Books mentioned and mini-reviews:
Fly by Night, by Frances Hardinge
This is a delightful book about a runaway and her terror of a pet goose who take up with a mysterious stranger who may or may not be a murderer. She hopes to find out more about her father’s life and go to school, but the city they travel to is plagued by political plotting. This was delightful – I loved the worldbuilding, the political backdrop for the story is really interesting, and the goose is brilliant.
The Sun is Also a Star, by Nicola Yoon
I was completely absorbed by this story about two teens, one of whom is due to be deported from the USA to Jamaica with her family the next day, who despite this, meet and fall in love over the course of 24 hours. Despite the unlikely premise it is realistic and moving.
The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern
Two magicians are chosen by their mentors as children and entered into a battle for dominance before they are old enough to understand what that means. A magical circus becomes their arena and as they create ever more beautiful spectacles they fall in love, but the competition may be the doom of both of them and everyone else attached to the circus. I really enjoyed this stunning story and was captivated by the idea of this magical circus. If only I could visit!
Christmas at the Palace, by Jeevani Charika
This is basically the story of Harry and Meghan if Meghan was a northern second-generation immigrant doctor! It was very cute but also tackled what I see as the grim reality of being royalty without flinching – the author made sadly very accurate predictions about the issues with racism that Meghan would have to face, but also writes very realistically about the pressures any royal bride would be under.
One Christmas Star, by Mandy Baggot
Another social justice infused romance! Primary school teacher Emily dreams of making it to the deputy head position so when her headteacher asks her to write the school’s Christmas musical she feels she has to say yes, but the school has no budget and Emily no musical ability. Everything changes when she and her class stumble upon pop star Ray Stone sleeping in the school shed! I really enjoyed this, it was fun and moving in equal measure, tackling issues including bereavement and emotional abuse.
All I Want for Christmas, by Keris Stainton
This is a short, sexy, Christmas novella about a young woman who meets a cute guy at work and works very hard to resist him…
Buy: Kindle (affiliate link)
The Queen of Nothing, by Holly Black
This is the third in this series about faerie politics, magic, and tricks, so I can’t say much else other than that it was a great end to the series!
Buy: Kindle | Print (affiliate links)
If you haven’t read any books in this series before start with The Cruel Prince (Kindle | Print), or even better, Tithe (Kindle | Print), the first in Holly’s Modern Faerie Tale series, as some of the characters are in both series. And don’t miss The Darkest Part of the Forest (Kindle | Print), a standalone with characters that show up in the Folk of the Air (Cruel Prince) books. In this video I also mentioned the Curseworkers series, which begins with White Cat (Kindle | Print).