I just thought I’d switch things up by starting up my own site and share a bit more with you guys than I do on my bookstagram and Tumblr!
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Seher and I’m a reader based in Pakistan! I read just about everything I can get my hands on! That being said I adore fantasy and poetry! I used to post exclusively on Instagram, but now I’ve decided to try and maintain my own blog!
If you prefer Instagram, that’s all good! I’ve linked that below! And if you prefer getting your reviews and giveaways on Tumblr and Twitter, those will be here too!
I’m also using this as a more creative space, so you’ll also get plenty of tarot card posts, restaurant reviews (from Islamabad), and pictures of the sky after it rains! I’ll also be posting my writing update, which is something I’m trying to get back into!
This is The Girl Who Reads in chaos mode!
I maintain two tumblr accounts! Which does sound like a bit much, but both serve for different moods!
My book tumblr lets me post more content than I can on my bookstagram, so you’ll find more posts here (in the future) and more excerpts, etc!
My poetry tumblr is a mood. Things that I love are posted there!
You can also find me on twitter (where I generally just cry and complain about life)
I have a lot of badges from all the sites I usually review on and now you have to see them because this is the first time I’ve had a place to put them! 🙂
And last but not least, my google reviews!
A HI/LO book in Verse
It’s essential to remember that West 44 Books exclusively publishes books for younger readers, so middle-grade and young adult. Hi/Lo (also hi-lo) means that the book covers a fascinating subject but is also at a low reading level. This article at Publishers Weekly is a great way to understand more about HI/LO books!
This is also not the first West 44 Book I’ve read! The other I’ve read is Everything You Left Me by Paige Classey!
Extra Tiny Book Review
Heart like a Broken Arrow, despite being a cheesy title, has a lot of interesting themes! Between the parents who are incredibly immature and are right out of the AITA subreddit, the guilt that goes on for years, the neglect and how the book was wrapped up, we get a really lovely story. Of course, we also have all the pain that goes along with hope.
Heart Like a Broken Arrows comes out on the 1st of April! I highly recommend it to Hi/LO fans or just readers who want to read a book on how those who become differently abled deal with the changes, and the support that many need and often lack! The section in the hospital was particularly horrifying to me, as was what the parents did!
Seventeen-year-old Fern Blakely struggles to overcome her younger brother’s death, for which she feels responsible. Fern drinks to forget. After a night of partying, she crashes her truck on an icy Vermont road, and her life is changed forever. A former runner, Fern is now paralyzed from the waist down. Her depressed mother has neither the funds nor the ability to care for her, so Fern is sent to live with Helen, her estranged father’s aunt. It is with Helen that Fern overcomes her own depression and develops a love for archery. This passion sets Fern on a new path, but will she ever be able to outrun her past?
Title: The Crane Husband
Author: Kelly Barnhill
Release Date: 28th Feb, 2023
Thank you NetGalley and Tordotcom for the chance to read and review the extraordinary piece, The Crane Husband by Kelly Barnhill!
At around 128 pages, The Crane Husband can no longer be called a novella. And yet this short novel weaves together a tale that other authors fail to do in 10 times that number of pages.
Cranes are mean. Cruel, you know? Just ask any frog or fish in the pond. A crane is a predator just like any other predator—sneaky, and opportunistic. Not one of them would have the patience for weaving, or for beauty for its own sake. A crane would make someone else do it for him. A mouse maybe. Or a beautiful spider. He’d work it nearly to death, and then he’d eat it.”
One day, our unnamed narrators mother brings home a crane. Not a pet crane, but a crane the size of a man. While she imagines that the crane will leave soon, her mother adopts plenty of human and animal strays for short periods, it’s still odd to see it kiss her mothers neck and draw blood that her mother doesn’t notice. And things only get more intense from there on.
“It’s a sad fact about true love,” my mother told me once. “The sheep love me without ceasing, and that is why I am able to cause them pain—love is the path of least resistance, you see? It’s a lot more work to cause harm to someone who mistrusts you, or fears you. Or hates you. Love opens the city gates wide, and allows all manner of horrors right inside. This is why they don’t flinch when I come at them with something unpleasant.”
The family has always believed that mothers on the farm run away when their child turns 5 years old. The town has always believed that they are mad and run away with different men. Now that the farm is gone and our narrators father dead, the mother has remained; an artist with the practicality of a farmers daughter, when needed.
“Your mother doesn’t know these things,” he said, a note of pleading in his voice. “She has always been that way. She is an artist. Her feet barely touch the ground. I’ve been the one to keep her tethered to the earth. And now it’s your job. And you’re too young, and it’s not fair, but there it is.”
With that in mind it’s also important to remember that while this falls under magical realism, this is a story of abuse and neglect. There is a parentified 15 year old, and a 6 year old without much food. There is also the horrifying practicality at the end, the neglect of the school system, the way things play out. I honestly don’t know how to write about all of this in a way that does it justice.
To the mothers who flew away. And to those they left behind.
I also feel like The Crane Husband is a good way to sample things before diving right into When Women Were Dragons by the author as well. You’ll know what I mean when you’ve finished this book!
Thank you Random Things Tours for the chance to read and review Clara & Olivia by Lucy Ashe.
I’ve been told by a few people that I don’t often tell them if I loved or hated a book at the start, they need to figure that out while reading my review. So for this book I’d like to openly declare that I loved it! It grabs you from the get-go and never eases up. It’s like a dream that you can feel turning into a nightmare!
This is even more impressive when you realise that Clara & Olivia is Lucy Ashe’s debut novel! This book is so good that I can’t wait to read what the author writes next!
Clara and Olivia are twin sisters who dance/train for the same theatre. While the girls are talented and ambitious ballerinas who look absolutely alike, they behave differently! Clara is the more adventurous one, who wants to dance and see the world; the one who wants to try new things. Olivia is the quieter one; the one devoted to ballet and the classics. While the girls are competitive, they love each other. We experience the book from each girls POV as well as the POV of two men; Samuel and Nathan, the former a gifted shoemaker and designer, and the latter a child prodigy.
The book starts off with a fairly horrific scene that we come back to close to the end, but suffice it to say it’s one of the men doing something horrific. It also takes us a while to unpack which man it is.
Lucy Ashe set up these characters really well. The twins and their dynamic and ambitions is so well done that they each become very different characters. In the hands of a lesser writer I would have absolutely muddled up details on each girl. Nathan and Samuel are also very real and honestly we all know people like them.
I genuinely want to focus on how well Lucy Ashe captured the impact of the boys actions on the twins. Samuel and his crush, while well meaning, had the undertone of an obsession with Olivia. While a lot of people crush and may do weird things when they do, I loved that Lucy Ashe explored how these actions unsettled Olivia! Nathan is also an incredibly typical man who wanted Clara as a trophy who folded his handkerchiefs and made him feel like someone in public spaces! His slow fall into darkness and what he does to try and control Clara is depicted well. The insane thing with his mother, what Clara finds uncomfortable is revealed to be his obsession and less of a her problem.
I don’t read a lot of psychological thrillers. They aren’t really my thing, but this book didn’t feel like a thriller for the most part, even though that undertone never goes away. I feel like non thriller fans will also love this book because of the romance and grace of the ballet and because the different POVs help make things feel less thriller-y and more like a series of misunderstandings. Don’t get me wrong, this is a thriller, and the ending works well; it just doesn’t feel so in your face.
LUCY ASHE is the author of CLARA & OLIVIA (Magpie, Oneworld publications).
She trained at the Royal Ballet School for eight years, first as a Junior Associate and then at White Lodge. She has a diploma in dance teaching with the British Ballet Organisation.
She studied English Literature at St Hugh’s College, Oxford, while continuing to dance and perform. She then took a PGCE teaching qualification and became an English teacher.
Her poetry and short stories have been published in a number of literary journals and she was shortlisted for the 2020 Impress Prize for New Writers. She also reviews theatre, in particular ballet, writing for the website Playstosee.com.
Thank you Love Book Tours for the chance to be on the book tour for Born from Fire by Charli
Born from Fire is a poetry book that was published on the 31st of August, 2022 by the author Charli.
As the book says the author does cover 45 years worth or experience in a select number of poems, which means there is a lot packed in there. However, the author did edit out a lot as the book is 72 pages.
The author focuses a lot on some really deep topics that have significantly impacted their life. These experiences can be painful to read about so do be careful going in! Poetry is intensely personal, and this writer truly seems to write from their heart.
A collection of poems reflecting over 45 years of challenges,
struggles, and human experiences that can either make
or break an individual. And I am still here…
Thank you Equality Book Tours for the chance to be apart of the cover reveal for The Curse of the Shadow God by Abbey Fox!
The Curse of the Shadow God is a prequel for The Wicked Kingdom series by the author! It’s published by The Wild Rabbit LLC and comes out on the 17th of March!
This book features some fabulous tropes such as:
Enemies to Lovers
He falls first
Cinnamon roll MMC
He heals her
God meddling with humans
A sorceress who cannot have the arranged marriage she wants faces undying emissaries laying claim to her future child.
Violet Elder escapes her wedding night and sets out to find the family she was stolen from as a child. But the Society of Crows is already hunting her, and every moment she spends in the Kingdom is one moment closer to death.
When Gavin Luna catches her in the City of Scoria, undeniable chemistry blurs the line between friend and foe. He’s her enemy, and after being betrayed by everyone she considers a friend, how can she let down her guard to trust him of all people?
But with the Society of Crows on their feet and the Emissaries chasing their every move, they are forced to form an unlikely alliance to escape the kingdom and avoid the fate that binds her to the wicked god of shadows.
I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the ONE GIRL IN ALL THE WORLD by Kendare Blake! This Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!
First off, let me start off with an apology; I mixed up my dates and this post is incredibly late!
I also want to say, just in case, the author is reading this, that I’m a big fan! I’ve read Anna Dressed in Blood, which the only thing I’ve ever written a fan poem for (it was bad and it’s been buried)! I also read and loved Three Dark Crowns, which is a series I really need to reread and finish!
About One Girl In All The World
One Girl in all the World is the second book in the Buffy: The Next Generation series by Kendare Blake! The book features Frankie as they navigate a dimension without Buffy and vampires taking advantage of that! It came out on the 31st of January, 2023, and was published by Disney.
I never want to keep anyone from a giveaway so here are the details!
1 winner will receive a finished copy of ONE GIRL IN ALL THE WORLD, US Only.
Ends February 21st, midnight ESTa Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js
Buffy is a cultural phenomenon. If you know English you’ll know off Buffy and you’ll know of her gang, even if, like me, you didn’t watch too many episodes or read too many of the books. So the world you get into, Sunnydale, is one that’s already set up for you; it’s up to the author to be careful and to navigate that world and create characters that work inside of it, instead of shaping the world itself. And if you open up any wiki on this, you’ll know it’s a detailed one. And in that sense this seemed to be very well done with lots of interesting monsters and details making it through.
I also loved Willow; she feels absolutely like the adult version of the girl you meet in the show! The inclusion of the original gang was really well done and highlights that Buffy will always be the ghost haunting all slayers, even when she’s not dead. Frankie will not be as impressive as Buffy, nor will Aspen or Vi, no matter what Aspen wants. And that’s the point. There are now a large number of slayers and they’ll always be fighting and it’ll always be thankless and without recognition, but it will have to be done. And it’s good to see Frankie grow into becoming a slayer and handling things.
I can’t wait to see how this series will end! Loved the drama with the hunter, and as always, left wondering as to how people still live here!
Thank you TBR and Beyond Tours for the chance to read and review Spice Road by Maiya Ibrahim
What do you do when your rose tinted glasses are pulled away?
Imani believes in the council and her brothers death. She believes in keeping Qalia a secret and her family’s honour and place in the clan. When all that is threatened by her brothers disappearance, she throws herself into her duties as a shield until her brothers horse leads her and her sister to his secret letters; starting a journey across the desert.
There are many things to like about Spice Road! Imani is a character that shows tremendous growth throughout the book. She doesn’t question the history she’s been taught; she’s secure in her position as an old clan member and expects members of new rising ones to seek her out; she believes her brother is dead; and that no one goes to sleep hungry at night in Qalia.
For Imani the entire journey is a rude awakening to her own privilege (her sister confesses to stealing for her friends because she knows she won’t be punished) and also the idea that isolation is perhaps not a good thing. This happens partially because of Taha who resents her privilege who has had to fight for what he had, as opposed to Imani who expected it. And yet, even as we understand Taha, we continue to resent him because the book is told from Imani’s perspective and he’s still the bad guy. Taha has to kill the boy who mentored him and anyone who learns about magic because he knows that if he messes up there are consequences because of his father. In turn, his father may not be able to hold onto his position because of Taha if the latter shows weakness. Honestly, a take from his perspective would be really interesting!
I loved the whole dynamic with Qayn and how that also pushes Imani into being better! Not just in terms of her skills but also her learning to respect other people. There’s one scene which really stands out in this regard, but I’ll let you read the book to find out!
About the Author:
Maiya Ibrahim is the debut author of SPICE ROAD, publishing January 24, 2023 from Delacorte Press and Hodder & Stoughton. She graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Technology Sydney. When she isn’t writing, reading, or spending time with her family, she enjoys video games, gardening, and expanding her collection of rare trading cards. She lives in Sydney, Australia.
Thank you Book of Matches Media for the chance to be on the book tour for Tattoo of Crimson by Sarah Chislon!
And we have release week goodies!!
If you purchase the book from Sarah’s website, or show her proof of purchase you get some really awesome digital downloads!
- Double-sided printable bookmark
- Printable quote sticker
- The prequel novella will also be free during that week
- For direct orders, Sarah is also including a bonus scene in the book that you cannot get anywhere else except her shop!
About the book
Tattoo of Crimson is the first book in the Blood of the Fae series by the author. It was just released on the 17th of Jan and was published by Wings of the Wind Press. The second book in the series, Ruins of Bone, is slated to be out on the 25th of October. This 578 page long book is a historical fantasy! It also counts as gaslamp fantasy, which I just had to google!
Society, suitors, and…serial murders?
As much as she desires to please her family, gently-bred herbalist Jessa Caldwell has no intention of making a suitable match—not when she’s seeking the truth about the taint of the fae that lies within her. If she’s to escape the madness brought on by fae-touch, she must devote her energies to seeking a cure.
But then mysterious tattoos begin to appear on the citizens of Avons. None recall receiving these harbingers of death, but all die at the hand of an untraceable killer days or weeks after being marked.
When the tattoo appears on her beloved mentor, Jessa seeks the Magistry with information on the case—yet they refuse to consider her findings, so she must risk both social censure and her own safety to hunt for the killer herself.
Her one possible ally represents her greatest fear—the encroaching Otherworld consuming her mind—and may well undo all her efforts to control her fae-touch. Yet if she forsakes the offered aid, the killer will go free.
Something sinister stalks the streets of her city, and she must decide…how far will she go to stop the killing?
y intrigues, then you’ll love this mystery set in a world of manners and mythical monsters.
Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for the chance to be on the book tour for Conveniently Wed to the Laird by Jeanine Englert!
Conveniently Wed to the Laird comes out on the 24th of January and is the third book in the Falling for a Stewart series by the author! The book is 252 pages long and is published by Harlequin Historical in the US and Mills & Boon in the UK.
When new laird, Ewan Stewart, comes across a wife for sale at a market, he outbids everyone to rescue her. He never intended for Catriona to become his bride, but a convenient marriage could secure his clan’s future and her freedom. They agree that their arrangement must stay free of love, yet Catriona’s bravery and fire intrigue him. Can Ewan resist falling for his wife—the one rule he must not break?
Settle in to enjoy the complete Falling for a Stewart Trilogy along with some Scottish themed jewelry and book swag!
Good luck and thank you for participating in the giveaway!
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This third standalone novel doesn’t feel like one at all! There are no rehashing of events; things move on as they should. The two Stewart sisters appear as side characters and if you hadn’t told me the first two books existed, I would have said I wanted books about them.
There was excellent banter between the two main characters, but I wish the author had fleshed the characters out a bit more. Laird Ewan is troubled by what is happening to the clan and struggles to maintain control, but that could have been shown in greater detail and we should have seen some growth there.
I love Catriona and how her main aim remains to somehow retain freedom in whatever shape or form she can. I also think it was so interesting how the author made her so observant; it’s a good way to remind the reader that she has had to be able to read people to survive.