Top Books to read in Lockdown!

Have We Lost the Wonder of Reading? – The State TimesArticle by Fay Clark

Well, this is the perfect time to get through a solid number of books. The ones I'm about to talk about have just been sitting on my shelf for way too many years! They've really spiced up my lockdown, so maybe you should check them out if you're bored of making banana bread!

Running with Lions by Julian Winters - I would class this as a "Gay, Sports, Romantic Contemporary", which kind of tells you everything you need to know.

Our main man Sebastian is the goalkeeper of the high school football team. They have a really great chance of winning the league, but as it's Sebastian's last year he wants to make sure he does everything he can to win. They set up a summer training camp and someone unexpected shows up to join; Sebastian's childhood friend who's now more of an enemy.

Will the close quarters and sportsmanship help them ease back into a friendship? Or maybe something more?

Now we get to to the part where I let you know my feeling on the book... I enjoyed everything about this one. The sports aspects were there enough to remind you of the end goal, but they didn't over-run the story (eh, eh goal get it?) The side characters are well fleshed out and have great banter with Sebastian, making the friendships feel real and fun to be around.

The coach who runs the high school team has to be one of my favourite new people, as he's so supportive of everybody being themselves and not hiding who they are, including their sexuality.

The romance was amazing to watch unfold and super cute at times. So much so that I may have squealed and made some very unnatural noises. This book consists of fun, football and an overload of cuteness.

Image result for the final empire
The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson - This is a high fantasy that isn't very easy to explain, so please bear with me.

There are people who eat metals and then get powers, they are called Allomancers. These characters are only supposed to have one metal power, and if you have more than one you are called a Mistborn. The very special Mistborns have control over all metal, and are basically the most awesome group of people.

There's a lot of political intrigue, as basically this is a book about a Lord High Ruler being evil (what if a Dark Lord actually won?) and corrupting the world. A group of misfits, crooks and criminals (who happen to be Allomancers) with hearts of (almost) gold gather together to try and kill the Lord High Ruler and get back their world for "the people". 

Yet,  everything's not all it seems to be at first glance.

Oh. My.

World building.

Brandon Sanderson is one of the best world builders I've read. There's so much going on at all times, but the way it is explained to you is so easy to pick up and follow. The characters are well rounded people with faults, fears and great backstories.

The dynamic of the group and the relationships built within are just hilarious and heart warming at the same time.

Vin is our main focus. There are a lot of other people and names to deal with, but only about seven that you actually need to remember. I was about 100 pages in before I became completely attached and needed to know what was going to happen next.

Let me tell you, Sanderson really takes you for a ride!


Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff - This is yet another fantastic Sci-Fi book by the duo who wrote the Illumine series (which I have raved about.)

The premise, as always, sounds great. Our Golden boy Tyler is ready too recruit the best squad that ever graced Aurora Academy, right up until his stupid hero routine gets him stuck with a group of people no one else wanted: A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm. A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunk mates. A smart-ass tech-wiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder. An alien warrior with anger management issues. A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him... in case you were wondering.

Tyler's hero act helped him save a girl who as been in cryo-sleep for the past two centuries. She also just might be the biggest mistake he's ever made.

As per usual with a book from Kaufman and Kristoff, it comes with a warning from me. You can expect the following; joy, love, laughter, space shenanigans, a fondness for all the characters, sadness, crying, screaming, throwing the book across the room and, finally, begging for it not to be true. Yet you all have one up on me already, as the sequel just came out and you can jump immediately into more fun with our crew.

They're not the heroes we deserve, they're just the ones we could find.

Nobody panic.

Sky in the Deep (Sky and Sea): Young, Adrienne: Books
Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young - This is a completely new author to me, so it was a great surprise that I loved this book as much as I did.

I think I'd describe this story as part Wonder Woman and part Vikings. Mostly because it's about warriors and Shield Maidens.

Our glorious heroine is Eelyn and she belongs to the clan Aska. On the battlefield she sees the impossible, her own brother fighting alongside their rivals, the Riki clan. She's actually seen her brother die in battle five years ago.

Eelyn is captured by the Riki and comes to learn many things about her brother and his new life, when suddenly everything's interrupted by a raid. The culprits seem to be a ruthless clan of legend. Can Eelyn save everyone, by bringing all the clans together. Or is she fated to lose everything?

There's so much to love about this book; not least several badass ladies with Axes and swords taking names and kicking arse on the battlefield. Although Eelyn has to come to terms with some harsh truths, she stays true to her character the whole way through the book.

There's an adorable love story that unfolds and all of the fighting battlefield scenes are amazing! Very well written and just a genuinely great read, I blew through this within hours.


Field Notes on Love: Smith, Jennifer E.: BooksField Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith - We find ourselves following Hugo Wilkinson, one of the famed Surrey Sextuplets, as his girlfriend unexpectedly breaks up with him. She gifts him the tickets and itinerary for their trip across America by train. Slight problem, the tickets are all in her name and there's no changing that!

Hugo takes a huge leap of faith and puts an ad on the internet asking for someone with the same name as his ex (Margret Campbell) to come with him.

Cue shenanigans.  

This was gifted to me by a friend for Valentines day by a friend who knew full well that I don't read romantic books or would ever pick one out for myself. That being said, I adored this book, as the families really got to me.

Hugo's family was always there, both when he needed them and even when he didn't. There's no getting away from that kind of unconditional love. Margret (Mae for short) is no exception either, having 2 Dads and a wonderful Grandmother. The relationships between all the characters were a joy to watch. Seeing Hugo and Mae move across the States getting to know each other and really being able to see the person in front of them.

Like I said, this is not the kind of thing I would have picked up on my own, but you totally should!


Red, White & Royal Blue Fan Casting on myCast
Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston - This has been yelled about in the book community, so I'd be surprised if you haven't heard about it yet.

The First Son of a female US President, Alex, is hell bent on hating the Welsh Prince, Henry. There was a tiny incident at a Royal wedding that made a mockery of both the boys and their families.

Trying set things right they launch a "friend" campaign, where they have to be seen in public being friendly and doing activities with each other.  Soon Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret romance with a surprisingly un-stuffy Henry that could derail the presidential campaign and upend two nations.

Who asked for a gay romance between royals and a first son? We did! The book community did.

The second people found out about the plot to this book, no one stopped talking about it. Then we were able to read it, and I can tell you now that it doesn't disappoint.

There's something so charming and cute about the relationship Alex and Henry build together. Is it a bit of a slow burn romance? Yeah, sure. However, it has one of the most popular romantic tropes in it; enemies to Lovers, so I think we can forgive the slow burn.

Red, White and Royal Blue isn't only about gay romance, but it brings up a lot of political and familial questions about love, acceptance, and what's right for the public. all in all a wonderful book with some fantastic writing!

Daughter of the Pirate King: Levenseller, Tricia: Books
Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map, seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship. More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map, her captor. The unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. 

Not to worry though, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no one is skilled enough to stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.

Badass pirate ladies, violence, skill, swords, romance, treasure, hidden powers and unbelievable amounts of sarcasm. WHERE DO I SIGN UP?

This beautiful book is just right up my street. Alosa normally captains a ship of women with a couple of trustworthy men. I'm going to have to be honest here, I may or may not have made my most recent Dungeons and Dragons character in Alosa's image. That's how much I loved her character and the plot, it's seeping into my subconscious. The action scenes are great and really well written, so it's definitely easy to imagine Alosa kicking all that butt!

I would suggest you pick this one up as it is just a bit of all around fun.

Kings of the Wyld: The Band, Book One: Nicholas ...Kings of the Wyld by Nicola Eames.

Clay Cooper and his band were once the best of the best. The meanest, dirtiest, most feared crew of mercenaries this side of the Heartwyld.

Their glory days long past, the mercs have grown apart and grown old, fat, drunk... or a combination of the three. Then an ex-bandmate turns up at Clay's door with a plea for help. His daughter Rose is trapped in a city being attacked by an enemy. one hundred thousand strong. and hungry for blood. Rescuing Rose is the kind of mission that only the very brave or the very stupid would sign up for. It's time to get the band back together for one last tour across the Wyld.

If you like Dungeons and Dragons, get this book. If you like high fantasy, get this book. If you like sarcastic old men yelling abuse at each other, get this book. If you like people reminiscing over Glory days, get this book. If you like books.... GET THIS BOOK!

Now then, with that being said, I think you can all tell this was an amazing book to read. Extremely well written and fast paced. The fight scenes, and there are plenty, are stunning. Old, grumpy, violent men coming out of the woodwork to undertake something that most would call a suicide mission is one of the best plots ever.

There's such a heavy Dungeons and Dragons feel to this book; with all our main characters being made up of different races and classes. There's wizards and magik, pure stupidity and quite literal dungeons and dragons too.

So, there you have it. A list of books to keep you occupied and definitely not bored (I haven't been!) I hope you're all keeping safe and well read! Let the books protect you from the big bad world. Let them take you away to enjoyable, and more fantastical places.

The Queen of Books has spoken. Let the reading commence!

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