where our team of writers love to talk all things books, sharing reviews, features, lists, interviews and more.

Getting lost in a book is escapism at it's finest and it's what everyone who contributes here thrives on.


Saturday 27 February 2021

Bookish Links #63

1. One of our book club prompts for the year is to read a 2021 release and this list of debuts is full of inspiration!

2. This list also has some more amazing ideas for your 2021 TBR!

3. We love these dark academia inspired illustrated bookmarks from Plum Tree Illustration.

4. Take a look at the bookshelves of authors, musicians and actors in this video series from Marie Claire.

5. This makeover post shows how you can turn a small landing space into a cosy reading nook.

6. These TV/book pairings could be a great way to find your next favourite book or show.

7. If you’re a bookworm who also loves to sew, this quilt pattern from Angela Pingel is for you!

8. Kristin Hannah’s latest novel The Four Winds has been all over Bookstagram recently. You can find out more about the book in this Goodreads interview.

9. We’re big fans of combining audiobooks with our favourite hobbies. This post shares how you can cross more titles off your TBR this year whilst also learning a new craft!

10. And if you're looking for an audiobook to start with, over on BBC Sounds you can now listen to bestselling novel The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman (also reviewed here on BB last year!).

This month's beautiful bookstagrams to follow:

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Thursday 25 February 2021

This Monstrous Thing | Mackenzi Lee | Review

This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee. Book lying on white fluffy blanket. Blogger's Bookshelf.

Welcome to This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee

Lee's A Gentlemen's Guide series is so much fun so I was really looking forward to checking out her debut novel (which came out in 2017), This Monstrous Thing.

Here's the description: 

In an alternative fantasy world where some men are made from clockwork parts and carriages are steam-powered, Alasdair Finch, a young mechanic, does the unthinkable after his brother dies: he uses clockwork pieces to bring Oliver back from the dead.

But the resurrection does not go as planned, and Oliver returns more monster than man. Even worse, the novel Frankenstein is published and the townsfolk are determined to find the real-life doctor and his monster. With few places to turn for help, the dangers may ultimately bring the brothers together—or ruin them forever.

Pitched as almost a Frankenstein retelling, I was definitely intrigued. I love me a good retelling of fairy tales and other classics. While I hadn't actually read Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, I know enough of the gist of the story to recognise it all throughout this book.

It's not a plot-for-plot retelling, but rather the origins of the book. In the world where our protagonist Alistair lives, steam-powered clockwork people are common. But never has anyone brought someone back from the dead with clockwork. A book suddenly gets distributed to the people, giving the tale of someone who has brought someone back to the dead (like Frankenstein's monster). It's then Alistair's mission to find out who wrote the book and why it reads just like his life.

This was an okay book. But just 'okay'. I didn't love it like I did Lee's other books, but it was still a good story and a great feat for her debut novel.

It's always really interesting going back to an author's first few books after reading their more recent releases, and realising just how much they've grown and honed their craft. 

If you like retellings, classics, and a steam-punk vibe, then definitely pick up This Monstrous Thing. But if it's not really your jam, I suggest you give this one a miss. It's okay but not life-changing.

Have you read This Monstrous Thing? What did you think? 

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