Book Review | This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron

Briseis has a gift: she can grow plants from tiny seeds to rich blooms with a single touch. When Briseis’s aunt dies and wills her a dilapidated estate in rural New York, Bri and her parents decide to leave Brooklyn behind for the summer. Hopefully there, surrounded by plants and flowers, Bri will finally learn to control her gift. But their new home is sinister in ways they could never have imagined–it comes with a specific set of instructions, an old-school apothecary, and a walled garden filled with the deadliest botanicals in the world that can only be entered by those who share Bri’s unique family lineage.

When strangers begin to arrive on their doorstep, asking for tinctures and elixirs, Bri learns she has a surprising talent for creating them. One of the visitors is Marie, a mysterious young woman who Bri befriends, only to find that Marie is keeping dark secrets about the history of the estate and its surrounding community. There is more to Bri’s sudden inheritance than she could have imagined, and she is determined to uncover it . . . until a nefarious group comes after her in search of a rare and dangerous immortality elixir. Up against a centuries-old curse and the deadliest plant on earth, Bri must harness her gift to protect herself and her family. – Via Goodreads

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Book Review | The Box in the Woods by Maureen Johnson

Stevie Bell is bored. Home for the summer, she’s wanting a good murder to solve. When she receives an email from the owner of Sunny Pines, site of an infamous quadruple murder asking her to come and work on a true crime podcast about the Box in the Woods. Stevie thinks it’s going to be something to get her teeth into, and with her friends in tow, it could even be fun. But evil still lurks at Sunny Pines: Steve has received much more than she bargained for.

I loved the first three books in this series and was very excited when the fourth came out. It was just as exciting as the first three in the series, packed full of action, though it didn’t follow the same plot as the first three in the series. I wasn’t sure it would be as good or I would enjoy it as much, but Johnson can write a story in three books or in one!

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Monthly Reading Wrap Up | August 2021

How do the summer holidays always go by so fast?! Even though I am now a teacher, not a student, it still feels like the last day of school was just yesterday!

In August, I did not read as many books as I wanted to. Thought I thought it was going to be a relatively quiet month, August turned out to actually be rather hectic and busy. I did a lot of adventuring and day trips, as well as a couple of overnight trips; I finished my Masters, and my first edited novel; and I had a good time! Maybe August wasn’t as productive and book-filled as I’d expected, but sometimes that’s not a bad thing.

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Unboxing | Books By Nature: “Into the Wilderness” | August 2021

It’s an even month, which means it’s time to unbox my favourite book box!

Books By Matter has quickly become my favourite box, because they use eco-conscious products, choose well-themed books and items, and even plant a tree every time you purchase a book from them. I think they are soon going to be a very competitive book box on the market.

This month’s theme was “Into the Wilderness”, and the items were so well catered to the book and the theme of the box! But what were the items?! Let’s have a look inside…

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Book Review | Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

Trigger warnings: transphobia, cyberbullying

Transgender, gay teen Felix Love has never been in love, and he is aware of the irony. When someone begins posting his old, pre-transition pictures, and sending him transphobic messages on Instagram, Felix devises a plan of revenge. Along the way, he learns about one of the most important relationships in his life: the one with himself.

Felix Ever After is a YA book that should be on every library’s shelves. At the fundamental core of the novel, we have a teenager who is learning about themselves, and how to navigate the world around them.

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Book Review | Bunny by Mona Awad

Trigger Warnings for this book: bestiality, murder, rape, assault, mental health, self harm.

Samantha is not the typical student you would on the famous Warren Creative Writing MFA, especially as a scholarship student. She is ostracised by the rest of her all-female cohort, a group of women who call one another “Bunny” and hug for too long. Then Samantha receives an invitation to their “smut salon”. As Samantha is dragged deeper into their sanctimonious world, the edges of fantasy and reality begin to blur, and the Bunnies push her to the edge.

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Unboxing | Books That Matter: “Hot Book Summer” | August 2021

Another Books That Matter book box arrived on my doorstep a few days ago, and I’m very excited to share what was inside with you!

The theme for this month was “Hot Book Summer“, and we had four great items to help celebrate the summer months. I enjoyed 3/4 of the items -and I’ll talk about why in a minute…

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Books I Would Like to Read in August!

I stopped doing TBRs a while ago, simply because I wasn’t reading the books I listed! Now, I write down 3 books I would like to get to each month in my reading journal, and most months I get to at least 2!

However, I thought I’d share some of the books I would like to read this August. As a teacher, August is my summer holiday, and even though I have things to do and a book to edit (!!), I’m hoping to have a couple of hours a day to read.

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Monthly Reading Wrap-Up | July 2021

Another month is over in 2021, and I can’t quite believe how fast it’s going! The first four months of the year crawled by at a snail’s pace, and now they’ve flown by!

July was quite a busy month for me. I finished my first year of teaching (my training year, but it was also a full year!), went to stay with my partner, had a mini-break, and attended my first wedding reception as an adult! It was a blast, and I had a really lovely month, especially the last few weeks of it.

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