Pride Month TBR 🏳️‍🌈

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Hello There

HAPPY PRIDE MONTH! 🏳️‍🌈

As you might remember, I dedicated all of June 2018 to reading LGBTQIA+ books to celebrate Pride Month and I had such an amazing time doing that! So this year, that’s what I’m doing again.

A few days ago, my best friend and I were talking about Pride Month and she told me that we should do a 24h readathon for Pride Month, which is an amazing idea, as I haven’t been reading as much as usual this year. I also discovered Eloise @ Eloise Writes‘ blog recently and she’s doing a Pride Month readathon called Reading it queer, so I got really excited about that and made a whole TBR for it (what a surprise). The goal is to read at least one book with LGBTQIA+ representation, but you can also pick what you want to read based on nine reading prompts, which is what I’m doing!

So without further ado, let’s talk about the books I’m planning to read this month!

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» f/f relationship – Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters

I really wanted to read this book for Pride Month last year, but I ended up running out of time and being quite intimidated by it, so I really want to get to it this year. Tipping the Velvet is a historical fiction novel set in the Victorian era and follows Nan King, an oyster girl, who is fascinated by music-all phenomenon Kitty Butler and eventually meets her, which lead them to start having feelings for each other. I’ve seen so many people rave about Sarah Waters’ novels and I cannot wait to finally discover her debut, it sounds absolutely amazing.

» own voices author –  Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

This book has been all over the book community in the past few months and it got me quite intrigued! Girls of Paper and Fire is an Asian fantasy about Lei, who is chosen to become one of the King’s concubines and is being trained in the palace in order to do so. However, she does the unthinkable and falls in love with another girl and this forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that could shake the foundation of her country, Ikhara. I cannot wait to finally know what the hype is all about!

» bisexual character – The Brightsiders by Jen Wilde

I read Jen Wilde’s Queens of Geek two years ago and I really enjoyed it, so it is time for me to continue reading her books. The Brightsiders is about Emmy, a bisexual teen rockstar, who has to pick her life back together after being labelled the latest celebrity train wreck. This is my first read of the month and while I haven’t read much, I’m really enjoying it so far!

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» asexual or aromantic character – The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee

I was waiting for the perfect occasion to read The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy and at last, I have found it! This novel is a follow-up to The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, but follows Felicity Montague, a young woman in the 18th century, who wants nothing more than to enroll in medical school. When  possibility opens, Felicity leaves on a ship for Germany with a mysterious girl and becomes part of a perilous quest. Mackenzi Lee is one of my favourite YA authors and one of my biggest writing inspirations, so finally reading this one is going to be amazing, I already know it.

» recommended by a friend – The Edge of the Abyss by Emily Skrutskie

I read The Abyss Surrounds Us a while ago, but never got around to continue, probably because I don’t read post-apocalyptic novels very often. One of my uni friends recently read and adored the duology, so she motivated me to continue and it’s happening this month! I mean, this is a f/f post-apocalyptic duology with lesbian pirates and sea monsters, what else do you need?

» a book with additional rep – The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins

This novel set in 1826 follows Frannie Langton, maid to Mr and Mrs Benham, as she goes on trial because she was accused of her employers’ murder, but no one really knows the truth. Frannie then tells her story, which starts in Jamaica and continues with a forbidden romance in England. It sounds like such a gripping novel, so I cannot wait to dive into it and figure everything out!

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» a genre you don’t normally read – Going Off Script by Jen Wilde

It might not look like it in this post, but I rarely ever read YA contemporary novels. The last one I read was Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel and that was in… November 2018, so that’s why Going Off Script fits in this category. As I was saying, I’m trying to catch up on Jen Wilde’s books and the blurb for this one is “A TV writer’s room intern must join forces with her crush to keep her boss from ruining a lesbian character”, so basically, yes, YES, I am reading this. I love the settings of Jen Wilde’s novels so much.

» m/m relationship – Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

This is everyone’s newest favourite book and I need to know why, it is everywhere. Red, White & Royal Blue is about Alex, the son of the President of the United States, who is forced to become friends with his nemesis, Henry, Prince of Wales, as it could help British/American relationship as well as his mother’s reelection bid. However, they end up falling for each other. *gasps* So we’re talking about enemies to friends to lovers, which is my favourite romance trope, I hope I’ll love it!

» trans or non-binary character – I Wish You All The Best by Mason Deaver

Last but not least, I’m really excited to discover I Wish You All The Best, another book I kept seeing everywhere even before its release! This one is an own voices novel about Ben, who comes out to their parents as nonbinary and is thrown out of their house afterwards. Moving in with their sister, Ben wants to go by unnoticed, but meet Nathan, who becomes their friend, then their feelings for each other change as they grow closer. It’s been said to be both heartbreaking and joyous and has such amazing ratings on Goodreads so far, I can’t wait!

What are you planning to read in June? Are you participating in any readathon?

lots of love

April 2019 Reading Wrap-Up + Favourites

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Hello There

I feel like we’re all saying the same thing every month, but… can you believe April is over? I feel like that month lasted forever, because I had so many things to do and got so much done, between my internship, studying and participating in the #OWLsReadathon2019 and for the most part, it was a really great month! I’ve been quite stressed about my master’s thesis during it, but hey, that’s not exactly new.

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In April, I participated to the #OWLs2019Readathon and read so many books once again. I had been reading less since the beginning of the year, so reading loads was an interesting experience! Here are the books that I read:

  • Circe, by Madeline Miller, 4/5 stars
  • The Wicked King, by Holly Black, 4/5 stars
  • The House at Riverton, by Kate Morton, 2/5 stars
  • Norse Mythology, by Neil Gaiman, 3.5/5 stars
  • The Bird King, by G. Willow Wilson, 3/5 stars
  • Star Wars: Ahsoka, by E.K. Johnston, 4/5 stars
  • Othello, by William Shakespeare, 3.5/5 stars
  • DC Comics Bombshells, vol. 3: Uprising, by Marguerite Benett, 4.5/5 stars
  • The Red Scrolls of Magic, by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu, 4/5 stars

I read quite a few amazing books this month, but the third volume of DC Comics Bombshells wins everything. It’s an empowering series, with female characters from DC Comics, who are fighting on their scale, both at home and a bit everywhere around Europe in World War II and it’s absolutely awesome! I’m so grateful to my friend who recommended it to me, I’m so obsessed.

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Listening to Madeline Miller talk about women in mythology and retellings

At the beginning of the month, Madeline Miller came to talk about Circe in Shakespeare & Co and I was lucky enough to attend! She’s such an impressive and interesting woman and I could have listened to her talk about mythology for hours. I used to be a classicist and while I don’t study Latin or Greek anymore, Madeline Miller made me miss it so much. I got my copy of Circe signed afterwards and it was so amazing to actually meet her!

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TV shows: discovering Killing Eve, getting excited about Game of Thrones season 8 and rewatching Parks and Recreation

After months of people raving about Killing Eve, I decided to give it a try (because I watched The White Princess recently and Jodie Comer is in it as well) and I was blown away. It’s a thriller with a MI5 agent and an assassin starring Sandra Oh, Jodi Comer and Fiona Shaw and that’s all you need to know. The cast is amazing and it takes my breath away because I never know what to expect. I also adore Villanelle so much. Season 2 is currently airing so I’d better get started on it as well!

April is also the month Game of Thrones came back on TV for its final season and watching it again made me so excited! It’s my first time watching the show since I’ve started reading the books and somehow it made me even more invested in it AND sometimes really annoyed by the way the characters act… Let’s just say that the characterization is way better in the books… Nevertheless, I’m super happy to watch it every Monday, even if staying away from spoilers is really hard, as I get spoiled in the subway and in the street… people truly are involved with this show. But anyway, I’m glad it’s back! #teamsansaforever

Last, but not least, I started my rewatch of Parks and Recreation! It had been ten months since I had finished it and I was missing it loads. It may sound overdramatic, but watching Parks and Rec affects my well-being so much: rewatching it makes me feel like home, makes me laugh, makes me the happiest. Besides, it’s the best way to motivate myself to write my master’s thesis, because if I write one page of it, I can watch one episode later on (I only watch them during breaks or evenings, I’m so reasonable haha) and it works really well!

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Camp NaNoWriMo

Like last year, I participated in Camp NaNoWriMo so it would motivate me to write my master’s thesis. My goal was to write 15.000 words in a month, because I was working full time and couldn’t write as much as last April (I wrote 26.000 words then?). I wasn’t very consistent in writing to be honest and mainly worked on it during weekends, but I managed to reach my goal and almost finished my first part, which I’m so happy about! It feels like it’s getting somewhere and it feels good, as starting from May 11th, I’ll be working on it full time, so I know I won’t have as much to write as I had feared.

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Watching Avengers: Endgame

At last, Avengers: Endgame came out and watching it felt unreal! The whole experience was amazing, we had to stay in line for an hour, even though we had our tickets and chatted with other fans about Marvel, DC and Game of Thrones. A random guy at Burger King also wished me to have a great time at the movies because I was wearing my Captain America shirt, it was really funny. Watching the movie made me so happy and really sad, because that era of the MCU is over and it had been eleven years… I won’t say more because spoilers, but I’m still really emotional about it, even though I had a few issues with it and the Russos.

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May is going to be quite an intense month, to be honest. I’m finishing my internship on May 10th and I’m so sad about that, then I’ll be working on my master’s thesis full time and will have a big oral presentation for the uni group project at some point. Still, my studies will soon be over, and while it’s terrifying, I cannot wait to be done with them.

In May, I’m looking forward to watch RocketmanDetective Pikachu and Aladdin in theaters, to read more of the A Song of Ice and Fire books and to be done with my thesis, obviously. It’s due June 5th, but it would be nice if I could be done before, so I have more time to revise it? We’ll see about that, haha.

What about you, how was April? What was your favourite book of April?

lots of love

Reading wrap-up + Favourites | January 2019

… and we’re already done with the first month of 2019! January was such a busy month for me, so I barely feel like I got anything done outside of university and working, but it was still a good month, so I don’t mind that much.
I started the year by spending New Year Eve with my family, my best friend and my boyfriend, which was perfect, then enjoyed the last of my holidays. On January 6th, I went on my first trip outside of Europe… I travelled to Algeria for a uni project and it was quite interesting. We got a lot of material for our project and had such a nice weather, it was a bit hard to go back to France in that aspect. The morning after I got back from Algiers, I started my four month long internship in a cultural institution and I’ve been working full time since then. I’ve been there for the past three weeks and I’m loving it, I’m working on interesting projects and everything I learnt in my new master is really helpful, it definitely is the right fit.

I feel like I didn’t have time for much outside of all of that, as I always was really exhausted when I got home, but I realize now that I’ve been out a lot in January, so that explains it as well. It was different from usual and I got out of my comfort zone a few times, but it was all for the best.
Truth be told, I didn’t read as much as I usually do in January, but I didn’t mind at all, for I was super relaxed about my reading and whether I was reading or not. I was doing my best, I was happy whenever I found time to pick up a book, and I think that’s pretty great.
Here are the books that I read:
    • Les Misérables, by Victor Hugo, 5/5 stars (reread)
    • The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi, 3/5 stars
    • Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, 3.5/5 stars
    • Mera: Queen of Atlantis, by Dan Abnett and Lan Medina, 3.5/5 stars
    • A Clash of Kings, by George R.R. Martin, 4.5/5 stars
I decided to start the year by rereading my favourite book, Les Misérables, and it made me the happiest as it had been so long! If we don’t count that one, though, my favourite was A Clash of Kings: it took me almost three weeks to finish it, but I am so obsessed with this world and didn’t mind at all!

MOVIE // On the Basis of Sex (2018)

I went to the movies five times in January (we love having an unlimited movie card) and the best movie I watched was On the Basis of Sex. This movie is based on the life and early cases* of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, with Felicity Jones portraying her. I had really high expectations for this movie, as I had been waiting for it for so long and Felicity Jones is one of my favourite actresses. Needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed: it was such an empowering movie, it had amazing family dynamics (especially between Ruth and her daughter Jane, who was so inspiring as well) and Felicity Jones delivered a stellar performance. Please watch it if you can!

*those cases were about discrimination on the basis of sex.

BOOKS // A Song of Ice and Fire

In December, I finally got started on A Song of Ice and Fire and adored the first book – it actually was my last book of the year – to the point that I only wanted to pick up the second book after that (I don’t usually like to binge-read series?). That’s exactly what I did: I started reading A Clash of Kings when I left for Algeria and finished it at the end of January, so I spent almost all of my month in the world of A Song of Ice and Fire. I have a weird relationship with the show, I either couldn’t be invested less or can’t stop thinking about it depending on the seasons, so I can already say that I adore the books a lot more. I’m constantly thinking about ASOIAF, researching little details about it and apparently I follow a lot of people who love the books and show on Twitter too? So basically, I can’t get out of this world and it makes me so happy, I had missed fantasy so much.

TV SHOW // The Good Place
I already watched and loved the first two seasons of The Good Place (it made it into my favourite TV shows of 2018) and I’ve started catching up on the third one now that it’s over. This TV show is just perfect to binge-watch, so I wait before getting into it because I always want to know everything straight away and not wait in agony every week (how dramatic). I’m now watching it with my boyfriend as I got him addicted as well and it’s so much fun. I’ve been loving this third season so much, it is so clever and I adore these characters more than ever!


MISC. // Knitting

During my holidays, I picked up knitting again and I’ve been loving it again. I can’t sit still while watching movies and TV shows, I always end up checking my phone, so knitting is the best alternative, because I’m still occupied while watching something. It’s also quite a calming activity and helps me a lot when I’m stressed. This time, my mom taught me how to knit socks (so very useful when we’re getting snowy days) and I’m knitting my second one at the moment. Once I’m done with my pair of socks, I am planning on knitting a sleeve for my new e-reader, it would be perfect.

MISC. // Aquaman

Yes, yes. How predictable, it already was in my favourite last month. I always follow the same patterns when I fall for a movie from a franchise: I’ll rewatch it ten thousand times and get started on extra content… Which is exactly what I’m doing because I loved the 2018 Aquaman movie. I can’t explain how much I needed this movie when it arrived in my life and that’s one of the reasons I’m so obsessed, the others including the actors and the fact that it deals with the sea and I’m a sea person. So anyway, on top of rewatching the movie, I have started reading comics set in the Aqua-world through Mera’s comic and I’m loving that! I need to read the entire Aquaman (2016) series to continue and it makes me so excited to read comics and have found a new  fictional world to love. Mera and Arthur, I love you so.

 

I’m always really excited to get into February, because it is my birthday month and I intend to make the most of it! I don’t have anything planned, as I’ll still be working full time at my internship, but I’m hoping to finally get started on master thesis #3, continue outlining my work in progress, be more creative with my bullet journal and continue reading as much as possible.
I am beyond happy because both The Favourite and Mary, Queen of Scots are being released in France this month and I’m always there for period dramas. I’m also already late with January book releases, but I intend on reading February releases as they come out: I’ve been waiting for The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon (my most anticipated fantasy book, already pre-ordered) and Courting Darkness by Robin LaFevers (I can’t believe we’re getting more His Fair Assassin books!) and I have an ARC of The Familiars by Stacey Halls to read, so that will pretty much be my TBR, haha.

 

What about you? How was the first month of 2019?
What did you read? Any new favourite TV shows/movies?
 
 

My favourite TV shows of 2018

Hello There
 
I’m a bit late with all ‘my favourites of 2018’ posts, but better late than never I guess? Anyway, 2018 was such an amazing year when it came to TV shows and I found so many new favourites. Those who made my list didn’t necessarily aired in 2018, but I watched them during that year. I also managed to rank them and I’m so proud of myself, as I’m unable to do that with books and movies for 2018. So without further ado, here are my favourite TV shows of 2018!
 
10. Peaky Blinders

I finally started watching Peaky Blinders last year* and I fell in love with it, I even watched the first season in less than a day. I’m a huge period drama fan, as you probably know, but I had been reluctant to watch this one, for I was scared it would be a bit too violent for me (I was wrong). The universe kept sending me signs for two days, between seeing articles about the show everywhere or Sam Claflin announcing he would play in series 5 (!!), so that’s how I ended up starting it, and I couldn’t be happier to have watched it. It is full of morally grey characters, which I adore, and I admire the female characters’ of the show so much (okay I fell in love with two of them, but shhhh): Peaky Blinders was one of the reasons I cut my hair shorter in November, I wanted to live the 1920s aesthetic, so yeah. #noregrets

*Fun fact: I finished catching up with it today!

9. The Good Place

Another show I watched after everyone else was The Good Place. I didn’t even know what it was about when I started it, just that people were obsessed with it and I feel that it’s the best way to watch it. I had no idea what was going on at first, but I was so curious and needed to have answers: that’s the magic of the show and that’s how you end up binge-watching it in three days or something. The characters are absolutely hilarious, there are so many iconic lines it’s very addictive and I adore the photography of it!

8. Brooklyn Nine-Nine

I started watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine in 2017, but completely caught up with it last year. I’m usually not a use fan of cop shows, because I often find them repetitive, but that’s absolutely not the case for Brooklyn Nine-Nine. All the characters are amazing and picking a favourite is next to impossible for me: they’ve all helped and inspired me in different ways and I’m so grateful they exist. This TV show is perfect to watch when I’m feeling a bit down, it always makes me laugh a little. I am so excited about the newest season, thank god it wasn’t cancelled in the end! *cries*
 
 

7. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is such a breath of fresh air: I started watching it because I wanted a ‘lighter’ period drama to watch… and it ended up in a binge-watch and my boyfriend joining in and falling in love with the show as well. This American period drama, created by Amy Sherman-Palladino (who also created Gilmore Girls!!), is set in 1958 and follows Myriam “Midge” Maisel, an upper-class Jewish housewife. After her husband leaves her for his secretary, she delivers an impromptu comic performance in a bar where her husband used to act for fun, and after some time, she is inspired to become a comedian. I adore Midge so much and Rachel Brosnahan, who portrays her, delivers such amazing performances (she won two Golden Globes in the past two years?).

 

6. Jane the Virgin
 
I’ve been watching Jane the Virgin since 2016 and I’ve always considered it to be one of my favourite TV shows (even though season 2 disappointed me a bit), so truly, it’s no surprise that it’s making the list. And then, season 4 happened and changed my life. That’s not even me being overdramatic, it’s true. 2018 was the year I accepted myself like never before and the show helped me immensely: if it weren’t for that scene with Petra, I would still be doubting myself… Her dream scene was exactly what happened to me, so when I saw that for a fictional character I loved, it truly meant the world to me. I cannot wait for the last season, I just want to see these characters happy. That’s all I need.
 
 

5. Star Wars: The Clone Wars

It’s no secret that I’m so obsessed with The Last Jedi that I watched it eleven times on the big screen. While I was on a Star Wars roll, I decided I would finally get started on the new Expanded Universe, whether it was TV shows, books or comics. I wasn’t too excited about watching The Clone Wars at first, as I’m not a huge fan of Episode II or Anakin, but as the first two seasons were on Netflix, I gave it a go. Little did I know that it would make me love the Fall of the Republic era so much, that I would meet one of my favourite Star Wars characters in the person of Ahsoka Tano, that I would get super obsessed with the show. It’s so worth it and a great place to start if you want to go beyond the Star Wars movies!
 
 
4. Everything Sucks!

Everything Sucks! means the world to me, because it’s the show that finally gave me the strength to come out. I’ll always remember how much I cried and how I wrote all the words I had always been too scared to say. Truly, I will always be heartbroken they decided to cancel it. I dedicated a blog post to it if you want to know more about it, but this is the show I had always needed in my life. It’s set in 1996 (the year I was born!) and it follows high school misfits in the AV and drama clubs who brave the ups and downs of teenage life in the VHS era. It is full of pop culture references, it has amazing characters and a great coming out story. I have to admit that it’s hard to watch at first, because there is bullying and homophobic slur, it truly shows how life can be awful in high school, but it gets better and better with every episode. I miss this show so much, I need to rewatch it.

 
3. One Day at a Time
One Day at a Time already was in my previous favourite TV shows list and of course, it kept its spot.  It is one of the greatest and most important TV shows that was ever made and if you still haven’t watched it, please do. I made all my friends watch it and they all got obsessed, because clearly I have good taste (I’m joking of course). It tackles down such important and contemporary topics, has a diverse cast of characters and it’s hilarious. Most of all, it has Elena, one of my favourite fictional characters ever, she’s so inspiring, she makes me want to fight to get what I want and to be myself, without hiding. No, but really, can you believe that we have a Latina, gay, feminist, vegetarian and super clever main character as awesome as she is? I cannot wait to rewatch the first two seasons to be ready for the third!
 
 

2. The Bold Type

When I started watching The Bold Type, it truly felt like the one and it’s definitely one of the TV shows that has inspired me the most. It is a feminist, empowering, diverse and topical show, tackling down so many contemporary issues and doing it in such a clever way. It follows the lives of Jane, Kat and Sutton, who works for Scarlet, a global women’s magazine. There three girls 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 was my favourite, I wouldn’t be able to answer, because it changes with every episode and I love them in different ways. I dedicated a blog post to this one as well because I love it too much. 
 
 
I think that it is my favourite currently airing TV show and it could almost have been number 1 on this list as well, if it weren’t for…
 
 

1. Parks and Recreation

*everyone pretends to be shocked* I don’t think that my words could ever do justice at how much I adore this show, but just know this: I watched all seven seasons in a month and a half. Parks and Rec is set in Pawnee, Indiana, and follows the team from the Parks and Recreation department (duh) on their adventures. It’s funny, always makes me feel good, has relatable characters and I would almost move to Pawnee to work in the department by day and be a Mouse Rat groupie by night. *starts singing The Pit* My favourite character was of course my wife April Ludgate, she’s the best and I adore Aubrey Plaza, so that’s no surprise! I miss the show so much, I need to rewatch it, I need to buy the DVDs, how have I been holding on without it for the past seven months and six days?? H O W??
 


What were your favourite TV shows of 2018?
 
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The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

Hello There
Ever since I heard about The Gilded Wolves, I was so curious about it: Roshani Chokshi’s writing and I hadn’t gotten to a great start, but so many readers kept praising her works and I wanted to know what the hype was all about. Besides, this book is set in 19th century, which is right up my alley. Of course, when I saw the book up on Netgalley, I didn’t hesitate and I’m so glad I got approved for it! I didn’t love this book as much as everyone else, but I flew through it and it was really entertaining. So, without further ado, happy publication day to The Gilded Wolves and here’s my review of it!

 

Published: January 15th 2019 by Wednesday Books
Genres: young adult, historical fiction, fantasy
Number of pages: 464
 
Goodreads summary: Set in a darkly glamorous world, The Gilded Wolves is full of mystery, decadence, and dangerous but thrilling adventure.
Paris, 1889: The world is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. In this city, no one keeps tabs on secrets better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier, Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. But when the all-powerful society, the Order of Babel, seeks him out for help, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.
To find the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin will need help from a band of experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian who can’t yet go home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in all but blood, who might care too much.
Together, they’ll have to use their wits and knowledge to hunt the artifact through the dark and glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the world, but only if they can stay alive.

MY THOUGHTS

Disclaimer : I received this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. The quotes I used might have changed in the final copy.
My favourite element of The Gilded Wolves was its characters. This novel had such a diverse cast of six main characters, whom I adored. They were so complex and had rich backstories, which made me get to know them pretty well and I’m a bit sad to leave them behind now that I’ve finished the novel. I have to admit that I’m a bit disappointed that we didn’t get every main character’s point of view: I feel like I didn’t care as much for one of them, I *almost even* forgot about them at times and so I didn’t really care about this character’s storyline or ending? That’s too bad because I cared about everyone else; at this character, I am really sorry. Moreover, they all had amazing group dynamics and I loved every little interaction they had together. My favourite character was for sure Zofia, because I related to her in so many ways, but I also have a soft spot for Hypnos!

I had high expectations when it comes to the world-building of this novel, especially the parts about late 19th century Paris, as I’m French and a history major, but I can tell you that Roshani Chokshi did her job splendidly! You could tell how much research she put into her book and I loved that she didn’t only show an idealistic Paris: she also showed France’s ugly colonialist past, how unaccepting and racist society could be. As she said in her author’s note:

“History is a myth shaped by the tongues of conquerors.”

Shameful events can often be glossed over and this shouldn’t be. This past needs to be acknowledged, discussed and I’m glad that voices that have been ignored for so long can finally be heard. So many important topics were talked about in this novel and Chokshi did a good job at that. The Gilded Wolves was also full of historical, philosophical and scientific references, which I adored!

While I was impressed by the way Chokshi portrayed Paris, I wasn’t as convinced when she presented the novel’s magic system. It was complex and a bit confusing at times, especially when paragraphs upon paragraphs were explaining the world: it felt a bit like info-dumping to me. Still, it was a bit more interesting once I understood everything.

To talk about the elephant in the room, that many reviewers have discussed: in many things, The Gilded Wolves is quite similar to Six of Crows for some aspects of it. I am not saying that this is a bad thing: The Gilded Wolves has amazing characters no matter what and a different world building, but because of those similarities, the plot didn’t take me by surprise, because it wasn’t anything I hadn’t read before. It could be thrilling at times, but overall I was left being unimpressed by it. Besides, I wasn’t too convinced by the villain: I would have liked to know their motivations more; it has to be more than “I want to take over the world” to me, I need more explanations and very morally gray characters. Despite that, I adored the fact that it was all about a secret society!

I had tried reading Chokshi’s debut in the past without success, but I really liked her writing style in this one, it flowed nicely and I got through this book really quickly. While I don’t really want to pick The Star-Touched Queen again at this point, I’d be interested in reading more of her works.

To conclude, I thought that while being a bit too similar to Six of Crows for my taste, The Gilded Wolves is a novel with amazing characters and a compelling setting that many readers will adore. Some aspects of the novel, such as a confusing magic system at first and a plot that didn’t take me by surprise didn’t convince me as much, but maybe that’s just me? I’m always super picky, haha.

Have you read The Gilded Wolves or are you interested in it?
lots of love

Reading wrap-up + Favourites | December 2018

I have so many blog posts planned for the beginning of the year, from lists of everything I’ve loved in 2018 to what I am planning to do in 2019, that I would almost have forgotten to post my December reading wrap-up. *shocked gasps* So before we’re too far ahead in the month, it’s time to wrap up December 2018!
December was quite an eventful month: it was made of my last few weeks at uni, being accepted into the internship I wanted the most, getting in the Christmas spirit and so much more. It was also a difficult month, as my anxiety was a mess because of university, but at least that part is over and I’ve been on vacations since December 19th, so it’s alright. Anyhow, let’s jump into what I read during the last month of 2018.
  • Lord of Shadows, by Cassandra Clare, 5/5 stars (re-read)
  • Queen of Air and Darkness, by Cassandra Clare, 4/5 stars
  • Mr. Dickens and His Carol, by Samantha Silva, 4/5 stars
  • Assassin’s Quest, by Robin Hobb, 4.5/5 stars
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, by J.K. Rowling, 5/5 stars (re-read)
  • The Master and Margarita, by Mikhail Bulgakov, 3.5/5 stars
  • Hickory Dickory Dock, by Agatha Christie, 4/5 stars
  • Muse of Nightmares, by Laini Taylor, 4.5/5 stars
  • A Game of Thrones, by George R.R. Martin, 5/5 stars

      + three French graphic novels

At the beginning of December, I set myself a very ambitious TBR, because there were many huge books I wanted to read and I nailed it (I was very scared I wouldn’t finish A Game of Thrones in time, but I did it!). Reading and loving fantasy again is such a wonderful feeling, so it won’t be too surprising if I tell you that I got a book hangover after finishing The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb and that it would have been the same for A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, had I not started my reread of Les Misérables at the beginning of January. My favourite book of the month, then, was A Game of Thrones, I’m so proud of myself for starting the A Song of Ice and Fire series at long last! Now I need to binge-read every book set in this world.

EVENT // Meeting Lin-Manuel Miranda

On December 10th, a premiere of Mary Poppins Returns took place in Paris, in the presence of some of the members of the cast, including Lin-Manuel Miranda. It was just a premiere for press (um, I still haven’t watched the movie, which is really sad) and no one was talking about it, but somehow we heard it would take place and I got there with some of my friends. We were just waiting, hoping to get a glimpse of the cast and… We met Lin-Manuel Miranda. I mean, we actually talked to him?? This entire moment was surreal, he truly was the nicest, he signed something for everyone, did group selfies… I still cannot believe it happened, it was a perfect way to end the year. I’m beyond happy for my friends Clara and Lydia, as he means the world to them and they had been wanting to meet him for forever, I can’t believe they finally did so!!

TV SHOW // The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (2017)

In December, I finally started watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and this TV show has been making me so happy. I had been hearing my friend Fatima talking about it for so long and my friend Clara had also started it some time before, and as I wanted to watch a period drama that would make me happy, I gave in. This American period drama, created by Amy Sherman-Palladino*, is set in 1958 and follows Myriam “Midge” Maisel, an upper-class Jewish housewife. After her husband leaves her for his secretary, she delivers an impromptu comic performance in a bar where her husband used to act for fun, and after some time, she is inspired to become a comedian. This TV show is such a fresh breath of air and binge-watching it has been amazing! My boyfriend got addicted as well when he hadn’t watched the first four episodes, so yeah… Just watch it!
*she created Gilmore Girls!

MOVIE // Christmas movies

At the end of November, I made a list of Christmas movies I wanted to watch and slowly made my way through it during the time that led to Christmas. I discovered that I loved cheesy Christmas movies and binge-watched all the Netflix Original ones, my favourite being The Holiday Calendar. I also finally got to older Christmas movies I had wanted to watch for so long, such as How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I also watched The Man Who Invented Christmas, which is about how Dickens came to write A Christmas Carol and it was my favourite of them all! I had wanted to watch it for so long (of course I did, Dan Stevens plays Charles Dickens), they never released it in France, and it was as amazing as I thought it would be! I’m hoping that watching it for Christmas will become a new tradition!


WRITING

At the beginning of my holidays, I got an idea for a new novel… and I haven’t been able to get away from it since then, because my characters keep talking to me. Oh, well. I haven’t written consistently in four years, but got some ideas for historical novels that I’ve always been terrified to write. However, this one might be the one, because it’s not set too far away in the past, and the entirety of it is so me. A lot of it is coming from my personal experience, which makes it hard to write, but this project has made me so happy. I’ve started doing research for it, which is a lot of fun, and getting to know my characters is amazing, I love them so much. Writing this book will be one of my biggest challenges of 2019, but in any case, December was our honeymoon phase with my WIP, so it was all good.

MOVIE // Aquaman (2018)

I didn’t really expect that to happen, but at the end of December, I watched the Aquaman movie and I absolutely fell in love with it. Now, you probably know that I adore Marvel’s movies, but the ones from DC Comics… Well, not so much. I always go watch them (except for Suicide Squad that I never watched and don’t want to), but I always have mixed feelings about them. Needless to say, I didn’t have a lot of expectations when I went to watch Aquaman, I just knew I had to watch it because I’ve always been obsessed with the sea, and I fell for it. Yes, I do have a crush on both Jason Momoa and Amber Heard, but I also adore the world-building, the story, the aesthetic, the inspirations for it and the soundtrack of the movie. I’ve already watched it twice in December and by the time I’ve published this, I’ll probably have watched it a third time, because I can’t get enough out of it. It also (re)taught me something that I had forgotten and needed to remember, so I’m grateful it did. I’m so happy it was my last movie of the year and I cannot wait to read Aquaman’s comics now (even though he’s blonde in them *cries*).
As you’re reading this, I’m currently in Algeria for a project with my university, which is exciting and a bit scary, as it’s my very first time out of Europe! Still, I am so happy to start the year by traveling to a place I’ve never been before and I’m sure it’ll be really interesting. Moreover, I’ll be starting my internship on January 10th and I’m so excited about it, I’m sure that it’ll be an enlightening experience! So basically, that’s what my month will look like and I’m so there for it!
There are also so many releases I’m excited about for books, movies and TV shows. I’ve already talked about my most anticipated book releases for this winter recently and I’m not quite sure I’ll be able to read January releases, but I have an e-ARC of The Gilded Wolves, so that’s exciting. For movies, I am so looking forward to watching On the Basis of Sex (Felicity Jones <3), Colette, and The Hate U Give, which is finally coming out in France! I also need to catch up on some movies I didn’t watch during the holidays, so I’ll probably spend my whole free time in theaters. Oops. I also have several TV shows that will start airing again, the third season of A Series of Unfortunate Events is already there, but I’m also impatiently waiting for Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Victoria, I have been waiting for so long!
 
How did December 2018 treat you? Any new favourites?

My favourite books of 2018

Now that 2018 is behind us, it’s time to share with you my favourite reads of the year! I didn’t want to write this post while we were still in 2018, just in case my very last read of the year became a new favourite, and in the end, that was a very wise decision! For this post, I ordered my favourites through chronological order, because I couldn’t choose between some of them, but also because chronological order reflects my reading year more. That being said, let’s jump right into it!

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Daphne du Maurier might be my favourite author, but I waited for as long as I could before diving into Rebecca. It’s her most famous work – with reason -, but she wanted to be known for more than *just* that one, and I wanted to respect her in that. I had also watched 1997 mini-series years ago, so I already knew everything that happened. Yet, nothing can ever prepare you for the beauty of du Maurier’s words. Rebecca is intoxicating, with an amazing gothic atmosphere and a fascinating plot. Like all of du Maurier’s works, it made me want to visit Cornwall so much and I’m aching for the day I’ll finally be able to go there. While I already knew the story, it still took me by surprise and upon finishing it, I had to go back to reread the first chapters of the story. Daphne du Maurier, I love you so much.

Renegades by Marissa Meyer

At the time I read Renegades, I hadn’t fallen in love with a young adult novel in six months. However, from the moment I picked that one up, I knew that my problem was fixed, because Renegades was everything I could have asked for. As I adore slow-paced plots and super abilities, this one was perfect for me and I couldn’t get enough! This novel is about people you’d call superheroes, villains, but also secret identities and humanity, while giving you the points of view of characters who belong to two different sides. It has a very rich world, full of politics, and you’re left wondering who the villains of the story are, which is something I adore. I have yet to pick up the sequel, but I’m so excited to see where this story is going!

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Ah, Children of Blood and Bone. One of the two books that put me in a fantasy slump for most of the year, because I loved it too much. I am often scared of the hype, but Children of Blood and Bone amazed me. The world-building was spectacular, it flew perfectly and introduced everything you need to know about Orïsha, where the series takes place. This book focused on racism, fear and hatred of people who are different from you and how those feelings can lead to prejudice, violence and even slaughter; it echoes our society, especially the stories about unarmed black men, women, and children shot by the police and it makes the story even more important. I also fell for all our main characters, without being able to pick a favourite and I’ve been missing them for months. 

The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty

The City of Brass is the second book that contributed to my fantasy slump. After these two, I couldn’t read fantasy anymore without being disappointed, because they were too good. This novel is a Middle-East inspired fantasy novel (it’s set in 18th century Cairo at first!) with a very dense plot and so many layers weren’t revealed until the very end, which made me love it even more. I couldn’t catch my breath because I always wanted to know what would happen next. As I have a soft spot for morally grey characters and The City of Brass had several, I couldn’t help but love them. Moreover, I loved how it didn’t make it easy for its characters mastering new abilities, because it can be the case in fantasy, but The City of Brass didn’t suffer from it at all! It was such an amazing fantasy novel.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Sometimes, you are lucky enough to find a book that feels so much like you and you can’t get enough of it. You know that this book and you will stand the test of time. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is one of mine. To be honest, it never is a good idea to make me talk about it, because that’s it: I want to reread it again, as it feels so much like home. This book introduced me to one of the most beautiful stories I have ever read, as well as to one of my favourite fictional characters, Juliet Ashton. She inspires me so much and we share many similarities! Besides, I loved how much this novel was about reading and loving books, how books can bring us together during tough times. It also had so many different book references and I loved it all the more because of that: from the fact that Juliet was a writer who published a biography about Anne Brontë to the fact that it was set on Guernsey, where Victor Hugo was exiled (and wrote Les Misérables aka my favourite book), I couldn’t have been happier. 



The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo at the right time in my life and from the very beginning, I already knew it would end up being one of my favourite books ever and I already wanted to reread it. This book is about Evelyn Hugo, a very famous Hollywood actress, her life from the 1950s to today, her career and her seven husbands. I can’t say too much, but I am thankful I’ve read this, I am thankful for what it brought me and I will reread it for the rest of my life. Evelyn Hugo was such an interesting character, she was ruthless, ambitious and so inspiring, she will stay with me for a very long time. I’m not saying anymore, but anyone who has read this will know what I’m talking about, but just thank you for it all Taylor Jenkins Reid. I reread it just recently, and I want to do so again.

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

Alice Oseman’s books were so special to me this year, I binge-read them all back to back in a week (I rarely ever do that for a series or an author) and Alice Oseman became my newest favourite author. I read this one in June, when I was terrified of what my future would hold and it helped me so much. Frances Janvier became one of the characters I relate to the most and I am beyond grateful she exists in this amazing novel. Everyone has read this one years ago, so I’m very late to the party, but I am so thankful for this book, how nerdy it is, for Frances and Aled and for what it brought me. I adore Alice Oseman’s words so much and I would read her grocery shopping list. It’s been months now and I still can’t put into proper words how much this means to me. That’s just about it.

Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier

What. A. Surprise. I have two of Daphne du Maurier’s novels in my favourite books of 2018 list. I just couldn’t help myself. I have often written that Daphne du Maurier was probably my soulmate and have always meant it: no one gets me as much as she does and I will forever be heartbroken not to have lived at the same time as she had. But anyway. In this novel, I fell in love with the descriptions of Cornwall, with the atmosphere, with the way the pirate’s life was described. I adored Dona St Columb, because I could relate to her so much, she felt so modern, was so smart, witty, independent and fierce, she also needed more from her life, and I get that. Frenchman’s Creek is a story about finding who you are after having to hide it for so long, about sexual awakening, about duty, about family, about passion. It’s very far from the “silly” love story some people want to make of it. It means the world to me, feels like home, and I’m so glad that Daphne du Maurier wrote it.

The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb

Remember when I mentioned my fantasy slump? Well, I eventually got out of it and it’s all thanks to the Farseer Trilogy. Special thanks to my parents and my boyfriend for making me read it, even though I got a book hangover from it. This time, I’m not talking about one book, I’m talking about the trilogy, because I think about it as a whole and it’s spectacular throughout. If I had to choose, Royal Assassin would be my favourite, but I just love the trilogy more, if that makes sense? This series is a medieval fantasy following FitzChivalry, the illegitimate son of a prince, who comes to co
urt and secretly learns to be an assassin for his king. The Farseer Trilogy is full of court politics, has such a spectacular world-building, fleshed-out characters (I feel like I know them all by heart!) and while its slow pace isn’t for everyone, I didn’t really mind. I haven’t been able to get this story out of my mind ever since I started it in November, even though I’ve tried. Even today, weeks later, all I want to do is dive into the next trilogy, The Liveship Traders. I’m so happy that Robin Hobb’s world is made of so many series, I wish they could last forever.

A Game of Thrones by by George R.R. Martin

Last, but certainly not least, A Game of Thrones was the last book I read in 2018 and it became one of my favourites. I’ve been watching Game of Thrones (the show) for years, sometimes I adore it, sometimes I’m feeling a bit meh about it, so I was always unsure whether I wanted to read the books or not. However, everyone kept saying that the books were way better, so I gave in… And while I only read the first one, I’m already in agreement (it might also be because I like fantasy more in books than in movies/TV shows). I already knew most of the story, but it’s a complete different experience through George R.R. Martin’s words: the world is richer, the characters more fleshed out and I just appreciate it more? I’m not quite sure I can explain, but I was so excited to go back to it every time (even though I read it slowly) and I need to buy A Clash of Kings tomorrow so I can take it to Algeria with me the day after. Oh, and while we’re at it, I need all things Westeros, thank you very much.
So that’s it for my favourite books of the year! I’m so happy I got to discover all the books I mentioned in this post in 2018 and I already miss them, I cannot wait to reread them over and over again. If I had to pick just one favourite, I could almost do it… I’d just have to pick two instead, aka The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, but I’m sure most of you knew that already. 2018 was such an amazing year for me and I’m sad to see it go, but having all those books to look back on is everything I need.
What were your favourite books of 2018?

Happy New Year + Goals for 2019

Hello, beautiful people! Happy New Year!

 

I wish you to have an amazing year, to accomplish your dreams, to find new ones, to have good health, to laugh, to be happy, to discover amazing fictional worlds and so much more!

As this is my very first blog post of 2019, I wanted to write a bit about what I wanted to accomplish in 2019, whether it was personal or about reading. I already did something like that last year, so I thought it would motivate me to make 2019 a great year. To be honest, 2018 was the best year of my life and I intend this year to be amazing as well.

L I F E  G O A L S
I just reread my life goals for 2018 and they made me cry… What a fun way to start this year, haha. This time last year, I was so lost within my own life, I had no idea what would happen in 2018. I wanted to find out what I wanted to do with my life and to be more like myself every day. We’re exactly a year later and I did more than I thought I would do: I graduated from my old master to find the right one, I’m starting an amazing internship in nine days and I know where I’m going. A year ago, I wanted to be more like myself, and now I finally am, I’m finally breathing again. Everything changed since I embraced my own sexuality. I haven’t told a lot of people yet, but it feels so good to think “I’m bisexual. There, I can think about it now.” I still have so much to learn and to figure out, but I am finally myself.

I feel like any of my life goals would feel like nothing now, because in the end, I made last year the best year in my life. But of course, there is always room for improvment. In a few months, I will have graduated from my second master and will be trying to find a job and that will be life-changing. If I have one goal for myself this year, it is to remember that I am enough. I achieved so many things in the past few years and the best part is, I own it all to myself. I can do so many more wonderful things with my life, and I will. I will find a job, I will be responsible of myself financially, it’ll all come in good time.

If there’s another goal I want to pursue in 2019, it’s to write more. At the end of 2018, a new novel idea came to me and by that, I mean that my characters haven’t stopped talking to me in about two weeks. I have notes all over my phone about them, their aesthetics, some scenes, parts of an outline. This year, I want to have an entire outline and to write as much of it as possible. There’s so much of myself in this story that it’s the continuation of how much I grew in 2018, so yup, I’ll do that too. For blogging, I’m going to attempt once again to post once a week. I have so many blog posts ideas, but I rarely make the time to write them. I really want to find that time again; I managed to write 45 blog posts in 2018, so I’m sure I can write 52 this year!

Last but not least, I want to be even more like myself. I want to laugh, I want to cry, I want to travel, I want to get out of my comfort zone more, I want the good and I’ll survive the bad, I want everything.

R E A D I N G  G O A L S
Like last year, I have decided  that I wouldn’t set up a real Goodreads challenge. I put one book in it to be able to track down my reading, but that’s about it. I’ve been living my non-TBR life for months now, which I’m beyond happy about, so it quite goes with it. My reading life is a big Carpe Diem, lately.
I realised throughout 2018 that I wasn’t looking at my challenge unless someone would ask me about it, and it was the same thing for wrap-ups: I made lists without counting how many books I had read, with the exception of my 31 books in 31 days in July, obviously. I also read the books I had on my 2018 book bucket list, so truly, last year was a success for my reading goals (I could have done better with broadening the classics I read, but that’s it).

Last year, I challenged myself to read one of Agatha Christie’s novels each month and it was so much fun! Discovering an author’s works this way was very interesting and I really want to do it this year, once again. This summer, I decided that the author I’d discover that way in 2019 would be…

I’ve read some of his plays in French, but I’ve always been a bit scared to read them in English. However, in 2019, that fear will be no more! I have so many of his plays that I want to read, so I’ll have to get over myself and read one of them every month (I’ll read his poetry too at some point, of course!). If any of you are interested in this challenge, please go ahead and join me! I know I motivated some of my friends to read Agatha Christie last year, so I’d love to hear about anyone reading Shakespeare this year too. I’m calling this challenge 12 Months with Shakespeare and I’ll talk about it some more on my Instagram.
Other than that, I really want to continue reading more non-fiction, as it was a success last year. I added so many non-fiction books on Goodreads, so I have to get to more of them and I’m so excited about it! I am going to try to read at least a non-fiction book each month, but it’s an unofficial challenge, so we’ll see how it goes.

Moreover, now that I’m over my fantasy slump – I finished A Game of Thrones yesterday and I miss it so much, I need to buy the second book! -, I also want to get back into fantasy. I want to read as many of Robin Hobb and George R.R. Martin’s works as possible this year, obviously, but also to discover more fantasy authors.

So there you have it, here is what I want to accomplish in 2019. I cannot wait to see what this new year has in store for me and I hope that I’ll be able to make the most of it. I mainly want to pursue everything I started in 2018 and most importantly, to be myself!
Do you have any goals for 2019? For your life, reading or blogging?
 
 
Lots of love,
Lucie

Most anticipated releases of Winter 2019 | Grabby Hands


Hello, beautiful people!


Phew, can you believe this? It’s already time to get all excited about 2019 book releases and I find this astonishing. Didn’t 2018 start, like, yesterday? It was a really good year in terms of new releases, and I’m sure 2019 will be just like that as well. So, like I did in 2018, I’ll be talking about my most anticipated releases every three months so I don’t overwhelm you all at once! Anyhoo, it’s time to talk about the Winter 2019 releases I’m most anticipating (from January to March).


The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2), by Holly Black
Published: January 8th 2019, by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genres: young adult, fantasy

I am so excited to see how The Folk of the Air trilogy will continue in this second book. I adored The Cruel Prince so much, it was so addicting and the world-building was fascinating, so I cannot wait to read about Black’s cruel faeries once again. She proved once again that she was the queen of faeries and can we also scream at how stunning that cover is? Give it to me.

The Gilded Wolves, by Roshani Chokshi
Published: January 15th 2019, by Wednesday Books
Genres: young adult, fantasy, historical fiction

Roshani Chokshi weren’t off to a good start, because I did not finish The Star-Touched Queen a few years ago, but I’ve heard such good things about her writing that I am determined to try again and this one sounds really good! From what I’ve gathered, this book is set in 1889 Paris, at the time of the Exposition Universelle (the one the Eiffel Tower was built for!) and it’s about finding a mysterious artifact for an all-powerful organization, I am so intrigued! My standards are pretty hard for books set in Paris as I’m French and live there, so I hope I’ll love it! *hides*

The Kingdom of Copper (The Daevabad Trilogy, #2), by S.A. Chakraborty
Published: January 22nd 2019, by Harper Voyager
Genre: fantasy

The City of Brass was one of my favourite books of 2018 and one of the two books that caused my fantasy slump for most of the year, so of course I’m SO anticipating its sequel. If you haven’t read the first book yet, I’ll strongly urge you to, because it’s an amazing fantasy novel set in 18th century Cairo, the main character, Nahri, is a con woman and she accidentally summons a dark and mysterious djinn (!!). Honestly talking about sequels makes me want to reread so many first books in series, oops.



King of Scars, by Leigh Bardugo
Published: January 29th 2019, by Imprint
Genres: young adult, fantasy

Can we talk about how long we’ve been waiting for the Nikolai book? Can we? Okay so you might not know that, but I met Leigh Bardugo in Rotterdam in 2015 and she said that everyone was pressuring her to write a Nikolai Lantsov book and now we’re actually having a duology? We have so been blessed. I can’t really say much about this one because that would be spoilers for the Grisha trilogy, but I cannot wait to have Nikolai, my favourite character of the trilogy, back. I’ve waited long enough.


Courting Darkness, by Robin LaFevers
Published: February 5th 2019, by HMH Books for Young Readers
Genres: young adult, fantasy, historical fiction

I discovered the awesomeness that is the His Fair Assassin trilogy two years ago and I couldn’t get enough of it, so I was over the moon when I heard there would be a follow-up duology. The first series followed the path of three girls trained as assassins in a convent in 15th century Brittany and it was spectacular, the world was interesting, the plot full of court politics and action, the characters so fleshed-out that I still remember all of them… Those are definitely my kind of books. Courting Darkness will follow Sybella (whom we met in Dark Triumph) and a new character called Genevieve. I am beyond excited for that and it makes me want to reread the entire trilogy first, I mean, I do have an excuse now, right?

Bloodwitch (The Witchlands, #3) by Susan Dennard
Published: February 12th 2019, by Tor Teen
Genres: young adult, fantasy

Everyone can tell I’m over my fantasy slump because I’m excited for so many fantasy novels and it makes me so happy! I’ve loved Susan Dennard’s works even since I’ve started reading them (please read Something Strange and Deadly, it’s amazing!) and The Witchlands series is no exception. It’s a very complex fantasy world, full of elemental magic, but it’s really worth it once that you get everything and the characters have always intrigued me. Truly, this series has everything I love about fantasy. I really need to reread Truthwitch and Windwitch before this one though, as well as to read Sightwitch (a shorter prequel novel) to be all caught up, but I cannot wait to go back to this world, I had missed it!



The Familiars, by Stacey Halls
Published: February 19th, by Mira Books
Genres: historical fiction, paranormal


I was browsing through Netgalley (as one does) when I discovered The Familiars, which sounds like a spectacular debut! This novel is set during the Pendle Hill Witch Trials in the 17th century and it sounds so intriguing (and it’s probably gonna break my heart as it’s set during that time period). It follows a noblewoman who has been through several failed pregnancies, but as she’s with child again, she discovers that according to the doctor, she won’t survive another childbirth. By chance, she meets a midwife named Alice Grey, who promises to help her deliver a healthy baby. But Alice soon stands accused of witchcraft. It explores the rights of women in that time period, as well as the fact that witch-hunting mostly was women-hunting. I truly cannot wait to read that one and I’m super excited to have an early copy of it!

The Priory of the Orange Tree, by Samantha Shannon
Published: February 26th 2019, by Bloomsbury Publishing
Genre: fantasy

THIS. This. As I was writing this, I stumbled upon Samantha Shannon’s tweet on how big this book was and now I need even more. Am I living for really long fantasy books? The answer is yes, absolutely. This fantasy novel seems to be full of amazing female characters, it is set in a queendom and there are dragons? It sounds absolutely amazing and out of all the fantasy novels I’ve listed there, it’s the one I’m most excited about. I hope I’ll adore this one and that it’ll motivate me to pick up The Bone Season at long last!


Daisy Jones and the Six, by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Published: March 5th 2019, by Hutchinson
Genre: historical fiction

Now moving on, this one is my most anticipated winter 2019 release and that’s about it. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is my favourite book of the year (along with another one because I can’t choose *wink wink*), so I am eagerly awaiting Taylor Jenkins Reid’s next book. This book is about a fictional iconic 1970s rock band, which split up in 1979. This will be made of interviews, emails, transcripts and lyrics, which I am absolutely living for. I’ve been screaming quietly about how much I need it for months now and it’s getting closer every day. Taylor Jenkins Reid, I’m ready for anything you’re throwing at me/writing about (or not, can’t wait to sob again).


Published: March 5th 2019, by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Genres: young adult, fantasy

The other book that got me into my great 2018 fantasy slump was… Children of Blood and Bone. So obviously, I need Children of Virtue and Vengeance. I’m a bit worried because we still don’t have a cover and it’s supposed to come out next March? I hope it hasn’t been pushed back? But anyway, I can’t wait to see the gang again and to finally know how the book will continue (that cliffhangerrrrr). Also if you haven’t read Children of Virtue and Vengeance, please do, it’s one of the best YA fantasy out there!


Queen’s Shadow by E.K. Johnston

Published: March 5th 2019 Disney Lucasfilm Press
Genres: science fiction

It’s no secret that I am a huge Star Wars fan and this year, I’ve started reading the canon novels (I’m still new at it, though) and I watched the animated TV series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which was SO GOOD (I miss it, can’t wait for the new episodes next year!!). So basically, I’ve started to realise that I actually love the Republic era, because I discovered so much about it. Now, they keep announcing Republic era novels and I need them all. This one follows Padmé when she becomes the Naboo’s representative in the Galactic Senate and I am so ready for it. Give me all the books about female Star Wars characters, please and thank you.


The Bird King, by G. Willow Wilson
Published: March 12th 2019, by Grove Press
Genres: historical fiction, fantasy

I stumbled upon this one on Goodreads and the synopsis got me so intrigued. You *might* know G. Willow Wilson for the awesomeness that is Ms. Marvel (at least, that’s how I know her) and I’m so curious to read one of her novels. The Bird King tells the story of Fatima, a concubine in the royal court of Granada, the last emirate of Muslim Spain, and her dearest friend Hassan, the palace mapmaker. Her friend has a secret, for he can draw maps of places he has never seen and bend the shape of reality. The two of them have to escape when Hassan’s gift is seen as a threat to the newly formed Spanish monarchy, helped with a clever jinn. You had me at Muslim Spain (I studied it for an entire semester) and mapmaker. That’s it. I need it.

What are your most anticipated releases for this winter? Do we share any?

Lots of love,
Lucie

Christmas books recommendations

Hello, beautiful people!


Wow, December definitely flew by, we’re three days away from Christmas Eve and four days away from Christmas, how did that happen? I am SO LATE for Christmas shopping, you have no idea, oops. But anyway, I thought that it would be fun to recommend you four books that I’ve read that are set during Christmas, whether you want to get in a Christmas mood or read them at Christmas.


Genres: classics, short stories

Of course, I had to start with this classic, you know how much I love Charles Dickens. We all know A Christmas Carol, the story of the awful Ebenezer Scrooge who is visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve, but it’s always great to revisit it during Christmas. The Penguin Clothbound edition not only is stunning, but it includes some of his other Christmas writings, so I’d recommend you to check that out as well! I recently saw my friend Fatima talking about Neil Gaiman’s reading of A Christmas Carol and I intend to listen to it this year, it must be amazing. You can find that there if you’re interested.



Hercule Poirot’s Christmas, by Agatha Christie

Genres: mystery

I got back into Agatha Christie’s mystery novels last year and of course I had to read this one over Christmas. In Hercule Poirot’s Christmas, it’s Christmas Eve and the Lee family is having a reunion in their mansion for the occasion… Until it goes horribly wrong, because the tyrannical Simon Lee has been murdered and Hercule Poirot is called in to investigate. This one is a perfect cosy Christmas murder mystery (if I dare say so) and I loved that it was centered around family dynamics! As always, Agatha Christie’s characterization is on point and I loved the resolution! I still have The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding to read this year and I’m excited!



The Afterlife of Holly Chase, by Cynthia Hand
Genres: young adult, paranormal, retelling

Cynthia Hand has been one of my favourite YA authors for a long time, so of course I was delighted to get to this one, for it is a retelling of A Christmas Carol. It’s about Holly, who was visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve five years ago. They tried to convince her to mend her ways. Only, she didn’t… and then she died. But it wasn’t the end for her, because she’s now stuck working for the top-secret company Project Scrooge, as the latest Ghost of Christmas Past. Every year, they save another miserly grouch, while Holly stays frozen at seventeen and her loved ones continue living without her. But this year, everything is about to change… I adored this novel, it has a wonderful message and it got me so much. I might even reread it this year!


Mr. Dickens and His Carol, by Samantha Silva
Genres: historical fiction

Last, but not least, I recently read this historical novel which is a reimagining of how Charles Dickens came up with A Christmas Carol. A lot of it is fictionalized of course, but reading about Charles Dickens and his struggles was wonderful to me, because I’ve always been curious about him and it motivated me even more to read a biography about him. It was a lovely and heartwarming read, reminding us of what’s important in life and what the Christmas spirit is about. I would have loved to stay with Charles Dickens a bit longer and all the references to his works made me so happy!


So that’s it for my books set during Christmas recommendations! I’d love to discover more books set during/about Christmas, so if you know any, please give me your recommendations! I also read Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien, which I liked, but didn’t adore, so that’s pretty much it.


Thank you for reading and I hope you’ll have wonderful holidays if you have some,


Lots of love,
Lucie