Monthly Wrap Up | December 2021

I can’t believe it’s the end of the year! Somehow Christmas has been and gone already. The promise of a white Christmas quickly became a pipe dream (as per) and the weather has been rainy and wet for what feels like forever. Definite cosy vibes, however, and my toddler loves puddles so it’s still a win. This post-festive period has been a wonderful balance of family time and also being productive with much-needed jobs around the house. Overall it’s been a lovely, wholesome month.

My reading for December has been on par with last month. I’ve read five books, reviewed four and taken part in one blog tour.

What I Read

The Dark Room by Sam Blake ✰✰✰

You Are Enough by Cheryl Rickman

Away with the Penguins by Hazel Prior ✰✰✰✰*

Remember My Name by Sam Blake ✰✰✰*

Wahala by Nikki May*

*I will update this post with links when the reviews are posted.

Book of the month

This month my favourite book was… Away with the Penguins. A book where the main character definitely grew on me! A wonderful story and something a little different but equally wholesome. I’d definitely recommend a read, especially through these winter months!

Going forward

I have quite a few blog tours and reviews to share in January. I feel like it’s always quite a busy month! I’m also going to continue picking from my own shelf as I have been these last few months. Next year I’m going to, besides preorders, see how long I can go without buying any books to help with lessening the tbr, as my shelves are getting a little out of hand! We’ll see how that goes, but I do have a book to read from my 12 challenge on Twitter, which are all ones I currently own. The challenge is 12 friends recommend 12 books to read over 12 months. Currently deliberating my first pick and you’ll find out which one I went for next month…

As always, a huge thank you to the publishers and authors who provided me with a gifted copy of a book in exchange for an honest review. You’ll find their details tagged in each individual blog post, linked above. 

Until next time,

Book Review | Steve the Christmas Elf by Billy Dunne

Thank you to Luke and Buster Books for sending me a copy of Steve The Christmas Elf in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis

A humorous and heart-warming story about a little elf called Steve and a little girl called May, who help each other find their way. 

Steve the Christmas elf is in the North Pole, busy making toys for the big day. But he suddenly wonders: what if the children he’s making toys for don’t exist? It’s not like he’s ever seen them …

Join Steve on a Christmas Eve adventure as he sneaks on board Santa’s sleigh, befriends a little girl who’s found herself on the naughty list and gets himself into a whole load of festive trouble.

Review

Steve the Christmas Elf is a beautifully illustrated, original story with lovely characters. The story is aimed at children between the ages of 2 – 5.

Steve the elf questions whether children are real – this was a nice, original concept as usually it’s children questioning whether Santa / his team of elves are real. I liked the fact they flipped this idea and it worked well.

It was nice that the human character in the story was a girl and showing May sharing her toys with Steve was a really good choice. Steve and May form the perfect twosome and together they reignite the joy of Christmas. It feels like a really special journey with a goal that’s important, as Christmas is such a magical time for children.

The illustrations are amazing and they really pair with the narrative well. The pictures definitely enhance the words and the reading experience. Steve is exactly how I would have pictured him and my son loved his hat!

My 2 year old really enjoyed the story and he was fascinated, especially by the the reindeer illustrations as he’s a complete animal lover. I’d highly recommend this lovely Christmas read, and I can’t wait to read it with him (and his little brother) for years to come.

Steve the Christmas Elf is out now from Buster Books. You can purchase a copy using the link below, and also help support independent bookshops.

Bookshop.org

Note: This is an affiliate link. If you purchase via this link, I’ll get a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you.

Until next time,

Blog Tour | You Are Enough by Cheryl Rickman

Thank you to Anne and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of the blog tour for You Are Enough and for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis

Review

You Are Enough is a positive, informative and interesting read. It feels personal and inclusive, written in a way that feels like you’re talking to a friend.

The book has three parts covering expectations, balance and self. Through each part you ‘work’ on different areas. Each part is then broken down further into chapters, focusing on even more specific advice. It covers a broad range of information and is vast – full of so much knowledge that it’s practically bursting at the seams.

There are steps to follow which aim to combat each of the difficulties. All of which are easy to follow and relatively simple to consider, think about or do. Step 34 is the final step, which gives you some idea about how in-depth the information is!

Each part begins with a quote which is a nice touch and adds extra external positivity. It also made sure there was a nice start to each and had relevance to the chapter in hand.

There is a notes section in the back of the book which is especially useful to jot down any thoughts or feelings you may have as you go through the book. It’s also a good place for responses to some of the Step’s, such as writing a list.

The numerous illustrations and info graphics throughout are beautifully designed and equally functional. They’re informative and aid the reading in a positive way. The book as a whole is extremely aesthetically pleasing, and really gives off a ‘feel good’ sense right from the cover page.

You Are Enough speaks directly to you and this makes it feel personal. It makes it easy to follow and is extremely engaging. It’s comforting but also informative, chatty but also educational.

The information and steps given by Cheryl Rickman are thought provoking and detailed. They really do guide you through a process and deliver their end goal and leave you feeling ‘enough’.

You Are Enough is out now from Summersdale books, and you can purchase using the link below (whilst also helping to support independent bookstores!)

Bookshop.org

Note: This is an affiliate link. If you purchase via this link, I’ll get a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you.

Make sure you check out the other stops on the blog tour, which can be found below.

Until next time,

Monthly Wrap Up | November 2021

Just like that it’s the end of the penultimate month of 2021… I really feel like this year has flown by! We’re truly into the cold and dark months now and although I’m still not a huge fan, I can’t deny the cosy blanket laden evenings haven’t gone down a treat. The pre-Christmas snow, which I don’t remember the last time it happened this early on in autumn/winter, has really got me in to the festive spirit too. My toddler got so excited, and I just love how animated children get, it really is a reminder to just take a moment to be present and enjoy the now. Christmas is on the horizon and it’s a special one this year as it’s also our first Christmas with two little ones! Lots to look forward to, and be grateful for, in the coming month.

My reading for November has been much improved on last month and I’ve read some fabulous books. This month I’ve taken part in one blog tour, read five books and reviewed one.

What I Read

This Lovely City by Louise Hare ✰✰✰

My Wild and Sleepless Nights by Clover Stroud ✰✰✰

The Wild Girls by Phoebe Morgan ✰✰

Tomorrow Will Be a Good Day by Captain Tom Moore ✰✰✰✰

Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult ✰✰✰✰

Book of the month

This month my favourite book was… Wish You Were Here! Heavily focused on the covid pandemic, it’s also extremely realistic and a stark reminder of life as it was, and could be again. It’s open and honest, with a twist I didn’t see coming! If you haven’t already, I’d recommend giving it a read.

Going forward

I have a non-fiction blog tour to share in December, and a couple of exciting reads due in January, so expect to see those next month! Other than that, I will be continuing to enjoy the pick of my own library. It’s definitely exciting to choose something that’s been on the shelf for a while! I definitely read one book and buy about three more though, but that’s a conversation for another day…

As always, a huge thank you to the publishers and authors who provided me with a gifted copy of a book in exchange for an honest review. You’ll find their details tagged in each individual blog post, linked above. 

Until next time,