recent reads 2019 1

Heyyy so I know I said I’d be posting more frequently, but it turns out that I talk a lot of shit, so here we are. I’ve done a few recent reads in the past as a way of me doing shorter reviews of books, and I think that this is something that I’m going to do a lot more of over the next year as I find longer, more in-depth reviews to be more intimidating having not long recovered from the worst reading slump of my whole life.

This is basically a January wrap up, but since it’s February and I’ve barely managed to finish another book, we’re making it a recent reads post instead! As always, the covers of the books will take you to their respective Goodreads pages.


29748925Laini Taylor’s writing is so unique and wonderful and somehow I manage to forget just how much I love it until I read one of her books again. Strange the Dreamer is hard to summarise because it takes you on such a journey and the main character, Lazlo, develops so much over the course of the book. Lazlo has easily made his way onto my list of favourite protagonists, primarily because he’s an absolute sweetheart and I’m convinced that it’s literally impossible not to love him. I adored all of the characters in this book, and all the complicated ways they interact with each other. Strange the Dreamer, much like Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, deals with gods and monsters, and I love this about her work. My one criticism is that I wasn’t really invested in the romance that develops in this book, as it does manifest incredibly quickly. Much of this book and its sequel depend on your investment in the relationship between these two characters, so the books suffered for me a little because of this. I didn’t dislike the romance, and as I’ve said I loved all the characters individually, it’s just that I personally prefer a slow burn.

RATING: ★★★★



38525180Obviously I can’t really mention much about this book without completely spoiling the first one, but suffice to say that this is one of the best sequels I’ve read. Strange the Dreamer could have worked completely fine as a standalone book, which puts the pressure on Muse of Nightmares to be just as good, if not better. Which, really, it was. This developed the world and the characters brilliantly, and it wove in the story of two new characters — Kora and Nova — perfectly. It  never felt rushed or underdeveloped, and I was more than happy to spend more time in this world. This is a sadder, more serious book when compared to the wonder of the first, but it ends in a way that I hope brings us more stories from this world, even if it’s not in novel format.

RATING: ★★★★



22073005How late am I for this hype train? Late enough that it took my friend watching and gushing over the Netflix adaptation for me to actually read it. By now, I think, we all know the premise: the book is told entirely in second person narration from the perspective of a stalker as he begins a relationship with the woman he’s stalking. This book was dark, and it definitely left me feeling uncomfortable more than once. Every character in this book was just a different kind of awful person, which made it really interesting to read, as it’s not often that you read a book where every single character is deeply and obviously flawed. I read it over the course of a day, and it’s definitely hard to put down. I do, however, think I went in with my expectations a little too high as I’d only ever heard positive things about it, but it’s by no means a bad book, and one that I’d definitely recommend. Even after reading this, I’m still going to check out the adaptation, as from what I’ve heard it’s even better than the book!




43305952One of the things I’ve noticed after not reading for so long is that my standards are much, much higher than they used to be. I’m still too stubborn to actually give up on a book I’m not enjoying (which is probably a habit I should break) but I’m a little less forgiving when a book isn’t meeting my expectations. The premise of this book was so cool. I received it in a Fairy Loot box, but with the promise of weredragons, I was likely going to be drawn to this book anyway. However, I wasn’t expecting this book to be an urban fantasy, which threw me off immediately, as dragons usually go hand-in-hand with high fantasy. The book being urban fantasy isn’t a problem by any means, however the more exciting elements of the story, i.e. the dragons and the heist, fell to the wayside in favour of high school drama that would have felt more at home in a YA contemporary. The book just felt underdeveloped to me, the worldbuilding wasn’t great, and I wasn’t invested in the characters as much as I should have been. It’s not a  bad book by any means, it was just underwhelming given the premise.




21956219If you’ve been following this blog for some time, you’ll know that I’ve been promising myself that I’m going to read this book since TIME IMMEMORIAL. And it FINALLY happened! I did it! I read a Robin Hobb book! And it was okay!

The thing about this book and this series is that all I ever seem to read about it is that you have to “get through it” to get to Hobb’s better works featuring these characters. Which, you know, isn’t exactly a glowing recommendation. But it did hold up. I do love Fitz, and there were elements of this book that I really loved and would like to see more of. I did find myself getting a little lost at times, and I’m not entirely sure I fully understand the magic system. There were a lot of characters in this book, and it did get a little confusing at times. But then, I did read the majority of this book on a train back from Nottingham with a slight hangover, so that might not be the book’s fault.


So those are the five books I’ve read so far this year! I said in my 2019 reading goals post that I was going to set myself a monthly TBR, but so far I haven’t done this. I’m a little behind in terms of my Goodreads goal, but I’m making a marked improvement on my reading compared to last year.

If you’ve read any of these books, let me know in the comments! I’d also love to hear if you’ve read and can recommend any more of Robin Hobb’s work 🙂







2019 Reading Goals


Hey! Hi! It’s me! Who? That’s fair, since it’s been over a year since my last post.

I can’t really say why I didn’t blog this last year, except that I didn’t. I tried, but never actually posted anything. 2018 was the worst reading year I’ve had maybe ever? I still managed to read 25 books, which is still good, it’s just that for the last few years I’ve managed to read at least 40, so from a personal standpoint it wasn’t the best.

The good news is that I’m finally shaking off the reading slump I’ve apparently been in, and I figured another good way to get around my apathy toward reading lately would be to set some actual goals for 2019. These are, perhaps, the most basic goals, but basic is what I need right now.


50 books is pretty much the standard Goodreads goal, but if I actually manage to read 50 books I’ll have doubled what I read this year. I know that there’s controversy? Maybe? Over the whole Goodreads “look how many books I can read!” thing, but I personally like setting these kinds of goals for myself. It’s nice knowing how much I read in a year, and if you read 5 books or 50 books, it doesn’t really matter. I just have one big, specific goal to accomplish this year that I’ll talk about next that means I really need to read at least 50 books.

My optimistic goal is that I’ll increase this TBR as the year goes by, but um, for now we’ll keep it at a nice, safe 50 books. That’s optimistic enough.



So. You know how we all make jokes about how we all keep buying books and then never reading them? What I’ve been doing is beyond a joke and my physical TBR currently sits at ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-TWO unread books. 132! 132 books sitting on my shelves that I own and have not read.

I recently went through my shelves and got rid of books that I hadn’t read and was no longer interested in reading. Some of these books had been sitting there for four or five years, and I figured that if I haven’t read them yet, I probably wasn’t going to. And since I can’t actually remember what books I got rid of, it seems I was right.

I’d like to get my physical TBR to below a hundred books if at all possible, and for once I’m not saying that I actually have to read those books. Like I said, I’ve been holding onto books for years and have never read them, so my tentative plan is to go through my shelves again in a few months and get rid of anything that doesn’t interest me anymore. It kind of sucks in a way? Because I spent money on those books and all, but I’d rather that than have my anxiety over my TBR constantly looming over me.

I know that perhaps it seems silly that I’ve not said I’m putting myself on a book buying ban, but despite all evidence to the contrary I don’t think I buy that many books. I have a FairyLoot subscription which I really love, and don’t want to give it up for the sake of my TBR. Honestly the thing I’m most guilty of is buying books on my Kindle when they’re reduced to 99p, and even then my Kindle TBR only sits at 30 books.

Which, yes, if you’re uh, good at maths, means my total TBR is 162 unread books that I own. But I’m not too bothered about how big my Kindle TBR gets, it’s the physical books that are taking over my room/life.



This is linked to the above, but I’m not too sure if it’s something I’ll actually stick to. I’m a mood reader, so I tend to just pick up books depending on how I feel at the time. The problem with this is that for the last 12 months “how I feel at the time” has been “I don’t ~feel~ like reading”, which is fine, except that I love and miss reading.

If any of you set monthly TBRs, do you find that they work? Do you give yourself some wiggle room for if your mood changes? I’ve never tried setting myself an actual TBR before, so I’d appreciate any advice/thoughts you have 🙂

So those are my goals! Ideally I’d like to be able to say that I’ll read more diversely, and I do have diverse books on my shelves that I’d like to get to. This year, however, my focus is getting my shit together and cutting back this ridiculous TBR.

Let me know what your goals are for 2019! Also, please console me and tell me you also have insane TBRs. Please.





Update & Currently Reading


Hello! You may or may not have noticed that I’ve been decidedly absent these past few weeks. There are a number of reasons for this, some of them, admittedly, to do with how much time I’ve spent playing video games, some of them to do with stuff that’s happening in my life right now. So, I thought I’d just give you guys a quick update, mostly just to get myself back into the habit of blogging again!

So the first thing, and the biggest thing, is that I have a new job! This is the main reason for my absence, as the journey to me actually getting this job is uh, insane. Two weeks ago I found out that my hours in my current job were being massively reduced, and I had absolutely no say in the matter. On a whim, I put my CV on a job website the following evening, and literally the next morning I was contacted by an agency telling me about a job, and wondering if I’d be interested. I said yes, because I really couldn’t stay in my current job much longer. Last Monday I signed up with the agency, I interviewed for the position on Tuesday, and was offered the job on Wednesday. I started there today. So, y’know, it’s a lot.

For the next two weeks I’ll be working two days at my new job, and four days at my old job. Initially I was having to give four weeks notice, so they asked if I’d be willing to work part-time. Fortunately, I’ve managed to negotiate down to two weeks. My new job is just admin stuff at a local hospital, and since it’s with an agency it’s just temp work, but it’s full time! It’s office experience! I don’t have to work weekends!!

As you can imagine, my schedule’s been pretty crammed, especially since I’ve been having to put in overtime at my old job. It’s likely not going to calm down for the next couple of weeks, but really miss blogging, and I’m actually hoping that the schedule of having a full-time job will actually help me, even though technically I’ll have less free time.

This, also, has cut into my reading. I finished The Wise Man’s Fear last month, completely loved it, and I think I’ve just had a very long book hangover since finishing it. I’ve been in such a mood for fantasy books lately, but they’re a huge time commitment since they’re usually well over 500 pages long, so I’ve been getting my fix through video games. Namely Dragon Age: Inquisition. I bought all three Dragon Age games in the Origin sale just before Christmas, and have spent most of my free time playing them. I’ve put many, many hours into Inquisition these last few weeks. Plus, since I’ve been feeling pretty low, I started a new character in Skyrim because I find Skyrim comforting? In a weird way? So, yes, my time is being spent very productively.

Speaking of being productive, a few weeks ago I decided to watch Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency on Netflix, watched the whole thing in basically a day, and then, when I was feeling ill later in the week, I watched it again in the hopes of cheering myself up. Then I binge-watched the entire second season of Jane the Virgin as soon as it became available, because I am an Adult Woman who makes Good Choices.

Still, I am actually attempting to read. In fact, I’m currently reading 3 books. One of these is Rogues, an anthology that I mentioned in my last wrap-up, and honestly I haven’t really picked this up lately. The trouble with anthologies is that some of the stories you’re going to love, and some of them won’t be to your taste in the slightest, and I hit kind of a bad streak where I wasn’t enjoying the ones I was reading, or they were companion stories to well-established series that I wasn’t familiar with, so I just wasn’t getting it. Because of this, I haven’t been inclined to pick it up, but I will soon, if only to read Patrick Rothfuss’ short story (especially since it’s about Bast!).

I’m also reading A Conjuring of Light, the last book in V.E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic series. Amazingly, I’ve completely managed to avoid spoilers so far! I’m really enjoying it, and the only reason I haven’t finished it yet is because it’s so intense!! I keep reading when I’m on public transport and then having to stop because it’s Too Much. I’m really hoping to finish this one soon, and it’s likely that it’ll be the next book that I finish because I can’t put it off forever.

Finally, I’m reading Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. After peer-pressuring my friend Hannah into buying the lovely Penguin Threads edition of it, after I bought the Puffin in Bloom edition, we decided we’d read it for the first time together. We do have a schedule for how many pages to read, but I’ve been terrible at keeping on top of my reading so I’ve fallen behind! I’m enjoying this, too, and it’s been such a long time since I read a classic that I’d kind of forgotten how much I enjoyed them.

Once I finish reading Little Women and A Conjuring of Light, I have very grand ambitions for what I’ll read next. I’m so desperate to continue on with Scott Lynch’s Gentleman Bastard series, but also I have Laini Taylor’s Strange the Dreamer sitting in my room, begging to be read. Though really I’m kind of tempted to read a couple of YA books just to kind of get my reading back on pace again. I’ve barely looked at Goodreads for weeks because I’m unwilling to feel the inevitable shame that comes with being behind on your reading challenge.

Finally, I recently hit 300 followers on my blog! Somehow I managed to completely miss this milestone, but regardless, thank you to everyone for following me! I promise I’ll be a better blogger soon.






GIVEAWAY | 1 year of inkyspells! (closed)


So, the 16th of September was my 1 year blog anniversary. Technically I started this blog way back in July of last year, but I’m marking this blog’s anniversary by the date when I posted my first review. The first review I ever posted was on Louise O’Neill’s Asking For It, which is still one of my favourite reviews that I’ve ever written.

I don’t really know what I expected when I started blogging, but it’s completely surpassed any expectation I did have. I absolutely love it, and the community is so wonderful. I’m surprised that I’ve been doing it for a whole year, but that’s probably because I haven’t been the most consistent blogger!

I wanted to celebrate this milestone, so I’ve decided to host a little giveaway! One person will win two books of their choice. It doesn’t have to be a book that I’ve mentioned on my blog, the choice is completely yours! I mostly wanted to thank all of you for following me, however long you’ve been following me for.


  • The giveaway is open internationally, as long as the Book Depository ships to your country. You can check to see if  Book Depository ships to your country here.
  • The giveaway will end on Monday 26th September 2016. So you have one week to enter.
  • I’ll announce/contact the winner on Tuesday 27th September 2016.
  • I’m setting a tentative limit of £20 total (here’s a currency converter) for the two books. It’s most likely that this is more than enough, but if your choice of books goes a little over, then that’s absolutely no problem. I figured it was just best to set a limit, but I also didn’t want to restrict your choices 🙂
  • You will need to give me your shipping address so I can actually send the books to you. This information will be completely private; I won’t share it with anyone.
  • As such, I’d rather you were aged 18 or over, or otherwise had your parents’ permission before entering.
  • My email contact for this blog is This is the email I’ll be using to contact you if you win!
  • I cannot accept responsibility for lost/damaged books.


To enter, all you need to do is click the picture below and follow the instructions at the link! There are a few extra bits there too, but of course, those are completely optional.


(Or click this link)

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!

Good luck everyone! And thank you so much for following me! 🙂


This is a thing.

Hello! I’m Amy, and I should probably start off by saying that I’ve never really had a blog in any kind of official capacity before. I have a Tumblr, and I still use LiveJournal like it’s 2007, but my LiveJournal’s for boring day-to-day life stuff, while I mostly use my Tumblr to reblog pictures of dogs.

My intention is for this to be a book review blog, and my other intention is to update this once a week. We’ll see where we end up, shall we?

Until next time!