Thursday 31 December 2015

2015: A Year in Review

Bookish Stats

I read 232 books in 2015:

84 contemps,

41 debuts,

66 UKYA novels,

20 classics,

26 LGBT novels,

13 non-fiction books,

42 new series,

27 fantasy novels,

18 DNFs,

11 graphic novels.


I celebrated my sixth blogoversary in January!

Shortlisted for the Best Old Timer award in the UKYA Book Blogger Awards!

I got to go to Eve Ainsworth’s launch for her debut, 7 Days.

I met Gayle Forman at a talk and signing in Foyles.

I went to the first UKYA Blogger Awards ceremony in London and watched my friends win awards!

I attended the Hot Key Books Blogger Brunch and met Laura Dockrill, Lydia Syson, Hayley Long, Julie Mayhew, James Dawson and Jess Valance.

I got to interview Sarah J Maas in person at MCM Comic Con in May!

Went to the Chapter 5 Blogger Event with an appearance from Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer.

 I got to go to the launch of Remix by Non Pratt.

I attended the #FFFYA (Friendsships, Family and First Love) event at Bloomsbury with Sarah Crossan and Jenny McLachlan.

I attended the #AskPaperTowns Q&A with John Green, Nat Wolff and Cara Delevigne at the Leicester Square Odeon.


The #NewDayNewNormal event at Waterstones Piccadilly with Louise O’Neill, Lisa Williamson and David Levithan.

A panel and signing with Andrew Smith and Michael Grant at Waterstones Piccadilly.

I met Katherine Rundell, Jenny Downham and Annabel Pitcher at Waterstones Piccadilly.

I went to An Evening with Jandy Nelson at Waterstones Piccadilly.

Sarah (Sarah’s Reviews), Daphne (Winged Reviews) and I were lucky enough to have afternoon tea with Julie Kagawa the gorgeous Kettner’s.

#MagicandMayhem with Leigh Bardugo and Katherine Webber at Waterstones Piccadilly.

I was invited to go to Macmillan for the My Kinda Book Book Club/Christmas blogger party with 2016 debut authors Sara Barnard and Harriet Reuter Hapgood.


I spent two weeks in New York City.

I spent a week in Crete, Greece.

I went to Disneyland Paris/Paris.

I went to some gigs:

The Darling Buds (Jamie Campbell Bower’s band!) at Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen (Supported by: Hello Operator)

We Are the Ocean at Electric Ballroom (Supported by: Max Raptor and Twin Wild)

Fall Out Boy at Wembley (Supported by: Matt and Kim, Professor Green)

Warped Tour at Alexandra Palace (incl.: Black Veil Brides, Asking Alexandra, Young Guns, Reel Big Fish, Attila, Metro Station, Man Overboard)

Bring Me the Horizon at Alexandra Palace (Supported by: Neck Deep and Pvris)

I saw some shows:

Once at Phoenix Theatre (with Ronan Keating!)

Hedwig and the Angry Inch at the Belasco Theatre on Broadway

How was your 2015?


Wednesday 30 December 2015

2015: Reading Goals Wrap-Up

So it’s that time of year where I look back (through my fingers) on the challenges I set myself at the beginning of the year and see how I did!

Here are the challenges I set myself:

Read 125 books
Smashed it! I’m over 225…

Read more non-fiction – I’m thinking about 6
Woo! Doubled it! I actually really enjoyed all the non-fiction I read this year. I mostly read memoirs, a lot in audiobook, as that’s what appealed to me, but I may try and branch out even further in 2016.

Read 3 Shakespeare plays
Well, I’d completely forgotten about this one until I just looked back on the goals I set so nope, didn’t quite achieve this one.

Read what I want, when I want
I am really, really bad at this. I still feel very obligated and restricted to review copies, unfortunately, but discovering audiobooks in July has allowed me to read books I want to alongside review books, as well as reading multiple books at once.

Read a classic a month
I did it! I’m so pleased that I managed this! I actually read more than 12 as well which is brilliant. I read some biggies, some I should have read at school, some modern classics and I fell head over heels in love with some as well! Having Stacey from Pretty Books running the #2015ClassicsChallenge was great as I had someone to discuss my classics with. I highly recommend joining next year if that’s one of your goals.

Buy books in physical bookshops, indies when possible
I gave a good shot to this one! I went to lots of London events this year so I bought a lot in Foyles and Piccadilly, I fell in love with the NYC indies The Strand and Books of Wonder and discovered Wordery for buying books online as they aren’t affiliated with Amazon at all.

I kind of realised this year that actually my local Waterstones is pretty crap; it’s very rare that I actually find what I'm looking for in there.

Pop Sugar Reading Challenge
I did it! Most of the challenges I was able to check off with my normal reading, but a few required a special effort: book published the year I was born, a graphic novel, a Pulitzer Prize-winner and an author with my initials (I could only think of Scott Westerfeld and Sarah Waters!).

Actually read all of the glorious hardbacks I pre-order
Ah, well. Put it this way: I bought 12 books while I was out in New York in April and I’ve read a whole 3 of them… Whoops.

Read more fantasy
Though I didn’t read a huge number of fantasy novels, I read some big ones (in size and in name) and I loved most of what I read. It's definitely a genre I’ll continue to explore next year.

Re-read Harry Potter
Well, I read the illustrated version of Philosopher’s Stone so that’s better than nothing! I’m considering getting the audiobooks now they’re on Audible so I can finally re-read them.

A bit of a mixed bag, really, but I’m very pleased with how many books I read and how much I expanded in the genres I read, particularly with the classics, adult and non-fiction. I've discovered some favourites.

Did you set yourself any reading challenges for 2015? How did you do?


Tuesday 29 December 2015

2015: My Favourite Books of the Year

So. The norm for these things is a top 10, but I’ve read over 200 books this year so narrowing that down to 10 favourites was impossible. I ended up with a list of over 20 books and I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of any more of them. So here are my favourites books from 2015, in no particular order and from a few different genres.


Seed, Lisa Heathfield
This is a strong, startling debut that kept me glued to the page. Pearl has lived all of her 15 years in a cult and it takes a newcomer from outside to get her to question her world. It’s chilling, gripping and incredibly thought-provoking.

Open Road Summer, Emery Lord
I picked this up on a whim at the Book Blogger Awards early in the year and devoured it only days after – so very unusual for me! It’s my very favourite kind of contemporary: full of warmth, friendship, butterflies in my tummy and a swoony, satisfying romance while keeping the depth of character and emotion that makes a novel stick in my mind.

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, Becky Albertalli
Oh the cuteness! I read this on the flight home from New York when I was sad to leave, sleepy and uncomfortable, but Albertalli’s debut made me smile all the way across the Atlantic. It’s sweet, romantic and easy to read but still manages to raise some poignant questions about coming out and the hardships of living in a straight world.

The Start of Me and You, Emery Lord
After falling in love with Open Road Summer, I picked this up on release day while I was in New York and gobbled in down in the evenings when we were crashed out in the hotel room. This is another gorgeous contemporary novel full of the same warmth, wit and emotion as Emery’s debut. With only two books she's become one of my favourite authors and I just need When We Collide in my hands right now.

I’ll Give You the Sun, Jandy Nelson
It’s hard to know where to start with I’ll Give You the Sun. The art, the poetry, the beauty of the writing, the intense love stories, the sibling relationship – everything is perfection. There was a five year wait from her debut to this but it was worth every second of the wait.

A Court of Thorns and Roses, Sarah J Maas
I got a super early proof of this but held off because I didn’t want to wait 18 months for the sequel! When I finally got to it, I gobbled it far too quickly for my liking. I know some people had problems with a certain scene in the book, it didn’t bother me as much as I had expected. I loved Maas’s take on fey and The Beauty and the Beast and another gloriously complex heroine in Feyre.

99 Days, Katie Cotugno
I adored Katie Cotugno’s debut, How to Love, so I was incredibly excited to see her second novel come out in 2015. I loved it just as much. Katie writes the most gloriously flawed, realistic and compelling relationships to go along with her equally flawed and likable characters and I fell in love all over again.

Saint Anything, Sarah Dessen
Well, obviously. Sarah Dessen is my hero and I think I could read her shopping list and have it feature on my favourites list. This was a little different for Dessen and it worked just as beautifully. I've loved watching her progress and develop through her heroines over the years and that maturity really showed in Saint Anything. Friendship, family, guilt and friendship – where dessen really shines.

Did I Mention I Love You?/Did I Mention I Need You?, Estelle Maskame
This series was such a surprise to me. Estelle gained legions of fans as she released Tyler and Eden’s forbidden romance chapter by chapter on Wattpad before getting a book deal for the trilogy. I LOVED it. I’m a sucker for a forbidden romance anyway, but the levels of drama, sexual tension and risk of being discovered against the backdrop of scorching summers in Santa Monica and NYC made these some of my 2015 reading highlights.

Night Owls, Jenn Bennett
Completely and utterly gorgeous is how I feel about Jenn Bennett’s YA debut. I read this in only two sittings, gulping down a half at a time and I was so upset when it ended. I loved how Bennett handled sex, difficult families, art and science in a refreshing and necessary way. I’m counting down to her second release.

Carry On, Rainbow Rowell
Oh, my heart. Simon and Baz may just be my favourite YA couple of 2015 – I fell head over heels for them. I actually wasn’t a huge fan of the sections of Cath’s fan fiction in Fangirl, but I couldn’t get enough of this, a full length fanfiction novel. So very meta, so very Drarry. I ate up the magic system, Watford, the love-hate relationship, the twists and turns and I still want more, once I finish rereading it sixty bazillion times, obvs.

Illuminae, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Illuminae blew my mind a little bit. Okay, a lot. It’s a sci-fi novel told through letters, IMs, reports, articles, a rogue AI’s observations and security footage transcripts. The story could so easily have been drowned in the format, but they complemented each other beautifully and I was fully invested in only a few pages. This book is clever, engaging, exciting and one to read at a furious pace and I’m so looking forward to the second instalment. Though I have very high expectations…

Adult Novels

The Secret History, Donna Tartt
I’ve had The Secret History on my radar for years – it's a pretty famous book – but never actually got to it until a challenge in the 2015 Pop Sugar Reading Challenge told me to read a book released the year I was born. This was the only one that appealed to me and I fell hard for it. It’s long and mysterious and dark and so, so compelling. Perfect for this time of year. It blew me away.

The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller
Goodness me, even thinking about this makes me a little teary! The Song of Achilles is the story of Achilles and Patroclus from the incident that brought them together to the Trojan War in Ancient Greece. It’s beautifully written, an accessible way to experience Greek mythology and Achilles and Patroclus have the most emotionally wrought, lovely and endearing relationship I have read in a long, long time. Well, now I want to re-read it…

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, Becky Chambers
This is my most recent addition to the favourites list! I listened to this on audiobook and fell head over heels for this soft, slow sci-fi in only a few chapters. I loved the way Becky Chambers approached attitudes towards diversity with alien species; the friendship and comradery aboard the Wayfarer; the scope of the world and JUST EVERYTHING ABOUT IT WAS LOVELY!

Graphic Novels

Saga: Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples
The Saga series was another discovery I can attribute to the Pop Sugar Reading Challenge! When it came to a challenge to read a graphic novel I went for the one I'd seen all over the 2014 wrap ups. I LOVED it. It’s an epic space-opera fantasy about a married couple from warring planets, fleeing from their respective governments. It’s mad, gorgeously illustrated and thoroughly engaging.

Blue is the Warmest Color, Julie Maroh
I never thought a graphic novel would make me cry, but this made me sob. It’s a love story between two girls that has been translated from French and made into a beautiful (and seriously long) movie. I love the muted palate of the art and even in translation, the story is beautiful.

The Wicked and the Divine 1 and 2, Kieron Gillen
This serious is completely bonkers: every 90 years gods and goddesses are reborn into the bodies of teenagers, and then they did after only two years. The art is bold and bright and impossible to look away from. The story has a million strands so it can be occasionally confusing, but it’s worth it, and I think the premise is executed brilliantly.


Frenchman’s Creek, Daphne du Maurier
Shamefully, I'd never read anything by Du Maurier until I was asked to take part in a blog tour for the YA reissues of Rebecca, Frenchman’s Creek and Jamaica Inn; I fell hard. Set in the 18th Century, Dona is a privileged lady who feels constricted by her sex and position so take sher children to the country home in Cornwall and falls in love with a notorious pirate. Yeah. You so want to read it now. It's sweeping, adventurous and romantic and a new love was born for me.

Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
See? I had to read another one! Rebecca is Du Maurier’s most famous novel and I completely get why. It’s dark, chilling and all-encompassing and I’m now a little obsessed with Du Maurier… I loved the teasing reveal of what happened to the first Mrs Winter – the titular Rebecca – and the effect it has on the new and unnamed Mrs Winter. It’s delicious and I gobbled it up.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Shirley Jackson
Shirley Jackson is another author I've always had on my radar but only dove in in 2015. And man did I love We Have Always Lived in the Castle! I went in pretty blind which was lovely and I knew nothing of Jackson’s legacy other than her tendency towards creepiness. And it was definitely creepy! Unsettling, darkly funny and just plain dark, I’ll be reading everything this woman writes.  


Life Moves Pretty Fast, Hadley Freeman
Hadley Freeman is a die-hard fan of 80s movies and that’s what she discusses in Life Moves Pretty Fast. She takes a handful of her favourites (and mine) and takes about what makes them so great, and so incomparable to what's being made now. I watched/rewatched each movie before I read the corresponding chapter and it was glorious. I loved all of the new info I gained about my favourites, at least doubled my watchlist and fell in love with some new to me films.

How to Be a Heroine, Samantha Ellis
I found a hardback copy of this in great condition in the book swap bookcase at Gatwick Airport train station and nearly squealed. Ellis takes us through the heroines that made her who she is and re-reads and re-evaluates them with passion, intelligence and humour. It was a delightful way to become reacquainted with some old favourites and fall for some I'd never met before.

What were your favourite books of 2015?


Monday 28 December 2015

2015: Best of the UKYA Community

I don’t mean to toot the horn of the community I’m a part of, but the UKYA community are pretty awesome and some great things have happened in 2015. Here are my favourites and highlights.

For the first time, the work we do as bloggers and book champions for the world of UKYA was officially recognised by authors and publishers and I got to watch some of my very favourite people win awards for all of their hard work. It was a lovely, lovely event.

Year of #ukyachat
Lucy of Queen of Contemporary is one of those bloggers/booktubers that I’m not entirely sure actually sleeps… She’s taken the UKYA world by storm in 2015 and made #ukyachat a huge success. Dozens of people join in with every chat, often featuring a star author and it usually ends up trending on Twitter as well! I leaves these chats with a renewed enthusiasm to dig into my TBR pile and a horde of books added to my wishlist; it’s a pretty dangerous hour, to be honest.

Ah, YALC. Last year, YALC debuted in the back of LFCC and it was hot, sweaty, cramped and a little unpleasant at times (especially with the queue for Stan Lee running down the middle of the Book Zone!), but it came back bigger and better this year. We had our own floor and entrance, tonnes of amazing author, loads of room for people to watch panels and lots of my favourite people. I'm so glad it’s been made a permanent feature of LFCC!

Funding Amber’s A-levels
The lovely Amber of The Mile Long Bookshelf has sent the last few years studying via an online school as her mental health issues prevented her from attending a physical school. But she wasn’t funded for her A-levels. Amber launched a Crowdfunder to raise money in order to continue her education and the community rallied. Amber is now doing her A-levels at InterHigh!

The lovely Daphne of Winged Reviews launched the first UK YA subscription box in the Autumn and of course I had to sign up immediately! Most of the boxes around at the moment come from the US and the shipping is extortionate so it’s lovely have free UK shipping! And it’s a wonderfully curated box and I highly recommend signing up for the February box.

Since graduating in 2013 I've tried to read classics off of my own back but never really succeeded until 2015. Stacey of Pretty Books runs the Classics Challenge and I joined in this year and managed to read a book a month all year! I knocked some biggies off my TBR, read a few I should have read at school and even discovered some new favourites. I’m already planning out my reads for the #2016ClassicsChallenge – come join me!

Surge in championing diversity and awareness
Although we still have a long way to go, the community has made huge strides in discussing, raising awareness and championing books with a focus on sexuality, mental health and race. We’ve had countless Twitter chats, readalongs and readathons and I hope it all gets bigger, better and more prominent in 2016. I genuinely think that we can make a difference.

What were your highlights from the UKYA community in 2015?


Sunday 27 December 2015

Letterbox Love #117

Letterbox Love is a way to give all of the books I receive for review some exposure. Summaries are taken from the cover, or Amazon/NetGalley/Goodreads in the case of e-books, unless otherwise stated.

The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl, Melissa Keil (proof)

Alba loves her life just as it is. She loves living behind the bakery, and waking up in a cloud of sugar and cinnamon. She loves drawing comics and watching bad TV with her friends.

The only problem is she’s overlooked a few tiny details:
Like, the guy she thought long gone has unexpectedly reappeared.
And the boy who has been her best friend since forever has suddenly gone off the rails.
And even her latest comic-book creation is misbehaving.

Also, the world might be ending – which is proving to be awkward.

As Doomsday enthusiasts flock to idyllic Eden Valley, Alba’s life is thrown into chaos. Whatever happens next, it’s the end of the world as she knows it. but when it comes to figuring out her heart, Armageddon might turn out to be the least of her problems. 

This sounds like so much fun! Thanks Stripes!

The Abyss Surrounds Us, Emily Skrutskie (e-proof)

For Cassandra Leung, bossing around sea monsters is just the family business. She’s been a Reckoner trainer-in-training ever since she could walk, raising the genetically engineered beasts to defend ships as they cross the pirate-infested NeoPacific. But when the pirate queen Santa Elena swoops in on Cas’s first solo missions and snatches her from blood-stained decks, Cas’s dream of being a full-time trainer seems dead in the water.

Waiting for her on the pirate ship is an unhatched Reckoner pup. Santa Elena wants to take back the seas with a monster of her own, and she needs a proper trainer to do it. She orders Cas to raise the pup and teach him to fight for the pirates. If Cas fails, her blood will be the next to paint the sea.

But Cas has fought pirates her entire life. Santa Elena has no idea what she's in for.

I hadn’t heard of this until my Twitter feed started shouting about how wonderful this is so I had to request it. Thanks NetGalley and Flux!

Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend, Alan Cumyn (e-proof)

Shiels is the Student Body President and she's very pleased with her perfectly controlled life (controlling others while she's at it). She’s smart, she’s powerful, and she also has a perfectly nice boyfriend. But everything changes when a pterodactyl – Pyke - lands in the school field and enrols at Vista View High.

There’s something about him – something primal – that causes the students to lose control whenever he's near and soon Shiel becomes obsessed. Who is this winged boy, with incredible pecs and rock star talent that has swooped in on her carefully constructed life?

Doesn’t this sound brilliantly wacky? I had to request it. Can't wait! Thanks NetGalley and S&S!

Movers, Meaghan McIsaac (paperback)

Some of us are born different. We can Move people from the future to our time. And that makes us criminals. My dad was one of us. I remember the night they took us away.

That was six years ago. And now they're coming for us.

This sounds intriguing. Thanks Andersen Press!


Thursday 24 December 2015

Recommendations: Classics

Since graduating university, my relationship with classics has changed drastically and I've begun actively seeking them out. This year I pledged to read a classic a month and so far I've achieved that goal and so I'm sharing some of my favourites with you.

Persuasion, Jane Austen
288|December 1817

Anne Elliot has few romantic prospects at 27 after refusing the proposal of a young naval captain eight years before upon the encouragement of a family friend. But when Captain Wentworth returns, complete with a fortune, and they cross paths once again, Anne finds herself just as much in love as she was when they first met. Can they overcome the hurt and heartache and find their way back to each other?

This is my favourite Austen novel and it was my mum’s too. With Pride and Prejudice being the most popular I always imagined that would be top dog in my heart too, but Anne spoke to me in the most unexpected ways. Though we are oceans apart in age and situation, I fell in love with with her fierce love for Wentworth (well, who could blame her?), her capacity for sympathy and compassion and her passion for literature. And quite frankly, that letter from Wentworth to Anne alone makes Persuasion worth a spot on my list.

The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
272|April 1925

Jay Gatsby has everything a man could want. In his Long Island mansion, bright young things party the nights away at drinking, dancing and speculating on the mysterious Gatsby. He may be rich and revered, but the only thing he really wants, Daisy Buchanan, is still out of his reach.

This was the novel that reintroduced me to reading classic novels for pleasure and was the first I read upon completing my English literature degree. It's a very easy read, but an engaging, thought-provoking one and I loved it. It's the kind of classic where you yourself can identify the symbolism and the social and cultural references as well as being enjoyable and forming a connection to the characters. It's a beautiful novel and a good one to start with if you’re just venturing into classics or going back in without the aid of your studies for the first time.

The Island of Doctor Moreau, HG Wells

Edward Prendick is the sole survivor of the Lady Vain and is rescued by a strange ship carrying a menagerie of animals. Prendick soon finds himself on an uncharted Pacific island with the crew of rescuers and the beasts from the ship, and beasts they are. The captain of the ship Dr Moreau, a brilliant, twisted scientist has been exiled from English society for his horrific experiments and this island is where he will continue his work.

I actually studied this novel for my A-levels and I read it twice over the time I was studying it. Though I didn’t particularly like it on the first read, as I studied it, re-read it and delved further into the novel, I grew to love it and it became one of the first classic novels I fell in love with via education. It’s very short, but it's also gripping, darkly fascinating and incredibly thought-provoking. It's a science fiction novel to launch a love of science fiction and a wonderful gateway into classics, especially as it’s not even 200 pages long!

Frankenstein, Mary Shelley

Victor Frankenstein is obsessed with the idea of creating life. He scavenges body parts from graveyards, sews them together and brings his creation to life with pulses of electricity, but his creation is far more than he could ever have imagined. With fear and terror, Frankenstein abandons the monster leaving it to fend for itself and learn about the harsh world it has been brought into. Denied the warmth and compassion of humans through fear, the monster sets out to destroy it's maker and all he holds dear.

It still astounds me that Shelley wrote this at the age of nineteen in what was essentially a challenge between her, her husband Percy Bysshe Shelley and Lord Byron. It’s a Gothic masterpiece and the inspiration to a hoarde of horror films, but it’s definitely worth reading. This was another that I fell in love with during my A-levels – the writing is beautiful, the plight of Frankenstein’s monster is surprisingly emotional and the scope of the story is breath-taking. But I must warn you: reading this book will cause a lifetime of shouting at people who call the monster Frankenstein… With great power comes great responsibility, and all that.   

A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf
112|October 1929

Based on a lecture Woolf delivered at Girton College, Cambridge, this is a feminist polemic that ranges from discussions about Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë to Shakespeare’s imaginary sister to the effect of poverty and consent on a woman’s creativity.

I did an entire module on Virginia Woolf and her works in my final year of university. I knew very little about her when beginning the module, but I became a fan of the power in her beliefs, the Bloomsbury Group, Woolf’s intelligence and her non-fiction, her essays in particular, even while struggling with her fiction. This was the first piece of Woolf’s writing outside of her essays and letters that I really connected with while studying her and it changed the way I looked at both her work and her life. Woolf is most famous for her death, but she really shouldn’t be.

Frenchman’s Creek, Daphne du Maurier

Lady Dona St Columb is famed in the Restoration Court for being up for anything that causes trouble or a laugh, but no one knows that she secretly pines for a true love, freedom from the constraints of her society and adventure spiced with danger. Dona escapes court life by fleeing to her husband’s family estate in Cornwall where she meets a pirate who would gamble his life for a speck of adventure. Soon she must choose between risking her life or losing her new love.

Now this is a book that surprised me. Virago relaunched Rebecca, Frenchman’s Creek and Jamaica Inn in gorgeous new editions, one set for an adult audience and another for YA shelves and I took part in the blog tour. I devoured a chuck of it on a long train ride and finished it the next da. I fell in love with the dreamy, lyrical prose, Dona’s struggles against her society and the dangerous, romantic adventure she and Jean-Benoit undertake aboard the La Mouette. It's a gorgeous novel and I highly recommend it.

Dracula, Bram Stoker
512|May 1897

On a visit to Transylvania to help Count Dracula secure the purchase of a London estate, Jonathan Harker sets in motion a terrifying train of events. An unmanned ship is wrecked in Whitby, the raving of a patient in an asylum start to ring true and a young woman discovers strange marks upon her neck.

During my second year of university I took a module about Gothic literature, from what is said to be the first Gothic novel up until the end of the traditional format in 1890, and of course, Dracula featured on the list. But I never got further than a few chapters in. I thought it was boring and it wasn’t what I expected, but this time I listened to a full-cast Audible recording and I loved it. The story is composed of letters and diary entries and gives you all sides of the story, and actually rarely features Dracula himself. It’s tense, dark and brooding and it’s perfect for the dark and dreary months of Autumn and Winter.

What are your favourite classics? Have you read any of these?

And Happy Christmas!!