October and November Wrap-Up + Favourites

oct-nov-wrap-up

Hello There

Just like that, we have said goodbye to autumn and have welcomed winter, here in the northern hemisphere. I still can’t believe it’s actually December. I quite forgot to write my October wrap-up, so I thought I’d wrap up both October and November at the same time in this post.

October and November have been quite eventful for me and I feel like they happened forever ago. In those two months, I have continued job-hunting (I will find something… someday), have finally registered for my driver’s license and am studying for the driving theory exam, have started learning the guitar, have been babysitting a lot, have prepared and had our Harry Potter party,  have met three authors I adore and have traveled to Paris a few times.

Though all of these are very positive and amazing things that happened, most days I’m still trying to breathe, to figure myself out and not to be too hard on myself: we all move at different paces and that’s okay. Being done with my studies and be unemployed is really a tough period to get through, but I’ll get there!

what i read

Thanks to the Gilmoreathon, which happened in the first two weeks of October, I managed to read a lot in October and to get through most of the books I wanted to read in autumn. During that month, I read:

  • Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim, 3/5 stars
  • Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab, 4/5 stars
  • Star Wars: Dark Disciple by Christie Golden, 2/5 stars
  • The Mighty Thor, Volume 5: The Death of the Mighty Thor by Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman and Walter Simonson, 3.5/5 stars
  • Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks, 4/5 stars
  • Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, 4/5 stars
  • Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo, 4.5/5 stars
  • Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, 2/5 stars
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling, 5/5 stars (reread)

ninth-house.jpg

My favourite book of the month was by far Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo, which made me the happiest as it was one of my most anticipated releases of the year. I loved the world it was set in as well as the dark academia aspect so much and I cannot wait for the sequel to come out at some point (please consider checking the trigger warnings if you want to read it, though).

In November, I mainly finished books I had started the month before and I didn’t read as much as usual, some months are like that I guess. I ended up reading:

  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, 5/5 stars (reread)
  • My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix, 1/5 stars
  • Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb, 4.5/5 stars
  • The Birds and Other Stories by Daphne du Maurier, 4/5 stars
  • Queen’s Shadow by E.K. Johnston, 3/5 stars

ship-of-magic.jpg

My favourite book of the month was Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb, I adored it so much (it’s not that surprising, but still)! It’s the first book in her second series set in the Realms of the Elderlings and it’s pretty much the pirates and ships series I’ve always wanted. I’m currently reading the second book in the series and I can’t stop thinking about it, I almost missed my subway stop because of it the other day.

favourites

this-is-us

TV SHOW // This Is Us

This Is Us is back in my favourites… Yet again. The fourth season of the show started airing at the end of September and the fall season finale aired at the end of November, so of course it’s been with me through the past two months. My best friend and I watched the new episode every Wednesday and there are so many weeks when it was the one thing that got me through life. This show has been my safe space for the past few months, to the point that I have to listen to Jack’s Theme to fall asleep every night, so yes, it’s just going to stay in my favourites for a while.

hp-party

MISC. // Our Harry Potter Party

On November 2nd, we hosted a Harry Potter party with my family and it was amazing! We started preparing it early September, my brother and I even invented a game and I drew all the cards, it was a lot of work, but it was so great to see the house transformed and to imagine to be in Hogwarts, just for one night. I also started playing Hogwarts Mystery during those months, reread the sixth book and have been rewatching the movies, so I’ve been in a huge Harry Potter mood recently and it feels amazing.

the-crown-s3

TV SHOW // The Crown

In November, the third season of The Crown was released and I binge-watched it as fast as I could! I’m a huge period drama fan, so I was beyond excited for this new season and for the new cast! I thought they all did a splendid job, from Olivia Colman to Josh O’Connor and as I didn’t know much about this time period in the UK, it was quite interesting in that aspect as well. I’m so excited for season 4.

authors-meeting.jpg

BOOKISH // Meeting Samantha Shannon, Leigh Bardugo and Alice Oseman

In November, I was lucky enough to meet all three of these authors and it still feels unreal, because they’ve all written some of my favourite books. In the few minutes we talked, Samantha Shannon managed to impress me with her knowledge of history (she knew what my hometown was known for in the Middle Ages? WHAT?) and I could tell her how much I love Priory. Leigh Bardugo was every inch a queen and seeing her for the second time was amazing, we talked black lipstick and it was a lot of fun. Alice Oseman was so adorable as well and she painted Nick and Charlie on a bookstore window, it was so cool! I can’t believe it all happened within a few weeks.

frozen-2

MOVIE & MUSIC // Frozen

Like many people, I adore Frozen with all my heart. By mid-October, I couldn’t stop myself any longer and I started listening to the original soundtrack as well as the Broadway musical all the time again, so I was more than ready for Frozen 2 to come out. This movie was everything and is definitely my favourite movie of the year so far, I’ve already watched it twice and am planning to watch it so many more times. I adore the characters so much, even more than before, the new songs are amazing (my favourite is Some Things Never Change), we’ll not mention how happy I was when I heard Sterling K. Brown voicing a character and overall, I’m so happy that the Frozen hype is back.

Looking Ahead

I’m actually quite excited about December. I’m not sure whether or not I’m in a Christmas mood yet, as there are so many things happening right now, but it’ll come soon. This month, I’m going to London for a weekend and will see Dear Evan Hansen on West End (I still can’t believe it, I’ve listened to this musical for so long!!), I’m so excited to go back to London and while it’s all decorated for Christmas on top of that!

Other than that, all my excitement is going towards the release of The Rise of Skywalker. It’s no secret that I’m a huge Star Wars fan: I grew up with it and have seen every Star Wars movie in theaters since Revenge of the Sith (I was nine then, before that I was too younger… or not even born haha), so it feels really weird to say goodbye to the Skywalker saga. I’ll probably rewatch the movie a lot while it’s in theaters like for The Last Jedi, but still.

What about you? What’s your latest favourite book? Anything you’re looking forward to this December?

lots of love

Four book series I’m giving a second chance to 📚

july-2019

Hello There

There are so many book series that I have given up on; sometimes because I read the first couple of chapters of a book and thought we wouldn’t be the right fit, sometimes when I didn’t like the first book enough to continue, when everyone is telling me that the sequels are way better. I used not to think twice about it, because there are so many books I want to read, but so little time.

However, over the past year or so, as I started wanting to give another chance to some book series, I realized that what could have been true once isn’t set in stone: over the years, my reading tastes change, so books that I thought weren’t for me, I could actually enjoy later on.

flower

Of course, it’s not true for every book out there, but sometimes, while your present self isn’t ready for a book, your future self might end up loving it later and it’s been on my mind a lot lately. We talk a lot of second chances, so why wouldn’t books deserve that too? 🤔

As I was thinking about book series I was giving/wanted to give another try to, I realized that most of them leaned towards adult fantasy and it doesn’t surprise me, to be honest: it’s a genre that used to intimidate me, but I read so many adult fantasy novels now. Three years ago, I would have been wary before jumping into Robin Hobb’s Realms of the Elderlings (really long) series or G.R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, and maybe I’d have disliked them for some reason, but now? I always get so excited when I pick up one of these books.

post-divider-2

It got me thinking that while I read some books when the timing was right for me, I might have missed out on others because I wasn’t ready for them, and that’s okay. It’s not too late to go back and figure out which books I might have missed out on and to enjoy them more this time around.

At the moment, there are four book series that I want to give another chance to or have picked up again, because I feel like the timing is right. I’m mainly giving them another chance because I’ve loved the authors’ other books, because my friends and reviewers I trust loved them, or because of the hype, it all depends.

the-bone-season.jpg

🦋 The Bone Season series by Samantha Shannon

This series is the reason I started thinking about this blog post. I “tried” reading the first chapter of The Bone Season four years ago, but it wasn’t working for me, so I just moved on and that was it. However, when I read The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon this year, I fell in love with it so much that it ended up becoming my favourite book of the year.

Because of that, I needed to read more books by Samantha Shannon, so I decided to give The Bone Season another try and when I looked the summary up again, I was so intrigued again. This series is set in a dystopian London where being clairvoyant (e.g. seeing spirits) is illegal, but the main character is one of the most powerful ones and works for a criminal organization… and then it all goes from there and gets more complex, it’s so worth it! This time around, it worked: while the first book in the series isn’t my favourite, I was so intrigued by it, read it really quickly and soon enough, I found myself ordering the second book, which was everything I wanted and now that’s it: I’m committed for the rest of the series.

the-winternight-trilogy.jpg

❄️ The Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden

I read The Bear and the Nightingale early 2018 and I expected to love it so much, but somehow I was disappointed. This book is about Vasilisa, who lives in Russia with her family and grows up with fairytales told by her nurse, until her mother dies and his father marries a woman who discards all the family’s ways. I don’t remember much about it to be honest, I found the world to be fascinting, but was quite disconnected from the story and I didn’t get to the sequels, as I forgot so much about the first book overtime.

That being said, I feel like I could adore this book way more now: it’s full of magic and folklore and I usually love slow-paced books. Moreover, I know that my friend Aseel loved the sequels more than the first book and we have very similar reading tastes, so it really motivates me to give it another chance and reread it this winter.

the-nevernight-chronicle.jpg

🔪 The Nevernight Chronicle by Jay Kristoff

My relationship with Nevernight started the exact same way than my relationship with The Bone Season: I read the first few pages and thought it wouldn’t be for me. It made me so sad, because come on, a book about a female assassin?! I was so ready for it.

Then, in August, right before Darkdawn was released, it felt like everyone I followed on BookTube and Bookstagram was either rereading the series in preparation for that release or starting the series and I started getting big FOMO… So I ordered Nevernight, read it and fell in love with it as well (as so many people say, you just have to get through the first 50 pages!). I cannot wait to get Godsgrave when I can, but I’m so happy I gave Nevernight a second chance: I need more of Jay Kristoff’s adult books now!

blackthorn-and-grim.jpg

🧝🏻‍♀️ The Blackthorn & Grim trilogy by Juliet Marillier

Last but not least, I really want to give another chance to the Blackthorn & Grim trilogy. These books are set in ancient Ireland and follows a healer who was wrongly imprisoned and one of her fellow prisoners. To escape prison, she makes a deal with the Fair Folk to assist anyone who asks for her help for the next seven years, which means she can’t get revenge on who imprisoned her. After seeing so many people raving about Juliet Marillier for years, I felt a bit let down by Dreamer’s Pool, first book in the trilogy when I read it, to be honest. Still, it really felt like a fairytale and I was so intrigued by this world, so it was quite a bummer.

Since then, I have read the Sevenwaters series by the same author and it’s my favourite book series of the year so far, so I really want to get to all of Marillier’s works. Looking back, I think I enjoyed this book way more than I first thought, so fingers crossed I’ll love it this time!

flower

Do you ever give second chances to books because you think the timing wasn’t right for you to read them? If so, have you enjoyed said books/series more?

lots of love

The End of the Year Book Tag

end-of-year-1.jpg

Hello There

As I’m typing this, the weather is quite gloomy and I’m listening to Frozen: The Broadway Musical, so yes, we’ve quite moved on from autumn to winter for me. I haven’t been blogging for about a month and a half, mainly because my mental health hasn’t been at its best to say the least, then I got laptop troubles, but I’m finally ready to get back into it, as I’ve missed blogging a lot.

I thought that I’d take it easy coming back, so that’s why I decided to do The End of the Year Book Tag, which was created by Ariel Bissett. I keep seeing this tag everywhere, so I thought it would be fun to do it as well. Without further ado, let’s get into it!

end-of-year-2.jpg

Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

Sadly… Yes. I’m terrible at reading my non-fiction books consistently, so I have two on the back burner at the moment. 🙈 I’m still reading The Novel of the Century: The Extraordinary Adventure of Les Misérables by David Bellos, as well as Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley by Charlotte Gordon (extraordinary is the key word here apparently). I haven’t read either of them in a few weeks, but I want to finish at least one of them before the end of the year, so we’ll see how it goes!

end-of-year-3

Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?

I’d say The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield! I adored this gothic novel so much when I read it at the beginning of the year and it starts in November, so it’s perfect for the season! Moreover, it has spooky elements and bad winter weather, which makes it a perfect book to read next to a fire while it’s really cold outside.

end-of-year-4

Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?

I can’t wait to get my hands on The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black, though I only have two days left to wait for it to be released! 😱 I loved the first two books in this trilogy so much, so I can’t wait to go back to Elfhame, to see Jude and Cardan again and to know how their story will end.

end-of-year-5.jpg

What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?

I’m in a huge fantasy mood at the moment and really want to catch up on some series, so that’s what I’m planning to do during the last few weeks of the year. I’m planning to get The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon, the third book in her Bone Season series, when I’ll travel to London next month, because it’s set there and I want to start it then. Moreover, it’s time I catch up on the series as the next book in it will be released in 2020! I also really want to get to Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff, because I loved Nevernight and I so want to continue this trilogy. Last but not least, I’m currently reading The Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb and want to read the whole trilogy while I’m at it, so I’m planning on getting to The Mad Ship as well.

end-of-year-6.jpg

Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favourite of the year?

Well, my favourite book of the year has been The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon since March and the only other book I gave five stars to in 2019 was The Thirteenth Tale, so I highly doubt any book will do better than Priory before the end of the year. That being said, I finally started Robin Hobb’s Liveship Traders trilogy last week and I’m adoring it so much! Her Farseer trilogy got me out of my fantasy slump around the same time last year, so the Liveship Traders trilogy might end up being my favourite series I’ve read this year (I mean, talking ships, magic, pirates and somehow a family saga? I am so in!), but that’s about it!

flower

Have you already started making reading plans for 2020?

My reading plans for 2020 are to be as relaxed about reading as I can, I don’t want to pressure myself with what and how much I read, so for the third year in a row, I’ll set my Goodreads reading goal at one book and we’ll see how the year goes!

What about you? What are your reading plans for the rest of the year and do you have reading plans for 2020?

lots of love

September reading wrap-up and favourites ☕🍂

september-2019

Hello There

September has been a weird month for me, so I’m glad to leave it behind to welcome October. As I finished my studies back in June (but only got all my grades back last week), this September was the first time I didn’t go back to school and it made me feel off-balance, so I tried to take it one day at a time. I’m just exhausted by people asking me if I have found a job, because believe me, if I had found one, I’d be screaming it from the rooftops.

Still, September had amazing moments. I went to Disneyland with my best friend, I went to Paris to visit my boyfriend and some of my friends, as well as to see an exhibition that holds a special place in my heart, I stayed up all night to watch the Emmys, This Is Us came back on TV, the Downton Abbey movie came out, so many things still made me really happy.

what i read

I didn’t have a great reading month in September, in the sense that I wasn’t really in the mood to read anything, only one book I read stood out, plus I abandoned two books. Some months are like this I guess. 🤷🏼‍♀️ I still managed to finish five novels and three comics though, so that’s something. Here are the books that I read:

  • The Host by Stephenie Meyer, not rated (reread)
  • Leia, Princess of Alderaan by Claudia Gray, 4/5 stars
  • The Mighty Thor, vol. 2: Lords of Midgard by Jason Aaron, 3/5 stars
  • The Mighty Thor, vol. 3: The Asgard/Shi’Ar War by Jason Aaron, 3.5/5 stars
  • The Mighty Thor, vol. 4: The War Thor by Jason Aaron, 3.5/5 stars
  • The Confession by Jessie Burton, 3.5/5 stars
  • The Wickerlight by Mary Watson, 3/5 stars
  • City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab, 3.5/5 stars (reread)

My favourite was by far Leia, Princess of Alderaan, it has managed to make me love Leia Organa even more than I already did, plus it featured Amilyn Holdo! Ah, I do love my Star Wars books, they make me so happy.

favourites

disneyland.jpg

MISC. // Friendship anniversary and Disneyland

On September 4th, my best friend and I celebrated our ten year friendship anniversary and we decided to go to Disneyland for that! It was such a perfect day, we rewatched a few Disney movies in preparation, I’m pretty sure I had never done that many rides in one day, we got matching Disney pins in celebration, I finally saw the new version of Phantom Manor, we stayed until the fireworks and I cried during that show, it definitely was the best day of the month. I can’t believe we’ve been friends for ten years, here’s to so many more and to going to Disney World in 2029. 💖

gilmoreathon

DRINK // Pumpkin Spice Latte

With autumn, the Pumpkin Spice Latte came back and it made me so happy to start drinking it again! I also finally tried to make some myself and it tastes amazing, I can’t get enough of it. Everyone in my family tried it and they loved it, so I have to make it in huge batches now… Not that I mind. 😅

tv-shows-september

TV SHOWS // Anne with an E and This Is Us

I finally started watching Anne with an E in September and I fell in love with it. I didn’t know what to expect, but it’s so refreshing, I am so attached to the characters and the setting is stunning! I’m about halfway through season 2 right now and I can’t wait to catch up. I also decided I’d finally read Anne of Green Gables this month, as I never did growing up, and I’m so excited!

On top of that, This Is Us came back for its fourth season last week and it makes me the happiest. I’ve only watched the season premiere so far, but it was perfect, I can’t wait to see where they go this season and I haven’t listened to anything but Memorized for the past week. I’m watching episode 2 tonight and I just can’t wait. Honestly, my mental health has been all over the place recently, but as long as I have This Is Us, I feel like I can through everything, because this show means the world to me. 💖

mandy-moore

MUSIC // When I Wasn’t Watching, Mandy Moore 

I can’t put into words how much I love and admire Mandy Moore. I rediscovered her through This Is Us back in May (you thought you had seen the last of This Is Us for this post, didn’t you?), so of course I started following her on Instagram and was instantly impressed by her, as she was hiking through Mount Everest with some of her friends at that time. I’ve been following her for months and I find her so inspiring, plus she’s been impressing me more and more as Rebecca in This Is Us for months. On top of that, after ten years, she decided to record new music and released When I Wasn’t Watching. I adore this song so much, it speaks to me on so many levels and I can’t wait for her to release more new music.

I don’t think I had quite realized that until September, as she released new music and as she was nominated for an Emmy, but Mandy Moore has inspired me so much over the past few months. She’s the type of person to persist no matter what, who goes back to her passions even if it’s been ten years and it must be terrifying, and she seems like such a strong and gentle soul. Watching her IG stories every day makes me so happy and honestly? I want to be just like her as I go on in life.

downton-abbey-movie

MOVIE // Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey is one of my all-time favourite TV shows, so I was beyond excited when they decided to make a movie of it. I watched it on release day and it was all I could have asked for and more. Sure, it was a bit cheesy at times, but seeing the characters all together on the big screen one last time was everything and the perfect closure. I can’t wait to watch the movie again and again.

Looking Ahead

I am so ready for October to be here! It means autumn is settling itself more and that it’s time to indulge in all things spooky, as Halloween is pretty much here. Here are some things I want to do this month:

  • continue job-hunting,
  • participate in the Gilmoreathon,
  • continue learning Spanish,
  • participate in Inktober (it’s my first time participating so I’m a bit scared),
  • register for my driver’s license,
  • learn Hedwig’s theme on the piano

How was September for you? Any new favourite things?

lots of love

My TBR for the #Gilmoreathon ☕🍂

gilmoreathon
Hello There

October is finally coming tomorrow and I am so happy, as autumn is truly installed in the northern hemisphere now. The season of fallen leaves, pumpkin spice lattes, cozy sweaters, rainy days and so much more is finally here and I couldn’t be more excited, as it’s my favourite season. Like a lot of people, autumn also reminds me of Gilmore Girls, one of my all-time favourite TV shows and it is the perfect season to rewatch it (though I already do that all year, but nevermind).

That being said, a few weeks ago, Olivia @ Liv’s Library, Desi @ Pastel Pages and Mackenzie @ Mackenzie Lane announced they were hosting a two week long readathon based on Gilmore Girls, so of course I had to join in! This readathon is happening from October 1st to October 15th and there are two ways to join: you can either read books based on challenges or read as many books as possible from the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge. On top of that, the hosts chose a group book to read all together, Lauren Graham’s memoir, Talking as Fast as I Can. 

What am I planning to read for this readathon?

Well, I have to admit that I’m in a bit of a reading slump at the moment, so I’m hoping this readathon will help me to get out of it. I decided to plan my TBR according to the challenges created by the hosts and tried to make some of my autumn TBR fit them. So without further ado, here’s my TBR for the Gilmoreathon!

gilmoreathon-1

  • read a book with a school setting: in honor of Yale and Chilton.

For this challenge, I am planning to read Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo, which I think is the perfect choice, as it is set in Yale. As it is coming out during the readathon, I won’t be able to read it straight away, because I have to wait for my copy to arrive, but I’m so excited about it, as it’s a dark academia novel all about secret societies.

gilmoreathon-2

  • read a mother/daughter relationship book: in honor of our favorite mother/daughter relationship ever.

For this one, I am planning to read Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab, the second book in the Cassidy Blake series. I struggled a bit to find a book that fitted that prompt, but Cassidy travels around the world with both her parents, so it totally works! Besides, I was planning to read it in October anyway, as it’s partially set in the Catacombs in Paris, so it’s perfect for the season. 👻

gilmoreathon-3.jpg

  • read any cozy book set during fall/winter: in honor of beautiful Stars Hollow and Lorelai smelling snow.

I started watching Anne with an E this month and I’ve been loving it so much, so I decided it was time for me to finally read Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery! I’m sure it’ll make for a cozy read and it has that famous quote about October, so it’s perfect for this prompt. I found an audiobook version of the whole series (I’ll be there for 73 hours I guess 😂) I really liked on Scribd, I can’t wait to get to it. 🍂

gilmoreathon-4.jpg

  • read a book with complicated love interests: in honour of Rory, Dean & Jess

In which we will not mention how big my crush on Milo Ventimiglia is (though it started because of This Is Us and not Gilmore Girls). 🙈

I’m not too big on romance, but my favourite romance trope is hate-to-love, so I decided to go with Dark Disciple by Christie Golden. With the release of The Rise of Skywalker in December, I thought I’d try to read at least one Star Wars novel per month and I’ll go with this one for October! It’s set in the Clone Wars era and about one-time Sith acolyte Asajj Ventress, who has to pair up with her former Jedi Master Quinlan Vos to eliminate Count Dooku and they have *quite* complicated feelings for each other (hate-to-love helloooo).

gilmoreathon-5

  • read a book by an Asian author or has Asian representation: in honor of our favorite best friend, Lane.

For this challenge, I’m planning on reading Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim, which is a Mulan retelling about a young woman who has to pose as a man to compete for the role of imperial tailor and sew three magic dresses, from the sun, the moon, and the stars (doesn’t it sound amazing?). I’ve been in a huge fantasy mood, so I’m really excited to read this one and I know Samantha Shannon loved it, so that’s enough for me!

gilmoreathon-6

  • read the next book in a series you haven’t finished yet: in honor of A Year in The Life.

For this one, I’m going to read A Storm of Swords: Blood and Gold by George R.R. Martin, which is the second half of the third book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series (talk about being in the middle of a series 🙈). As I was saying before, I’m in a huge fantasy mood at the moment, I’ve missed these characters so much and as I’ve planned to read a lot of short books for this readathon, I can allow myself to read one bigger book.

gilmoreathon-7.jpg

  • read a book with food on the cover or is a crucial part of the storyline: in honor of Luke’s Cafe.

I struggled a bit for that prompt as well, but I decided to go with Pumpkinheads, written by Rainbow Rowell and illustrated by Faith Erin Hicks, which is a graphic novel about two teenagers working at a pumpkin patch every autumn. It will be the perfect autumnal read, and it’s about pumpkins, so it’ll be very fitting for this challenge.

talking-as-fast-as-i-can

  • read the group book

Last but not least, I’m planning on rereading Talking as Fast as I can: from Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between) by Lauren Graham, which is the group book for the readathon. I read it earlier this year and adored it so much, but I really wanted to reread it via audiobook as Lauren Graham is narrating it herself! It has two chapters all about Gilmore Girls and seeing the pictures always makes me really emotional.

So that’s about it for my TBR. I can’t wait for tomorrow to come, so I can get started on the Gilmoreathon!

Are you participating in this readathon? What are you planning to read in October?
lots of love

The Confession by Jessie Burton | Book review

Hello There

Another Sunday, another book review. It’s currently quite gloomy outside and I’m drinking coffee while writing this post, so truly, it is the perfect time to blog. I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump lately, but I recently finished The Confession by Jessie Burton, which I was lucky enough to get an e-ARC of, so I thought I’d share my review of it with you all today!

the-confession-jessie-burton

The Confession by Jessie Burton

Published on September 19th by Picador

Summary: The sensational new novel from the million-copy bestselling author of The Miniaturist and The Muse.

One winter’s afternoon on Hampstead Heath in 1980, Elise Morceau meets Constance Holden and quickly falls under her spell. Connie is bold and alluring, a successful writer whose novel is being turned into a major Hollywood film. Elise follows Connie to LA, a city of strange dreams and swimming pools and late-night gatherings of glamorous people. But whilst Connie thrives on the heat and electricity of this new world where everyone is reaching for the stars and no one is telling the truth, Elise finds herself floundering. When she overhears a conversation at a party that turns everything on its head, Elise makes an impulsive decision that will change her life forever.

Three decades later, Rose Simmons is seeking answers about her mother, who disappeared when she was a baby. Having learned that the last person to see her was Constance Holden, a reclusive novelist who withdrew from public life at the peak of her fame, Rose is drawn to the door of Connie’s imposing house in search of a confession . . .

From the million-copy bestselling author of The Miniaturist and The Muse, this is a luminous, powerful and deeply moving novel about secrets and storytelling, motherhood and friendship, and how we lose and find ourselves.

flower

MY THOUGHTS ON THE CONFESSION

I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All quotes used in this review may have changed upon publication.

You’re all so brilliant, and you’ve got so much going for you. And if you haven’t got to where you wanted to get by the time you’re twenty-five, you should probably thank your lucky stars. Seriously. Because if getting there is hard, holding on to your dream is possibly even harder. Nothing ever stays the same.

— Jessie Burton, The Confession, p. 345.

When I got approved for this e-ARC, I was absolutely thrilled, because I adored the author’s previous novel, The Muse, and I was so looking forward to reading more of her words.

The Confession is a historical fiction novel built on one of my favourite tropes of that genre: alternating between points of view from different eras, which will eventually come together to resolve a mystery, so I loved its storyline. It is a compelling narrative about family, love, loss, relationships, motherhood and embracing who you are, which I really enjoyed. Be warned that there is a trigger warning for abortion in this book, so be careful if it’s something that triggers you.

I know historical fiction can be a bit daunting for some readers, as it means going to a different time and place, it can be complicated to read, but I feel like historically speaking, The Confession was easy to get through. The historical setting is immersive and easy to picture, as it was set in 1980s Hollywood, which doesn’t feel that far away, so it could appeal to readers who aren’t used to reading historical fiction.

post-divider-2

The Confession is mainly about three women: Elise, Connie and Rose, and their paths through life, which I really enjoyed reading about, though the characters weren’t always likeable. On one hand, my favourite to read about was Rose, a 35 years old woman, whose storyline was set in 2017. Her story was about self-discovery, as she is aching to know the truth about her mom who left her when she was littl, since she believes it will fill a void inside her. She was a relatable character and I could see a lot of myself in her, as she hadn’t figured herself out just yet.

On another hand, the book followed Elise, whose storyline was set in the 1980s, and I really didn’t like her, but was still curious about her story. While she was really flawed and I felt like her characterization wasn’t always as in-depth as Rose’s, the author managed to keep me interested in her story and secrets. To be honest, I didn’t always get her, I don’t really know what drove her nor what she wanted in life, so that was a shame.

Last but not least, this novel was about Constance, a writer whose book is about to be adapted into a movie in L.A. in the 1980s and a secluded writer in 2017. Connie wasn’t a very likeable character either, she was cold and heartless at times, but she was so authentic and she shone through way more than Elise did. I also adored reading about her as she was older, as well as reading about her writing.the-confession-aesthetic

The Confession‘s main romance is about Elise and Connie, which I loved reading about, though they definitely didn’t have an healthy relationship. I loved that it was about two women falling in love with each other in the 1980s, but it wasn’t about them realizing they loved women, nor coming out. They already knew they were queer, it wasn’t made a big deal and it went from there. I love reading about coming out stories, they’re so important, but love stories about queer people without this storyline are really important as well.

Just like in The Muse, Jessie Burton’s writing style was engaging and beautiful, making me highlight so many quotes and always being excited to get back to it. Every time I picked up The Confession, I couldn’t stop reading it, especially in the second half, when we were starting to get answers and so many chapters ended on cliffhangers. The novel finished on an open-ending, which I thought was fitting to the story, though I felt like the last chapter was unnecessary, as I don’t think it added much to the story.

Overall, I really enjoyed this, though not as much as Jessie Burton’s previous novel, The Muse. Most of the characters feel authentic and while they aren’t always likeable, the author kept me interested in them. I really enjoyed this story overall and I’m looking forward to reading more of Jessie Burton’s works in the future.3-5-stars.jpgAre you planning on reading this book? Have you read Jessie Burton’s other works?lots of love

 

My most anticipated book releases of this autumn 🍂

autumn-grabby-hands

Hello There

Autumn is right on the corner and with that, so many new books are being released. Like I usually do, I wanted to share my most anticipated book releases for these next three months (October-December), so that’s what I’m doing today. My Goodreads shelves will soon be overflowing, but well, I’m really excited to get to all of these books!

Writing this post, I remembered how there was this new trend of putting snakes on book covers and I’m deadly terrified of snakes… I can’t wait for this trend to wear off because I don’t like it at all, especially when it concerns some of my most anticipated releases. *sigh* But anyway, let’s jump right into it!

autumn-releases-1.jpg

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Published: October 1st 2019 by Flatiron Books

Genre: adult fiction

Leigh Bardugo releasing new books is always exciting, so of course this one is on my list! Ninth House is her adult debut and is about Alex, the sole survivor of a multiple homicide, who is offered a second chance at life and starts attending Yale, where she has to monitor the activities of Yale’s secret societies. Now, I’m a bit wary of going into this one as I’ve seen there are many trigger warnings for it, but nonetheless, I’m so ready for a book set at Yale AND about secret societies (it makes me think of Gilmore Girls, but oh well, it definitely won’t be lighthearted like that).

The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys 

Published: October 1st 2019 by Philomel Books

Genre: young adult historical fiction

I read Between Shades of Gray by the same author a few years ago and I really enjoyed it, so I’m looking forward to this one! All I know is that it’s set in 1950s Spain, under the dictatorship of General Franco. I haven’t read anything set during that time period, so it got me curious, plus I recently got back to learning Spanish and would like to learn a bit more about Spanish history, it’ll be a good one to read for sure!

Daughters of Nri by Reni K. Amayo 

Published: October 1st 2019 by Onwe Press

Genre: young adut fantasy

I discovered this one when they released the latest version of the cover, and oh my, is this stunning! 😍 This fantasy novel is set in the ancient Nigerian Kingdom of Nri (!!) where a war resulted in the old gods’ departure from earth and the only remnants of their existence lie in two girls. These twin sisters were separated at birth, goddesses who grew up as humans, as they embark on a journey to discover themselves and to be together again.

autumn-releases-2

The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh

Published: October 8th 2019 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Genres: young adult historical and paranormal fiction

I am so excited about this one, as it is set in 19th century New Orleans where vampires hide in plain sight. This setting sounds amazing and I’ve enjoyed some of Renee Ahdieh’s previous books. I’ve been longing to read vampire books as I somehow miss them (not the cheesy and unhealthy ones, though) and this one is releasing not too far from Halloween, so it’ll be perfect for the season! 🧛

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern 

Published: November 5th 2019 by Harvill Secker

Genres: adult fantasy

It’s been such a long time since The Night Circus came out, so I’m really intrigued to read something new from Erin Morgenstern. This one is about a graduate student who discovers a mysterious book… which tells a story from his own childhood. Trying to understand, he uncovers a series of clues that lead him to an ancient library, hidden far below the surface of the earth. I also know there are pirates and ships, I’m always there for a story that has something to do with the sea, so I’m really excited!

Girls of Storms and Shadows by Natasha Ngan 

Published: November 5th 2019 by Jimmy Patterson Books

Genre: young adult fantasy

I read Girls of Paper and Fire earlier this year, so I’m excited to read its sequel! The first book was about a young woman chosen to become a concubine, but ended up falling in love with another girl and getting involved in a rebellion. I loved the main characters so much and I can’t wait to read about what they’ll be up to next!

autumn-releases-3

Supernova by Marissa Meyer

Published: November 5th 2019 by Feiwel & Friends

Genre: young adult science-fiction

Supernova is the conclusion to the Renegades trilogy, so I’m curious to see how the author will wrap it up! I really enjoy how it is about superheroes and supervillains, how it discusses whether the way they’re acting is right and how political it has gotten. The previous book was a little bit too heavy on the romance for me, but I have faith in this one, bring on all the conflict instead!

The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black 

Published: November 19th 2019 by Little, Brown

Genre: young adult fantasy

Another conclusion I’m impatiently waiting for! Holly Black’s Folk of the Air is such a gripping trilogy, I adore how she writes faeries, it is full of terrible characters and I’m living for it. The previous book ended on quite a big cliffhanger, so I really need to get my hands on this one (thankfully it’s released sooner than it was supposed to). I can’t wait to go back to Elfhame, its politics and of course Jude and Cardan.

Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi

Published: December 3rd 2019 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

Genres: young adut fantasy

Children of Blood and Bone was one of my favourite books of 2018 and I’ve been anticipating its sequel for quite a while now, as they’ve been pushing it back again and again. It is about a land where magic disappeared, as the king decided to kill everyone who had magic. Years later, Zélie has the chance to bring magic back and there the story begins. I just reread my review for it and I’m even more excited now, I might reread the first book, we’ll see. In any case, I can’t wait to finally know what’s next for these characters.

Are you excited for any of these books? What are your most anticipated Autumn releases?lots of love

The Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave | Book review

Hello There

As I am beyond excited for autumn and Halloween, I started on my Halloween reading… In August. One of the books I was eyeing the most for Halloween was The Deathless Girls, which is a f/f reimagining of the brides of Dracula. I was lucky enough to be approved for an e-ARC of it and read it as soon as I could (I was so excited!). It’s coming out next week in the UK, so I thought I’d share my review of it with you all today!

the-deathless-girls

The Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Published on September 19th 2019 by Orion Children’s Books

Summary:  Gothic, intoxicating, feminist and romantic – this is the breathtakingly imagined untold story of the brides of Dracula, by bestselling author Kiran Millwood Hargrave in her much-anticipated YA debut.

They say the thirst of blood is like a madness – they must sate it. Even with their own kin.

On the eve of her divining, the day she’ll discover her fate, seventeen-year-old Lil and her twin sister Kizzy are captured and enslaved by the cruel Boyar Valcar, taken far away from their beloved traveller community.

Forced to work in the harsh and unwelcoming castle kitchens, Lil is comforted when she meets Mira, a fellow slave who she feels drawn to in a way she doesn’t understand. But she also learns about the Dragon, a mysterious and terrifying figure of myth and legend who takes girls as gifts.

They may not have had their divining day, but the girls will still discover their fate…

flower

MY THOUGHTS ON THE DEATHLESS GIRLS

I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The Deathless Girls sounded like such a promising read, perfect for autumn: who wouldn’t want to read a f/f reimagining of Dracula, which gives a voice to the voiceless? In Dracula, it is mentioned that the vampire has three brides, two dark, one fair. The Deathless Girls is the story of two of them.

From the first few words, The Deathless Girls is a brutal story and doesn’t shy away from the realities of history. It follows Lil and her twin sister Kizzy, which see their family and community slaughtered and burned to the ground on the eve of their seventeenth birthday, before they are enslaved by the cruel Boyar Valcar, ruler of the land. They are then taken away to his castle, where they become serving girls and eventually cross paths with Dracula.

As expected, this novel is full of gothic elements and I really enjoyed reading about them. It goes from the darkness in humans’ hearts, which can be filled with hate and prejudice without any reason, to the more supernatural gothic elements, exploring the myth of the vampire. All in all, the setting was believable and was great for a book you’d read during autumn or near Halloween.

the-deathless-girls-aesthetic.jpg

At its core, The Deathless Girls is a character-driven story, but I unfortunately didn’t connect much with the main character, Lil. I liked reading about her enough, but it never went beyond that, which is a shame. I was also really looking forward to reading about her relationship with her twin sister Kizzy, but their relationship was more told than showed, so I couldn’t understand the love they had for each other. Speaking of Kizzy, I didn’t like that she was depicted as the almost perfect, always right, almost superior to everyone else,prettier twin that everyone has to follow! It was really cliché and didn’t help me to connect with the characters either.

I have to be honest though, as this book is about the brides of Dracula, I had huge expectations on how the author would deal with the vampire myth. I think she did a great job… for the little bits we got. I expected most of the book to focus on the vampire myth and to pick up on Dracula’s story soon enough, but it wasn’t the case. The Deathless Girls is a slow-paced book and sure, it focuses on the backstory of two of Dracula’s brides, but you have to wait about two thirds of the way through before the vampires are mentioned. That being said, the last hundred pages of the book were amazing, as they were gripping and finally focused on the myth of the vampire. It was chilling and exactly what I expected from this book, but I’d have liked to read about that before.

post-divider-2

The Deathless Girls is much more of a backstory book that doesn’t involve vampires that much, and while I didn’t expect that, there are some parts of that I enjoyed. Indeed, Lil and Kizzy came from a traveller community, I really liked how it was explored. I find it to be a very interesting topic, as it is rarely touched upon and the author discussed the prejudice people from settled communities can have towards the traveller ones. The novel also mentions folklore of the travelling communities, which was great to read about, but I’d have liked to know more about that. I understand that in part, as the girls are ripped away from their homes and in a way of their identity, but it’s only a very small part of the story when you consider the summary, and that was a shame for me.

To be honest, most of the book felt abrupt and rushed to me. I found the romance really sweet and I really liked Mira, but would have liked more build-up for some scenes to make it believable. Like I said, the vampire elements come into play only in the last third of the book, and so do The Deathless Girls themselves. This novel felt like such an interesting idea, but I didn’t really like its execution: I found the final decision of the main character to be barely explained and anticlimactic, plus the final bride of Dracula was barely mentioned in the epilogue, getting two lines and not even a real name, which I found a bit ironic.

Overall, I liked this book, but am a little frustrated. I wish this book had been longer, so it had gotten more build-up, because it ended up being underwhelming. This story was such a great idea, had a diverse cast of characters, but I felt like everything was rushed to go to the end, but because of that, I didn’t have time to get invested into the characters, the story or what was at stake for them. Still, I think readers will enjoy it more than I did and that it works well as a Halloween read.

3 stars.jpg

Are you planning on reading this book or have you read it already? Do you have recommendations for books with vampires?

lots of love

My Autumn bucket list 🍂

autumn-bucket-1

Hello There

It might be early September, so it’s still technically summer, but I’m all set for autumn. It’s a Sunday afternoon, it’s raining outside, I’m curled up in a blanket and our kitten Peter is sleeping next to me, so it certainly feels like autumn already.

Autumn is by far my favourite season and I’m so happy it’s coming back in the northern hemisphere. We got a quick temperature drop over the past few days and I’m not sure how long it’ll last, but I’m loving feeling colder and slowly switching to my autumnal wardrobe. Because of that, I already started thinking about my autumn bucket list and thought I’d share it with you today!

This autumn, I want to…

autumn-bucket-2

  • go on walks
  • have cozy reading parties while it rains
  • go to a pumpkin patch
  • have a Harry Potter marathon

autumn-bucket-3

  • do a Halloween-themed 24 hour readathon
  • have an autumnal picnic
  • make my own pumpkin spice latte
  • watch spooky (or not) movies and TV shows

autumn-bucket-3

  • decorate the house for autumn
  • go apple picking
  • organize a Harry Potter-themed party
  • rewatch Charmed

autumn-bucket-5

  • start a new knitting project
  • walk on fallen leaves
  • take part in Inktober
  • carve a pumpkin

autumn-bucket-6

  • dress up for Halloween
  • reread The Diviners series
  • drink hot cocoa outside
  • bake Halloween cookies

That’s it for me today! I shall now make myself a cup of coffee and go back to Chilling Adventures of Sabrina… see, someone is definitely in the mood. Have a lovely Sunday!

Do you have anything on your bucket list for autumn or spring, depending from where you are in the world?

lots of love

Wrapping up the #NEWTsReadathon2019 ✨ | August wrap-up

magical-readathon

Hello There

HAPPY BACK TO HOGWARTS DAY!

source

Everyone is on board the Hogwarts Express, getting excited for a new school year in the most magical school and I’m not among them… Because I have graduated from Hogwarts and am now a Magizoologist! 😱

In August, I participated in the Magical Readathon hosted by Book Roast, a month-long readathon based around the exams students take at Hogwarts. I was studying to become a Magizoologist and managed to pass all my exams! I thought that I’d wrap it up today and of course, share my passing grades. 😉

To become a Magizoologist, I needed to get an Outstanding in Care of Magical Creatures and an Exceeded Expectations in both Charms and Herbology. I *really* wanted to get an Outstanding in everything though, and that’s what I did, so here are the books I read to pass these exams!

♡ Care of Magical Creatures

  • Archenemies by Marissa Meyer, 3/5 stars
  • Thor, Volume 1: The Goddess of Thunder by Jason Aaron, 4/5 stars
  • Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield, 2/5 stars

♡ Charms

  • The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty, 5/5 stars
  • Thor, Volume 2: Who Holds the Hammer? by Jason Aaron, 3.5/5 stars
  • The Door by Magda Szabó, 3/5 stars

♡ Herbology

  • King Lear by William Shakespeare, 4/5 stars
  • A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood, 2.5/5 stars
  • The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon, 4/5 stars

I am so happy to have passed all these exams, I was quite the reading machine in August and that’s how… I finished my required reading on August 15th. After that, I studied a bit harder to get an Outstanding in everything (see above), but also decided to pass additional exams (can you tell I’m a Ravenclaw, studying for exams I don’t even need to pass?!).

hermione-library.gifSo anyway, I also got an Outstanding in both Astronomy and Divination, plus an Exceeded Expectations in Ancient Runes.

♡ Astronomy

  • Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, vol. 3, by Naoko Takeuchi
  • Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
  • The Mighty Thor, Volume 1: Thunder in Her Veins by Jason Aaron

♡ Divination

  • Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, vol. 4, by Naoko Takeuchi, 4/5 stars
  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter, 4/5 stars
  • Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, vol. 5, by Naoko Takeuchi, 4/5 stars

♡ Ancient Runes

  • Wicked Fox by Kat Cho, 3.5/5 stars
  • The Deathless Girls by Karen Millwood Hargrave, 3.5/5 stars

August was probably my best reading month so far this year in quantity, but my ratings went from 2 stars to 5 stars, so it was quite a mixed bag. My highlights of the month in terms of reading were The Kingdom of Copper, my first five-star read since March, but also Nevernight, which I had been putting off for the longest time but adored! ❤️

All in all, this readathon was a lot of fun once again. In the end, I passed everything I needed to, I graduated from Hogwarts and am now free to be a Magizoologist and wanders the world with magical creatures! I sure will participate in the Magical Readathon next year!

What did you read in August? What was your favourite book of the month?

lots of love