Thursday, 20 February 2020

What I've Been Watching Recently Part 2

Before Christmas I shared all of the Netflix TV shows and movies I had been watching over the few months I had been neglecting this blog. I said a part 2 was coming, in which I would talk about what I had been watching from other platforms and, despite being much later than I had anticipated, here it is. So this is everything, or everything I can remember, that I watched between April and November 2019 on everything other than Netflix.

Parks & Recreation Season 1 - This was a really random pick for me but I had heard so many good things about it over the years that I decided to check it out. It's a comedy following employees in the Parks & Recreation department in a small town. I thought it was really easy watching that I didn't have to concentrate on, which I always like, but the first season was pretty short so it was hard to form much of an opinion. 

Chasing Happiness - This is the Jonas Brothers documentary which, as someone who loves the Jonas Brothers, I really enjoyed. It was so well done and I found it really interesting to get an insight into how things were behind the scenes and some of the things they had to put up with or were struggling with back in the day. Some parts were hard to watch and I did get a bit emotional, but I thought it was great.

UnReal Season 1 - This was another random pick but one that I very quickly became completely obsessed with. This is a drama following the behind the scenes of a fictional Bachelor-type reality show. I was hooked from the very first episode and was living for all the drama and mayhem that went on. I also really love Shiri Appleby, who plays the main character in the show, so that definitely made me love it more.

The Sun Is Also A Star - I really wasn't a fan of this book so I don't know why I thought I would feel differently about the movie. It is about two teenagers who meet the day before one of them is being deported and they spend her last day together. Everything I disliked about the book - the boring characters, the instalove - were still a part of the film. However, the things I enjoyed about the book, such as the formatting and different POV's, were obviously not. This one wasn't for me.

Toy Story 4 - I was so sceptical going into this as I felt that the third movie left things where they needed to be, I didn't want another movie to ruin things. Luckily, I did end up really enjoying it. I thought the whole film was just a sweet as I have come to expect from these movies, but also action-packed enough to keep you interested. They really are great movies for both children and adults, and there were a lot of things I think adults in particular would appreciate in this movie. However, the ending made me angry and now I'm bitter.

Yesterday - As someone who has never had any interest in The Beatles in any way, I wasn't sure if I would enjoy this film. However, after seeing the trailer I thought it sounded so interesting that I was desperate to give it a go. It follows a struggling singer/songwriter who wakes up after an accident to discover that no-one else has ever heard of The Beatles or any of their songs. I ended up really enjoying it. I thought the story was great, it was hilarious at parts but also had some great touching moments, and the cast were all incredible. I would highly recommend this film, even if your not a fan of The Beatles.

Chicago Fire Season 7 - This was one of my favourite shows for a while but I'm starting to feel like it's going downhill a bit. Season 7 brought out the whole 'someone is against our firehouse' storyline again and I'm starting to get bored of the same story being changed slightly and then repeated again. I love these characters and their relationships but they need better storylines.

Chicago Med Seasons 3 & 4 - This isn't my favourite medical series but I still like watching it. Both of these seasons were fine but nothing all that stand out, in fact I can't really remember then very well. I do remember in Season 4 they started borrowing Chicago Fire's favourite 'someone is against us' story line, which I am hoping won't be a common feature. This is just an average so for me, but I do like the crossover episodes so I keep watching it.

911 Seasons 1 & 2 - This show is anything but average. I watch a lot of emergency services/medical shows so it takes a lot to impress me, but this had me hooked straight away. This show has some of the craziest story lines and some of the situations will blow your mind. I find it so much fun and so enthralling, I couldn't stop watching. I also really like all of the characters and loved finding out all about their backstories. This is a really great show.

Manifest Season 1 - This is easily my favourite show on this entire list. As soon as I saw the trailer that seemed to go viral, I knew I wanted to watch this show. It finally came to the UK in the Summer of 2019 and I was hooked. It is about a plane full of people who reappear five years after the disappearance of the their flight. I absolutely devoured this season as quickly as I possibly could and loved it so much. It's not something I would usually gravitate towards and unlike anything I have watched before but I thought the story was amazing, it has so many twists and turns that I could never guess where things were going and the cast are amazing. I can't wait for the second season to come to the UK.

That was part 2 of basically all of the things I watched in 2019. What shows or movies should I watch next?

Sophie :)

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Series I Need To Finish

If you've seen my 2020 goals post, you'll know that I am wanting to prioritise finishing some series in 2020. I am terrible at finishing series! I always pick up the first book with great intentions and then take forever to carry on with the series. I've made a list of a few series that are at the top of my priority list.

1. Unwind series by Neal Shusterman
This is a dystopian series involving a world in which parents of children aged 13-18 can send them to be 'unwound', meaning every part of their body is harvested for transplant. I read the first two books in this series years ago but, for whatever reason, never carried on. I was being put off continuing this series by the fact I knew I would need to reread the first two before getting to the third, which just seemed like so much effort. However, I did manage to reread the first two books in January, so hopefully that means I can get this one finished soon!

2. Sisterhood Of The Travelling Pants series by Ann Brashares
The movie adaptation of this series was one of my favourite movies growing up, so a few years ago I decided to give the books a go. This series follows a group of friends, who have always been inseparable, as they navigate summers apart. I have read the first two books and really enjoyed them so I would love to at least continue on with this series this year, probably in the summer.

3. The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare
How many times can I mention finishing this series? I have been reading this series for 3 or 4 years now and I just never seem to keep going with it, despite the fact that I have really enjoyed every one of the books I have read so far. I am making it my mission for 2020 to reread the first 3 books in the series and then continue with both this series and the Infernal Devices series in publication order and get them all read by the end of the year! I realise I say this every year but I am determined to make this the year I finally succeed.

4. Pivot Point duology by Kasie West
This is a kind of paranormal duology about a girl who has the ability to see both potential outcomes in the future when faced with a choice. In the first book she must decide which of her parents to live with following their divorce, and so both potential outcomes play out. I read the first book at the beginning of last year and thought it was pretty interesting. I'm hoping I can get to the second book at some point this year.

5. The Potion Diaries by Amy Alward
As far as I know, this series isn't actually finished yet, but I'm still putting it on this list. The first book in this series, which was my first read of 2019, is about a princess who accidentally drinks a love potion she made and so falls in love with herself. A competition then begins to find an cure. I thought the first book in the series was so much fun and I can't wait to see how the series continues.

I really am so bad at finishing series. I made a list of series I need to finish back in 2018 and, embarrassingly, a few of the series mentioned in this list were also featured on that one. Hopefully I can do better with reading series in 2020 and get some of these books off of my TBR shelf.

Which series on the list do I need to prioritise first?

Sophie :)

Friday, 7 February 2020

January 2020 Wrap Up

I read some books in January! It's looking that I might hopefully now be out of this reading slump that I was in for the second half of last year. I didn't quite read as much as I would have liked, but I did manage to red 6 books in January.

Patient Care: Death and Life in the Emergency Room by Paul Seward -
This is a memoir of an ER doctor who shares many interesting, and sometimes amusing, stories of the things he has seen throughout his time as a doctor. I've mentioned many times before that I really enjoy reading these kinds of books. I have read quite a few medical memoirs in recent years and this is one of the more average ones I have picked up. I have noticed recently that I tend to enjoy these kinds of memoirs more if they are set in the UK, probably as I know that system pretty well and know how things work, and this was set in the US. Other than that aspect, which I knew going into the book anyway, I found myself getting bored while reading this and I wasn't fully invested in all of the stories. While the stories were interesting, especially to someone with some medical knowledge who loves to hear about unusual cases, there wasn't any kind of reasoning to their order and this made the book seem kind of thrown together. I did enjoy it and was able to learn some interesting things from the stories told, but it wasn't as good as some of the other medical memoirs I have read.
Rating: 3/5

Unwind by Neal Shusterman -
Oh yes, I finally started my reread of this series! I read the first two books in the series years ago and have been wanting to reread them in order to finish the series for the longest time. I finally picked Unwind up again at the beginning of the year and I am making it a goal for 2020 to finish this series. This is the first book in a dystopian series in which children between the ages of 13 and 18 can be sent by their parents to be 'unwound' meaning every part of their body is obtained for transplant. The first book follows three unwinds who have run away and have to try to survive while being hunted down. I absolutely loved the first book in this series on first read but found on reread that I didn't enjoy it as much. I think this is just down to the fact that I have read a lot more books now and so have a lot more to compare it to. I still enjoyed it, I think the concept is really clever and the story is incredibly well-written, and at some times a bit too vivid. However, I just wasn't as invested in the characters this time around and didn't find the story quite as engaging.
Rating: 3.5/5

Girl Made Of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake -
After seeing so many rave reviews of this book, I finally decided to pick it up for myself. It follows a girl who's twin brother is accused of rape by one of her best friends and while she knows her friend would never lie about it, she struggles with the idea that her brother could ever do something like that. This book was a lot! Obviously from the topic I knew it would be a tough read, but this was so raw and honest that it was heartbreaking. I will say I didn't love this book quite as much as everyone else seems to have, which makes me sad. I found the main character to be really annoying at times and thought the relationship drama between Mara and Charlie was a little unnecessary, or at least it could have taken more of a back seat as I felt at times that their relationship was more of a focus than her friend being sexually assaulted. Those problems aside, I thought this book was incredibly well written, with the topic of rape handled well. I was also very impressed with how Mara's unimaginably hard situation was written as her struggle is portrayed so vividly that I was almost feeling her inner turmoil right there with her. This is not a book for everyone, there is definitely a risk to those who are sensitive to or triggered by such topics, but it is definitely one I would recommend to anyone who feels they can read it.
Rating: 4/5

Our Stop by Laura Jane Williams -
Sadly, this was my biggest disappointment of the month. This follows a man and woman who regularly take the same train and one day the man decides to put a missed connections note in the paper for the woman, which of course starts a near miss love story developed through notes in the paper. I would have put much more effort into that synopsis if I had actually like this book but just thinking about it makes me disappointed. I really wanted to love this book! It sounded like a super cute rom-com style book, which was exactly what I was in the mood for. It turns out I should have just DNFed it when I first wanted to. I found the characters incredibly annoying, with many of the side characters seeming totally irrelevant and as though they didn't actually need to be there. I think the idea could have been cute but I found the fact Daniel actually knew a bit about Nadia while she didn't even know who the notes were from just made it a little creepy. However, my main problem with this book was how long the 'near miss' aspect was dragged out for. I fully understand that with a plot like this you are going to have that almost meeting but just getting somewhere too late or similar scenarios, but it just went on for far too long. I found that it stopped becoming frustrating but cute and just turned into plain boring. The end was okay and redeemed it for me slightly but I guess this book just wasn't for me.
Rating: 2/5

UnWholly by Neal Shusterman -
This is book two in the Unwind series and my second reread of the month. I really wanted to carry on with this series while the previous book was still fresh in my mind since I am terrible at remembering the plot of books. I liked this a lot less than the first book when I first read the series and my thoughts for this one were pretty similar the second time around. This was a reread but it felt like I was reading it for the first time, there was maybe two things in the whole book that I remembered, which I think is what made it a more enjoyable experience than rereading book one. This book had a whole different vibe to the first, new characters were introduced and we got their perspectives, and our main characters from the first book are in much different situations than those they were in during book one. I still really enjoyed the writing and found the plot to be engaging, it definitely has a plot of it's own rather than just setting up the next book. I'm excited to carry on with the series, especially now that I have reached the books I have not already read before.
Rating: 3/5

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty -
I have had this book on my shelf for years and have borrowed the audiobook from the library at least 4 times, but I have finally gotten around to reading this book. From the synopsis, this is about a woman who finds a letter from her husband for her to open in the event of his death, but while he is still alive. While that is the focus of the main plot twist or conflict, this book is actually a lot more than that. It focuses on three women, each with something big happening in their own lives, whose paths cross and lives become intertwined. I really love the way Liane Moriarty writes so cleverly that the mysteries in her books become like a quiet background while the characters lives are in the forefront, until suddenly the mystery seeps through and affects everything. They're almost like slice of life stories with a little extra something going on. That is exactly how this book was written and it was done brilliantly. I really enjoyed all three women and their stories. They were all such different characters and were each dealing with their life situations in their own ways that just seemed so fitting to their personalities. I also found the mystery to be quite interesting and though it wasn't a bit shocking moment, it wasn't something I had guessed, and the way it was resolved was quite unique. My only issues with this book were that I got bit bored in the middle so would have liked the pacing to be a bit better and I would have liked the twist to have been a bit more shocking.
Rating: 3/5

Those were the six books I read in January. No 5 star ratings, but looking back I think I've been pretty harsh with my ratings last month. Maybe I'll find a new favourite read in February.

What was the best book you read in January?

Sophie :)

Thursday, 30 January 2020

2020 Reading Goals

I wasn't sure if I was going to post my reading and blogging goals this year, mostly because I wasn't sure if I wanted to make any goals for 2020. I found in previous years that the pressure of having too many goals became a bit overwhelming and led to me reading less. However, I decided to make a few reading goals for myself, and of course a couple of the usual blogging goals, but not as many as in previous years.

Goodreads Reading Challenge
As always, I am setting my Goodreads goal to 50 books in 2020. I didn't hit my goal in 2019 but I am hoping that life won't be quite as crazy this year. I think 50 is a pretty good number but it would be nice to surpass this goal again like I did in 2018.

Finish Some Series
I have quite a lot of unread series on my TBR, as well as some that I really want to get to but haven't yet started, and I want to focus on them a little more in 2020. I'm not setting any kind of number for this goal, I would just like to prioritise series a little more.

Reduce My Physical TBR
I set this goal every year and fail every year! My physical TBR is currently sitting at around 150 books, which is just crazy for me, so  I really need to try and get that number down. With using Scribd and my library more, I have been neglecting the books I own. Again, I'm not aiming to get it down to a certain number but just to prioritise my physical TBR books a bit more.

Blog More Consistently
This is another goal that I have every year. I really struggled to find time to blog in 2019, meaning my blog got completely neglected. I still haven't quite got into the groove of fitting in blogging with a full time job, it was way easier as a student, but I am hoping I can try to blog as consistently as possible. I think I will just be happy if I manage to post even a few times every month but ideally I would like to keep it up a bit more regularly.

Photograph Every Book I Read
I created a bookstagram a few years ago and it kept getting neglected as I am not a creative person at all. I would try to keep up with the kind of pictures other people were posting, but then giving up when I realised I just couldn't keep up with how beautiful and creative their pictures were. For 2020, I would like to not focus on the creative aspect of bookstagram and not compare myself to others, but instead just post a picture for every book I read in 2020. I'm hopeful I can keep this up for the year as it would be a nice visual representation at the end of the year.

Those are all of my reading and blogging goals for 2020. I don't have many and they aren't very interesting at all, but these are the few things I would like to focus on throughout the year.

What are your goals for 2020?

Sophie :)

Monday, 27 January 2020

2019 Goals Review

It's that time of year again where I look back at my goals for the previous year and realise how badly I have done with them. I'm not sure that I have managed any of my 2019 goals, but the year didn't quite go as planned.

Goodreads Reading Challenge
I stuck with the usual 50 books despite reading more than that in 2018. However, I only managed to read 43 books in 2019. I did better than I thought I would, as in the middle of the year I was expecting to only manage around 30 books. I don't think I did too badly considering how busy the year was.

Read More Variety
I really wanted to read more of a variety of genres in 2019, but once again I read predominantly contemporary. I read 20 contemporary books, with my next most read genre being non-fiction with 6 books. I only read one or two books from other genres. This is something I need to work on in 2020.

Use The Library More
This was a fail as well. I actually ended up using my library less in 2019, reading only 2 library books. I only use the ebook/audiobook service and despite borrowing quite a few of both throughout the year, I just never ended up getting around to them. My reasoning for this goal was to reduce my book buying, which I ended up doing through using Scribd a lot so I didn't fail completely.

Get My Physical TBR Down
I set this goal every year and fail every year! My physical TBR was sitting at around 145 books at the beginning of 2019 and was still sitting around the same at the end of the year. I drastically reduced my book buying in 2019, but using Scribd so much meant that I wasn't reading the books I own quite as much as I should have been.

Request Less ARCs
Finally we have one that I managed to accomplish! I didn't really have time for ARCs in 2019 so I managed to only request a few. I was quite overwhelmed by ARCs in 2018, so it was nice to not have that stress. I think this is something I will try to keep up for 2020 and only request ARCs that I am really interested in.

Post Reviews On Goodreads
I think I reviewed maybe 4 books in 2019 and I'm not sure I posted any of them on Goodreads. I did do a post about my feelings on reviews and how I will be doing them less from now on.

It's no surprise that I failed at this once again. I'm just not creative and I always feel a pressure to make my pictures as nice as others, which obviously doesn't happen and I'm left feeling like I'm not doing a good enough job to carry on. I think I'm going to do this a little differently in 2020 and accept the fact that I am not a creative person who takes nice bookstagram pictures.

It's safe to say 2019 wasn't a very successful year in terms of my reading goals. Hopefully 2020 will be a bit better.

How did you do with your 2020 goals?

Sophie :)

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Most Disappointing Books Of 2019

I read 43 books in 2019, so there was bound to be some disappointing books among them. Whether that be books that I just didn't enjoy, or books that I expected to love and was a little let down by. Half the books on this list were ones I just didn't enjoy, but the other half were books I really wanted to love but didn't like quite as much as I thought I would.

1. Layover by Amy Andelson & Emily Meyer -
This is one of the books I just didn't like. This follows three step-siblings who run away during a layover in LA after finding out their parents are getting divorced. There are a lot of things I really didn't like about the books. The plot was completely ridiculous, the characters were unbearably entitled and annoying, there was a totally unnecessary romance between two step-siblings and there were so many 'not like other girls' comments that made me want to scream. There was some good anxiety rep but that was the only redeeming quality.

2. Strictly Between Us by Jane Fallon
This was a cover buy that turned out to be a total disappointment. It follows a woman who uses her assistant as bait when for her best friend's husband when she starts to suspect him of cheating. This is another book with really bad characters. I don't mind unlikeable characters if it adds to the story but these were just unnecessarily selfish and annoying. Another thing I don't typically have a problem with in books is cheating, but I wasn't a fan of the cheating taking place in this book. There were no real consequences for some of the characters, which I didn't like. It was a pretty quick read but disappointing.

3. Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate -
This follows a group of seven students as a scandal breaks in their high school. This is one I had heard good things about and ultimately was left disappointed. I forgot about the majority of this book as soon as I finished it and couldn't tell you anything about it now. I remember it being pretty boring and the audiobook wasn't great/

4. Girl In The Mirror by Cecelia Ahern -
This is by one of my favourite authors so obviously I was expecting to really enjoy it. It is a collection of two short stories, each a bit weird with some kind of magical element. The first, Girl In The Mirror, was fine but kind of strange. The second, The Memory Maker, I just didn't understand at all. This is another one that was pretty forgettable and I'm so disappointed that I didn't love this is much as I have every other Cecelia Ahern book I have read.

5. The Wrong Side Of Kai by Estelle Maskame -
I am so sad that this is on my most disappointing list! I love Estelle Maskame but I just didn't love her 2019 release as much as I wanted to. This is about a girl who has an explicit video of her leaked and enlists the help of a new guy at school to get her revenge. I so badly wanted to love this, I liked the idea of the revenge plot and I love Estelle Maskame's writing. Unfortunately, I found this to be quite predictable and didn't think the pacing was that great. I really loved the characters, especially Vanessa, and the message behind the story, but I just didn't love this like I wanted to.

6. Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
I heard so many amazing things about this book, so I completely expected to love it as much as everyone else. Sadly, this was another disappointment. It follows the son of the American president and a British prince who, despite hating each other, have to pretend to be friends, obviously leading to a romance. Don't get me wrong, I liked this book but it didn't live up to the hype. I enjoyed the characters and the romance, although I do wish there was more of a build up to the romance, but I got bored in the middle. I enjoyed it fine, but expected to enjoy it more.

Those were my most disappointing books of 2019. As I said, these were not necessarily bad books. Some of these I did enjoy, I just hoped to love them more. If you loved any of these books, I'm so happy for you and in no way mean to offend you.

What was your most disappointing read of 2019?

Sophie :)

Monday, 13 January 2020

Best Books Of 2019

It's that time of year again where I get to rave about the books I absolutely loved in 2019. I read some really great books in 2019, but as always I was very harsh with my 5 star ratings and only gave them out to the very special. I ended up giving a total of 5 books 5 stars, but there were some that came close.

This is the follow up to Beautiful Broken Things, one of my favourite books of 2018, which followed two best friends as a new girl joined their friendship and dealt with the struggles of the new friendship dynamic, as well as the personal struggles of the girl. Fierce Fragile Hearts picks up to years after the events in the first book and once again deals with friendship, specifically how friendships change when everyone goes their separate ways, but also focuses on fresh starts and rebuilding your life. This book covered so many important topics and did so really well, as everything was discussed with sensitivity and respect. The main feature of this book, and the reason I love both of the books so much, is the friendship. It is portrayed in such a genuine and authentic way that makes things all the more relatable, but also makes it feel as though you are part of the friendship and you start to really feel like you know these characters, that you feel their pain. Basically I loved it and I could rave about it forever.

Oh I was so worried this would be ending up on my most disappointing list! This is the sequel to PS I Love You, Cecelia Ahern's first, and probably most successful, novel. I read the book in 2017 but have been loving the movie for years, so the idea of a sequel, written 15 years after the publication of the first book, made me quite nervous. Thankfully, I absolutely adored it. Cecelia Ahern is one of my favourite authors, so I know I should have had faith as she was bound to write something incredibly beautiful. This sequel follows Holly six years after PS I Love You as she is moving on with her life. However, when she is contacted by a group inspired by Gerry's letters, she is taken back into her life of 6/7 years ago as she begins to help them do what Gerry did for her. I'm tearing up just thinking about this book! I really loved being back in this story and with these characters, not only seeing their character development since the first book, but experiencing this new journey with them. I really loved the premise of this, and the fact it was a new story with some great new characters introduced, but it still had the same feel and atmosphere as the first. It was beautifully written, the story was so well told, and just so incredibly heartbreaking. I'm so glad I loved this as much as I did.

This seems to be quite a polarising book, with a lot of people having very strong negative opinions about it. This book takes place over just under an hour, during which a school shooting takes place. You follow the events, almost minute by minute, from the perspective of four different characters. This is obviously a very hard topic to read about and something that is far too prevalent in today's society, making it even more harrowing. It is not an enjoyable book by any means. However, I have read a few books on this topic and, in my opinion, this is one of the best written that I have read. It is very vivid and immersive, making it a pretty scary and all too real read. However, a large portion of this book is flashbacks that give you a bit of a break from the intense situation in the school and let you get to know the characters. This is not a book I would recommend to everyone as I think you need to be very aware of your triggers to read this book without it having a detrimental effect to your mental health. However, I do think it is worth the read if you are wanting and intense, well-written story with more of a focus on characters than you would typically find in such novels.

This is a memoir of a midwife in the NHS and it is one of the best non-fiction books I have read. It follows Leah Hazard from her time as a student, right through to the struggles and rewards of being a qualified midwife. She tells many fun, interesting, heartbreaking and insightful tales of the women she has cared for, balanced perfectly with highlighting the struggles of an understaffed and underfunded NHS. This book is the perfect mix, it had me laughing and crying in the same chapter. I think the reason I loved this book so much, though, was the genuine passion Leah Hazard has for her profession and her patients, despite how unbelievably hard her job is, which just shines through every page. As someone who also works in the NHS, reading this book really reminded me of why I do what I do and why I love my job.

At only 25 pages, I'm not sure this even counts as a book. This is the bonus chapter that was released in celebration of the anniversary of DIMILY being published and follows the characters 10 years after the end of the last book. This may have been crazy short, but I loved it nonetheless. I adore these characters so it was great to get to spend a little bit more time with them and see how things have changed for them in the years since the final book in the series. 

I think this might have been my biggest surprise of the year. This follows a girl who designs film sets and is given her brother's apartment for the summer on the condition that something great has to take place there. We then get to go on an adventure with her over this summer as she finds out a secret about a movie legend. I wasn't sure what to expect going into this but I absolutely loved it. There is a really strong friendship between the main character and her best friend who is going on this summer adventure with her, and I loved that this was just a really great, genuine friendship with no unnecessary drama. There is a crazy adorable f/f romance between our main character and the girl she meets through this big secret, which I loved so much. This book also focuses on the film and set design side of things, which I found quite interesting and really enjoyed reading about. 

This is the second book in the Royals series, the first I believe is now called Prince Charming but was originally called Royals. These books are absolutely ridiculous. They are based on a fictional Scottish Royal family, which, as a Scottish person, is the one thing about these books I really don't like. However, they are really fun reads and when I ignore the fact they're meant to be in Scotland, I do love them. The second book follows an American girl who moves to a boarding school in the Highlands and ends up sharing a room with the Princess of Scotland. It's basically an enemies to lovers f/f romance, featuring fictional Scottish Royals, set in a boarding school. If that doesn't sound amazing to you then I don't know what will. The plot was loads of fun, but what I loved most were the characters and the romance.

8. Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough -
Holy crap, this book! It is about a woman who kisses a man at a bar only to discover the next day that he is her new boss. She then meets a woman who is new to town and in need of a friend, but happens to be the wife of her new boss. I am saying nothing more because I went into this completely blind and I think that is the best way to read this book. I don't want to say too much about it but this is one of the weirdest, craziest but best thrillers I have ever read. I haven't felt the way I felt reading this book since I read Gone Girl. It was so cleverly done and that ending was just insane. So good, definitely recommend picking it up.

9. Becoming by Michelle Obama -
I love this woman! This is Michelle Obama's memoir and it was an absolute joy to read. I listened to the audiobook, which she narrates herself, and it was the best reading experience. This follows her life from childhood to becoming one of the most influential women in the world and it was just great. I loved learning more about her life, as well as more about her as a person. Her personality really shone through while I was listening to it, it almost felt as though she was sitting in my car having a nice chat with me. It was just such an interesting read and I have even more respect for her now.

10. A Quiet Kind Of Thunder by Sara Barnard -
Basically I just love Sara Barnard. She has made it on this list twice this year, as well as once last year, and she absolutely deserves to. This book follows a boy who is deaf and a girl with selective mutism who are thrown together when the boy moves to the school. This was one of the most adorable books I have ever read featuring the kind of characters you just want to protect at all costs. I loved these characters, I love their romance, but more importantly I loved the fact that they were more than just 'deaf' and 'selective mutism'. They were fully rounded characters rather than plot devices. I really enjoyed learning more about hearing impairment and selective mutism, how they impact lives and how people with these things adapt and live their lives, but I really loved that these characters were also just two teenagers falling in love for the first time. It was great and this was the book that fully cemented Sara Barnard as one of my favourite authors.

Those were the ten best books I read in 2019. I loved every one of these books so much and would highly recommend checking them out if any sounded interesting to you.

What was your favourite book of 2019?

Sophie :)