Spring Wrap Up

For 2019 we’re mixing up the standard monthly wrap ups and instead I’ll be posting four seasonal wrap ups for the books I read in Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. With each season I’m going to go through each book organised by my rating, and end with my top three books of the season. So without further ado, let’s jump into Spring (even though it’s felt like Winter…).

For the first three months of 2019, I’ve read a total of 13 books: 4 adult fantasy, 1 YA fantasy, 1 children’s fantasy, 4 fiction, 2 YA and 1 poetry collection. The children’s fantasy, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, was an audiobook, whilst the rest were physical books. The longest was The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, and the shortest was Fierce Fairytales by Nikita Gill. The book which was an unexpected favourite was On the Come Up by Angie Thomas.

The Three Stars

I think it’s a pretty good month where the lowest rating I gave a book was three out of five stars. The books that received this rating from me were Fire and Heist by Sarah Beth Durst and Fierce Fairytales by Nikita Gill. Neither of these reads were bad, but nor were they stand out books for me. Fire and Heist is a YA fantasy where there are shapeshifting wyverns in the real world, living a socialite-style life. The book was great fun to read, and easy to finish within a couple of days, but for me it didn’t feel developed enough. When reading YA, it’s obvious that the characters will be young, but whilst I greatly enjoy plenty of YA, Fire and Heist came across as too young for me. There were funny moments and overall it was an easygoing, fantasy romp, but the predictable plot points and under-developed world made this a three stars for me. Fierce Fairytales, on the other hand, was a completely different experience. I went into this poetry collection expecting to really love it, and instead found it repetitive and in parts it felt as if it didn’t go far enough. Hugely quotable, the feminist retellings of classic fairytales had very strong ideas, but they were either not taken far enough – ie not much was actually being said – or they were completely overdone, where the author didn’t allow any room for interpretation as she spelled out exactly what she wanted the reader to take from it. Whilst there were certainly poems I thought were especially strong, as a whole collection I was left a bit uninspired and felt as if there were three or so motifs that were done at least 3 or 4 times each.

The Four Stars

I rated six books with four stars, and each of them are so different to each other. The YA contemporary The Truth About Keeping Secrets is a debut novel from Savannah Brown. It read like a thriller and touched on subjects of grief, love, bullying and LGBTQ+ issues, making it an ambitious, powerful read that I truly enjoyed. Spinning Silver is a fantasy written by Naomi Novik, whose Uprooted and His Majesty’s Dragon series were firm favourites of mine when I read them. Spinning Silver for me was a difficult one to place, as I personally found the beginning quite slow paced as Novik built the world and the various threads from all the different perspectives she delves into. Had the ending not been as perfectly woven together as it was, this book might have been three stars, but I was so happy with how she finished and tied everything off that it had to be four stars for me. The other four books are all fiction, and all vastly different. Everything Under by Daisy Johnson was so excellently written that I couldn’t read at my usual speed with how much I was concentrating – a powerful retelling of an intense Greek myth, told in Johnson’s wonderful style. My main taking from The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt was its sheer size, and whilst it was written with such fantastic prose, I found I was more relieved than anything else when I finished it and didn’t have to lug it around with me anymore. In contrast, If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin was as light as a feather, far shorter than I had expected it to be. A poignant story of love, hope, and the still-prevalent issue of race and discrimination, all framed around one family’s story, beautifully told. The Binding by Bridget Collins was another great read from this Spring. I definitely felt far more engaged halfway through after the slow start – overall an entertaining read, even though I found the plot predictable.

The Five Stars

Not including my top three, I had two other five star reads. The first of which, and the first book I finished in 2019, was The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden. The second in her Winternight trilogy, I truly adored this book. Arden’s writing is so magical and sweeps you into the story so firmly that you won’t want the book to ever end, so tangible is the atmosphere and setting she creates with characters that tell such an incredible story. I could never tell where the plot was going, something which I appreciate greatly, and Arden’s ability to pick up the pace at such speed halfway through meant that I had several late nights unable to put the book down. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J K Rowling was a very different experience as I listened to Stephen Fry telling the story in the audiobook. As someone who has never read the books, getting to this one truly illuminated how much the films didn’t cover, and if anything only made my enjoyment of the series and franchise that much better.

The Top Three

As I previously mentioned, one of my unexpected favourites was On the Come Up by Angie Thomas. Powerful, inspiring, and so brilliant that I kept wanting to cheer whilst reading. We need this book not just for all YA readers to enjoy, but for everyone to pick up. I feel that I don’t have words adequate enough to describe how important this book is, so all I can reaffirm is that Angie Thomas is a brilliant author and you should all read it.

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What won’t be unexpected is my second top favourite of Spring, given how much I’ve shared by adoration for the rest of the series, and that is the final in Katherine Arden’s trilogy The Winter of the Witch. What more can I say about this series that I haven’t already? It’s one of my favourite ever fantasy series with its sweeping Russian landscape filled with fantastic characters, from a tormented priest to a frost demon and most importantly the heroine of the tale, an unassuming girl who is flawed enough that she isn’t boring to follow in her adventure. Arden’s captivating language and turns of phrase make this a series that anyone can enjoy and appreciate, whether they read historical fantasy or not.

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My final favourite of Spring was a book that I had on my list to pick up for several months, and boy was I glad that I did. The Poppy War by R F Kuang is an adult fantasy that reminded me of An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir along with Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series. What I found wonderful about this book is that it felt like two different stories in one, so when I reached what I had assumed would be the end of the first book only halfway through I was overjoyed. The world Kuang creates is just fantastic and so immersive, touching on Chinese history to further develop the book. I did not for one second guess what would happen in the end, and I cannot wait for the sequel to publish. Could not recommend more highly for those who like fantasy, as The Poppy War is one of the very few in-depth adult fantasy books that had me hooked.

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The Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden

*This is a spoiler free review*

The vast majority of my all-time favourite books have various things in common. They’re likely to be classed as fantasy, and include some sort of fantastical creature. They’re likely to influenced my mythology, fairytales, and legends. Most will have incredible leading female characters that defy all expectations. Very rarely, they will encompass all of these things.

Allow me to introduce one of my new favourite series: The Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden, an incredible historical fantasy. The series order is as follows: The Bear and the Nightingale, The Girl in the Tower, and The Winter of the Witch.

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My first thought when I started The Bear and the Nightingale was that it was beautifully written. The prose is very lavish and poetic in its descriptions, making a wonderful sweeping rhythm as you read. I have heard from a few friends that they found it quite boring and too long in descriptions when they started reading, but personally I found the writing too lovely to care. It definitely does have a slower start, but as I’ve found with all three books the plot picks up. With the first in the series, this perhaps doesn’t happen until the latter half of the novel, which can be expected as Arden is slowly weaving together her world and its characters for the majority of the novel. With the second and third book however, the plot really takes off much sooner and meant that I preferred these over the first title just for the sheer pace they set.

The plots themselves are incredibly well crafted. For me, the first book definitely had that classic, fairytale vibe – you have the legends of Winter Kings, conflicting family dynamics including a new stepmother, a young girl who wants a life not permitted for young girls, and the struggle between old legends and new religion. It’s difficult to say too much about the plots of the following two books, but what I can say is that they both took me by surprise. In the second book, there were plot twists I hadn’t seen and an edge of anxiety throughout as you wait to see whether or not everything will come crashing down around the main protagonist. The third book actually had a huge plot twist that occurred around half way through – and it was here that I had believed the series would end, only to find that Arden reinvents the tropes and creates a far better, more imaginative, conclusive end to such a fantastic series.

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Next up: the characters. In the first book, we follow a family that live in Russian wilderness surrounded by forests and lying some distance from Moscow. In particular, we follow the young Vasilisa (Vasya) Petrovna, who is a strange child compared to her siblings. One of the main reasons she is her gift to see the old creatures of Russia, domovoi and other beings that live in houses, stables, woods, and more. When her mother dies, Vasya’s father ventures to Moscow and returns with a devout stepmother who is determined to bring in her new religion (a beloved priest alongside her) and cast out the old beings. When evil in the forest creeps nearer and the battle of new and old truly begins, Vasya must choose whether to obey by marrying or joining a convent, or go against them all and use her gifts to save her family.

Vasya is a fantastic character. Whilst she is very young in the first book, at no point does this diminish her incredible characterisation and Arden’s ability to make you root for her. She makes stupid mistakes through the whole series, but has brilliant growth from each one. In The Bear and the Nightingale, the perspective is mainly Vasya’s – when she is too young, we see Vasya through the eyes of her father and nurse – and the priest who is brought to her home. There is a frost demon (and who doesn’t love the odd frost demon thrown in) who has his own plans that as a reader you are unaware of, along with the smattering of household domovoi who pop up throughout the book. My favourite character is actually not introduced until toward the end of the first book, and just happens to be a horse (but of course).

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The atmosphere is just the best thing about this book, and if you like Naomi Novik’s Uprooted then I’m sure you’d adore this series. One of my favourite aspects is of course the various legends and fairytales throughout the books, but storytelling in general. Whether it’s a character telling a legend within the book or Arden herself telling the story of Vasya, the language and narrative are just so stunning that I couldn’t help but sink into the pages.

Originally I didn’t pick up this series as it was always on the romance table, and whilst I love a bit of romance every now and then it just didn’t seem to stand out to me. A colleague however told me that she adored it, and as soon as I knew it was a historical reimagining set in Russia with folklore and fairytales I was in. It was a relief that the third book came out so soon after I picked up the first one, as I’m not sure I could have waited for each new instalment.

So to all of you who are looking for a new series – this is the one to pick up, as the trilogy is completely published! Rejoice for not having to wait for the sequel! If you’re a fan of fantasy I’m sure you’d love it, and for those who are new to fantasy or who don’t read fantasy, this is the perfect book to dip your toes into the magical worlds. It’s a wonderful blend of historical fiction with fantastical elements, and the lush language and wintery atmosphere are ideal for this time of year. It’s enchanting, to put it simply. I can’t recommend it enough.

December Wrap Up and Favourite Books of 2018

It is mad that it’s already January 12th – I feel like New Year’s Eve was only yesterday, and I was planning to write about the books I read in December not that long ago. Yet, here we are, and I’m left having to do a great 2-in-1 deal of a post. First up: what I read in the month of December.

I read 4 books in December, which meant that I ended the year on 44 books out of my 45 goal – which I’m really happy about. I read Exit West by Mohsin Hamid, a book that I felt was so poignant for the world we’re living in at the moment in terms of the attitudes that we have and that need to be changed, that I ended up buying it as a Christmas present for someone. A very quick read, you could definitely finish this one in a couple of sittings.

Then I read what ended up being my (spoiler) favourite book of 2018, which was Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton. This is a non-fiction memoir all about love, be that romantic love or familial or the love between friends. Dolly is an incredible writer, and managed to capture the atmosphere of the places she is in so well. In the opening chapters where she talks about relationships as a young girl, chatting on MSN and characteristics of her friends, had me laughing after only a few minutes reading. She writes with the relatable flair that feels like she’s talking directly to you, and it’s so easy to sink into her narrative. There are moments of harsh reality, devastating moments of pain and anguish alongside memories filled with laughter and fun. It’s a book I feel that I’ll need to reread over the years, and I desperately hope she writes more in the future.

Following this non-fiction marvel, I read the acclaimed, Waterstones book of the year Normal People by Sally Rooney. This is a book that I have seen everywhere, and have had friends raving about it. I struggle with books that are considered to be ‘literary’, especially when authors have an aversion to using speech marks. Rooney, however, has made me see that you don’t need to have a PhD to enjoy a book such as hers. It charts the relationship between two young people from very different backgrounds who grew up in the same town, and dip in and out of each other’s lives for various reasons. I definitely had a lot to say about this book, from some of its infuriating characters to scenes that really affected me. A great modern day classic.

The final book I read in 2018 was The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke. This is a fantasy that follows a group of girls who are paid to end the lives of those suffering, be it from incurable diseases to old age. It’s a reimagining of Beowulf, with the girls hearing about a monster plaguing lands, so they decide to go on a quest to fight the beast. On the way they meet witches and all manners of marvels. I enjoyed the novel, and thought the pace of the book worked well. It wasn’t my absolute favourite book, but I by no means disliked it. I’d highly recommend to anyone looking for a fantasy novel that isn’t a behemoth, and plays around with characters and setting.

And so, this leads me to my favourite books of 2018. I decided to go for my favourite five, as it seems silly to list almost a quarter of the books I read in a Top 10.

As we know, Everything I Know About Love was my ultimate, but the others are in no particular order – and, no surprises here, they are all fantasy books.

Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor has to make the list. Laini’s imagination is unrivalled, and her stories never fail to fill me with awe and wonder. You could describe each of them as fun and fantastical, but at the same also heart-wrenching with moments of real poignancy. It’s everything I love about fantasy, and Muse of Nightmares was no different. Muse was one of my most anticipated sequels, with Strange the Dreamer one of my favourite books from previous years. I can only hope that one day I will have half the creative talent that Laini does.

Next up is of course The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon, which publishes February 2019. This beast of a book has plenty of elements that I knew I was going to adore: strong leading female characters, retellings of legends (in this case of George and the Dragon) and, of course, dragons. A standalone fantasy, it’s no shock that this book is a giant, and I truly adored the escapism and sweeping epic of a tale it was.

There was also another book by one of my favourite authors, which ended up as a true favourite of 2018: Vengeful by V E Schwab. Another author I can only dream of emulating, Schwab has a way with words that is just unbeatable. Her characters all feel like they could have books just about them, and her plots are intricate, twisting, and perfect in every way. She has also written middle grade, along with adult fantasy and YA, and at this rate I think I just need to read everything she has ever written.

Finally, it’s Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. This. Book. I truly think Tomi has opened up fantasy to a whole new generation of readers, and simply from using characters that aren’t white – this shouldn’t be revolutionary, but it is and I love her for it. This fast-paced, action-packed book had me turning pages so quickly that my hands ached by the end of it. She manages to have not one story climax, but five or more, so you’re never certain that there is ever a moment of calm in the story. She puts her characters through the hell, and her imagination and little details are wonderful. I cannot wait for the sequel, also out in 2019, to see what happens next.

And those are my favourite books of 2018. Do let me know what you read and loved last year, and especially what you’re looking forward to reading in 2019.

 

 

November Reading Wrap Up

The further I get into the year, the harder I find writing these wrap ups. You know the drill, I read three books, they were great, they were as follows:

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – a book that I read years ago, but had no recollection of the vast majority of. All I could remember was that there was a girl who went to live with adopted parents, a woman who called her Saumensch, Death is the narrator, and the setting is World War II. I’m so glad that I decided to pick this one up again and reread, because there was so much that I didn’t remember and characters that I fell in love with all over again. A true classic that I think everyone should read, even if it’s only to read a book where you have a narrator almost more interesting than everything else that’s happening.

The Terrible by Yrsa Daley-Ward – I picked this book up because I was going on a short holiday away and needed a light book to take with me (along with The Book Thief, which I was so close to finishing). I had no idea what this book was about before I started, and I’m actually very glad that I didn’t. This is memoir that is part prose, part verse about childhood, growing up, and the bonds of family. I read this in a few sittings, and could have done it in fewer had I not chosen to take breaks. A really engaging, powerful read.

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden – now this is the kind of book I adore. Sweeping fantasy tangled up with historical fiction, with beautifully written prose, fantastical creatures, and a great plot. Set in the wintery wilderness of Russia, this story follows the grandchild of a woman who was called a witch and appeared from the woods. You follow her along with various other characters she encounters as an old evil gathers strength near by.

I set a goal of reading 45 books this year, and currently I’m at 40 – whether I can read 5 in December who knows, but we’ll see what happens…

August Reading Wrap Up

Plot twist: I did not read four books this month, like every other month. I read fewer books, but in my opinion more pages as last night I finished an 800+ page fantasy book that I adored – stay tuned until next month to find out what that was, or just look at my Instagram where I’ve already told everyone about it.

The first book in August that I finished was the incredibly powerful and moving Almost Love by Louise O’Neill. This is my third book by this author, and I still don’t know how I don’t seem to realise beforehand that, like all of her other books, this one would also wreck me in its own, gutting way. In some ways this one was similar to Asking for It, in the way that the main character isn’t immediately ‘likeable’. She’s a tough character to stick with, I’ll give you that, but mainly because you’re watching a woman who has been abused push everyone she loves away – and the worst part is, something you see from page 1, is that they let her. This is a story split into two narratives – the present, and the past. In the past you watch the main character in a ‘relationship’ with an older man, and in the present you see how the abuse from that affects her still, especially with her current partner. I didn’t read this quickly because I felt it difficult to read in long periods of time – not because it was a bad book, more the opposite. It was so well written, so poignant and close to real life that I found it difficult to stay in that ‘world’ for long.

After that tornado, I went to my happy place: fantasy with dragons. This time I picked up Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman – I read Seraphina a few months ago and really enjoyed it as a very differently written fantasy. Tess of the Road was no exception, but this time I far preferred the main character and her journey. Tess, our heroine, is sister to Seraphina – but unlike her esteemed sister, Tess is the opposite. From a past mistake, she is a disgrace to her family and destined to forever be a nun or a maid to her sister. One day, she decides to take a risk and runs away from home to find her own happiness elsewhere. A really enjoyable read, this was exactly the kind of book that I was after following the heartbreak from Louise O’Neill gave me.

The last book I finished in August was Fen by Daisy Johnson. This was an unexpected book, one that was sensual, dynamic, and pointed – far closer to the themes of Almost Love than Tess of the Road, for sure. Haunting as much as it was illuminating, this short story collection shows the contrast between the routine, everyday life and dark, magical wild that lives close by. I read a review of this that talked about the themes of Otherness, desire, and loss – and that’s exactly what these stories encapsulate in every line. It is twisted, dark, and exists on a very different plane. Some stories I loved, others I struggled with, but overall really enjoyed the full experience.

And that was my August. Unlike last month, I’m sat here in a jumper not even thinking about ice cream, so it definitely feels like Autumn is on it’s way. Although I’m sad to see the hot sun leave once more, I can’t wait to bundle up in scarves and jumpers, light candles every evening, and restock my bath bomb supply – and, of course, read some fantastic books.

 

July Reading Wrap Up

Every time I try to sit down and write this wrap up, I keep having to abandon all progress I make because it’s too bloody hot to be sitting down with a laptop and all I really want to do is lie in the shade with an ice cream. But, here I am, ready to bash out this wrap up post in a prompt fashion so I can go back to finding ways to keep cool.

It seems my average books per month this year is the nice, even number 4, and July was no different. I was off to a flying start in this month because I picked up a fantasy novel I’d been meaning to read for a while, which only fed my fantasy addiction so I picked up another straight after. The first was Beyond a Darkened Shore by Jessica Leake, a fantasy set in a historical Ireland where the main threat consisted of Nordic Viking invaders. You follow the heroine Ciara, who has strange and powerful gifts to control the minds of people in battle, as she is forced to partner up with her enemy to defeat a greater threat. There are great elements to this story, blending two different folklores such as The Morrigan with Norse Mythology, and doing it very well. I loved the opening chapters, with these engaging storylines and well paced plot – any book with Norse mythology in it will obviously keep me very happy, but I think there was definitely more that could be done.

On the whole, the book was paced well, but scenes towards the end seemed cut short – a huge battle that is essentially the ‘boss fight’ lasted no more than two or three pages. And let’s be honest, I love a good bit of romance and I liked the two leads, but I was the complete opposite of invested which isn’t exactly what you’d expect from a fun fantasy adventure. Overall a good book and a fun read, but definitely think there was more room for development – especially in the second half of the story.

Whilst I was still in the high of whizzing through that fantasy, I dived straight into Onyx and Ivory by Mindee Arnett. And, again, I finished this in two or three days. A really enjoyable, quick read – which was exactly what I wanted from it. For me, I think whilst I did enjoy the book it definitely needed some more worldbuilding and explaining of magic systems, religions, and the actual reasoning behind some parts of the story. There are also more YA fantasy cliches and tropes than you know what to do with, which can be a bit of a slog if you’re fed up with similar plot ‘twists’ and character traits. I’m hopeful that the world will develop more in the sequels, and maybe the following books will give answers to elements not covered in the first book. Overall, I found it gripping up until the last quarter, where the end felt forced and rushed. Still, I would recommend for a light, fun read if you’re not too worried about large world building elements and rich detail.

Deciding that I needed to make sure July wasn’t a fantasy-a-thon, the next book I picked up was I Am, I Am, I Am by Maggie O’Farrell. Wow, is all I can really say. An incredible memoir of Maggie’s near-death experiences, from reckless childhood behaviour to illness to giving birth. There are accounts of encounters with strange men on deserted paths, being robbed on holiday, and ending with protecting her daughter from a condition that leaves her vulnerable to the world around her, for who the book is written for. I honestly could have read this all in one sitting, but it was the perfect book to read on the tube, dipping into one episode after the next on each journey. A truly fantastic, powerful read.

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Finally in July, I ended on a bit of a slog with The Idiot by Elif Batuman. Despite all the acclaims, praise, and recommendations, I just couldn’t get into this one. I really struggled to pick it up and read, and so ended up talking half the month just to finish it. In comparison to the fantasy I read, this was the exact opposite where I had to force myself to find time to read it, and felt like I’d read 50 pages when I’d barely got through 10. It is very well written, but unfortunately wasn’t for me.

And that was my July! Four books, all memorable and different in their own ways. I’m on track for my Goodreads reading target for the year, but since leaving working at a bookshop my TBR pile has really shrunk – hurrah! This means I’m on the hunt for reading recommendations, so if you have any definitely let me know. I’m also on the hunt for a proof of Samantha Shannon’s new book The Priory of the Orange Tree, but I have a feeling I’ll have to wait a long while for that one.

May Reading Wrap Up

And just like that, we’re approaching the half-way mark for 2018. Mad, exciting, worrying, and ever so slightly terrifying, this year has flown by – which I know I probably say every year, but at least I’m consistent.

Reading wise, May has been my best yet with 5 books devoured. The first of which was particularly monstrous, as I finished the Laini Taylor Trilogy with Dreams of Gods and Monsters. Breathtakingly creative, this series has been one that is as inspiring as it is impressive. There are moments of hilarity as well as heart-wrenching sadness, with characters that are diverse, charming, and well-crafted. Laini Taylor has had be won over as an author since reading Strange the Dreamer last year, and I’m so glad I decided to read this imaginative, fantastical series.

Somewhere during my reading of Dreams of Gods and Monsters, I went to an incredible talk by Louise O’Neill, an author who manages to deliver books that punch you in the gut and leave you reeling, wanting to change the world. You can see my review of Asking for It here, a book that I’ve thought about often since finishing, so I knew I had to pick up her latest book The Surface Breaks. A feminist retelling of ‘The Little Mermaid’, this treasure of a book is one I’d recommend to anyone in their early teens – as I wish I had had it when I was that age. Closer to the original story rather than the Disney version, this tale is of a young girl who is paraded around as a commodity and something to possess rather than an individual with her own voice, her body something to be used and decorated and belonging to the men around her. This is a story of her reclaiming her body and her voice, despite losing it. The Sea Witch is an incredible character, one who I want to have her own story, and never before is it made so painfully clear that the heroine goes from one abusive relationship to the next, her life dictated by the men she tries to love, until she finally wakes up and sees the world for what it is. Buy it for your daughters, nieces and sisters, and especially buy it for your sons, brothers and nephews. A powerful, important book.

After thoroughly enjoying the new Marvel film, I decided to keep that love going by picking up Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman. He is such a clever writer, and more and more I find a more suitable title for him is wordsmith. He crafts sentences and stories in a way that sweep you to another place, and definitely makes his mark on these myths – some well-known, and others less so. I honestly could have read this in one sitting, but managed to pace it out with various tube-journeys. Would highly recommend to those who are new to Norse mythology, and even old hands who want to revisit the grand stories told in a different style.

Clearly not over my onslaught of fantasy, after that I delved into Seraphina by Rachel Hartman. I’ve seen this book several times over the last few years, and always thought it would be something I’d enjoy (hello, dragons). A very different kind of fantasy book, this one is set in an old-fashioned world and written in a language to reflect this setting. It’s a world of court and dragons, and a girl stuck between the two worlds. Well-told, this was definitely a slow-burner for me but definitely worth the wait.

Then finally, I read ‘The Custard Heart’ and other stories by Dorothy Parker, all wrapped up in the new beautiful Vintage covers. Along with two other tales, ‘The Custard Heart’ was a well-told short story with a strong female lead and interesting side-characters. Each had a loud, boisterous heroine and tackled various themes and topics. Whilst they didn’t have my heart soaring, I did enjoy them as short reads and am glad to have had a taster for Dorothy Parker’s writing style. A great way to finish off the month of May.

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