Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story

Not often do I say a show was better than the book. Sadly this is one of those times.

I wanted to like this book. I really did. I tried. I absolutely LOVED the show, but for me, the book fell flat. It felt like the book was written after the script, and mostly borrowed from that script without adding anything new to the story. There was no depth, there was no substance.

Also, I had a problem with the way this author compares skin-to-food, amongst using other racist stereotypes in her attempt to show the societal gap.

I tried to give this author the benefit of the doubt—I think what she was trying to do with such offensive phrasings was meant to highlight the fact that, historically, it was normalized to say/think amongst white people who didn’t realize/care what they were saying was offensive…buuuut, when writing HF in this day-and-age, you have to be more present. The woke storyline needs woke language to match it, and in this case, a good idea was ruined by old-fashioned storytelling methods.

This particular HF already attempts to rewrite the past, so I don’t understand why the language couldn’t also be rewritten. She didn’t need to write-in the constant stereotypes as a demonstration—readers already pick up on inequality as a theme without the MCs being SA’d, stereotyped, compared to food, having their skin rubbed off, and just blatantly insulted.

The book attempts to show British society in the 1700s accepting and uniting black people into society but unfortunately is done in such a tasteless and tone-deaf way that I almost stopped reading multiple times throughout the book. It was an ambitious idea that the author cheapened—but it worked really well-on screen (probably because there was a huge team of people who were able to catch and reframe the problematic areas of the story.)

Historically, racism was not cured in this era as the book suggests, but the suggestion is not my issue with the story. It’s historical fiction, and I would have enjoyed it if the POC MCs stories weren’t simply being used here to fetishize black people and erase problematic historical issues.

There is unfortunately a pattern of celebrating and protecting white women authors while not recognizing how their work promotes and reinforces racism. This is sadly one of those works.

I have seen historical fiction with POC characters done so much better and without the constant marginalization and stereotyping and honestly am disappointed in the author after reading the book. Sad.

In short, don’t read the book. Just watch the show.


The Affair of the Mysterious Letter by Alexis Hall

“𝘞𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘥𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘣𝘢𝘵𝘵𝘭𝘦 𝘢𝘨𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘴𝘵 𝘥𝘢𝘳𝘬 𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘤𝘦𝘴 𝘪𝘧 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘤𝘢𝘯’𝘵 𝘭𝘰𝘰𝘬 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘣𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶’𝘳𝘦 𝘥𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘵?” ― 𝘼𝙡𝙚𝙭𝙞𝙨 𝙃𝙖𝙡𝙡, 𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝘼𝙛𝙛𝙖𝙞𝙧 𝙤𝙛 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙈𝙮𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙧𝙞𝙤𝙪𝙨 𝙇𝙚𝙩𝙩𝙚𝙧

The Affair of the Mysterious Letter by Alexis Hall offers a spin on the classic detective story. This one reminded me of A Darker Shade of Magic meets Sherlock Holmes—olde world magic meets Victorian crime. Set in a fantastical world of magic and mystery, the book follows the adventures of Captain John Wyndham, a retired soldier turned private investigator, as he attempts to solve a case for his eccentric and brilliant friend, Shaharazad Haas.

The book is filled with twists and turns, memorable characters, and an amazing blend of science fiction and fantasy. The world-building was standout for me, and I also thoroughly enjoyed the witty narration from Captain Wyndham—and his prudent censorship of Haas’ colorful language—his adventures with the unpredictable Haas were always entertaining and kept me on my toes! Perfect for fans of historical fantasy!


In the Lives of Puppets by TJ Klune

In the Lives of Puppets by T.J. Klune

This was my first May buddy read with my bff @the.queerreader 💚 We have been working our way through TJ Klune’s books and I have to say this has been my favorite one yet! All of his books have blown us away but THIS ONE. I loved it.

It is so meta, and it evokes so many big questions about the meeting of technology and humans. Can machines feel? Can they exhibit free-will? What defines love? Will robots one day surpass humans, at what point will technology overtake humans? And can technology ever really become conscious? Or will it always be seeking to be like us, only ever able to emulate humans-qualities? So many deep questions are stirred up with this book, and with the rise of AI, it feels more relevant than ever.

Not only is this book incredibly profound, but also emotionally vast. In true Klune style, it is emotional, thought-provoking, and brimming with love and life. He is easily becoming an auto-buy author for me and I highly recommend everyone read this book!

thank you to @librofm for providing this ALC! I loved it!!


Gwen and Art Are Not in Love by Lex Croucher

This is my favorite Lex Croucher book yet!

Gwen and Art Are Not In Love is a reimagining of Arthur and Guinevere —with a LGBTQ twist. This was described as Heartstopper meets A Knights Tale… so obviously I had to request the ARC!

Set in mythical Camelot, lord-to-be Arthur Delacey (descendant of the famous King Arthur) is betrothed to Princess Gwendoline. But they hate each other. Forced to spend the summer together before their impending nuptials, the pair

I loved the relationship dynamics in this book, and of course, was a huge fan of the historical fiction element. The medieval setting felt new to me because I haven’t read many stories like it, and I really enjoyed this as a retelling.

I loved Gwen’s growth throughout the story, her character arc was strong. She goes from

I LOVED Lady Leclaire, she was the perfect SFL and I love that she played a part in empowering Gwen. I also loved the period representation, exploring PCOS and how women’s period pains are often dismissed.

There is a let-loose birthday scene, sword-play, and tame YA romance

I also enjoyed the dual romances, and think this is one of my favorite love-square stories I’ve found! It was a very cute, sweet YA that I would highly recommend!

Must read if you like:
-historical fantasy
-forced proximity
-characters who show growth

I was also super happy to find one of my favorite quotes by Mary Oliver featured (and reworked): “So what do you want to do with your one slightly dull but nonetheless precious life”.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing this ARC, I loved it!