Magical Readathon 2020 — O.W.L.s TBR 📚✨

owls-tbr-2020

Hello There

April is around the corner, so it’s time for the Magical Readathon once again! 🎉

If you don’t know this readathon, it was created by Book Roast on YouTube and it is a month-long readathon based around the exams students take at Hogwarts, which happens twice a year, once in April for the O.W.L.s and once in August for the N.E.W.T.s. You can even pick a wizarding career and choose your O.W.L.s/N.E.W.T.s depending on it, which is so much fun. This is the third round of the readathon and my second time participating, so I’m super excited about it. Last year, I successfully participated in both the O.W.L.s and the N.E.W.T.s, which means I became a Magizoologist! Here is G’s video, if you want to know more about the readathon:

This year, I’m pursuing a new career & decided I’d be studying to become… *drum rolls*

spell-maker

A SPELL MAKER!

To become a spell maker, I have to pass seven O.W.L.s, which are Ancient Runes, Arithmancy, Astronomy, Charms, Divination, History of Magic and Transfiguration. If I succeed, I’m also hoping to participate in two courses if I can (which are optional, but I’ll be living all for the Magical Readathon in April), Dragon Tamer Training and Merpeople Linguistics (can you tell I became a Magizoologist last year? 😂).

Here is what I’m planning to read for the O.W.L.s:

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❤️ Ancient Runes – Heart rune: heart on the cover or in the title

For this prompt, I’m planning on reading DC Comics Bombshells, vol. 5: The Death of Illusion. This comics series is about DC Comics’ female characters fighting in different countries during World War II, it’s so empowering and it makes me so happy to see them team up together. It’s one of my long-time favourites, it’s about time I finish it (it’s taking me forever because well, comics understandably cost a lot of money) and as there are little hearts all around Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy on the cover, it’s the perfect excuse to read it during April!

berthe-morisot

2️⃣ Arithmancy – Magical qualities of number 2: read something outside of your favourite genre

For this prompt, I thought I’d go with a non-fiction book, as I don’t read that many of them. My favourite genre being fantasy, I guess non-fiction is *quite* far enough. My pick is a biography of Berthe Morisot by Dominique Bona, which is about a French painter, who was part of the first Impressionists and is considered to be a founder of the movement. I fell in love with her paintings a few years ago, then saw an exhibition about her in the Musée d’Orsay last year and picked up this biography about her then. I’m so excited to rediscover her life through this biography, even if it might take me longer to read than the rest of the books on my TBR (it’s in French though, so it might be alright).

red-sister

🌙 Astronomy – Night classes: read majority of this book when it’s dark outside

I made a list of the books I wanted to read the most at the moment for the Divination prompt (see below!) and decided I’d pick one of the remaining books for Astronomy, as I mainly read at night anyway, so I decided I’d read Red Sister by Mark Lawrence. It’s the first book in an adult fantasy series about a young woman who is part of a convent training young women to become assassins and that’s all I need in my life. I adored the His Fair Assassin series by Robin LaFevers which had a similar prompt and I’ve wanted to try Mark Lawrence’s books for a while now, so now is the time! I’ll probably read most of it during the Magical All-Nighter, a 24 hour readathon organized during the month.

house-of-names

✨ Charms – Lumos maxima: white cover

For Charms, I’m hoping to read House of Names by Colm Tóibín. This is a Greek mythology retelling focusing on Agamemnon, who sacrificed his daughter to the gods so they’d grant him a favoured wind for his fleet of ships to sail to Troy, and his family. After the Trojan War, Clytemnestra, Agamemnon’s wife, plots revenge against him. While I know the story in passing, I’m really curious to see Tóibín’s take on the story, and I’m always there for a good Greek mythology retelling, so.

empire-of-sand

🔮 Divination – Third eye: assign numbers to your TBR and use a random number generator to pick your read

For this one, I made a list of the books I was most excited to read at the moment and my choices were Red SisterEmpire of Sand, Children of Virtue and Vengeance and The Shadows Between Us (which I ended up picking for Astronomy!).

My third eye decided Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri would be the one I’d read (it’s actually the one I most wanted to read, so well-done, third eye!). This Mughal India-inspired fantasy novel is about Mehr, the illegimiate daughter of an imperial governor, who inherited the magic of her exiled mother, who is part of the Amrithi, nomads descended from desert spirits. When her power comes to the attention of the Emperor’s mystics, she will have to resist their cruel agenda, or the gods may awaken. I also know it has my favourite romance tropes in it, so I’m super excited to get to it!

witches-of-ash-and-ruin

🧙‍♀️ History of Magic – Witch hunts: book featuring witches/wizards

I’ve been eyeing out Witches of Ash and Ruin by E. Latimer for a while, as it came out recently, so this prompt is the perfect opportunity to get to it! This novel is about Dayna, a young witch who was recently outed as bisexual in her conservative Irish town and has to deal with the aftermath of that. She is about to ascend and join a coven when another coven arrives in town with premonitions of death and it all goes down from there. It is said to be a blend of modern witchcraft and ancient Celtic mythology, so I’m super excited to read it!

tower-of-thorns

🐺 Transfiguration – Animagus lecture: book/series that includes shapeshifting

For this one, I’m going with Tower of Thorns by Juliet Marillier, second book in the Blackthorn and Grim trilogy. This trilogy 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 the one who imprisoned her. Juliet Marillier’s books are filled with folklore and feel like fairy tales: the first one in this trilogy featured a transformation and considering there is a howling creature in Tower of Thorns, I’m thinking there will be some sort of transformation. 👀

and for my two optional courses…

the-hobbit

🐉 Dragon Tamer Training – Read an extra book with dragons

Ever since I saw an exhibition about Tolkien back in December, I’ve been dying to finally read The Hobbit by him, so now is the time! It’s about Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit, who reluctantly gets involved in a company of dwarves’ quest in search of dragon-guarded gold. I know bits and pieces of the story (plus my 12 y.o. brother read it last month for school), but I cannot wait to finally experiment the story for myself at last!

monstress

🧜🏻‍♀️ Merpeople lingustics – Herbology, Mimbulus mimbletonia: title starts with an M

Last but not least, I’m planning on reading Monstress, vol. 1: Awakening by Marjorie M. Lu. I’ve had my eye set on this comics series for a while now, as it got a lot of praise a few years ago. It’s set in an alternate 1900s Asia, in a world of art deco-inflected steam punk, and follows a teenage girl who is struggling to survive the trauma of war, and shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power. I’ll probably read this one during the Magical All-Nighter and I can’t wait!

There you have it: I am beyond excited to read all of these books and to participate in this readathon, I’m sure it’ll be amazing, as always!

Do you like taking part in readathons? Are you participating in this one? Do you have any reading plans for April?

lots of love

My most anticipated book releases of this spring 📚🌸

grabby-hands

Hello There

I can’t believe spring is almost there in the northern hemisphere: days are getting longer, sunshine is slowly coming back and flowers are starting to bloom. 🌸 The world is a terrifying place right now and I’m hoping you will all stay safe as much as you can: please take care of yourself and your loved ones!

I’m trying to stay as positive as I can right now and to carry on as I usually do. Because of that, I thought that I’d speak about my most anticipated releases for spring today. As always, I’ll be talking about the books I’m anticipating the most for the next three months (so from April to June), I find it easier to track new releases on a shorter period of time, otherwise I’m scared I’d forget some of them. But anyway, here are the books I’m anticipating this spring:

spring-releases-1

The Silence of Bones by June Hur

Published: April 21st 2020 by Feiwel & Friends)

Genres: historical fiction, mystery

Why do I want it? This debut is a mystery novel set in 1800 Korea and I’m so there for it. It follows Seol, who has been tasked with assisting a well-respected young inspector with the investigation into the politically charged murder of a noblewoman. She forms an unlikely friendship with said inspector… until he becomes the prime suspect in the investigation and she’s the only one who might be able to figure out what really happened on the night of the murder. I love mystery novels in a historical setting, so I can’t wait to read it!

Queen’s Peril by E.K. Johnston

Published: May 5th 2020 by Disney Lucasfilm Press

Genre: science-fiction

Why do I want it? Whenever a new Star Wars novel is announced, there is a 90% chance I’ll want it and I’m REALLY excited for this one. It follows Padmé when she wins the election for Queen of Naboo, becomes Padmé Amidala and the group of handmaidens forms around her. It will also follow the events of The Phantom Menace to some extent and while so many people don’t like that movie, I was basically raised with it and I love it. I wasn’t too impressed with Johnston’s Queen’s Shadow (which is also about Padmé), but loved her Ahsoka, so fingers crossed I’ll love Queen’s Peril!

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

Published: May 19th 2020 by Scholastic Press

Genre: dystopia

Why do I want it? Like so many readers, I was a huge Hunger Games fan back in the day, so I’m over the moon that we’re getting another book set in Panem. That being said, there’s been a lot of controversy online because this book is about a young Coriolanus Snow. Now, I 100% understand why people don’t want to feel sorry for him because it’s a villain origin story, he’s a privileged white kid and there doesn’t seem to be any diversity. But. Personally, all I’ve ever wanted was a book set in the Capitol, to see how rotten they all are and what the Hunger Games are like from their perspective… so we can hate them even more. We already know what it’s like for tributes and I don’t think the author would have waited that long to give us another book about them. Considering how Collins wrote Katniss, I don’t think she’s going to glorify Snow too much (at least I hope I’m not wrong), that she’s going to challenge us and make us think, so I’m really excited for this novel.

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The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna

Published: May 26th 2020 by Delacorte

Genre: fantasy

Why do I want it? The Gilded Ones is about Deka, who is waiting for the ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village or not. On that day, her blood runs gold, the colour of impurity, which means she will face a consequence worse than death. Then, a mysterious woman arrives and offers her another choice: to leave with her to join an army of girls just like her, who are called alaki — near-immortals with rare gifts, and fight for the emperor. I’m so ready for a fantasy novel with an army of powerful women, that is all. 🙌

Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles

Published: June 2nd 2020 by Wednesday Books

Genre: fantasy

Why do I want it? This book was pitched as The Phantom of the Opera meets Moulin Rouge. That’s all I need to know to want it. 😱 It’s about a group of magicians facing off in a competition to become part of the Conquering Circus, only to find themselves under the threat of an unseen danger striking behind the scenes. The competition becomes more and more dangerous as it goes along, so the magicians will be force to reckon with their secrets and it just sounds amazing!

The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant

Published: June 4th 2020 by Harper Voyager

Genres: historical fantasy

Why do I want it? This one is a reimagining of Les Misérables and The Jungle Book, so as Les Misérables is my favourite book, I need it. It is set in a 1828 alternate Paris, in the aftermath of a failed French Revolution, where cat-burglar Eponine “Nina” Thenardier goes head to head with merciless royalty, and the lords of the city’s criminal underworld to save the life of her adopted sister Cosette “Ettie”. Just by rereading this synopsis, I got super excited for it yet again: May can’t come soon enough!

spring-releases-3

The Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty

Published: June 11th 2020 by HarperVoyager

Genre: fantasy

Why do I want it? The Daevabad Trilogy is THE fantasy series which impressed me the most in the past two years, so I’m anticipating its conclusion SO MUCH. It’s a Middle-East inspired fantasy trilogy all about Nahri, a con woman who accidentally summons a djinn warrior. He brings her to Daevabad, the mythical city of brass, to which Nahri is irrevocably bound and it all goes from there. I have no words to express how excited I am for this, it definitely is one my top 3 most anticipated releases of the year. 🤩

Forest of Souls by Lori M. Lee

Published: June 23rd 2020 by Page Street Kids

Genre: fantasy

Why do I want it? Forest of Souls seems like it has it all: shamans? a dark forest? necromancy? I’m sold. It’s about Sirscha, who has trained all of her life to become the queen’s next royal spy, until shamans kill her best friend… Whom she somehow returns to life. Because of that, she is summoned to the spider King, who has used his influence over the Dead Wood to enforce peace between the kingdoms. Now, with the trees growing wild and untamed, only someone like Sirscha could help maintain the peace. I’m so curious about this one!

Are you planning on reading any of these books? Which books are you anticipating this spring (or autumn, depending where you are in the world)? 🌸

lots of love

February wrap-up + favourites 📚❤️

feb20

Hello There

February is one of my favourite months of the year. While it’s still winter in the northern hemisphere, I love it so much more than January, which always seems to drag forever for me. I’m quite biased when it comes to February, as it’s my birthday month, but having a shorter month always motivates me to be even more productive, and it certainly was the case last month.

In February, I turned 24 and celebrated with my loved ones. I started driving lessons and  working on a project for a castle. It snowed for the first time of the season two days before the end of February and it made me really happy. For most of last month, I tried my hardest and I think that I did a lot better than in December in January. I’m still looking for a job and some days are better than others, but I feel like I started breathing a bit more easily and I’m grateful for so many things. All in all, it was a very busy month and I can’t wait to see what March will bring me.

what i read

I had such a great reading month in February: I mainly read fantasy novels, finished both the Winternight trilogy and The Diviners series and rated a book 5 stars for the first time in eleven months (I had even predicted it, so yay me!)! Here are the books I read in February:

  • Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray, 4.5/5 stars (reread)
  • The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden, 4/5 stars (reread)
  • The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden, 4/5 stars
  • The Rise of Kylo Ren #3 by Charles Soule, Clayton Crain and Will Sliney, 4/5 stars
  • The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden, 4/5 stars
  • Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel, 2/5 stars
  • Aquaman (2011) #1-40 by Geoff Johns and alii, 3/5 stars
  • The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang, 5/5 stars
  • The King of Crows by Libba Bray, 4.5/5 stars
  • The Novel of the Century: The Extraordinary Adventure of Les Misérables by David Bellos, 4/5 stars

the-poppy-war-fave

Without any surprise, my favourite book of the month was The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang: it’s a very dark fantasy novel inspired by Chinese history and folklore; I thought it was such a powerful story, it has basically everything I love in fantasy novels (that being said, there are many trigger warnings for this book, so be careful if you want to read it!) and I can’t wait to read its sequel. It’s a very hyped book, but to me, it deserves all of it. ❤️

favourites

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MOVIE // Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn (2020)

February wasn’t much of a movie month for me, probably because award season was ending, but I watched Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn on release week and I loved the movie SO MUCH. I knew most of the characters already, but didn’t know what to expect, so I had a lot of fun watching it. So many details made me love the movie even more, like a woman passing a rubber band to the other mid-battle so she could tie her hair back. I loved that it was all about female gaze, that it was diverse, that it was directed by a woman of color. Just… Women. ❤️

MISC. // Driving lessons

As I lived in Paris for six years, I put off passing my driver’s license for years, because I didn’t need it and to be honest, I was (and still am in a way!) scared of driving. In the past few months, I pushed myself to pass the driving theory exam and in February, I finally started driving lessons… and I realized that I actually love it (who would have thought?). Am I the greatest at driving? No. Am I very stressed and did my instructor tell me today I needed to relax because that’s how I’d gain confidence? … Yes.

Still, I’m always looking forward to the lessons and I’m so happy to learn about a topic that’s so outside of my comfort zone. Last week, I even drove in the snow, learnt to park in this weather and while it was terrifying… it was one of the best parts of my week and I’m so proud of myself for it all because I didn’t picture myself doing it (maybe it’s weird, but I’m rolling with it). I still have a very long way to go, but I love it and I’m making progress each time.

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TV SHOWS // The Bold Type, Sex Education & Anne with an E

As for TV shows, I’m still watching The Bold Type every week and it really is one of my all-time favourite shows. Jane, Kat and Sutton always inspire me so much, I love how it tackles a variety of topical issues and time sure flies when I watch it. If you want to know more about it, I dedicated a blog post to this show two years ago!

I binge-watched Sex Education in February and I had a lot of fun! It’s been a while since a TV show set in high school really hooked me, but I couldn’t get enough out of it. It’s about a socially awkward teenager who sets up a sex advice business with a classmate and it follows these teenagers’ lives as they’re figuring themselves out. I think it does a fantastic job discussing topical issues, plus the characters are so endearing. I’m so excited for season 3!

Last, but not least, I finally watched the last season of Anne with an E and I’m so sad the show is over, though I liked how it ended… I just wanted more. 😭 This show is such a breathe of fresh air and an amazing period drama, I can’t recommend it enough. I really didn’t want to say goodbye to it, so I’m planning on continuing to read the books this year, though it’s not the same.

Looking Ahead

In February, I completed almost all of my goals: I attended driving lessons, continued job-hunting, binge-read the Winternight trilogy, listened to myself a bit more and started breathing easier. I posted *some* stories on Instagram and watched two episodes of Las Chicas del Cable in Spanish, but I could have done better with these two, so I’ll try again this month.

In March, I’m planning on:

  • have as many driving lessons as possible (I‘m hoping to pass my driver’s license in April, fingers crossed I can do this)
  • work on the castle project I’m doing
  • continue job-hunting
  • post weekly on the blog and start blog-hopping again
  • go to Disneyland with my best friend
  • catch up on Las Chicas del Cable and be more active in learning Spanish
  • breathe ❤️

How was February for you? What did you read and did you discover any new favourite books?

lots of love

My 5 star predictions for 2020 📚❤️

july-2019Hello There

Over the years, like many people, I’ve tried to figure out what my rating system was and it has changed a few times. As time passed, I’ve become *quite* peculiar with my 5 star ratings: recently, I’ve only given 5 star ratings to books I consider to be my all-time favourites, which is why… I haven’t rated a book 5 star since March 2019 (I know, it’s been almost a year… 🙊). It isn’t to say that I haven’t discovered amazing books and series since then, as I’ve discovered some I really love, yet when the time comes, I just end up rating them 4.5 stars.

Let’s face it: I’m just being weird about my 5 stars, it looks like I’m overthinking it a lot and have some sort of commitment issues when it comes to those. 🤷‍♀️

That being said, I’m really hoping that it will change this year and I feel like I might discover more new favourite books in 2020. Because of that, I thought it would be fun if I tried to guess some of my potential new favourite books and do a 5 star predictions post! I feel like I’ll have read all of these books by the end of the year, so I might even reflect on this post when the time comes.

Side note: I haven’t included any new/upcoming releases in this post, as they’re not out yet and I’m more anticipating them right now than thinking about whether I’ll give them 5 stars, if that makes sense?

Anyhow, without further ado, here are the books I’m hoping I’ll give five stars to this year:

the-poppy-war

The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

Honestly, I can’t believe The Poppy War was released two years ago and I still haven’t read it, considering I’ve been excited about it since its early reviews? 😱 I was waiting for the paperbacks to be released, but I can’t wait anymore (I’ll probably regret it when I have to wait for the paperback of The Dragon Republic, but it’s a problem for another day)! This book is a Chinese-inspired fantasy blending historical elements and mythology following a war orphan who has been accepted in an elite military school. I also know it’s pretty dark, considering it’s very military-oriented and I’ve read somewhere that it’s a villain story (sign. me. up.). I’m actually going to start reading it this week and I’m so excited!

age-of-innocence

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

This year, I really want to start reading Edith Wharton’s works: I don’t know too much about post-World War I American literature (except for Fitzgerald, I guess) and I’ve heard a lot of people talk about Wharton’s works recently, so I’m quite curious about her. This one is set in New York society where the return of the beautiful Countess Olenska sends reverberations throughout the upper reaches of society, especially for Newland Archer, who was about to announce his engagement to the Countess’ cousin, May Welland. This one is so many people’s favourite, so I can’t wait to know what all the fuss is about!

the-harp-of-kings

The Harp of Kings by Juliet Marillier

This book is one of my most anticipated releases of 2019, it’s about warrior bards and I need it so much in my life. I started reading Juliet Marillier’s Sevenwaters series last year and she quickly became one of my favourite authors thanks to it, so I want to read anything she writes. The Harp of Kings is a Celtic-inspired fantasy which is about two siblings who have unique magic skills and want to join an elite warrior band, which they’ll have to compete for. While they’re there, they join on a mission to retrieve a mythical harp, which will need to be displayed at an upcoming coronation. This book is right up my alley and I can’t wait to get to it soon!

long-way-small-angy-planet

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

Last but not least, I really want to read more sci-fi novels this year and The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet is at the top of the list! I’ve seen so many people rave about it for years and it got me super excited to read it. I don’t know much about it,  just that it’s a character-driven space adventure, has a diverse cast of characters and has the found family trope… it’s pretty much all I need! 

Are there any books you’re hoping to read this year that you feel like might become a new favourite?

lots of love

January wrap-up + favourites 📚❤️

jan20

Hello There

Phew, it’s finally February, one of my favourite months of the year! My birthday is next week, the days are getting longer and while it’s the shortest month of the year, I have so many things to do, which I’m quite happy about.

Like many people, I always feel like January lasts six months, so I’m really happy to have it behind me. In January, I tried again and while my mental health is still a mess most of the time, I know I’m on the right path. Halfway through the month, I stumbled upon this quote and it really stuck with me:

“You go on by doing the best you can. You go on by being generous. You go on by being true. You go on by offering comfort to others who can’t go on. You go on by allowing the unbearable days to pass and allowing the pleasure in other days. You go on by finding a channel for your love and another for your rage.”

Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar

That’s a good summary of last month for me: I tried to go on, as much as I could.

In January, I passed my driving theory exam (I’m so proud of myself for that one!!), stayed up all night to watch the Golden Globes, continued job-hunting, babysat a lot, spent too much time on Archive of Our Own and caught up on the 2019 award-nominated movies I was interested in. I also took a break from the online bookish community without intending to and haven’t even posted an Instagram story in weeks, but I’m hoping to be there a bit more in February .

what i read

Overall, January was a satisfaying reading month: I started the year with Ben Solo (my absolute favourite and no, I don’t take criticism on my love for him), finished two book series, visited fantasy worlds and a galaxy far, far away, I couldn’t have asked for more. Here are the books that I read:

  • Star Wars: Age of Resistance – Villains by Tom Taylor, Leonard Kirk, Cory Hamscher and Guru e-FX, 4/5 stars
  • Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff, 4/5 stars
  • Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren #2 by Charles Soule, 4/5 stars
  • Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare (reread), 5/5 stars
  • The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black, 3/5 stars
  • Frostheart by Jamie Littler, 3/5 stars
  • Ship of Destiny by Robin Hobb, 4/5 stars
  • Master and Apprentice by Claudia Gray, 3.5/5 stars
  • A Room with a View by E.M. Forster, 4/5 stars

ship-of-destiny

I’m not going to be very original, as it’s been three months in a row, but my favourite book of the month was Ship of Destiny by Robin Hobb, part of The Liveship Traders trilogy (though my favourite book of trilogy remains The Mad Ship). I adore these characters and I miss them so much already. Hobb’s Realms of the Elderlings is really something else for me. ❤️

favourites

I feel like I haven’t done that many things in January, as I was either quite busy or not feeling too great, so I don’t have much to share in terms of favourites, except TV shows and movies, but it’s usually like that every year, so. Anyhow, here are my favourites of January!

jan20-tv-shows

TV SHOWS // This Is Us, The Bold Type and The Witcher

In January, two of my favourite shows, This Is Us and The Bold Type, started airing again and it made me so happy. I’m not usually one to watch the episodes as they air every week (I’d rather watch a whole season, even if it takes me a while), but I can’t wait for an entire season with these two. This Is Us coming back on TV also means that my best friend and I are back at having a TV show night every Wednesday and that’s definitely one of the highlights of every week.

I also finally watched The Witcher with my boyfriend! I didn’t really know anything going into it, but he played the video games so he had been anticipating the show for a while. I’m happy to say that I adored the show: I find the world to be fascinating, the plot had me hooked and most of all… Yennefer of Vengerberg is the best and I love her SO MUCH (according to the bf, she’s my type of female characters so it’s not surprising… well, yes). I can’t wait for season 2, even though it won’t be released for a while!

jan20-movies

MOVIES // Little Women, Parasite and Miss Americana

Little Women was released on the first day of the year in France and I decided to start the year with it (start the year as you mean to go on, right?). I read and loved Little Women and Good Wives as a kid and considering what a cast and director this movie has, I was really excited for it. Without any surprise, I fell in love with the movie, found it so inspiring and hopeful, and my love for Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh and Laura Dern has grown yet again.

I also watched Parasite right before the Golden Globes and it left me speechless: Bong Joon-ho did a stellar job, the cast is amazing and it deserves all the awards and recognition it’s getting (and so much more).

Last but not least, Taylor Swift released Miss Americana at the end of the month and this documentary was everything: it was both incredibly empowering and heartbreaking. Taylor Swift has been my favourite artist for more than a decade now, so Miss Americana meant the world to me and I admire her even more now.

Looking Ahead

February is always one of my favourite months of the year, as it’s my birthday month, so I’m planning to make the most of it. For some reason, I always want to read all the books during that month, even though it’s the shortest of the year, so we’ll see how it goes.

Here’s what I’m planning to do in February:

  • attend my driving lessons,
  • continue job-hunting,
  • get back to watching TV shows in Spanish,
  • listen to myself more,
  • start posting on Instagram and the blog again,
  • binge-read the Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden,
  • breathe (I’ve been putting that one on every weekly to do list for a month and a half, I always need to remember it).

How was January for you? What did you read and did you discover any new favourite books?

I hope you had a great start to the year and I’m wishing you all a great February!

lots of love

My favourite books of 2019 📚❤️

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Hello There

Now that 2019 has come and gone, it is time to wrap up the past year and I’m quite excited about it, because it means I’ll get to talk about my favourite books of the year!

According to Goodreads, in 2019, I read 39,604 pages across 102 books, which I’m quite happy about, as I didn’t always have a lot of time to dedicate to reading. I haven’t really done stats or anything, but I mainly read fantasy novels, which isn’t surprising considering it’s my favourite genre and you can definitely tell from my list of favourite books.

In 2019, I read so many amazing books, yet only gave five star ratings to two books, as I’m being quite picky with my five stars now. I also found new favourite series, which makes me so happy. Anyhow, without further ado, here are my favourite books of 2019:

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The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty

Genre: fantasy

The City of Brass was one of my favourite books of 2018 AND put me in a big fantasy slump, so I’m quite happy I loved its sequel that much. This Middle-East inspired fantasy series is about Nahri, a con woman who lives in 18th century Cairo, and accidentally summons a djinn warrior. He tells her about the legendary city of Daevabad, a city to which she is irrevocably bound and it all goes from there. The Kingdom of Copper was an ambitious and brilliant sequel, it made me love these characters even more and it developed its world-building splendidly. The last hundred pages were so intense I actually had to take breaks between chapters to breathe and process what was happening. This series is surely becoming one of my favourites and I can’t wait for the last book to come out in 2020!

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Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Genre: fantasy

What I love about Nevernight is that it reminded me why fantasy is my favourite genre: it has a fascinating and complex world-building, unforgettable characters, a great plot and months later, I still think about it. I adore books about female assassins and this one sure didn’t disappoint: it’s about Mia Corvere, who witnessed her parents being murdered as a child and promised she’d avenge herself on those that shattered her world. To do that, she has been training to join the Red Church of Itreya, where she’ll have to prove herself to them to become an assassin. I also love that while this book is quite dark, considering it is about assassins, it has a great narrator that shows a lot of humor, so it makes it even better and sometimes easier to read. I still have one book left to read in the trilogy, so I can’t wait to see how Mia’s story will end!

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Ship of Magic and The Mad Ship by Robin Hobb

Genre: fantasy

After falling in love with Robin Hobb’s Farseer trilogy in 2018, I moved on to her Liveship Traders trilogy in 2019 and became obsessed with that one as well (I *might* have mentioned it quite a lot in recent months 😇). This fantasy trilogy is all about pirates, talking ships, magic, sea serpents, slave revolts and bloody battles, and I’m pretty sure it is the best series with pirates I have ever read. I’m in such awe of Robin Hobb for the world she has created and I love the characters from this trilogy so much: every time I read one of these books, it’s all I can think about and I’m always so sad to say goodbye to them (I felt the same way towards the Farseer trilogy, I’m glad it happened again). I didn’t have time to read the last book in the trilogy in 2019, but it’s happening in the next few weeks and I’m so excited about it!

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The Sevenwaters series by Juliet Marillier

Genres: fantasy, historical fiction

After years of hearing readers rave about Juliet Marillier, I finally started reading her Sevenwaters series and I fell deeply in love with it. This medieval fantasy series is mainly set in ancient Ireland and follows four generations in the family of Sevenwaters, which has a special relationship with the people of the Otherworld. These books are very character-driven, have an immersive setting and feel like fairy tales (the first one being a retelling of The Six Swans), which I adored so much. I can’t get enough of these books and they made me want to read every book Juliet Marillier has ever written, so I’m looking forward to slowly make my way through them in 2020.

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The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

Genres: gothic, historical fiction

When I think about The Thirteenth Tale, I remember how late I stayed up to read it, how fully immersed I was in its gothic atmosphere and how I kept being speechless, both because of plot twists and how beautifully written this story was. This novel is about Vida Winter, a renowned author, who has been creating various outlandish life histories for herself for the past six decades, and decides to trust the story of her life to biographer Margaret Lea, a young woman for whom the secret of her own birth, hidden by those who loved her most, remains an ever-present pain. It is such a dark and captivating tale and I can’t praise it highly enough. It was my very first five star read of 2019 and I still think about it all the time.

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The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

Genre: fantasy

The Priory of the Orange Tree and I were very much love at first sight: from the very first few pages, I knew it would become a favourite and I already wanted to reread it. Truth be told, it is the fantasy novel I had always wanted and I’m so happy it exists. It is quite an intricate fantasy novel, and it has it all: it is mainly set in a queendom, has dragons and dragon riders, queer characters, amazing world-building, political plotlines and so much more. It can be intimidating considering its length, but it is worth every word of it. It’s my favourite book of 2019, I can’t get enough out of it and I can’t wait to reread it this year, I miss it so much. 

So there you have it, here are my favourite books of 2019!

What were your favourite books of 2019?lots of love

December Wrap-Up + Favourites 📚❤️

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Hello There

Happy New Year! I wish you all the best for 2020, I hope that this year will give you what you need and be full of amazing things! 🎉

Before I post my favourite books the year, I thought I’d get my December wrap-up out of the way, so that’s what I’ll do today.

December has been… a ride, shall we say? Lately, most of my wrap-ups have started that way, but the second half of 2019 was quite tough for me… Here’s to hoping 2020 will treat me better! To sum up December: I tried, I really tried. I studied for my driving theory, I babysat a lot to have some money and despite the strikes, I spent a weekend in London with my boyfriend (both our trains, then plane was cancelled last minute), which definitely was the highlight of the month. I adore London so much, we mainly went to see Dear Evan Hansen, one of my favourite musicals, and it was everything.

The first half of the month was good… Then I watched The Rise of Skywalker. You might know how much I love Star Wars and how important The Last Jedi is to me. I was so excited for The Rise of Skywalker and to see these characters one last time. I know I probably wouldn’t have been able to love it as much as the previous one, but I surely didn’t expect the movie I got. The truth is, I can’t like this movie. I can’t like a movie that messed up with my mental health that much, to the point that still impacts me two weeks later. I wish it wasn’t such a big deal for me, but alas, it is what it is. Let’s say that I could have done without everything I’ve felt since then, but it’ll get better at some point, so I’m holding on to that. ❤️

what i read

I really wanted to prioritize reading in December and I quite succeeded in that. Most of the books I read were somehow rereads or Star Wars related, but at least I was consistent in that and I wasn’t disappointed in anything! Here is what I read in December:

  • Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between by Lauren Graham (reread), 4/5 stars
  • The Mad Ship by Robin Hobb, 4.5/5 stars
  • The Diviners by Libba Bray (reread), 4/5 stars
  • Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (reread), 5/5 stars
  • Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray (reread), 4/5 stars
  • Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren #1 by Charles Soule, Will Sliney and Clayton Crain, 4/5 stars
  • The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon, 4/5 stars
  • Star Wars: Resistance Reborn by Rebecca Roanhorse, 4/5 stars
  • Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare (reread), 5/5 stars
  • Star Wars: Force Collector by Kevin Shinick, 3/5 stars
  • Star Wars: Age of Resistance – Heroes by Tom Taylor, Ramon Rosanas and Guru-eFX, 4/5 stars

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My favourite book of the month was The Mad Ship by Robin Hobb, which I’m so happy about! Robin Hobb is becoming one of my favourite fantasy authors and this second book in the Liveship Traders trilogy was amazing: I cannot wait to read the last book in it in January, then to go back to Fitz’ story soon enough.

Other than that, the new Rise of Kylo Ren run is excellent so far, waiting for the issues to be released every month is going to be tough, but it’ll be worth it!

favourites

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Watching Dear Evan Hansen live

I’ve been listening to Dear Evan Hansen for about three years now and it’s my second favourite musical, so when they announced they’d bring the production to West End, I was over the moon and got tickets to watch it. It was more than I could have asked for: the production and the cast were amazing (I follow them all on Instagram and they’re the best) of course, but I also did stage door and met our Evan Hansen, Marcus Harman, who was so adorable and it made the whole experience even better.

I don’t know if it’s possible, but I love the musical even more than I did before and I will cherish this memory forever. Needless to say, all I’ve been listening to in December is Dear Evan Hansen.

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Star Wars

While I feel a certain way about the latest Star Wars movie, December was very much a Star Wars month for me and that was amazing. I did a Star Wars marathon to rewatch the movies, I read several comics and novels, I binge-watched and fell in love with The Mandalorian (I even started making a crocheted Baby Yoda) and watched a bit of Star Wars Rebels again, it all brought me so much comfort. I’m so glad I have Star Wars in my life and that it was everywhere again last month.

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MOVIES // Knives Out and Marriage Story

After The Rise of Skywalker came out, I watched quite a few of movies with Adam Driver, which isn’t really surprising because I adore him and he’s such a talented actor. Out of them all, my favourite was Marriage Story: the actors’ performances are amazing, whether I’m talking about Adam Driver’s, Scarlet Johansson’s or Laura Dern’s, and I love it so much for that (it also gets bonus points because Adam sings Being Alive in it)It’s getting a lot of hype thanks to awards season and it makes me really happy.

The last movie I watched in theaters in 2019 was Knives Out, which I was beyond excited about, as it was written and directed by Rian Johnson (he wrote and directed The Last Jedi, so). I’m glad I saved it for last, because it was a really positive way to end the year for me. If I were to explain why I loved it THAT much, we’d probably be here all day, but let’s just say that the cast was amazing and I love that Rian Johnson makes me think like that while watching a movie. After leaving the theater, we discussed tiny details and our interpretations during the whole ride home, then while making diner and even before falling asleep, and that’s how I wish it’d always be. Thank you, Rian Johnson. ❤️

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TV SHOW // The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Last but not least, the third season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel came out in December and it was excellent, as always! As I’ve said before, this period drama is such a breathe of fresh air, but also discusses serious topics and they have amazing actors! I was super excited for both Sterling K. Brown and Liza Weil to be guest-starring in a few episodes and it made the season even better for me, I love them so much.

Looking Ahead

I really don’t want to give in to January pressure, as it’s a new year and all of that, but I hope that with every day, I will feel like I’m breathing a bit easier again. I want to catch up with movies that have been nominated for award season (I’m planning on watching both the Golden Globes and the Oscars live, so), to pass my driving theory exam, to continue job-hunting, to blog more consistently again and to continue reading books I love, that’s about it.

What about you: how was December? Did you discover any new favourite books?

lots of love

My most anticipated book releases of this winter 📚❄️

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Hello There

We’re nearing the end of December, and it feels like everyone is making plans and resolutions for the new year, but I’m not *quite* there yet… I can’t believe a new year is coming? That being said, I have been thinking about 2020 book releases, so I thought I’d talk about this more exciting topic (at least for me it’s more exciting)!

As always, I’ll be talking about the books I’m anticipating the most for the next three months (so from January to March), I find it easier to track new releases on a shorter period of time, otherwise I’m scared I’d forget some of them. But anyway, here are the seven books I’m anticipating for this winter:

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The King of Crows by Libba Bray

Published: February 4th 2020 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Genres: historical fantasy

Why do I want it? The Diviners is one of my favourite YA series: it’s set in 1920s New York, follows an amazing and diverse cast of characters, some of them with supernatural abilities, it has a deliciously creepy atmosphere and it doesn’t shy away from important topics some people would like to ignore in history (such as the Chinese Exclusion Act, eugenics, and so much more). It is such an important book series and I can’t recommend it enough. This one is the last book in the series and I have waited for it for so long, I can’t believe it’s finally coming out! 😱

The Sisters Grimm by Menna van Praag

Published: February 6th 2020 by Bantam Press

Genres: fantasy

Why do I want it? This novel sounds like a dark fairy tale and I’m all for it! It follows four girls who were born to different mothers on the same day. At nearly eighteen, they have to find each other again, before meeting their father in Everwhere, then discover who they are and what they can do. From the summary, it says that by the end of the book, three will live and one will die, which got me really intrigued?! I already need answers.

The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Published: February 6th 2020 by Pan Macmillan

Genre: historical fiction

Why do I want it? This book is set in 17th Norway and was inspired by the real events of the Vardø storm and the 1621 witch trials, which is enough to get me intrigued, to be honest. I adore historical fiction, especially novels focusing on witches, even though they’re usually heartbreaking, so of course I’m anticipating this one. I also know there is a f/f romance in it, so basically I need it NOW.

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The Foundling by Stacey Halls

Published: February 6th 2020 by Manilla Press

Genres: historical fiction

Why do I want it? I loved The Familiars by Stacey Halls (another witchy novel 🙈) this year, so I can’t wait to read more by her. Set in 1754 London, this novel is about a mother who comes to reclaim her illegitimate daughter at a Foundling hospital, but found out that she’s already been reclaimed… by her. She then tries to figure out who took her and why. The story also follows a young widow who hasn’t left her house in a decade and hires a nursemaid from the Foundling hospital for her daughter. I’m quite curious about this one!

Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare

Published: March 3rd 2020 by Margaret K. McElderry Books

Genres: historical fantasy

Why do I want it? Well, I’ve been waiting for this book since March 2013, so I think that’s explanation enough, right? 😂 Chain of Gold is the first book in The Last Hours trilogy, which follows the children of the characters from The Infernal Devices trilogy. I am so excited to go back to the Shadowhunter world, to read about these new characters (we met some of them in novellas, but still), to meet my namesake Lucie Herondale (!!) and to time travel to Edwardian London. March can’t come soon enough.

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The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu

Published: March 3rd 2020 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Genres: historical fantasy

Why do I want it? You might not know this about me, but I was obsessed with the Mozart family when I was a teenager, and this book is about Nannerl, sister to Wolfgang Amadeus. All she wants in life is to be an acclaimed composer, but her father wants her to marry and settle down… Until a stranger appears and makes her an offer: her wish can come true, but it may cost her everything. Honestly, I need anything that comes close to being Nannerl’s story (like Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones ❤️), so I’m beyond happy this book is finally coming out.

The Rise of Skywalker by Rae Carson

Published: March 3rd 2020 by Del Rey

Genres: science-fiction

It will come to no surprise that I can’t wait for the novelization of The Rise of Skywalker. I’m a huge Star Wars fan and have read all the novelizations of the sequel trilogy movies, so of course I want this one as well! I’m living for all the new details we get through those and I trust Rae Carson (I loved her Gold Seer trilogy so much!), I’m sure she’ll give me everything I want and that I’ll sob some more, because I can’t believe the sequel trilogy is over. 😭

Are you excited for any of these books? Which new releases are you anticipating the most for this winter?

lots of love

October and November Wrap-Up + Favourites

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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)

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 📚

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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.

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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.

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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.

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🦋 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.

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❄️ 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.

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🔪 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!

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🧝🏻‍♀️ 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!

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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