JJ Reads

Memo Pad: February Wrap Up

Super late memo pad because I’ve not been able to do this sooner. The good news is I finished up writing my first draft of my contemporary fantasy witch book and sent it off to be read. That seems so long ago but that was at the end of February. After that I lost my way a little bit and did a lot of little things that I couldn’t concentrate on. 

Things that did get done were: I got paint for my study/spare room. And it has been painted! It’s a lovely dark green colour and I’m glad we went to the extra trouble of having it mixed up especially (apparently there is no demand for dark green paint on the island as we couldn’t find any anywhere!). With the covid19 we haven’t been able to get an office chair to use with my desk so haven’t been able to use it yet!

I hope everyone is doing okay, and staying away from others as much as possible. we have been shutdown and are only allowed out for food shops etc, although this affects others more than me as I’m housebound anyway! But it’s super important to help stop this as much as we can.

Book Summary:

To the Flame by A.E Ross ***** – Brilliant atmospheric queer contemporary fantasy novella about two college dorm-mates, falling in love around paranormal near death experiences.

All for the Game trilogy by Nora Sakavic ***** – Reread of the trilogy. Super violent and action packed. Mob families, trust issues and found family set around a made up college sport and a team of outcasts.

Behind the Sun, Above the Moon ***** A brilliant anthology of SFF short stories with trans and nonbinary characters. Every story in this is awesome.


Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova *****

I’ve had this on my kindle for a while because I love the sound of it. Alejandra is a bruja but when she tries to get rid of her powers at her deathday her family is sucked into another realm by a powerful enemy and she must travel there to get them back.

i was a bit worried about the love triangle in this as that’s not something I like but I honestly wouldn’t even call it that and it wasn’t overpowering to the plot. I loved Alex as a main character, she made bad choices but they all felt totally understandable for how trapped she felt. Her family were such strong characters and her best friend/crush was awesome and out of her depth but brave and loyal. But even with all those characters, the best thing about this book was the magical realm that was created, and all the complications that they face on their quest across it. For me, the writing didn’t go as deep as I wanted to fully immerse and sucked me into the amazing settings but that’s totally just a writing style preference on my part. 

Are you watching by Vincent Ralph***** (Review copy)

This is a fast paced thrilling YA contemporary following a girl who agrees to have her days streamed live on a YouTube channel in an attempt to catch the serial killer that killed her mum ten years ago. It’s tense right from the start as we find out what happened to her mum and only gets tenser when she starts to tease him and try to get him out from hiding. I loved the relationship the main character has with her dad who loves her but is so distant and broken after losing her mum. The British seaside setting was super vivid, from the fish and chippy, to the boring secondary school to the seafront buses, to the dark alleyways where serial killers or school bullies could be lurking. The plot itself is twisty, dealing with the killer maybe coming out to play but also how the fame affects her friends and school. You felt the desperation but also the despair when she doesn’t know if she’s doing the right thing as things get more and more dangerous. I read this super quick!

So that was my super late update for last month, I’m definitely sticking to my goal of reading less than last year but that goal was out of necessity and i genuinely don’t think i could read any more than I am even if i want to!

How is everyone else doing? Anyone managing their time better than me! Read any good books while we are sheltering away from human contact?

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