Thanks to the course load of my Master’s, I technically haven’t had much time to read in the past few months. However, this has not stopped me (yay for procrastination). It seems somewhat odd that to take a break from slews of academic readings that I take solace in, well, more reading. But the books that I’m about to write about are some of the only things that have gotten me through my uni related workload. And yes, sometimes I’ve continued reading these three books instead of what I was supposed to be doing, but two of them I legitimately couldn’t make myself put down…


Jade City by Fonda Lee

Jade City is hands down one of the best books that I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. It’s been recommended to me a few times in the past year, and I wish I’d read it earlier.

The events of the novel take place on the island of Kekon, one of the two places that produces a rare, magical type of jade that grants its wielders superhuman abilities. The jade warriors who were once the protectors of Kekon are now entangled in organised crime syndicates.

Lee’s novel is a masterclass in worldbuilding and character development. It is all too easy to become enveloped in the world that evokes the nostalgia of gangster movies combined with the fantasy genre. I cannot recommend this book enough, and am immensely looking forward to reading books two and three in The Green Bone Saga.


The Legacy of Hunters Ridge by Sarah Barrie

Crime/mystery novels aren’t my usual reading genre, but I was in a reading slump when a friend recommended The Legacy of Hunters Ridge.

Set in rural Australia, Barrie’s novel follows protagonist Alissa Morgan-Jones, whose life is in tatters after her husband’s suspected murder. When her mother-in-law is diagnosed with a terminal illness, Alissa moves to the country town of Hunter’s Ridge to take care of the property, which comes with its own set of strange rules. Alongside finding her feet, Alissa learns that the small town is plagued by a string of missing persons. As Alissa unintentionally finds herself drawn into the mysteries of Hunter’s Ridge, she finds an unanticipated danger lurking.

I was pleasantly surprised when reading Barrie’s novel. As mentioned above, this genre isn’t my usual, but it was nice to get out of my reading comfort zone. Whilst I find it difficult to engage with books set in “the real world,” Barrie’s ability to write an engaging mystery certainly helped with this. The Legacy of Hunters Ridge is an all-around enjoyable read!


Only a Monster by Vanessa Len

Published in February this year, I’ve been looking forward to reading Vanessa Len’s debut Young Adult novel, Only a Monster since HarperTeen started promoting it late last year.

It follows sixteen-year-old Joan, who is sent to stay with her late mother’s ‘eccentric’ family in London. Her whole life, Joan has thought the warnings and convoluted messages her grandmother has imparted on her to be odd, but this time, Joan learns the truth behind her grandmother’s words: her family are monsters with hidden powers. As Joan begins to navigate this, somewhat terrifying, new world, she learns who she can trust, and who she can’t.

Although this will probably sound a little cliché, Len’s novel took me on a reading journey. I wasn’t sure about it at first, and it took me a few chapters to get into, but once I got my head around worldbuilding, I was utterly captivated. If YA books are in your wheelhouse, please read Only a Monster—it will not disappoint.


So, there we have it—my three favourite reads from the past few months! I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’ve read any of these books, or decide to give one a go. Happy reading pals!


Phoebe Barsi

Phoebe Barsi

Hi, I’m Phoebe and I’m a contributor and columnist for Opus! I like writing about the creative arts with a focus on anything book related. When I’m not studying, writing, or procrastinating, you’ll find me either reading, plotting, talking, or thinking about books!