ANTICIPATED SEPTEMBER 2020 RELEASES

Each month, we’ll be putting together a list of our top most anticipated releases; from romance, to sci-fi, to fantasy, and everything in between. These releases might be ones we’re counting down the days for or ones we’ve already read and want you to read (and love!), too.

What you do need to bear in mind is that living on different continents we have different release dates. So as a general rule there might be some repeats from one month to the next.. it’s not that we’re just being weird. Though we can’t dismiss that totally out of turn.

Get ready, because September is a doozy in the best way!


For September, our hotly anticipated titles, in chronological order, are :

A ROGUE OF ONE’S OWN by Evie Dunmore is the follow up to last year’s BRINGING DOWN THE DUKE which was a huge favourite for us! We can’t wait for this next title in the A League of Extraordinary Women series, which is out September 1, 2020.

NONE SHALL SLEEP by Ellie Marney is pitched as “The Silence of the Lambs meets Sadie in this riveting psychological thriller about two teenagers teaming up with the FBI to track down juvenile serial killers,” and after what Marney did with her Sherlock Holmes retelling series? We can’t wait. NONE SHALL SLEEP is out September 1, 2020.

PUNCHING THE AIR by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam is a YA contemporary delving into wrongful incarceration from an personal experience. This story is told in verse with a poweful voice that will blow you away. Another epic September 1, 2020 release.

BLOOD & HONEY by Shelby Mahurin is a highly anticipated release for so many of our book buddies and the second instalment picks up after that almighty end to book one. Another epic read both in content and size, you’ll be wanting to pick this witches and hunters escapade up on September 1, 2020.

FABLE by Adrienne Young poses with that stunning cover and is the start of a new fantasy duology. A daughter of a poweful trader is abandoned on an island of danger and has to fight to survive. This one also releases on September 1, 2020.

AS THE SHADOW RISES by Katy Rose Pool is another September 1, 2020, release, and this is the sequel to THERE WILL COME A DARKNESS which we greatly enjoyed! Our review for book one is here.

THE LOST BOOK OF THE WHITE by Cassandra Clare & Wesley Chu is another September 1, 2020, release, and this is another sequel which follows this duo’s release of THE RED SCROLLS OF MAGIC, a sorta spinoff from The Mortal Instruments series which actually takes place alongside the main series.

Yet another sequel out September 1, 2020, is A DANCE WITH FATE by Juliet Marillier. This is a historical fantasy series that features warrior bards. How cool, right?

Have you ever wondered what happened after Charlotte from Pride & Prejudice married Mr Collins? CHARLOTTE by Helen Moffett takes that story and rolls with it in rather an unexpected way. It totally won Micky round on audio and it releases on September 3, 2020 in the UK.

IPPOS KING by Grace Draven is a hallejuah release for us. We have been waiting so long for the third installment in Draven’s Wraith Kings series. And the wait is finally over as of September 15, 2020. While we wait, though, this is the perfect time to start this unique paranormal romance series — if you haven’t already.

THE ROOMMATE by Rosie Danan is a title that has been getting a lot of buzz for a long time and it’s almost, finally, here! We here at the blog didn’t know it was anything more than an opposites attract romance but.. a wholesome pornstar love story? Yeah, hi. Come on September 15, 2020!

GROWN by Tiffany D. Jackson is out September 15, 2020. We’re new fans of this author so we were keen for this title regardless but after reading this? We need it. Grown exposes the underbelly of a tough conversation, providing a searing examination of misogynoir, rape culture, and the vulnerability of young black girls. Groundbreaking, heart-wrenching, and essential reading for all in the #MeToo era.” 

WHO I WAS WITH HER by Nita Tyndall is out on September 15, 2020. This book has themes of suicide and grief. Corinne finds her grief even more difficult to navigate because no-one knew she was in a relationship with Maggie. This lgbtqia+ read sounds difficult to read but worth the commitment.

TOOLS OF ENGAGEMENT by Tessa Bailey is the final (?) in her Hot and Hammered series and this is the match-up many have been waiting for since book one. This opposites attract/age gap/single parent romance is out September 22, 2020.

If you were won over by WELL MET, a romance set against a Renaissance faire, you’re definitely eyeballing September 22, 2020, when WELL PLAYED by Jen DeLuca finally comes out. Kilts, wenches, comedy, and that cheerful yellow cover? We needs it.

EARLY DEPARTURES by Justin A. Reynolds has such an uniquely strange concept that we’re loathe to spoil it for those that hate spoilers (hi, over here, us too!) but this speculative YA tackles “loss, grief, friendship, and love to form a wholly unique homage to the bonds that bring people together for life—and beyond,” and it’s out September 22, 2020.

The second in her Devil You Know series, ALL SCOT AND BOTHERED by Kerrigan Byrne is out September 29, 2020, and most of us only need to see the name Byrne for us to say yes and please.

We’re expecting to be all up in our emotions with ALL THIS TIME by Mikki Daughtry and Rachael Lippincott. After their FIVE FEET APART, we know to brace. This story follows a young couple after traumatic brain injury…grab your tissues for September 29, 2020.

BREATHLESS by Jennifer Niven brings another coming of age YA story where the protagonist’s parents go through a break-up, changing everything for this young woman. It sounds very relatable and is out on September 29, 2020.

DEAR JUSTYCE by Nic Stone follows on from the brilliant DEAR MARTIN, Quan who we met in that book is incarcerated and begins to write to Justyce this time. This is highly anticipated for Micky and it releases on September 29, 2020.

A hugely anticipated title worthy of the buzz is A DEADLY EDUCATION by Naomi Novik which features prophecies, dark sorceresses, and more. You’ll want to get your hands on this one on September 29, 2020.

FURIA by Yamile Saied Méndez is a feminist YA contemporary set in Argentina, the barrios in a backdrop of female soccer. It has a gritty story, coming of age and a rather gorgeous romance. This one comes out on September 29, 2020.

THE TOWER OF NERO by Rick Riordan is the fifth book, the finale, in the Trials of Apollo series, set within the main Percy Jackson world, which we honestly hope Riordan never stops writing about. This is likely to have all sorts of action and likely some feels, too, and it’s out September 29, 2020.

THE RETURN by Nicholas Sparks is the story of an army surgeon recouperating from injuries at his family’s cabin and local life has some pull in lots of ways. This story of love the Sparks way releases on September 29, 2020.


What titles are you looking forward to this month? Let us know in the comments below!

FIVE ON OUR TBRS

We’ve found that breaking down our TBRs can be something that inspires us to pick up reads hidden or briefly forgotten. ‘Five on my TBR’ is something that we have done a few times on bookstagram. We thought it’d be nice to have a running occasional feature where we pick five on our TBRs and you tell us yours.. and no doubt that will cause some adding to TBRs!

Check out our first post here.

Micky’s five


THE SHADOWS BETWEEN US by Tricia Levenseller
SUCH A FUN AGE by Kiley Reid
SEVEN DEVILS by Elizabeth May & Laura Lam
THE BEAR & THE NIGHTINGALE by Katherine Arden
SWEET BLACK WAVES by Kristina Perez

Let me just address the fact that I’ve only read one from my last 5 on our tbrs…and let’s move on. It’s a big deal for me to commit to BEAR as I am bruised from many sides with bookie friends poking me to read this one (Hollis needs me to do this, she’s only been asking for years). I want to, but I want to love it and I feel a little trepidation. I’m a recent fan of Laura Lam and so SEVEN DEVILS is a no-brainer for me.

Hollis’ five

SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO by Taylor Jenkins Reid
THE FIRST SISTER by Linden A. Lewis
SEVEN DEVILS by Laura Lam & Elizabeth May
THE OBELISK GATE by N. K. Jemisin
BLOODY ROSE by Nicholas Eames

Since our first post of this nature, I actually managed to read three (+ two as one was a series opener) of my original five and while I thought to leave the other two on this list, I’m only going to leave one — the TJR. Because I still don’t know what’s stopping me from reading that one. THE FIRST SISTER is a recommendation from my blog buddy extraordinaire, see her review here, SEVEN DEVILS because I want (need) feminist ensemble space opera in my life, THE OBELISK GATE because I finally read book one in The Broken Earth trilogy and loved it, and BLOODY ROSE because book one in The Band series was a fantastic fun and I’m hoping to buddy it with the friend I read KINGS OF THE WYLD with.


Tell us the top five books on your immediate TBR! Do any of ours make your lists?

ANTICIPATED AUGUST 2020 RELEASES

Each month, we’ll be putting together a list of our top most anticipated releases; from romance, to sci-fi, to fantasy, and everything in between. These releases might be ones we’re counting down the days for or ones we’ve already read and want you to read (and love!), too.

What you do need to bear in mind is that living on different continents we have different release dates. So as a general rule there might be some repeats from one month to the next.. it’s not that we’re just being weird. Though we can’t dismiss that totally out of turn.


For August, our hotly anticipated titles, in chronological order, are :

HARROW THE NINTH is the hotly anticipated follow up to last year’s unexpected delight GIDEON THE NINTH by Tamsyn Muir. If you thought book one was all that.. just wait until August 4, 2020.

Does this book even need an excited introductory blurb? Probably not. MIDNIGHT SUN by Stephenie Meyer is out August 4, 2020.

Alert! We have a feminist space opera duology release this month with SEVEN DEVILS by Laura Lam & Elizabeth May. These two seasoned authors promise some goodness with this release on August 4, 2020.

THE BLACK KIDS by Christina Hammonds Reed is a blast back into retro 1992 LA while the city burns from riots and a rich, black girl’s life gets turned on it’s head. This book also hits the shelves on August 4, 2020.

If you’re looking for some chronic illness rep in YA, EVERY LITTLE PIECE OF MY HEART by Non Pratt aims to deliver. This is a contemporary YA with friendships and some underlying romance, it releases on August 6, 2020.

DEAR EMMIE BLUE by Lia Louis is one of the most endearing and slowly heart-breaking contemporaries to hit our shelves in a while. Already out in the US, this gorgeous book hits the UK on August 6, 2020.

We’ve got a LGBTQIA+ debut for you with BOY QUEEN by George Lester. This finding yourself story also finds the protagonist on the runway. Check this out on August 6, 2020.

BLOODBORN PRINCE by Laura Lascarso is book two in the Mortal and Divine series which is a paranormal fantasy that is very much adult, erotic fiction. It contains violence and moral ambiguity and if you’re keen to try this m/m romance, book one, BOOK OF ORLANDO, might still be on sale. Grab it while you can! Book two is out August 7, 2020.

THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY by Matt Haig is a gripping wander into a fictional and fantasy purgatory with strong mental health themes. This book is all advocacy and own voices understanding and it releases on August 13, 2020.

THE FAITHLESS HAWK by Margaret Owen is the conclusion to The Merciful Crow duology which, hey, can we get a round of applause for a duology that actually remains a duology without being extended? This series has so much excellence going for it (though mind you, trigger warnings for plague — because it’s 2020 and we can’t have nice things) and we can’t wait for whatever this author will come out with next. You can get your beaks on this finale on August 18, 2020.

Topping both our lists for We Must Has It is EMERALD BLAZE by Ilona Andrews, which is the follow up to SAPPHIRE FLAMES, which kicked off the continuation of the Hidden Legacy series and now follows one of the original protagonists’ sister on her many magical adventures. It’s true that we’re big IA trash in this bloghold (it’s a household but for blogs) but after how the last book ended? We are definitely going to be refreshing our kindles on August 25, 2020.

THE SUGARED GAME by KJ Charles is book two in the Will Darling Adventures trilogy which is historical mystery series with an m/m romance and honestly if you stopped reading after seeing KJ Charles? We wouldn’t blame you. Want, need, yes. What is sure to be yet another delight from this author is out Auguts 26, 2020.


What titles are you looking forward to this month? Let us know in the comments below!

MOST ANTICIPATED READS IN 2020 — JULY TO DECEMBER

Even with half the year behind us, and so many books already read, there are still so many books still to come for 2020!

We would like to preface this with a note that these release dates are, of course, subject to change. Particularly in 2020 when release dates are being bounced back, then brought forward, with little to no notice. Also you’ll note in some cases we have indicated a specific country next to a title. This might mean it’s lagged release, ie, already out in the US but now released in the UK, or available everywhere but the US, and doesn’t make the release date wrong. However we did not duplicate titles to indicate multiple release dates. Just something to keep in mind!

Topping our lists of Most Anticipated Reads in 2020 — July to December (in order of publication) are :

July
THE DAMNED by Renée Ahdieh (7th)
GIRL, SERPENT, THORN by Melissa Bashardoust (7th)
BOYFRIEND MATERIAL by Alexis Hall (7th)
BURN OUR BODIES DOWN by Rory Power (7th)
LOVELESS by Alice Oseman (9th)
WHAT YOU WISH FOR by Katherine Center (14th)

August
HARROW THE NINTH by Tamsyn Muir (4th)
MIDNIGHT SUN by Stephenie Meyer (4th)
SEVEN DEVILS by Laura Lam & Elizabeth May (4th)
THE BLACK KIDS by Christina Hammonds Reed (4th)
BOY QUEEN by George Lester (6th)
EVERY LITTLE PIECE OF MY HEART by Non Pratt (6th)
DEAR EMMIE BLUE by Lia Louis (6th)
STAR DAUGHTER by Shveta Thakrar (11th)
THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY by Matt Haig (13th)
THE FAITHLESS HAWK by Margaret Owen (18th)
EMERALD BLAZE by Ilona Andrews (25th)
THE SUGARED GAME by KJ Charles (26th)

September
A ROGUE OF ONE’S OWN by Evie Dunmore (1st)
NONE SHALL SLEEP by Ellie Marney (1st)
AS THE SHADOW RISES by Katy Rose Pool (1st)
THE LOST BOOK OF THE WHITE by Cassandra Clare & Wesley Chu (1st)
CHARLOTTE by Helen Moffett (3rd — in UK)
IPPOS KING by Grace Draven (15th)
THE ROOMMATE by Rosie Danan (15th)
GROWN by Tiffany D. Jackson (15th)
TOOLS OF ENGAGEMENT by Tessa Bailey (22nd)
WELL PLAYED by Jen DeLuca (22nd)
EARLY DEPARTURES by Justin A. Reynolds (22nd)
ALL SCOT AND BOTHERED by Kerrgan Byrne (29th)
DEAR JUSTYCE by Nic Stone (29th)
A DEADLY EDUCATION by Naomi Novik (29th)
FURIA by Yamile Saied Méndez (29th)
THE TOWER OF NERO by Rick Riordan (29th)
THE RETURN by Nicholas Sparks (29th)

October
THIS GREEN AND PLEASANT LAND by Ayisha Malik (1st)
THE INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LARUE by V.E. Schwab (6th)
IN A HOLIDAZE by Christina Lauren
BROTHERSONG by TJ Klune (13th)
THE DEEP BLUE BETWEEN by Ayesha Harruna Attah (15th)

November
CHASING LUCKY by Jenn Bennett (10th)
THE FIRES OF VENGEANCE by Evan Winter (10th)
HOW THE KING OF ELFAME LEARNED TO HATE STORIES by Holly Black (24th)

December
EVERY LAST SECRET by A.R. Torre (1st)
FOREVER WILD by K.A. Tucker (1st)
LAYLA by Colleen Hoover (8th)


What titles are topping your list for most anticipated for the later half of 2020? Let us know!

2020 MID-YEAR BOOK FREAK OUT

Well, we made it! We’ve survived the first half of 2020. And unlike last year this feels like a much bigger achievement because.. you know. 2020 has been A Lot.

This year, we’ve decided to do a follow up to 2019’s post, which didn’t actually follow the tag but was more a glimpse at reading stats, as well as actually participate in answering the tag’s questions. Spoiler alert : Hollis cheats at pretty much every tag question.


What is the best book you’ve read so far in 2020?
M : Drum roll…THE COURT OF MIRACLES by Kester Grant.
H : I can’t pick just one. I’m going to be that person. WOLFSONG by TJ Klune, THE HOUSE IN THE CERULEAN SEA also by TJ Klune, and BEACH READ by Emily Henry.

What is the best sequel you’ve read so far in 2020?
M : CLOCKWORK PRINCESS by Cassandra Clare, late to the party as ever.
H : THE FAITHLESS HAWK by Margaret Owen (I read this recently for the original pub date but it’s been pushed back to August now) and NETWORK EFFECT by Martha Wells which, isn’t technically a sequel, I guess, but an installment in a series!

What’s a new release you haven’t read yet, but want to?
M : The only one I’ve not read from our Top Ten Most Anticipated 2020 release post is CHAIN OF GOLD by Cassandra Clare and I’m ready!
H : The good news is, from our Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases of 2020 list, I’ve read them all! So I’ll go with AND THE STARS WERE BURNING BRIGHTLY by Danielle Jawando because I’ve been keen to read it since Micky’s review.

What is your most anticipated release for the second half of the year?
M : THE IPPOS KING by Grace Draven, long awaited but hopefully worth it.
H : The Draven is definitely up there but I think.. ooh, this is hard. Either EMERALD BLAZE by Ilona Andrews or A DEADLY EDUCATION by Naomi Novik. The former I know I’ll love and the latter I hope to love.

What has been your biggest disappointment?
M : THIS IS HOW WE LOSE THE TIME WAR by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone (Hollis says ouch)…and Micky is still aching from the pain.
H : It’s not my lowest rated of the year (so far..) but it’s the one that I think I was most surprised about considering I expected it to be a new favourite. And that’s BOYFRIEND MATERIAL by Alexis Hall.

What has been your biggest surprise?
M : THE PRIORY OF THE ORANGE TREE by Samantha Shannon, which was a situation of moving from intimidation of that tome to impressed as anything at the world, characters and writing.
H : I think I expected to like this but didn’t quite anticipate just how delightful it would be? And that’s KINGS OF THE WYLD by Nicholas Eames.

Do you have a favorite new author (debut or new to you)?
M : AND THE STARS WERE BURNING BRIGHTLY by Danielle Jawando because it has everything contemporarily relevant, YA issues of mental illness, BIPOC author and characters and its set in my home city of Manchester.
H : I might have to go with TJ Klune. I had read one book by him previously and didn’t love it. And 2020 proved to me that I had clearly started with the wrong series/book. I mean, I could love nothing else but the Green Creek series and THotCS but.. well, we won’t know that for a while yet!

Who is your newest fictional crush?
M : Zafir, the king of swoons from TAKE A HINT, DANI BROWN by Talia Hibbert.
H : I mean.. if you’ve read TAKE A HINT, DANI BROWN, there is no acceptable answer other than Zafir. We twinned on our love for the book so no surprise we twin on this answer, too.

Who is your newest favorite character?
M : Alyrra from THORN by Intisar Khanani, she was humble maybe partly due to low self-esteem but also strong and had all the character growth as she was thrown into the worst of circumstances.
H : Murderbot from the Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells.

What book has made you cry?
M : SEA PRAYER by Khalid Houseeni, brace yourself.
H : Almost everything I read makes me cry. Better question would be which book didn’t make me cry. But to answer the real question? WIRE WINGS by Wren Handman.

What book has made you happy?
M : ONLY MOSTLY DEVASTATED by Sophie Gonzales, mostly read with a smile on my face.
H : TAKE A HINT, DANI BROWN by Talia Hibbert because it’s Talia Hibbert.

What’s the most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)?
M : UK hardback of DREAMS OF GODS AND MONSTERS by Laini Taylor (gifted by the one and only Hollis)
H : Sticking with the Laini theme, I’ll say my IG giveaway win of NIGHT OF CAKE AND PUPPETS, which was also the UK edition.

What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
M : HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE by Diana Wynne Jones, SKYWARD by Brandon Sanderson, A HEART SO FIERCE & BROKEN by Brigid Kemmerer, THE VANISHING HALF by Brit Bennett, TIES THAT TETHER by Jane Igharo, MIDNIGHT SUN by Stephenie Meyer.
H : I’m going to steal from our last Five On Our TBRs post and say SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO by Taylor Jenkins Reid, AURORA TERMINUS by S.E. Fanetti, and THE BEST THING by Mariana Zapata. I need to knock these out before next year or the point of that post is just.. pointless. But also I want to finally get to the Broken Earth trilogy by N.K. Jemisin, I’m waiting on my hold of FELIX EVER AFTER by Kacen Callender to pop up, and more non-fiction titles.

credit for the Mid-Year Book Freak Out tag goes to :
Chami → https://youtu.be/EB8OrYHBvM8
Ely → https://youtu.be/X_Wh0rPGfRg



Now it’s stats and reading review time!

Hollis
Once again we have a lack of GR reading goal and thank goodness for that because 2020 didn’t come to play. I’m all over the place on reading and that was my norm pre-COVID but the pandemic has definitely not helped. I am (obviously) not one of those lucky souls reading more than ever right now. I wish. That said..

As of June 21, 2020, my total reads are : 120 (down by six from 2019 by this point). Of those reads, 6 are five-star reads (down by one from 2019) and 2 are one-star reads (down by five from 2019). Also, for one reason or another, 4 books were left unrated (down by five from 2019). Additionally I’ve DNF’d 1 book this year (down by five from 2019).

Further breaking this down, of those 120 books, 36 were ARCs (down almost half from 2019), 30 were from my OverDrive (literally the same!), 46 were bought/freebie eBooks (up by thirty from 2019.. it’s lots of shorts/freebies for series, though, in addition to working through already-owned eBooks/backlist), 2 are physically owned by me (down by five from 2019.. though there might be a few more I’ve since bought in physical but also have as eBook), I’ve read no graphic novels from hoopla (down by five from 2019), and 1 was a physical library book (same as 2019 so I can’t even say elle oh elle COVID). Incase you were doing the math with me, yes, that leaves 5 books unaccounted for (up by two from 2019, wtf). Once again I’m as confused as you. But you get the idea.

I hope to break this down into genres and categories, own voices, representation, etc, by the end of the year for an overall stats wrap up. .. at least that’s the goal!


Micky
Again, it’s been about 4 years since I’ve set a Goodreads reading goal but I do keep track of my reads on different shelves and I keep a detailed reading journal because I love the creativity of that. I’m not following the same pattern as Hollis on stats because my brain is a completely different creature.

So far in 2020, I’ve read 121 books and I’m pleased to say that 21 of those were owned books or backlog reads. Reading the backlog is a constant aim for me, if only I could stop acquiring at the same time. I’ve only listened to 15 audiobooks so far this year and that’s low for me. I listen to audiobooks on my commute so working at home over COVID has had a significant effect on that. What is also on the down trend are dnfs – only 5 so far and I’m hoping to keep that number low-ish.

I’ve read 16 BIPOC reads and I’m hoping to increase this exponentially (own voices). I’ve also read 18 LGBTQIA+ books, 9 of which were own voices. Both BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ books have been spread across my reads for the year for the last few years. Current events have me being a little more purposeful.

I’ve continued reading from the library, a few physical but mostly ebooks and they account for 24 of my reads. ARCs and ALCs (advanced listening copies) make up 70 of those 121 book which has shocked me a little. I want to level that out a bit and make room for non-ARC reads more. That said, over my years on netgalley I’ve how given feedback on 364 titles and I’m happy with that. I guess I’m on track for about 100 netgalley feedbacks in 2020.


And, phew! Congrats if you’ve made it this far, frankly we’re feeling a bit exhausted after all that brain crunching. We’d love to know how mid-year has you feeling about books, especially for a year that’s had a lot of us house-bound so far. Are you reading less or more? Feeling accomplished or exhausted or slumpy? Tell us your feels.

THE EDELWEISS+ EXPERIENCE… AND IT’S NOT A LULLABY

So Hollis and I feel kind of in control with NetGalley, with the odd ‘it controls me’ moments. Edelweiss+, however, is a totally different kettle of fish. Now, we know that this is a platform less used by readers and more used by book professionals but there are some blogger/reviewers only (like us) on there.

So what’s different about Edelweiss+, I hear you say? For starters, it’s a pretty clunky platform and definitely not as user friendly as NetGalley. It does work on the same principles though; you see a book, you request it, and ideally the publisher will grant access. Instead of ‘read it now’, it also has a ‘download’ option rather than request for some select titles.

What has been Micky’s experience, is that getting declined is the default (see the left of the photo above *laughs/cries*). For example, say for every ten that are requested, access might be given to one or two. Why continue? Well, there are publishers that use Edelweiss+ and not NetGalley, or favour Edelweiss+ more.

Unlike NetGalley, your profile is very basic and there is no running tally or reads, reviews or percentages. I miss that element, I like competing to get myself in a better position! Now over to Hollis who has had a better experience than me (somewhat), which is probably to do with regional issues.

Micky isn’t wrong, I have had some better experience. For a while it was all books, all day, download download download! Now? Less of that. I do think there is some logic behind the “provide a reason for your request” box but realistically I don’t imagine your enthusiasm sways anyone. I think it’s just hit or miss.

I have no screenshot to show you because I clear my dashboard, refusing to linger over the rejections, but I, too, would prefer there was some kind of feedback ratio to indicate that, strong profile or not, I’m reading and reviewing what I’m given. Maybe there’s something on the other side of the screen? Hard to tell. But I’ll keep clicking, keep enthusing over new titles, keep hoping those books that only show up on Edelweiss+, as opposed to NetGalley, might make their way onto my kindle.


What has been your experience? Do you use Edelweiss+ or have you thrown in the towel?

ANTICIPATED JUNE 2020 RELEASES

Each month, we’ll be putting together a list of our top most anticipated releases; from romance, to sci-fi, to fantasy, and everything in between. These releases might be ones we’re counting down the days for or ones we’ve already read and want you to read (and love!), too.

What you do need to bear in mind is that living on different continents we have different release dates. So as a general rule there might be some repeats from one month to the next.. it’s not that we’re just being weird. Though we can’t dismiss that totally out of turn.


For June, our hotly anticipated titles, in chronological order, are :

MY CALAMITY JANE is book three in the Lady Janies series by a trio of authors and this retelling/parody/homage (if you’ve read the series, you understand) features the wild west and werewolves! Naturally. Get your garou-on on June 2, 2020.

THE COURT OF MIRACLES by Kester Grant is a Les Mis reimagining that is everything unique and special. It has a historical/fantasy feel with a YA context and everything about this release has me excited. Out on June 4, 2020, this is one of Micky’s top reads this year so go for it.

JUST FRIENDS by Holly McCulloch is a rom-com about being in the friend zone and trying to date when your friend is always around. It sounds hilarious, fun and it released on June 11, 2020.

AIX MARKS THE SPOT by SE Anderson releases on June 16, 2020 and it is a French adventure and coming of age story. Frankly, it’s the perfect YA summer read with the cutest vibes.

DESCENDANT OF THE CRANE by Joan He has a paperback release in the UK on June 16, 2020. This story is a Chinese-inspired fantasy with royalty and magic.

TAKE A HINT, DANI BROWN is the second book in The Brown Sisters series by Talia Hibbert. This cheerfully bright cover will be landing on kindles, and out for delivery in paperback, on June 23, 2020, and we can’t wait for swoons, hilarity, and everything else it brings.

TWO ROGUES MAKE A RIGHT is the third book in Cat Sebastian’s m/m historical romance Seducing the Sedgwicks series. This story, which will likely be delightful and is highly anticipated by us, is out June 23, 2020.


What titles are you looking forward to this month? Let us know in the comments below!

THE NETGALLEY SHUFFLE

We all know the struggle. You log into NetGalley, particularly when you first get started, and go a little.. click-happy. Suddenly you’re drowning in ARCs, approvals coming every which way, and your feedback ratio drops and drops and you don’t know how you’ll ever reach that recommended 80% milestone. Heaven forbid you hit a slump and take a break from ARCs only to keep clicking, keep requesting, and thus the cycle repeats.

We don’t know how it happened but here’s our humblebrag : Micky & Hollis are both in the 90%+ margins. Micky has been approved, and read, almost double what Hollis has, but still. It does get easier to keep that percentage high, and have it stay that way, the more you get approved for, the more you read or keep pace with said approvals, but it can be equally easy to request, clicking on more — no matter your %.

Neither of us know the magical workings behind NetGalley, we don’t have any particular tricks, but we wanted to open the floor to you and see if there’s something you’ve learned, something you’ve struggled with, and help each other out. There’s lots we still probably don’t know and we always find it interesting when publishers post recommendations or suggestions to improve your profile (you can sometimes catch these threads on twitter).

It’s easier said than done to just say read what you click, keep an eye on publishing dates so you don’t overload yourself in back to back months, but part of the fun is stumbling through these trials and errors and learning from them. Or, like us, even with our high percent, crying over a month with sixteen ARCs and no end in sight. It happens to us all! That said..

Here are our Top Ten Tips for Netgalley :

  1. Take the time to write a strong profile. Have a photo of yourself — publicity assistants tell us it helps to see who you are. Add a bit of relevant stuff about yourself, how you enjoy sharing your love of books. We started ours with no blog/bookstagram presence, just reviewers, so don’t feel you don’t have enough to have a go. Add all your social media links that are relevant to books. There’s a section just for that.
  2. Go slow, it’s so tempting to click on everything you find even slightly interesting. Try and resist the urge to do that. Our rule of thumb is.. do I really want it, do I really need it?
  3. Try and read and review the arcs before release, ideally a week or two at least. What publishers are looking for is your views before release, to build up reviews and get the word out there! I (Micky) try and stay a month ahead with my reviews but I can be the week before, Hollis is much more organised than me at this.
  4. Keep a tally/list of how many arcs you have due and once you get to a number that is your threshold for enough that month DON’T LET YOURSELF REQUEST MORE. Micky keeps checklists for this, Hollis uses a dedicated Goodreads shelf to keep track; whatever works for you. We map our physical arcs into this too.

5. You don’t need the elusive 80% to get approved by publishers. It is definitely something to aim for but you will still get approvals without it.

6. Share your completed reviews on publication date with the outlets suggested by that publisher e.g. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Waterstones. Publishers need you to do this and it is part of what you are signing up to do.

7. Be honest. You don’t need to bump up the rating to please the publisher, honest reviews are sought. We have not had a reduction in approvals from publishers who might have had a low rated review from us previously and neither of us shy away from those one-star ratings.

8. As you fall deeper into the reviewing rabbit-hole, maybe you do start a blog, or a bookstagram, so make sure to add those links in the relevant section. Cross-post your reviews to all your platforms, tag authors/publishers when you do (in positive reviews only, please!!), and update your Bio routinely with any change in stats (followers, subscribers, etc).

9. Don’t read only arcs, you will exhaust yourself with deadlines and potentially put yourself in a book slump. Make sure there’s room for reading the things your like, your owned tbr, maybe library books, a mood read or a re-read.

10. The same goes for blog and bookstagram tours connected to NetGalley arcs, don’t sign-up to everything, give yourself some space. In reality, you can be late with netgalley arc reviews but you can’t for a blog tour. Keep the pressure manageable.

We’d love to know your experiences, how you do the NetGalley shuffle! We are happy to answer any questions you have. Watch out for our Edelweiss blog feature coming soon where we expose this different creature of a platform and tell you our experiences with that.

HOW TO SURVIVE YOUR BUDDY HATING A BOOK YOU LOVE

this was the gif Hollis chose in response to Micky’s dislike of her recommendation, and yes, Micky laughed

We’ve all been there. You recommend a book to a friend, or family member, and then they don’t like it. Or, worse, hate it. Hi, Hollis here. I had the idea for this post while reading through a book series much beloved by friends of mine. What made me decide to actually write it was when blog buddy, Micky, picked up one of my favourites and wasn’t liking that, either. As of the writing of this, she’s even put the book down. Talk about karma. Edit : since drafting this, she’s finished the book and disliked it greatly, elle oh elle.

Jokes aside, though, the best part about reading, and talking about books, is the discussion. Whether that’s coming from the same side of the page or opposite sides of it. I’ve never been bothered by it, though I’ll definitely feel a little guilty when I’m the perpetrator of the indifference or dislike, but though I might pout or put on a little bit of a show, I’m not bothered if people dislike what I love.

Micky here, I feel pretty much the same as Hollis now, a mild disappointment when someone doesn’t like a beloved book, probably because I wanted to gush with them. I have to say I never feel offended, even if it’s hate of a book I loved. One of my favourite ever conversations with Hollis back in the day was over my long time love and her full on hate for REAL by Katy Evans. Hollis, our friend Jess and I had full on hilarity hearing Hollis’ take on this book.

I do think I have evolved to this position of chill, however. Once upon a time, I might have thought but whyyyyyyy don’t you love what I love? I’ve moved on from this and just because Hollis’ hates something I love, doesn’t mean it’s not a good book, just not her kind of book and vice versa.

This blog chat was framed as a ‘how to’ but honestly we don’t have anything to recommend to you. We could suggest you get over your sadness by watching cat videos (Hollis recommends the Dodo twitter account), or eating your feelings (mint chocolate chip never lets you down), or watching Disney movies. But we’re probably all doing those things right now anyway because #pandemic.

Instead, we want you to think back, if you can, and try and recall the first book that you loved but someone else didn’t. Can you remember? What was the book? Have you moved on? Still in therapy? Will we ever stop asking questions that no one will probably answer? Tune in next time..

ANTICIPATED MAY 2020 RELEASES

Each month, we’ll be putting together a list of our top most anticipated releases; from romance, to sci-fi, to fantasy, and everything in between. These releases might be ones we’re counting down the days for or ones we’ve already read and want you to read (and love!), too.

What you do need to bear in mind is that living on different continents we have different release dates. So as a general rule there might be some repeats from one month to the next.. it’s not that we’re just being weird. Though we can’t dismiss that totally out of turn.


For May, our hotly anticipated titles, in chronological order, are :


NETWORK EFFECT by Martha Wells is the fifth book, but first full-length release, in this series about an AI who calls themselves Murderbot and, somehow, despite how they would rather just watch soap operas, has to constantly save a bunch of humans. Woe. Not much time to catch up in the first four novellas but, being novellas, you can definitely crush them quickly. Then get your hands on Moar Murderbot on May 5, 2020.

AURORA BURNING by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff is the sequel to this duo’s newest series, following AURORA RISING, and the squad of misfits that, somehow, have to save the galaxy. Find out how that goes for them on May 5, 2020.

CLAP WHEN YOU LAND by Elizabeth Acevedo is a story of two girls approaching adulthood, in two different places and cultures. They are brought together by a plane crash and much more that they have in common. With Acevedo’s amazing prose, this is one you cannot miss and it’s out on May 5, 2020.

THE GRAVITY OF US by Phil Stamper is a coming of age YA in the backdrop of two teens who’s parents are involved in a mission to Mars. This LGBTQ+ romance sounds so good and it releases (in the UK) on May 14, 2020.

BEACH READ by Emily Henry, a story about two authors from very different genres struggling with writers block, has been getting so much buzz (and rightly so!). You’ll definitely want to get your hands on this funny, emotional, delightful, romance; and you can do so on May 19, 2020. This is out in July for the UK.

HIDEAWAY by Nora Roberts is a romantic suspense with a main character who is a survivor of a kidnapping. Her adulthood and childhood begin to catch up with each other in this book that sounds absolutely gripping. HIDEAWAY releases on May 30, 2020.


What titles are you looking forward to this month? Let us know in the comments below!