Gild, by Raven Kennedy [review] – dark adult fantasy retelling

I will never not read a Fantasy retelling

I love going into a story with prior knowledge about the characters or plot from the story it is based on. It kinda feels like cheating and I love it!

Set in a fantasy world with tenuous political alliances and scarce Fae magic, Gild re-imagines the myth of King Midas, the King whose touch turns anything to gold.


Gild
by Raven Kennedy

Goodreads

Auren lives in a palace of gold. As King Midas’ favoured, Auren is the only woman he Gold-Touched and he has given her the highest level of love and protection.

Trapped behind gold bars, lonely and desperate to feel the sun on her face again, Auren focuses only on her love and gratitude for her King. Because she really does love him … doesn’t she?


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Convenience Store Woman, by Sayaka Murata [review] – a discussion about autism representation

I’m always apprehensive going into books with autism rep.

As an autistic person, I’m especially aware and critical of autism representation in books. It turns out, I didn’t need to be worried about Convenience Store Woman – the autism rep is pretty great. What I did need to be worried about is other people’s reviews talking about autism …

The first half of this blog post will hold my review for Convenience Store Woman, but in the second half, I will talk more generally about autism representation in books and some *cough* ignorant reactions to Convenience Store Woman.


Convenience Store Woman
by Sayaka Murata

Goodreads

Keiko Furukura is an autistic woman who knows the importance of appearing “normal”. She finds comfort in routine and at 36, she is still in the same job she had at 18 and has never had a boyfriend. But she is made aware that these facts do not live up to society’s expectations and so she seeks to adjust her choices to satisfy her friends and family.


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The Enemies-to-Lovers Trope Sucks

One of the most popular tropes in romance fiction is the enemies-to-lovers storyline.

And with good reason. Don’t let the title of this post fool you – I’m a huge enemies-to-lovers fan. But I have found myself becoming more and more dissatisfied with the sub-genre over time.

If you head onto Youtube or Tiktok or Goodreads and search for enemies-to-lovers books, you will find endless recommendations. People really love to read it and so it has become a buzz-phrase.

Swept up in the hype, publishers and readers are keen to slap the enemies-to-lovers label on any book resembling the trope and that has, in my opinion, watered down the true meaning of enemies-to-lovers.

So here is my take on the essential elements of a good enemies-to-lovers storyline with a few examples of where the trope is done well.

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Secrets of a Public Librarian #1

I absolutely love being a librarian.

It is such a rewarding job and I’m so glad to be able to provide the services we do to the public. But like any customer-facing role, there are things the staff are thinking, but will never say to your face.

I’ve had to hold back laughter when overhearing customer conversations, gently and carefully correct (usually older) customers who say insensitive or offensive things, and hold back my true opinions when customers ask for “my honest opinion”.

And some of “my honest opinions” are about the library service itself, but I’d never say them to the customer. Instead, I’ll divulge some of them here. So I hope you enjoy some of my possibly surprising views that I don’t tell the customers.

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Tell Me An Ending, by Jo Harkin [review]

How painful must a memory be for you to want it completely erased?

How would your life be different – how would you be different – if you could forget some of the trauma of your past?


Book cover for Tell Me An Ending by Jo Harkin

Tell Me An Ending
by Jo Harkin

Goodreads

This multi-POV story is set in a world where scientists have cracked the code for memory erasure. But when clients who have undergone the procedure are claiming to have ‘traces’ of their erased memories resurfacing, the corporation offering the treatment, Nepenthe, is ordered to offer free memory reinstating treatments. But some of their clients are not aware they had their memories erased in the first place.


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The Perks of Reading eBooks

I much prefer reading ebooks.

That feels like a controversial statement when so many book lovers are staunch physical book devotees. But ebooks fit so much more easily into my lifestyle:

  • they’re often cheaper
  • they take up way less space
  • they’re better for the environment
  • they’re more portable

Don’t get me wrong, I still think physical books are gorgeous and I can definitely appreciate the aesthetic of an organised bookshelf, but there are some things ebooks offer that physical books just can’t.

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Mini Reviews #2: Page-Turners

we’ve all stayed up reading until 3am.

So I don’t want any judgement, thank you.

Books are sometimes just too good to put down, and my favourites are the type that you have to read in one sitting because you can’t bear to part from the story. And that’s what all of these books are.

They’re stay-up-reading-until-3am books; forget-to-eat-lunch-because-you-need-to-know-what-happens books; it-might-as-well-be-glued-to-my-hand books. You know the type.

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Why YOU Couldn’t Be A Librarian

“Oh I’d love to be a librarian!”

I hear this phrase almost every single time I tell people that I work as a public librarian.

And being a librarian does seem pretty ideal for a book lover, right? Surrounded by books all the time, recommending your favourite reads to people, helping people to connect with literature. What more could you want?

But there are some aspects of the job that are particularly painful for readers and many people don’t consider these when they think of how idyllic being a librarian must be.

So, here are three reasons why being a librarian can be hard if you love books.

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YA Book Covers That Look Almost Identical

Do you ever get confused between books?

Because I do. All the time.

It doesn’t help that I almost exclusively read fantasy books, so they tend to blur into one after a certain length of time. But as a visual person, it helps to remember the book cover to associate the characters and story with a visual image.

Except publishers are determined to sabotage me by publishing books with similar covers just to confuse me even further.

So I thought I’d make a list of YA books with really similar cover designs that led me to confuse the two books. If this also happens to you, please let me know; I will feel less silly.

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Mini Reviews #1: A Fantasy Binge

I read 12 books in august and they were all fantasy.

And no, I do not need help with my addiction thank you very much. I’m perfectly content to pretend I live in a fantasy world of magic and Fae – who isn’t?

Since I’m apparently on a mission to read every middle grade and young adult fantasy book out there, I thought why not share my thoughts on them? Oh, and I’ve thrown in a few book recommendations too because I love sabotaging your tbr pile.

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