolutely raced through this, which was something I hadn’t done in a while. I was gripped by the plot, and I think that was helped by the fact that it was such a neat premise with a clear end point that propelled it forwards. (If that makes sense? Friends, I haven’t written a review in like a year, please don’t be too harsh on me.)

In particular, I enjoyed the detail of the technology of Warcross; I don’t play many video games, but the technology seemed really thought out and innovative. I know a bunch of people have been talking about the end, and I definitely did not predict The Thing so THAT WAS EXCITING. I can’t wait to read the sequel! (Although I initially thought it was a standalone, so it was great to discover that actually there’s another book to come haha.)

little & lion by brandy colbert

Cover of Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert. The words 'Little & Lion' over a flat line illustration of a palm tree, a magazine, a flower, a coffee cup, and a book.

This book was in fact also a gift from a friend, but it was in so many ways completely different to Warcross. It’s a contemporary, character-driven book which looks much more at the changing relationships between the characters rather than a lot of action. However, I still finished this really fast! I do love me a character-driven plot, and this had such a good cast of  interesting and diverse characters, and also characters who really screwed up and said crappy things. Because, you know, people are often crappy. It discusses racism, particularly casual racism, figuring your sexuality, and what it means to be family, among other themes. (I…probably am going to forget something important.)

Personally, whilst I was reading this I strongly connected with Suzette’s experience of exploring her sexuality (because I am a person who often finds many people of different genders cute!!!), and I also enjoyed the romance. However, on reflection some parts could be read as a love triangle/emotional cheating kind of thing, which you might be frustrated with. To be frank: I don’t quite know! I need to do some more thinking about that. I’m looking forward to rereading this more slowly because I’d like the time to discover and consider the stuff I missed the first time round.

the diviners & lair of dreams by libba bray

I’ve put these two books together because I did actually read them one after the other, despite my best efforts to save Lair of Dreams for a little later. I was super excited to find these in my school library (I think they’ve got some new books this year and it’s amazing?!?) even though I didn’t know what to expect apart from the blurb.

WELL, FOLKS. I loved them a lot! They’re a super weird mix of magic & the occult & 20s New York, with many characters that I adored. I haven’t read long fantasy book in a while, but it didn’t feel like a drag — both of these were relatively easy reads for me. I liked that I got to see Henry, one of my favourite side characters from the first book, become one of the mains in Lair of Dreams, but we also got way less narration from Memphis which made me sad.  I haven’t read a combination of genres like this before so it was exciting for me! (However: the covers for the UK paperbacks are definitely not my favourites. I feel like there is so much potential there, argh.)

Can you believe it I’ve made it to three reviews? To be honest, ME NEITHER. A little cheer for me. Truly, I haven’t written reviews in so long and it was actually pretty nice… Perhaps I shall make this a feature? But, who knows, I’m not very good at keeping up with those haha.

have you read any books recently? do you prefer getting hardbacks or paperbacks? what books are on your tbr list?

Note: I’m away until the 29th, and I probably won’t be able to reply to comments. Thanks for your patience! Also, sorry to those of you waiting on the giveaway; I will be contacting and announcing the winner upon return.


Fantastic Four // blog birthday+ giveaway

A photo of dozens of balloons in a blue sky, with the words 'Twist in the Taile blog birthday + giveaway' on top.

That’s right, folks, it’s that time of year again: PARTY TIME! *dances* I mean, one might say that party time is all year round, but the only time you can truly have a party is obviously on my blog birthday. No other parties count. (I joke. Please feel free to party whenever you like.)

Further down in this post I’m holding a bookish giveaway, but before I get onto that I’d like to say a little something about the last four years. (Do imagine that I’ve done that thing  where you tap the champagne glass to announce a speech, or something else equally fun.)

I’m pretty sure that I’ve said this before, but when I started this blog I really didn’t think I’d still be blogging four years later. I’d already had several failed attempts at a blog and I didn’t see why this would be any different. But! As you can see, here I am. I’ve gone through many reincarnations over here at Twist in the Taile, and of course I’m still evolving, but mostly I AM STILL WRITING THINGS. I am still talking to you all!

There is so much that I love about blogging — from writing funny posts to making pretty graphics — but I do still think that above all, my favourite thing is being able to connect with other awesome people. Although perhaps this blog might not be the fastest-growing it has given me a special and important place to share my thoughts, and some amazing friends. This wouldn’t be a blog if you readers weren’t here reading it. Thank you so much for supporting and educating me. ❀

Here are some things I have done over the last year:

  • Started listening to podcasts! Now they’re such an important part of the things I love & I can’t imagine what I’d do without them. It feels super weird that I only started them last year… (Among my favourites are Witch Please, The Adventure Zone, and The Penumbra Podcast.)
  • Started reading more comics which is very fun!
  • Actually, I’ve just read a lot of great books like When the Moon Was Ours (which I just reread, maybe even more woah that the first time), The Loneliest Girl in the Universe, The Hate U Give, Release, Queens of Geek, A Conjuring of Light… and SO MANY MORE. Y’all, I just really love books.
  • Went to my first Pride parade, which was kind of scary but also very cool. I’m so glad I went.
  • Also probably a lot of other stuff. But I am itching to get onto the giveaway and I know you are too, so LET US GO THERE.

ink swash divider

giveaway time!

To celebrate my 4th blog birthday, I am giving away one YA book from the following selection:

The winner of the giveaway will be able to pick any one from these six books, which are either a) books I have read and loved or b) books I think sound great and would very much like to read. You can click on the titles for more info. The giveaway is open to any country The Book Depository ships to; hopefully that includes you, but please check their list here.

Enter the giveaway HERE

The giveaway will end at midnight on 25th October (that’s two weeks’ time) so make sure you enter now! I wish you luck, and thanks for celebrating my blog birthday here with me today. If you have any memories or thoughts about my blog you’d like to share, then I’d love to here them. (And with your permission, I might include them in a follow-up post!)

which book would you pick? if you’re blogger, what’s your favourite thing about blogging? any thoughts about my blog?

YALC 2017 Recap

yalc 2017 recap.jpg

Okay, this post is going to be SUPER late by the time I’m able to post this, but NEVER MIND. On Saturday 28th July I was lucky enough to be able to attend YALC, the con in London for young adult books! And here is my round up of what I got up to!

ink swash 2

I attended YALC on the Saturday in 2015 but this year was SO MUCH BIGGER. The main difference I could see was that there were loads more stalls — publishers, authors, other bookish or nerdy companies — in addition to the panels and workshops. Although I’d been basically looking forward to it since the summer before when I’d missed it, I was pretty anxious. (Also, last time I went to a con I brought the wrong ticket which was yikes.) I think that did detract from my day a bit but I couldn’t really do anything about it.


When I arrived at about 9am, I basically just checked out the area. I managed to get my hands on the very last copy of Alex and Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz which I was very smug about. I also bought The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James and picked up a proof of The Fandom by Anna Day & Lumberjanes: Unicorn Power! by Mariko Tamaki as well as SO MANY free samplers and other swag. I didn’t want to take all my new books away with me so sadly I’ve only read The Loneliest Girl so far but I ADORED IT, and I’m super excited to read the others! These actually ended up being the only books I got (apart from Lying Out Loud by Kody Keplinger from the book swap). I do sort of regret not buying more books to be honest, but I had just had a mini haul in order to buy books to get signed at YALC, so. I also purchased a YALC 2016 t shirt even though I wasn’t there in 2016 because, well, I wanted a t shirt and liked the 2016 design more. 😛

yalc 2017 samplers.jpg
samplers I picked up

Next I met up with my friend who was a bit late due to sleeping in (#relatable am I right) (or not for me because I wake up at like 7am every single day) we headed off to the Publishing 102 workshop in the Agent Arena. 5 different people working in the literary and oublishing industry, from editor to designer to librarian, told us about their jobs and answered any questions. To be honest I don’t think I’ll work in publishing but it’s good to keep my options open and I thought it was really interesting! It must be really cool to work on such iconic book designs like The Fault in Our Stars which have become very important & recognisable in fandom spaces and stuff.

Next up after a very long queue for the toilets (okay but…why did they only have like 4 toilets for such a busy convention) was the Genre Bending panel with Zen Cho, VE Schwab, Ben a, Samantha Shannon and also two other people I didn’t know. I found it a bit difficult to hear from where I was but it was very interesting to hear about different genres and what genres actually are. 

Right after this I attended the Unconventional Romance panel with Ayisha Malik, Paige Toon, Patrice Lawrence & Jennifer E Smith. I enjoyed it, and it was cool to hear from Ayisha Malik because I’d bought her book Sofia Khan is Not Obliged to read whilst away so that got me excited. (Also, oh my goodness, I really need to read Indigo Donut.) Some parts were better than others and also, hi, it is I a tiny ace teenager who has never fallen in love so that’s not universal but yeah.

yalc 2017 books
books I got signed

I wish that I’d understood more about the Virtual Queueing system and got my VE Schwab and Laini Taylor tickets in between those two panels as then I’d have been able to get my stuff signed, but sadly I had to skip getting my Laini Taylor books signed because the queue was just too long. However, I did get my books signed by Lauren James, Zen Cho, and later on VE Schwab which I’m so happy about!

galactic makeover time

Whilst waiting I got a fun galactic makeover, themed to The Loneliest Girl in the Universe, so here I am all sparkly for you. Fun fun.

Now the Teen Bloggers Chat meetup! I was SUPER excited for this & I was very sad to arrive late, sorry guys. But, you know, I really did want those VE Schwab books signed. I was a bit of an awkward bean but it was so lovely to meet everyone, and I hope we can meet again at some point (???).

After this I headed off to the Books That Made Me panel with VE Schwab, Joanne Harris & Laini Taylor. I hadn’t realised it was going to be about, like, formative books you’ve read? So that was a surprise. But it was still cool. And finally I stayed to the end to watch Non Pratt shave her head for charity, and also to not see Benedict Cumberbatch because I didn’t realise what was going on. I thought I didn’t care but APPARENTLY I DO STILL CARE.

Overall I had a fab time, despite being a bit stressed and anxious, and I hope that I can attend again to see YALC grow even more. Now go check out some fab recaps by Jess @ Bookends and Endings and Amber @ The Mile Long Bookshelf, and you can also watch video footage of ME in the wild at the #teenbloggerschat meetup. Please do link your YALC recap below, I’d love to read it!

did you go to yalc? have you been to another book event? would you like to?

PS. I know I’m technically on hiatus, but I thought it would be a good idea to post this whilst YALC was still vaguely fresh in our minds. I plan to be fully returning at the end of August with my summer favourites. 🙂

The Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag

mid year freak out book tag.jpg

It might be a little past mid-year, but PFFT. All of summer is basically the same, right? 😉 Thanks so much to Bex @ My Shelf & Myself for tagging me, and can we all just take a second to appreciate that amazing blog name. 😍 Now onto the books!

ink swash 2

Best book you’ve read so far in 2017

the hate u give

OH MAN. I have no idea how to choose! I think that The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, Release by Patrick Ness, Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg and Our Dark Duet & A Conjuring of Light by VE Schwab are among my favourites so far.

Best sequel of 2017 so far

a conjuring of light

I just finished Lord of Shadows which I loved, and I also adored Our Dark Duet, but I’d have to say A Conjuring of Light by VE Schwab. I love the world & characters so much and reading that book was just such a thrilling experience. It made me so glad that I can have such awesome fan experiences.

New release you haven’t read yet but want to

want cindy pon

Want by Cindy Pon sounds SO EXCELLENT. It’s a scifi book set in the futuristic Taiwan! Which is super cool! I would really like to read more scifi that isn’t a futuristic UK/US. Also, the cover is SO NICE.

Most anticipated release of the second half of 2017

the loneliest girl in the universe

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James. I adored The Next Together duology by Lauren James and I am so excited for her new novel! I’ve been snooping around on Tumblr where the author is posting related stuff and…I think there’s going to be fandom? SCI FI FANDOM HECK YEAH. I am also SUPER EXCITED for Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore.

Biggest disappointment


Railhead by Philip Reeve was one of the books I was most excited for on the Carnegie list. It started off with a cool premise — SCIFI, TRAINS, STEAMPUNK — but I ended up not really being engaged with the storyline or characters. I also maintain that the future is definitely more queer, okay?

Biggest surprise

the smell of other people's houses
I wasn’t expecting to like The Smell of Other People’s Houses but I actually ADORED and DEVOURED it.  It’s set in 70s Alaska which I didn’t know much about at all, and it tells the story of a bunch of different teenagers and the way their lives intersect. I LIKE THESE KINDS OF CROSSING STORIES A LOT, OKAY.

Favourite new author (debut or new to you)

bone gap laura ruby
Laura Ruby already has some books released, but Bone Gap was the first novel I’d read by her, and I enjoyed it a lot! I look forward to reading any new works of hers. 🙂

Newest favourite character

the last beginning
There was also a question here for ‘newest fictional crush’ but I don’t get crushes haha, so I merged it with my favourite character! I adore both Clove and Ella from The Last Beginning by Lauren James. I LOVE READING ABOUT QUEER GIRLS IN STEM IT MAKES MY HEART SING WITH JOY. I’m also still in love with Kell and Lila and Rhy but hey, that’s not new. 😉

Book that made you cry

release patrick ness
I don’t think I actually cried whilst reading it (because I am a stone cold human who never cries reading books) but Release by Patrick Ness made me feel a lot of emotions. It was just one of those books that reminded me so much of my own feelings — in a way that was both painful and wonderful? (Our Dark Duet)

Book that made you happy

and a happy new year
The Spinster Club series by Holly Bourne has always given me a lot of joy, adn the series finale …And a Happy New Year? was no exception. Of course there was no shortage of crises, and it wasn’t a completely happy ending, but it reminded me of how awesome feminism and friendship are.

Favourite book to movie adaptation you’ve seen this year

a monster calls
I think the only book to movie adaptation I’ve seen this year is A Monster Calls? (Based on the book by Patrick Ness & Siobhan Dowd.) It wasn’t my favourite movie ever, but I thought the filming was very pretty & it made me feel all the things.

Favourite review you’ve written this year

Erm, I don’t actually write reviews! Maybe I can go through my Goodreads and find one, wait… Okay, no, I don’t know how to search through and read this.

Most beautiful book you bought or received this year

girl of ink and stars
Alas, I only borrowed it from the library, but The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave is SO BEAUTIFUL in its physical form. Not only is the cover beautiful — the pages are also such nice quality & there are map illustrations and GAH SO NICE. Also, I bought my friend a new 20th anniversary Ravenclaw copy of Harry Potter and the Philospher’s Stone and to be honest I thought that was pretty awesome.

Books you need to read by the end of this year

when dimple met rishi

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon I have this on my Kindle & I’m going to read it on holiday!
Honor Girl by Maggie Thrash This was only just released in the UK, aah, and it sounds wonderful.
Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee Webseries creator! Internet people! Asexual characters!
Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee I’ve been meaning to read this for ages becayse it sounds AWESOME.
And also a TON more because ALL THE BOOKS YESSSSS. I couldn’t possible fit them all on here. 😛

ink swash 2

I’m not tagging anyone because a) as some of you might know I find tagging people a bit stressful haha and b) it is, erm, not really mid-year anymore, so I’d feel a bit awkward. I do hope you enjoyed this post!

how has your bookish year been so far? do you have a favourite book of 2017 yet?


yalc 2017 tbr.jpg

In a month’s time I’m going to be attending YALC, the UKYA book con in London, and I am SO SO EXCITED. There are so many cool authors attending! And it looks like I have a lot of reading to do in the month to come if I want to be caught up on the authors present… I started making this TBR but I had so many books that I had to cut down, so this isn’t an extensive list but rather the ones I thought sounded post interesting.


Unconventional by Maggie Harcourt Is that title a con pun? Yes, yes it is. This book is being billed as the UKYA Fangirl which makes me very excited! I adore nerd stories! I also recently spotted this in the library which is rad.

strange the dreamer

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor I’ve been wanting to read this for SO LONG but it’s not in the library and the hardcover is kind of expensive, eek. I might just have to give in, though; I adore Laini Taylor’s writing and this sounds amazing.

the fallen children

The Fallen Children by David Owen I’m not sure if I’ll be creeped out by the supernatural themes — I believe it’s a retelling of The Midwich Cuckoos? — but the concept sounds super cool. It actually crossed my radar after Alice Oseman recced it! Plus, the paperback comes in loads of different copies, which is fun.


Girlhood by Cat Clarke Cat Clarke is one of my longest UKYA loves — I used to read a lot of her books on Kindle! But I don’t have any in physical form which is super sad. Anyway, I’m keen to read this thriller, and I think it also might also have LGBTQ+ characters? *thumbs up*


Barefoot on the Wind by Zoe Marriott Another author I used to read a lot of when I was younger! I heard Zoe Marriott talk about this at YA Shot (it’s a Beauty and the Beast retelling set in fairytale Japan) and it really persuaded me, so I hope to finally get my hands on it.

sorcerer to the crown

Sorcerer to the Crown & The Terracotta Bride, both by Zen Cho Okay, so I’m kind of cheating and putting two in one… But I REALLY WANT TO READ THEM BOTH, EEP.  I haven’t been reading much fantasy recently so I’d really like to read Sorcerer to the Crown, and I’ve heard cool things about The Terracotta Bride. Also, um, ‘robot reincarnation in the Chinese afterlife’? SIGN ME UP.

doing it

Doing It by Hannah Witton I’m not a massive YouTube-watcher but I do think Hannah Witton is super cool, and I hope I get to meet her! I’m not personally super interested in sex but I think it’s important to learn about relationships & other issues, so yay!

truth or dare

Truth or Dare by Non Pratt I adore Non Pratt’s other books, and I’m very excited to read this! I’ve actually already bought a copy of it from the bookshop and I was so excited when I picked it up because OMG THERE’S TWO COVERS ON TWO SIDES. YOU FLIP THE BOOK AROUND TO READ THE SECOND HALF. Cool, right?! Yeah, I totally go in for gimmicks, what can I say. *shrugs* Plus, I believe it has an ace aro character which is AWESOME.


Needlework by Deirdre Sullivan I hadn’t heard anything about this book before looking at the YALC author list, but I had a peek at the blurb and it sounds fascinating! Hopefully I can get hold of  a copy at some point because also the cover is soo gorgeous.

open gemma cairner.jpg

Open by Gemma Cairney I actually met Gemma Cairney when I spoke at the WoW festival on Southbank which was very exciting!! To be honest, I still can’t really believe that happened. This sounds like another rad non-fiction book — and I am trying to read more non-fiction at the moment. 🙂

I definitely have a lot of reading to do if I’m going to make any progress in my TBR over the next month, haha. *sweats a bit* HELP ME, Y’ALL.

are you going to yalc? would you like to? have you read any of these?

TBR Update // books with lgbtq+ characters

Yes! I’m talking about books! A new and exciting thing! Okay, not really. I’ve been feeling pretty exhausted so far this week because of exams, so I thought it would be nice to just sit down and be excited about books. 😀 Also, it is Pride Month, and I am feeling Extra Queer — WHAT COULD BE BETTER?!

There are so many awesome books with LGBTQ+ characters that I hope to read in the near future. (Mostly YA.) I started compiling a list of books for this post and I ended up with SOO MANY. There’s a lot of wonderful LGBTQ+ YA out there!

wild beauty

Wild Beauty by Anna Marie McLemore I’ve talked about it several times here, but I absolutely loved When the Moon Was Ours by this author. It was one of my favourite books of last year! Wild Beauty sounds amazing, and I can’t wait to read more of McLemore’s beautiful writing when it releases in October. The cover is also SO BEAUTIFUL, AAH.

little & lion

Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert I found this book scrolling through my TBR on my tumblr, and I’m so glad I did. It’s girl who falls in love with the girl her brother is also in love with; the MC is black and Jewish, and although I haven’t heard much about it I really look forward to its release in August!

we are okay

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour This is another author I’m returning to — Everything Leads to You was a wonderful queer girl story which made my heart sing with joy. This one sounds like a really interesting and nuanced read, and I also absolutely ADORE the cover. (What can I say?)

queens of geek

Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde I LOVE NERD BOOKS. I think that cons and nerd spaces are really cool because the experiences I’ve had have been pretty queer-friendly. AND I AM JUST EXCITED FOR GEEKY STUFF, because yay. Also, this has an Autistic narrator, and one of the MCs is Chinese-Australian which is cool!

peter darling

Peter Darling by Austin Chant A trans retelling of Peter Pan! Aah! I admit, I don’t have any particularly strong feelings about Peter Pan, but I’m super excited to see what this book does.

our own private universe

Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley I love reading happy queer stories, especially ones with queer girls! This sounds super cute, and I’ve heard that it also discusses safe sex which is awesome. (Because my sex ed at school basically only explaining straight/cisgender/allosexual things in terms of sex. We did have one lesson on, like, LGBTQ+ stuff though? So I guess it’s improving.)

juliet takes a breath

Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera I HAVE BEEN WANTED TO READ THIS FOR AGES. It’s about a gay Puerto Rican girl, Juliet, figuring herself out, in which there are many queer ladies. YAY.

the midnight star

The Midnight Star by Marie Lu I’ve actually already read the first two books in this trilogy, but for some reason I never finished it… So I need to do that! The last book finished on a bit of a cliffhanger, if I remember.

the color purple

The Color Purple by Alice Walker I feel like I’m really missing something reading this… It’s one of the Important Books You Should Read, and I JUST REALLY WANT TO READ IT. *nods a lot* (Yes. This entire post is essentially just ‘I REALLY WANT TO READ THIS AND THIS AND THIS.’)

tash hearts tolstoy

Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee This reminds me that…I REALLY NEED TO LOOK INTO WAR & PEACE THINGS. I love the Great Comet of 1812 musical which is based off War & Peace, but I do find the book rather daunting. Anyway. Not actually this book. This book is about internet people! I love people on the internet. And from what I understand, there’s asexual representation, which is awesome since I haven’t seen that very often.

There were SO MANY other awesome books that I didn’t get the time to include in this post, alas! But there are many wonderful books with LGBTQ+ characters around and that makes me super happy. If you have any recs or just want to chat about books then I’d love to hear them! ❀