May reading wrap-up + favourites 📚❤️

may20

Hello There

As we’re in June, I’d like to start this post by wishing everyone a Happy Pride! 🏳️‍🌈

We’re already ten days into June and here am I, with a very late May wrap-up. I hope that you’re all well and are able to take care of yourselves as much as you can, in the midst of everything that is going on in the world. ❤️

I didn’t post anything here last week, but Black Lives Matter today, tomorrow and always. We still need to talk about it, being an ally to the black community isn’t a trend that lasts a week: it’s important to listen, educate yourself, donate if you can and continue supporting the movement in the long run. This link is really helpful if you need more information, want to sign more petitions, donate and so on. I know I need to do better and to educate myself, so I’m working towards that as well.

what i read

Overall, May was a satisfying reading month, I participated in the Tome Topple readathon, which focuses on reading books over 500 pages, and caught up on two book series! I enjoyed most of the books I read, which is great, but I also abandoned two books, so… Anyway, here are the books I read in May:

  • The Silence of Bones by June Hur, 3.5/5 stars
  • Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi, 3/5 stars
  • A Storm of Swords: Blood and Gold by George R.R. Martin, 4/5 stars
  • Kingsbane by Claire Legrand, 4/5 stars
  • The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins, 3/5 stars
  • The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang (reread), 5/5 stars
  • Realm of Ash by Tasha Suri, 4/5 stars
  • Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand, 4/5 stars

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My favourite book of the month was Realm of Ash by Tasha Suri. It’s the second book in an adult fantasy duology set in a Mughal India-inspired world, which I found so fascinating: while the first book focused on magic that has to do with dancing and storms, this second book somehow focused on death magic and I always find interesting to read about death magic, so I really enjoyed that. I also adored the characters introduced in this book and just like with the first book, I got way too emotional over the ending, because it was everything I wanted. I love this duology so much. ❤️

favourites

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📺 TV SHOWS // She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, Killing Eve and Harley Quinn

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power ended last month and after seeing everyone rave about it, I finally started watching it and it makes me so happy. This show follows Adora, raised by the Horde, who finds a magical sword and becomes the legendary warrior She-Ra. After understanding how the Horde really is, she joins the Rebellion and fights alongside the princesses of different kingdoms. The show was created by Noelle Stevenson (who wrote and drew Nimona and Lumberjanes), it has major LGBTQIA+ representation and overall, it’s just the best.

The third season of Killing Eve continued airing in May and I loved it so much! This show is one of my favourites, I adore Villanelle and Eve and I couldn’t get enough of this season. I already miss it, I can’t wait for season 4 whenever they can film it, then release it.

Last but not least, the second season of Harley Quinn is still airing and this show is quickly becoming one of my favourite animated TV shows ever! I love everything it’s doing, how it portrays the characters and I laughed so hard when one of the episodes started by criticising dudebros. Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy are my absolute faves and considering everything that’s going on in the show at the moment, I’m hoping I’ll get what I want by the end of the season… After all, season 2 will end during Pride. 👀

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🎵 MUSIC // Taylor Swift City of Lover Concert

Taylor Swift has been my favourite artist for more than a decade now, so I was really happy that they released her concert in Paris for her newest album, Lover, on Disney+ in May! I was supposed to see her live in Belgium in June, but her tour was cancelled because of COVID-19, so I’m over the moon I still get to watch her City of Lover concert over and over! Of course, I’ve been listening to the live version of the songs a lot during May and I plan on learning to play Daylight on the piano soon (I started learning Lover on the guitar months ago, so!).

So that’s it for my (very late) May wrap-up! I hope that you’re all well and are able to take care of yourselves. ❤️

How was May for you? Did you discover any new favourite books? 
lots of love

April wrap-up + favourites 📚❤️

apr20

Hello There

I hope that you and your loved ones are okay, please take care of yourselves as much as you can. I’m sending you all a lot of love. ❤️

For me, April was one of those months where you carry on, and there isn’t much to say about it, which is totally okay. It was a month of homeschooling my two youngest brothers due to the current situation and of carrying on with projects I’m currently working on. On a more positive note, April was also the month of the O.W.L.s readathon and I dedicated so much time to reading, often in the sun in the garden or way past midnight. I also figured out my working out routine, which I’m really happy about. Last but not least, our kitten Peter (who is not a kitten any longer, I guess) celebrated his first birthday. 😻

peter

what i read

In April, I participated in the O.W.L.s readathon and it motivated me so much to read! I passed all the O.W.L.s I needed within the first two weeks (I got carried away because of my excitement) and it was so much fun, I can’t wait for August to pass my N.E.W.T.s and become a Spell Maker.

Here are the novels I read:

  • Witches of Ash and Ruin by E. Latimer, 4/5 stars
  • Red Sister by Mark Lawrence, 4/5 stars
  • Tower of Thorns by Juliet Marillier, 4.5/5 stars
  • The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren, 3/5 stars
  • House of Names by Colm Toibin, 2/5 stars
  • Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri, 4/5 stars
  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, 3.5/5 stars
  • Den of Wolves by Juliet Marillier, 4/5 stars
  • Furyborn by Claire Legrand, 3.5/5 stars
  • Grey Sister by Mark Lawrence, 4/5 stars
  • Bound by Mark Lawrence, 3/5 stars
  • Holy Sister by Mark Lawrence, 3/5 stars

I mainly read adult fantasy during the month and managed to finish two book series: the Blackthorn and Grim trilogy by Juliet Marillier, as well as The Book of the Ancestor by Mark Lawrence. I also finally read The Hobbit, which I’m weirdly proud about, as I was intimidated by Tolkien’s fantasy works for the longest time. I’m quite looking forward to reading the Lord of the Rings series at some point now!

I also read a few comics:

  • Monstress, vol. 1: Awakening by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda, 3.5/5 stars
  • DC Comics: Bombshells, vol. 5: The Death of Illusion by Marguerite Bennett, Laura Braga, Mirka Andolfo and Elsa Charretier, 4/5 stars

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My favourite book of the month was Tower of Thorns by Juliet Marillier, second book in her Blackthorn and Grim trilogy. It follows a healer who was wrongly imprisoned and has to make a deal with the Fair Folk to assist anyone who asks for her help for the next seven years. These books are set in medieval Ireland, are inspired by Irish folklore and feels like fairy tales, Tower of Thorns having Beauty and the Beast vibes, which I adored. I can’t recommend Juliet Marillier’s books enough. ❤️

favourites

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🎵 MUSICAL // Watching The Phantom of the Opera

Over the past month, The Shows Must Go On! on YouTube has made available a performance of one Andrew Lloyd Weber’s musicals for free for 48 hours. I was over the moon the week they made The Phantom of the Opera available, as it’s one of my top 3 musicals ever and the only one of my favourite musicals I have yet to see live (at least the 2004 movie exists, so I watched that a few times).

It was such an amazing experience, I love Ramin Karimloo and Sierra Boggess as the Phantom and Chrisine, The Music of the Night is still my absolute favourite musical number in it (though The Point of No Return isn’t far behind) and I’m back at listening to the musical all the time. I love this story so much and it makes me a little bit nostalgic of when I dressed up as the Phantom for Halloween two years ago. 👻

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📺 TV SHOWS // Fleabag, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and The Clone Wars

Because of lockdown, I feel like I’ve been watching TV shows more consistently than usual: there are so many of them I’m watching weekly, as new episodes are released, and I’ve been catching up on and finishing others! Among all of them, my favourites were Fleabag, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and The Clone Wars.

I binge-watched Fleabag in an afternoon and an evening, I couldn’t get enough of it! It’s a British TV comedy-drama television following Fleabag, a free-spirited and sexually active but angry and confused young woman in London. It has such a stellar cast, with Phoebe Waller-Bridge as the lead, but also Olivia Colman AND Andrew Scott in the second series. I wasn’t sure what to make of it at first, but I ended up loving it, found it really clever (the fourth wall!) and I still haven’t recovered from the second series. I finally get what all the fuss was about Andrew Scott in series two because d a m n that chemistry (… and now I want to rewatch Sherlock). 😳

I’ve been putting off watching the final season of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend for a year, because I didn’t want to say goodbye to this show, but I finally watched it in April and I loved it! It was a satisfying ending, I loved the new songs and what it talked about. They even did a concert special as a bonus episode and it was a lot of fun! I’ve been listening to Hello, Nice To Meet You on replay for most of the month and while I’m sad I finished yet another show that means so much to me, I’m glad I finally did. ❤️

I’ve also been watching the final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars weekly (I just watched episode 11 and had to relive Order 66… I’m sad) and I adore this show so much, it’s my favourite animated TV show. Set between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, it got cancelled before its final season, but they decided to finish it on Disney+ and I’m so glad they did. This season keeps getting better and better and the last three episodes were EVERYTHING. There was a scene with a dark side user offering their hand to a light side user once again, I’m fine. Honestly, other than The Mandalorian, it’s the best Star Wars we’ve had since The Last Jedi in my opinion, and that’s the tea. ☕

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Chilling in my campsite ✌️

🎮 VIDEO GAME // Animal Crossing Pocket Camp

As Animal Crossing: New Horizons came out on Nintendo Switch recently, there’s been a lot of Animal Crossing hype everywhere. I didn’t plan on getting the newest game, but I still wanted to play Animal Crossing, so I downloaded the Android version, Animal Crossing Pocket Camp and I’ve been having fun with it. In this one, you’re in charge of a camping, then later a house, and I love decorating everything. Thanks to all the seasonal events, both my campsite and house are all pink and it makes me so happy.

Looking Ahead

Just like for April, I don’t know what to expect for May considering the current situation, so I decided not to have any specific goals for now. Sometimes you have to accept that you can’t always get through huge to-do lists, so I’ll just try my best, and that’s okay.

The only thing I know for sure is that I’ll be participating in the new round of Tome Topple, which was created by Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes, from May 9th to May 22nd and I’m so excited to get through my tomes!

What about you, how was April? Have you discovered any new favourite books?

lots of love

March wrap-up + favourites 📚❤️

march2020

Hello There

As I’m sitting down, trying to wrap up this month, I’m a bit at loss for words. I hope that you and your loved ones are okay, please take care of yourselves as much as you can. ❤️

It feels weird to think about the first half of the month, all things considered, but it had started well for me. I continued working on a project for a castle and driving lessons, I even went to Disneyland Paris with my best friend. My mental health was manageable and I was happier. The first half of March feels like it happened forever ago, but I’m glad I had it and I can think about it when things get hard.

It won’t come as a surprise when I say that the second half of the month was tough: like so many around the world, my country is on lockdown because of the pandemic. I don’t really want to talk about it more than that, as it’s everywhere on the news and that no words could express how I feel, but let’s just say that some days are better than others. Let’s hope it gets better as soon as possible. 🙏🏻

That being said, I want to focus on what I love, though I know we can’t always do that and it’s okay not to be okay. Still, it’s important to talk about what we love and that’s also something that I know I need right now, so I’ll try to do my monthly wrap-up as usual.

what i read

In March, I was in a huge reading mood and spent most of my spare time with my nose stuck in a book, so it’s no wonder that I read a lot. I’ve had a lot of average reads, but thankfully some stood out. Here are the books I read in March:

  • DC Comics: Bombshells, vol. 4: Queens by Marguerite Bennett, Laura Braga, Mirka Andolfo and Marguerite Sauvage, 4/5 stars
  • The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave, 3.5/5 stars
  • Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare, 4/5 stars
  • Star Wars: Lost Stars by Claudia Gray, 4.5/5 stars
  • Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren #4 by Charles Soule and Will Sliney, 4/5 stars
  • The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu, 3/5 stars
  • Dreamer’s Pool by Juliet Marillier, 4/5 stars (reread)
  • The Bridge Kingdom by Danielle L. Jensen, 3.5/5 stars
  • The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers, 2.5/5 stars
  • Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron, 3.5/5 stars
  • A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes, 4/5 stars
  • Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley by Charlotte Gordon, 4/5 stars

lost-stars-fave

My favourite book of the month was Star Wars: Lost Stars by Claudia Gray, an excellent book set from the rise of the Rebellion to the fall of the Empire in a galaxy far, far away. It was the first Star Wars book I read without knowing the main characters beforehand, but I loved Ciena and Thane so much. This book mainly focuses on the inner workings of the Empire, explores what loyalty means to different characters and is so full of nuance. I also adored the romance, which doesn’t happen often! It’s now my favourite Star Wars book, along with Star Wars: Bloodline by the same author.

favourites

emma-2020

MOVIE // Emma (2020)

I finally got around to watching the newest adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma and I absolutely fell in love with this movie. I am a huge period drama fan and Emma is my favourite of Jane Austen’s novels, so I was anticipating it so much and I’m glad it did not disappoint. The cast did an amazing job, the sets and costumes were stunning, I already knew and loved the story and the romance, but the pinning and all the hand-touching were to die for… I have not enough words to express how much I loved it. I can’t wait to rewatch it! 😍

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MISC. // Disneyland Paris

At the beginning of March, I went to Disneyland Paris to have a (belated) birthday celebration with my best friend and we had the best time! The parks had both the Frozen Celebration AND Legends of the Force season, which I was super excited about and we made the most of our time there to watch as many shows as possible, do our favourite rides as many times as possible, eat Star Wars-related food and see Disney Illuminations at night, which always gets me teary-eyed.

The highlight of my day was “meeting” Kylo Ren at Disney Studios. Ben Solo/Kylo Ren is my favourite male character ever, he means the world to me, so I was really excited to see him. No one asked for details, so I’ll mostly keep them to myself, but after these three months, it meant so much to take a picture with him and to fangirl a lot because he asked me to join him and a lot of other things. I can’t express how much he means to me, so I’ll just say: Ben Solo forever. ❤️

lore-olympus

WEBCOMIC // Lore Olympus

I finally read this webcomic everyone has been talking about and I LOVE IT SO MUCH. It is a modern retelling of Greek mythology, where Olympus has been around for more than two thousand years (meaning it’s set in the 21st century). Persephone, the goddess of Spring that most have never heard of, moves to Olympus to start university and at a party… She meets Hades, king of the Underworld and it all goes down from there. I love this Persephone and this Hades SO MUCH. Honestly, this is the Persephone/Hades story we deserve, I binge-read all 103 available episodes in three days and am now waiting for weekly updates like everyone else. If you’re interested, you can read it on Webtoon!

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TV SHOWS // Castlevania, The Bold Type, Las Chicas del Cable

In March, I binge-watched Castlevania and loved this animated television series so much (that being said, it’s very violent and graphic!). Set in 15th century Wallachia, it’s about the vampire Count Dracula who decides that he will slaughter everyone for having burnt his human wife at the stake, summoning an army of demons to do so. In the meantime, an outcast monster hunter, aided by a magician and a dhampir, are trying to stop him. On top of the plotline, I adored the characters (especially Lenore, she’s my girl now, bye) and I loved how it made references to vampire lore! I can’t wait for season 4 now!

I also continued watching the fourth season of The Bold Type weekly and it continued in being excellent. I’ve been talking about it in every wrap-up lately, so I don’t have much to add, but it is both my comfort and empowering show and I love it for that. I’m a bit sad that the fourth season is over, but I’m glad it continued at the same level of amazingness throughout. Please watch it. 🙏🏻

Last but not least, I caught up with Las Chicas del Cable and it was amazing once again! This Spanish period drama is about cable girls who have very eventful lives and it’s so entertaining. Does it have far-fetched plotlines sometimes? Absolutely. Still, I love it because it’s so addictive and the characters are amazing. The fifth and last season is set during the Spanish civil war, which I find really interesting as I’ve only studied it in Spanish class, but that’s about it. Netflix only released the first half of that season so far, so I can’t wait for the second half!

Looking Ahead

I accomplished most of my goals for March: I continued working on a project for a castle and job-hunting, took driving lessons, caught up on Las Chicas del Cable, so I was more active in learning Spanish, went to Disneyland Paris with my best friend and breathed. I didn’t post weekly on the blog, but I’m getting there and I started blog-hopping again. I wanted to take as many driving lessons as possible because my initial goal was to pass my driver’s license at the end of April, but all of my lessons of the past two weeks were understandingly cancelled due to the pandemic, so I didn’t reach that one.

I’m not quite sure how April will go, but I still have a few goals:

  • participate in the O.W.L.s readathon,
  • work on my castle guide project,
  • find a workout routine,
  • blog weekly,
  • watch a show in Spanish to improve in the language,
  • start posting on Instagram again,
  • find a way to keep up with job-hunting and driving despite the current situation,
  • finish my knitting project,
  • breathe ❤️

How was March for you? What’s one good thing that happened to you in March? Have you found any new favourite books?

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

birds-of-prey

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

December Wrap-Up + Favourites 📚❤️

december-wrap-up.jpg

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

Five LGBTQIA+ movies and TV shows I would have needed as a teen

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Hello There

When I posted my bullet journal pages dedicated to my TBR and my to (re)watch list for Pride Month, several people commented and messaged me about the latter, because they didn’t know many movies or TV shows with LGBTQIA+ characters and I realized that for a long time, it was my case as well. In discovering and coming to terms with my sexuality, movies and TV shows had such an important place: it’s by feeling represented that I became more confident about myself and accepted myself, more than this blog post is letting on. It got me thinking how I wish I had had some of these movies and TV shows sooner, because they inspired me while I was in my twenties, but would have been perfect for my teenage self. So today, I thought I would share my top 5 with you all. I already rewatched most of them for Pride Month and it’s been making me so happy.

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One Day at a Time (2017)

Ever since the first season aired, One Day at a Time took a spot in my favourite TV shows of all time and I am beyond happy it exists (and so crushed they cancelled it, why?). It depicts the everyday life of the Alvarez family and talks about such important topics, among which the LGBTQIA+ community, anxiety, immigration and so on. Elena Alvarez became such a role model to me early on: she’s such a smart young woman, she’s vegetarian, feminist, suffers from anxiety attacks and she fights for what she thinks is right. She figures out her sexuality over the course of the first season, comes to terms with being a lesbian and comes out to her family, which was everything to watch. She inspired me while I was in my twenties and I know she’d have inspired me to be my best self, to raise my voice even more, had I known her as a teenager.

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Love, Simon (2018)

I watched Love, Simon at the exact right time in my life and it’s one of the reasons it means so much to me. I had really enjoyed the novel, but oh my, in this case I love the movie so much more. The first time I watched it, it was my first Pride month knowing myself, so watching it made me feel like everything was going to be okay, that I was going to be okay. That scene where his mom tells him that now he gets to release his breath, that now he gets to be himself like he hasn’t been in a very long time means the world to me. Last summer, I spent so many days telling myself that I was more and more like myself every day and it changed so much, so I’ll always be grateful to have Love, Simon, I feel like everyone should watch it.

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Everything Sucks! (2018)

Everything Sucks! is the reason I started coming out to my closest friends, it’s as simple as that, and it’s why I was so upset when Netflix cancelled it. It’s a TV show set in the 1990s, which parodies teen culture, and follows teenagers from the A/V and drama club, who are forced to come together. I wrote a blog post about it last year and one year later, I still adore and miss Kate and Emaline. It shows how Kate struggles with her identity and sexuality, and in the end, she (spoiler alert) gets the girl. I needed to watch two girls fall in love in high school, so learning that they had cancelled it felt so unfair, I cried so hard… Then it made me feel brave and I came out to my best friend. The show also inspired me a lot, because the novel I’ve been working on since December is set in that time period and is about two girls who love Star Wars, are waiting for The Phantom Menace to come out AND fall in love with each other. So yes, that’s what this TV show means to me.

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Booksmart (2019)

It’s funny how I’m terrible at watching movies on my own at home, but Booksmart came out a month ago, I already watched it twice, and I cannot wait to rewatch it again. It’s a teen movie following best friends Amy and Molly, as they decide to catch up on all the parties they missed while they were studying in high school. It’s absolutely hilarious and ridiculous, the characters are so relatable and it has a f/f romance. I was beyond happy that Love, Simon came out last year and that we got to see a m/m romance, but I also really needed to have a rom-com with young women as the lead relationship. To be accurate, this movie is more about friendship than romance, but it was the first time I got to have that in a rom-com. It made me smile so much and I want to rewatch it over and over, just like Love, Simon, so that’s amazing. Plus, it was directed by a woman, so cheers to that!

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The Bold Type (2017)

Last, but not least, The Bold Type is following three young women who are in their mid-twenties, but I really wanted to include it, because I would have loved to look up to Kat, Jane and Sutton as a teenager. I already dedicated a blog post to the show, but while the three of them inspires me to be my best in my professional life and to fight for my dreams, they also made me realize that it’s okay if I haven’t figured out some things about myself just yet, that I have time. More than that, seeing Kat, one of the main characters, exploring her sexuality hit so close to home. When I started watching the show, I was going through similar events and feelings, as she was in the first season, so seeing her embracing it all made me so happy and even prouder of who I am. I wish I could have watched it as a teen.

Writing this post made me feel a bit emotional, but I’m really happy I got around to it, because these movies and TV shows mean so much to me.

I haven’t had time to dedicate a blog post to my favourite books with LGBTQIA+ characters, but my top three are of course The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid, The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon and Radio Silence by Alice Oseman, so there you go for some recommendations!

Are there any movies/TV shows you wish you had had as a teen?lots of love

My favourite Marvel characters

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Hello There

Avengers: Endgame is coming out today here and I absolutely can’t believe it! The wait went by so slowly and so quickly at the same time and just like for Avengers: Infinity War, I don’t feel like I’m even mentally ready to watch this movie, as it is the end of an era (plus three hours? How am I going to make it through three hours? I have no idea).

So, in honour of Avengers: Endgame coming out today (I’m watching it in three hours, everybody stays calm), I thought I would talk about my favourite Marvel characters, whether I discovered them through the movies, comics or TV shows. As I came up with this list, I realized that most of my favourite characters aren’t that present in the movies? I do have characters I love from the movies, but I somehow feel closer to the ones I’ve read about/watched in the TV shows. I consider Captain America and Thor to be my favourite Avengers and yet, neither of them are among my favourite characters? Making this list was really surprising because of this, but anyway. Without further ado, let’s jump right into this!

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Peggy Carter/Agent Carter

I admired Peggy Carter from the first moment she appeared in Captain America: The First Avenger, where she was an officer working for the Strategic Scientific Reserve (SSR) on the super soldier project, a clever and powerful woman in a man’s world. As Hayley Atwell, who portrays her in the MCU, said, “she can do everything Captain America can do, but backwards and in high heels” and that’s all I needed. Later on, Peggy became a respected agent in the SSR (even though men tried to undermine her) and solved important cases in America after World War II,  in the amazing show that was Agent Carter (#foreversalty 😭). Credited as one of the founders of SHIELD, Peggy Carter was such a modern woman for her time and I aspire to be more like her. She even became Captain America at some point (which will be in a TV series, I’m so happy), truly, she is the best.

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Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel

When I got into reading more comics, I started reading Ms. Marvel (2014) and discovered Kamala Kham, a teenage Pakistani American from Jersey City, New Jersey, whom I adore so much. She discovers she has Inhuman genes and gets shapeshifting abilities, assuming the mantle of Ms. Marvel from her idol Carol Danvers after Danvers becomes Captain Marvel. I adore seeing her life as a teenage girl on top of her superheroine life: Kamala is such a relatable and hilarious character!

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Gwen Stacy/Spider-Gwen

I got around reading the Spider-Gwen (2015) comics last summer and while I did find them confusing at first, I adored this version of Gwen Stacy so much! Now that Into the Spiderverse came out, more and more people are familiar with the Spiderverse, so basically, Gwen gets the spider-abilities in her universe (Earth-65) and it all goes down from there! Gwen is such a sassy and empowering character, along her friends and music group, The Mary Janes! I do relate to her vulnerability as well, especially when she ends up disappearing and not giving news to her loved ones, so there’s that as well. I’m so happy she was Into the Spiderverse last year, this movie was so amazing!

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Nadia van Dyne/the Wasp

Around the time Ant-Man and the Wasp was released last year, I got more curious about the Wasp and ended up discovering one of the Wasps, Nadia van Dyne, who is so adorable and whom I love her with all my heart! She is the daughter of Hank Pym and Maria Trovaya, his first wife, who was abducted and supposedly killed. She escapes from where she was held captive, builds a Wasp costume, learns her father is dead, but meets Janet van Dyne (the original Wasp) who helps her as she can. Nadia later starts the program G.I.R.L. (Genius In action Research Labs) to look for women with genius intellects and it is the best program ever, reading about these amazing women saving the world is the best and I’m so happy that they ended up renewing the series (it had been cancelled).

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Peter Quill/Star-Lord

Last but not least, I have to confess that I adore Peter Quill/Star-Lord (but not his actor, haha). I know that many people dislike him because of Infinity War, but here’s the thing: he’s human and considering his backstory… I just get it. I love MCU!Peter Quill for his taste in music, his humor and how flawed he is, I love comics!Peter Quill for he is vulnerable and a master strategist, plus I love his relationship with Kitty Pride so much. Tbh, both versions of him have those personality traits, but some of them shine more in the movies or comics, depending.

Honorable mentions

Those characters that will probably become new favourites once I know more about them (aka when I’ve read more comics)…

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That’s it for me today! Good luck to everyone watching Avengers: Endgame, we’ll make it through and let’s hope our hearts won’t be too broken when we get out of the theaters.

What about you, are you planning on watching Avengers: Endgame? Who are your favourite Marvel characters?

lots of love

The Bold Type | Currently Watching 📺

Hello There

Last May, I binge-watched the first season of The Bold Type and completely fell in love with it, to the point that I said on social media that it was my favourite TV show of 2018 (so far). Unsurprisingly, I was beyond excited to watch the second season, which finished airing in the U.S. recently. I really wanted to share some of my excitement about it with you today, so I could, maybe, convince you to give it a shot.

This TV show follows three best friends, Jane, Kat, and Sutton, who work for Scarlet, a global women’s magazine. The show explores their lives in New York City, as they learn to find their own voices and explore their sexuality, identity, love, and fashion.

MY THOUGHTS
 

Through every single episode, The Bold Type has been such an empowering show for me, mainly because it focuses on women, whether it was the three main characters, their boss (yay to women of power), the friends they make along the way or the readers of Scarlet. When I started watching it, it felt like the one, the show that was made for me, that would motivate me to fight to follow my dreams and that would be there for me when I didn’t believe in myself anymore and we all need that in our lives.

The Bold Type is a feminist, diverse and topical show, tackling down so many contemporary issues and doing it in such a clever way. Some people might think, from the premise, that it’s gonna be a very cliché show, all about fashion, women hating on each other and romances worth of eye rolls. It definitely isn’t. The showrunners actually use the fact that it is set in a global women’s magazine to talk about what women (all of them) have to go through in their every day lives, through the articles everyone are working on, or by following different storylines in Jane, Kat and Sutton’s lives.

I had already made a quick list of topics talked about in the first season, but to give you some examples, the second season talked about white privilege, body positivity, sex between women, religion, unemployment, slut-shaming, the #MeToo movement, picking your career over your love life and so on. I could give you a dozen more of examples, but I didn’t write this post so it could be a list. I truly adore this show, because I feel represented in it, because of the representation in part*, but also because it talks about topics that matter to me, that I have to deal with, and that I wish we could see more of.

*Will I ever stop crying when I see a bisexual woman in a TV show/movie? The answer is absolutely not.

Sutton (Meghan Fahy), Jane (Katie Stevens) and Kat (Aisha Dee)
 
The three main characters mean so much to me, because not only the portraying of their friendship is one of the healthiest I have seen on TV, but I see myself in all of them, and they all are my role models in a way. They still are at the beginning of their professional lives – they’ve worked for four years or something? – and it’s so encouraging for me, as I’m almost done with my studies. If you asked me who out of the three was my favourite, I wouldn’t be able to answer, because it changes with every episode and I love them in different ways.
 
> Jane can be my favourite, because she’s a journalist and seeing her finding her voice through her writing is so inspiring. She’s also the type of person who needs to keep her entire life planned out and organized to stay sane, I so feel her on that. At the beginning of the first season, she was so scared to dare and to put herself out there, seeing her pushing herself to become a better person and a better writer has been amazing and motivating.
 
> Kat can be my favourite, because she’s so outspoken and confident, I so want to be more like her. She also works in social media and I adore seeing her working. More than that, seeing her exploring her sexuality hit so close to home. When I started watching the show, I was going through similar events and feelings than she was in the first season, so seeing her embracing it all made me so happy and even prouder of who I am.
 
> Sutton can be my favourite, because she reminds me to follow my dreams and that being yourself is important. I love her because I know what it feels like to be late to find your way in life, to keep going without really knowing where to. She always makes me remember that it’s never too late and that what we truly want is worth fighting for. I’d also give her a special shoutout for the time she said she was all game for a healthy competition against another female character at work, but not for slut-shaming.
 
I love one (1) superior ship
 

Another thing I adore in the first season of this show is that, while there are three romantic ships, each for one of the main characters, the only one you will truly remember is Kat and Adena. Seeing representation of a romantic relationship between two women is so rare on television, but you have it on The Bold Type. Not only that, but this dynamic is the main focus when it comes to romance for the first season (Pinstripe and Richard who?), they’re absolutely adorable and we’re also talking about a romance between two women of colour! This is a TV show that gives you representation and not two minutes just to say that they did it. I’m quite upset with what they did in the second half of season 2, though, I get that they wanted more screen time for the other romantic (straight) ships, but please tell me they’ll go on the right path on that topic for season 3.

The Bold Type is definitely one of my favourite TV shows and I cannot wait for the third season to air next year. I’m not sure how much of a good idea it was to write about it, considering that now, I want to rewatch it even more, but I hope that I managed to convince you to watch it, if you haven’t!

 
Have you watched this show or are you planning to? 
What’s your favourite TV show that’s currently airing?
lots of love