9 Books I’m Looking Forward to in 2019

Here are nine books out this year that I’ll definitely be reading as soon as I can!

JANUARY

Paper Avalanche by Lisa Williamson
Lisa’s Williamson’s one of my favourite YA contemporary authors (and she’s an all-round lovely person), so I can’t wait to read her newest novel, Paper Avalanche.

“When it comes to flying under the radar, Ro Snow is the expert. It may be lonely but at least this way the truth remains where it should: hidden. Then Tanvi Shah, the girl who almost died, comes tumbling back into her life and Ro finds herself losing control of her carefully constructed lies.”

The Binding by Bridget Collins
I’ve been hearing so many awesome things about The Binding (it’s meant to be one of 2019’s biggest books for bookish peeps), so obviously I have to check it out this year!

“For as long as he can recall, Emmett has been drawn to books, even though they are strictly forbidden. Bookbinding is a sacred calling. Within the pages of the books they create, secrets are concealed and the past is locked away.”

FEBRUARY

Fierce Fragile Hearts by Sara Barnard
I’ve actually already read Fierce Fragile Hearts – review to come soon – but it’ll have been on my list anyway. I really love Sara Barnard’s novels and Fierce Fragile Hearts is a companion novel to Beautiful Broken Things, all about Suzanne.

“Suzanne’s back in Brighton, the only place she felt she belonged, back with her best friends Caddy and Rosie. But they’re about to leave for university. When your friends have been your light in the darkness, what happens when you’re the one left behind?”

MARCH

The Quiet at the End of the World by Lauren James
I really enjoyed The Loneliest Girl in the Universe so cannot wait to read Lauren James’ next sci-fi novel – and the cover is beautiful!

“Lowrie and Shen are the youngest people on the planet after a virus caused global infertility. Their idyllic life is torn apart when a secret is uncovered that threatens not only their family but humanity’s entire existence.”

APRIL

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary
Another one I’ve already read, but had to include because I enjoyed it so much. It shouldn’t work: you’ve heard about flatsharing, but bed sharing? I read it in a day, immersed in Tiffy and Leon’s story.

“Leon has a flat that he only uses 9 to 5. Tiffy works 9 to 5 and needs a place to sleep. The solution to their problems? To share a bed of course… As Leon and Tiffy’s unusual arrangement becomes a reality, they start to connect through Post-It notes left for each other around the flat.”

JUNE

The Paper & Hearts Society by Lucy Powrie
Well, obvs. Lucy’s one of my best friends (who I’m extremely proud of!) and I cannot wait to read her first YA contemporary novel, The Paper & Hearts Society.

“Tabby Brown is tired of trying to fit in with her classmates. It’s like she hasn’t found her people… That is until she moves to a new town where a book club, The Paper & Hearts Society, is recruiting.”

JULY

Loveless by Alice Oseman
I’m looking forward to Alice Oseman’s fourth novel – although I still haven’t read Solitaire, so I really need to get to that first!

“Georgia’s eighteen, never been in a relationship, or even had a crush on a single person in her whole life. Georgia’s is now at university and determined to cure herself of her lovelessness.”

SEPTEMBER

Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab
Of course, as it was one of my favourite books of 2018, I’ll pick buying the sequel to City of Ghosts when it’s out! I cannot wait to meet up with Cassidy and Jacob again.

OCTOBER

‘Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas by Adam Kay
Adam Kay’s This is Going to Hurt was one of my favourite books of 2017 and this is his second book. I really love Adam’s sense of humour and passion for the NHS, and I’m sure this’ll be a brilliant follow-up.

“Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas is the hilarious, poignant and entertaining story of the life of a junior doctor at the most challenging time of the year.”

Are any of these your picks, too?

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Top 10 Books I Read in 2018

Here are my favourite books of the year!

It Only Happens in the Movies by Holly Bourne
This was the first book I read in 2018, so my year of reading started off fabulously. It’s one of those books that I just wanted to tell everyone to read as soon as I finished it. It made me feel everything: excited, angry, upset, giddy.

How Do You Like Me Now? by Holly Bourne
Holly’s first adult novel was also a favourite for me. I actually read it in 2017, but it was published this summer. I adored How Do You Like Me Now? because it tackled society’s expectations of how to live your 20s (which are unrealistic and often unattainable goals that are horrendous for mental health) in Holly’s characteristically hilarious, engaging and honest way.

Nevermoor & Wundersmith by Jessica Townsend
I’m counting this as one… I love, love, loved Nevermoor and its sequel. I know every children’s book under the sun has been compared to Harry Potter, but in this case it’s accurate and very well-deserved. Nevermoor is one of the most fun, inventive and brilliantly written series I’ve read, and I cannot wait to go on another adventure with Morrigan Crow.

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab
City of Ghosts was my first Victoria Schwab (aka V.E. Schwab) book. It was my Halloween pick, set in one of my favourite cities: Edinburgh, Scotland. I adored City of Ghosts as soon as I opened the page to a map of the city, and it won’t be the last book I read by Schwab.

The Astonishing Colour of After by Emily X.R. Pan

After her mother commits suicide, Leigh travels to Taiwan with her father. Before they leave, she meets a curious bird – and is convinced it is her mother. I discovered a lot to love about The Astonishing Colour of After, from the glorious setting to Leigh’s friendship/romance with Axel. It’s a novel that I’ve been telling everyone to pick up, including people who don’t usually read YA!

My Heart Goes Bang by Keris Stainton
I bought My Heart Goes Bang for London Pride and it now sits on my favourites shelf next to Freshers. I’d absolutely love to see more books set at university. My Heart Goes Bang follows Ella, Lou, Issey, Liane and Paige through their second year at the University of Liverpool, living in their new student house. 

Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen
I love the tagline ‘A teenage spy. A Nazi boarding school. The performance of a lifetime’ and was gripped by Orphan Monster Spy from the start. It’s a super exciting, dark and intense story. Pick it up even if you’re usually not a fan of historical fiction!

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
Eliza and Her Monsters is Fangirl meets Radio Silence. I genuinely think if you loved them (as I did), you’ll love Eliza – I want more books like this! Francesca, please may we have a sequel with Eliza at college? I also bought a copy of Made You Up, so I’ll have to read that next year.

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
History is All You Left Me was one of my favourite books of 2017, so I had to read They Both Die at the End in 2018. And I completely adored it. I have become a huge fan of Adam Silvera’s writing.

Stargazing for Beginners by Jenny McLachlan
Jenny McLachlan’s stories make me feel warm and fuzzy inside, and Stargazing for Beginners was no different. From the lovely opening scene describing a young Meg sitting in a cardboard spaceship that her grandfather made her, I knew it was going to be a powerful story – I love YA novels featuring female characters with a passion for science.

Did any of these books make your list?

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I’m a member of the pin badge club

I don’t wear much jewellery; a necklace occasionally, or a ring. I guess that popping a little pin badge onto my pinafore or dungarees – picking one out to suit my mood – is my version. My collection is a reflection of all the things I love, from books to coffee, adventures to dachshunds. I wear them so much that people have started buying me them as gifts! I love seeing other people’s, so I thought I’d share mine:

The Readers Gonna Read pin badge was one of the first I received, in an Illumicrate box, and it sparked a love of pins. I probably wear my bookish ones the most, with Read More being my favourite – I adore the colour!

I also have a few showing things I’m a fan of, such as my Yellow Coat Crew pin (I have two yellow coats!), sausage dogs (I was given these two pins for my last birthday), and travelling/adventures (I tend to take them on city breaks). I also wear my EU pin when Brexit news starts to bring me down… I have my eye on a few autumn-themed pins at the moment – I’m all about pretty leaves, hot chocolate and cosiness.

The Pin Badge Club is owned by illustrator Ben Cameron and he kindly sent me his September pin for free – featuring an adorable book and coffee – to share on social media. When he announced that the October pin would be autumn/Halloween-themed, I had to sign up for another month. I can’t wait to see it!

Do you own any pin badges?



Read More – Fable & Black
Bookworm – Fable & Black
Readers Gonna Read – The Literary Emporium
Book and coffee – Pin Badge Club
I like big books – Waterstones
Fox and hedgehog – RSPB
Sausage dog – Emma Traynor
Ravenclaw – Foyles
Sausage dog with hat – a gift
London bus – a gift
Adventure Awaits – onr.
Map (Fueled by travel) – Lucie Bascoul
Yellow Coat Crew – Wren and Wilson
EU Heart – Veronica Dearly
Proud to be bookish – a gift
Rainbow cake – a gift
Berlin – a gift shop on holiday
Hedwig – British Library
Mockingjay – a gift

Unboxing: Rare Birds Book Club


Well, I say unboxing, but it’s more like unwrapping. Rare Birds Book Club is a book club subscription owned by Rachel. Rare Birds Book Club sends surprise books each month and the club “cherry picks the best of contemporary women’s fiction and celebrates female authors writing books we think you’ll love”. They kindly offered me a one month subscription to get a taste of the book club and chat to you guys about it. I was super excited when it landed on my desk at work!


Even though I have a lot of books (and a lot I haven’t read), Rachel managed to pick a book that I hadn’t heard of but is my sort of novel. Quite a feat! August’s book was Party Girls Die in Pearls: An Oxford Girl Mystery by Plum Sykes, set in Oxford University in 1985. I’m really looking forward to picking it up. In addition, rather than just simply sending you a book they love, you also get a secret password to access the Rare Birds Book Club and chat with fellow subscribers about the latest read. I moved house last month and it has been a little hectic so I hope there’s still time for me to join in!


Rare Birds Book Club costs £10 a month to join and, even though you might get a tiny bit more for a similar price from other book subscription boxes (e.g. a book plus additional treats), I think the book club feature is fantastic for people who aren’t on social media or who don’t get to chat about books as much as they would like. Plus Rachel promises a few extra goodies occasionally!


It’s fantastic to come across a subscription box that isn’t YA – I can definitely think of a few people I’d gift subscriptions to. It can be tricky to pick a book for someone, so I love that someone else will do it for me (if I’m not buying them National Book Tokens of course…!). If you do already own the book you receive, you only have to get in touch and Rachel will sort it out.

Thank you Rare Birds Book Club for sending my free box!

My Ideal Best Bookish Friends | Chloe Seager

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I’m delighted to welcome one of my interwebz BFFs, Chloe Seager, to Pretty Books to chat about her ideal Best Bookish Friends as part of her blog tour. Chloe’s the author of Friendship Fails of Emma Nash, the sequel to Editing Emma.

I’m slightly cheating by naming not one, but five ideal BFFs from a book, but I’ve always been weirdly jealous of the Bennet sisters.

Maybe it’s because I’m (sort of) an only child, (I have a brother and a sister, although I’ve never lived with them), but their sisterly bonds fascinate me. Growing up, I’d picture telling Lizzie my secrets whilst Jane brushed my hair, dancing with Lydia and Kitty at a ball and giggling with them in a corner, or rolling my eyes at one of Mary’s strops.

Partly, what I love about their relationships is that they’re not perfect. Lizzie can be tempestuous and hot-headed, which clashes with Jane’s passive and peaceful nature. Lydia can be loud and domineering and overshadow Kitty. Mary can be judgemental and look down on all the others. They get on each other’s nerves, steal each other’s things and can be spiteful to one another.

BFFs

But despite all this, the relationships they have with each other are stronger than anything. Lizzie and Jane are each other’s stabilisers; they keep each other calm in a crowded, frantic household, and against the pressures of society. Lydia and Kitty have more fun with each other, in their sitting room, than they do anywhere else in the world. They’re each other’s confidantes, allies, entertainment and support systems. They laugh together, hurt together, think together, dream together, and above all look out for each other.

I love the concept of having a best friend who is also your sister. I know Pride and Prejudice is most commonly labeled as a romance, but it’s the sisterly friendships that make it mean so much to me.

Thanks, Chloe! Friendship Fails of Emma Nash is out now. (You can also read her previous guest post on social media and anxiety here).

FF tour