Other Words for Smoke – a review

I read this beautiful book with Kari from Kari-ng for books, it was such a fun buddy read and I loved discussing each chapter with her! This is a slightly paranormal, fantasy book set in Ireland that follows a set of twins visiting their great aunt Rita and the owl in the wallpaper who has its talons in the house.

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The only complaint that me and Kari both had about this book was that we wanted to see more of the fantasy world! This is very much (purposefully) focused on our world, but the taster that we did get definitely whet our appetites and we with there was more!

This book has fantastic Sapphic representation, alongside familial love and territorial. Sarah Maria Griffin’s writing is simultaneously beautiful, intelligent, and dangerous. Every beautifully written sentence is laced with meaning and wrapped in barbed wire.

I was so lost within this world, within the characters. They’re intrinsically linked to both our real world, in Ireland, and also this world of magic and unknown dangers. I love how Sarah Maria Griffin links in tarot to the world, as well as drawing upon real life tragedies from Ireland’s past.

For my CAWPILE rating I gave:

Characters: 9

Atmosphere: 10

Writing: 9

Plot: 9

Intrigue: 9

Logic: 8

Enjoyment: 9

With an overall score of 9.00 just squeezing in a 5 star!

Similarly to my last review, this is another one where I would recommend checking out the trigger warnings if you need them. I myself was fine, but there are a lot of possible triggers within this short book so please do take care

Highlight here for trigger warnings: house fire, sexual manipulation, fantasy addiction, mentions of magdelen laundries/forced institutionalisation, mentions of death in childbirth, parental abuse, fatmisa, emotional and physical abuse, abusive relationship, sexual manipulation, homophobia, addiction to power, body horror, body shaming, death, religious bigotry

Overall this has solidified Sarah Maria Griffin as an author I really enjoy reading from and I look forward to reading more of her works in the future! Have you read any Irish literature? Recommend me some!

First Lines Friday!

So I usually post on Thursdays, but I keep reading and loving the first line Friday posts from Lisa’s Books Gems and Tarot (which is hosted by Wandering Words) so I’ve decided to take part! I’m sure you’ll forgive me for not posting on a Thursday!

What if, instead of judging a book by its cover or its author, we judged the book by its opening lines?

Here is how it works:

– Pick a book and open to the first page.

– Copy the first few lines without revealing which book it is.

– Reveal the book!

So… do these first lines entice you?

Nobody knew what made the three of them from Iona Crescent up and walk out of the world. The rumours were different, depending on who you spoke to. Accident, attack – nobody could say for sure, except for Mae Frost and her brother, Rossa. They were there when it all happened, but they were sworn to silence in the way so many survivors of horror are: their tongues held by something beyond their control. Mae wasn’t sure she’d ever be able to say any of it out loud, even if she was asked. That second summer, away up in the hinterlands where the suburbs kissed the mountains, had stolen the words from her. The language that matched her confession was lost.

Scroll down to reveal the book!

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Other Words for Smoke by Sarah Maria Griffin
Other Words for Smoke by Sarah Maria Griffin

I am so excited to read another book from this author, I adored how she made me feel in Spare and Found Parts and the concept of this book sounds amazing!! Have you read this? Tell me what you thought!

December Wrap Up| 2018

I set my tbr as four books this month, and as per I deviated pretty early on. So let’s get into what I actually read in December! If you’d rather watch this in video format (with closed captions) then click here to go to my YouTube channel.

five go gluten freeFive Go Gluten Free by Bruno Vincent -> 3/5*

This parody of Blyton’s well-loved Famous Five was a fun and quick little romp. I adored the original books as a child and it’s fun to see the group brought into the modern day and dealing with the most random of problems.

five give up the boozeFive Give Up the Booze by Bruno Vincent -> 2/5*

Seeing as I read the book above so quickly I thought I’d get through this one as well. I did have a bit of a problem with one section, which is why it dropped a star, however, it’s also a fun little parody and I look forward to reading more from this mini-series.

Other Words For Smoke

Other Words for Smoke (sampler) by Sarah Maria Griffing -> 4.5/5*

25 pages and I’m hooked! I am so excited for the full book to be released so I can become fully immersed within this amazing world. Thank you Titan Books for the sampler!

The Devouring GrayThe Devouring Gray (sampler) by Christine Lynn Herman -> 4/5*

Another sampler I was very kindly sent by Titan Books, another 25 pages and another book I am super excited for in 2019! This is also going on my tbr!


enemy of the stateEnemy of the State, pt. 2 of 6 by Millar, Romita Jr., and Janson -> 2/5*

Honestly, I wasn’t that keen on this. I think I just don’t like comics as they’re too short and I don’t get enough of the story in one go. I don’t have any more comics in my tbr that I own so this is the last one.

a song of ice and fireGame of Thrones by George RR Martin -> 4/5*

I finally read it!! Finally!! This is a chunker of a book at over 800 pages, and I’ll be honest, when I tried to read this book before watching the show I just couldn’t get into it. There was too much for my little brain. But now that I’m completely up to date with the show (and in love with it) it was much easier to get through this book and I ended up really enjoying it.

a christmas carolA Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens -> 5/5*

Starting Christmas Eve, and finishing Christmas Day, I read this little classic novella from Dickens. This was such an entertaining little book that I really enjoyed and I’m glad I’ve finally read the original after seeing various adaptations over the years. It was also a lovely way to spend Christmas Day.

little moments of loveLittle Moments of Love by Catana Chetwynd -> 4/5*

My lovely boyfriend gifted me with this book for Christmas, and I read it on Christmas day! We always send Catana’s comics to each other and this was such a sweet and thoughtful gift from him.

legendLegend by Marie Lu -> 3.5/5*

It took me a while, but once I got into this book I flew through it! I was tempted to give it 4*s but it doesn’t quite match up to other books I’ve given that rating. But, overall I massively enjoyed it, I even enjoyed the romance! And I look forward to carrying on with this trilogy in the future.

And that’s it! I should have read The Mime Order, and who knows. Maybe by some magic, I’ll read it tonight, but being realistic I won’t finish it this year. Ah well! That’s my last wrap up of 2018! It’s been a helluva year and I’m looking forward to 2019!