July reading wrap-up + favourites ☀️📚

July was a whirlwind of events and emotions, and somehow lasted forever. 😴

My family from the south of France came to visit for a week at the seaside, my boyfriend joined us, and we had such great weather: I spent a lot of time at the beach and taking part in family activities, which was fun. ☀️

Other than that, well… My parents are in the process of separating, so we are moving houses in August; we’ve been painting our new house for the past two weeks, and we have started to move our things. We’re properly moving in mid-August; a part of me can’t wait for that, the other is quite sad and is having a hard time processing things. On the bright side, my books are the first thing I moved to my new room, so it already feels a bit like home! ❤️

I’m quite happy with my reading month: as always, I mainly read fantasy novels, but also reached for romance, historical fiction and science-fiction. Here are the books that I read:

My favourite book of the month was The Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty, the third and final book in the Daevabad trilogy (my second 5 star-read of the year!). It was everything I could have asked for from a finale: it was a whirlwind of emotions, and I adored everything, from the characters, the world, the plot, and so much more. I miss Nahri, Ali, and Dara so much, I can’t wait to reread the series again and again in the future. If you love fantasy, please read this series! ❤️

MUSIC // folklore by Taylor Swift

I’ve mentioned it quite a few times before that Taylor Swift has been my favourite artist for more than a decade, so I’m over the moon that she has released folklore (I was listening to Lover when I found out that it was happening, that’s even funnier)! I’ve been listening to it on repeat since it came out, I adore it so much, and it’s definitely one of the best albums Taylor has done (and it might be my favourite yet? I don’t know?). I have way too many favourite songs to list them all, but I’ll just say that it’s the album I needed right now, and it makes 2020 a lot better, suddenly. folklore era is going to be amazing.❤️

I *did* have goals for July, but considering what that month has been like… those goals were thrown out the window, and that’s okay. In August, we’ll be in the process of moving out, so I’ll be quite busy with that, but I still want to participate in this round of Tome Topple Readathon, and read some tomes. Other than that, I’ll be going with the flow!

How was July for you? Have you discovered any new favourite book? For people who are listening to folklore, what are your favourite songs in it?

June reading wrap-up + favourites 📚❤️

june-2020

Hello There

June has come and gone, and we’re already in July… which I’m actually pretty excited about, because I’m so ready for the summer! ☀️

To be honest, June was a tough month for me, and I’m quite relieved to be done with it. Still, I’m trying to focus on the positive as much as possible; to quote This Is Us, “There’s no lemon so sour that you can’t make something resembling lemonade.”

In June, we had some sunshine, I was able to spend time with my loved ones again, I participated in the #queerblackathon with my best friend, I went to the seaside and spent a week with my boyfriend (which was amazing as I hadn’t seen him since the beginning of lockdown in March). Overall, I had a lot of good things to focus on despite the bad, and I hope July will go in the same direction. 💛

what i read

For me, June was a great reading month in terms of genre diversity! I’ve mainly read fantasy novels this year, but in June, while I read my fair share of fantasy, I also reached for non-fiction, sci-fi, horror, romance and classics! I’m really proud of myself for that, I tried more things when it comes to fiction, so yay me! Here are the books that I read:

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My highlight of the month was Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert, which really took me by surprise! As summer arrives, I sometimes get in the mood for contemporary and romance novels, and this one is so highly-praised, so I picked it up at the end of June.

It was such a delight to read and I adored that it had a dual perspective, as it made me love and relate to Chloe and Red so much. Their relationship was really well-written, the author managed to show how they ultimately wanted to be better for themselves first, then for each other and I really liked that. This book also has rep for chronic illness and while I can’t speak for that, I’ve seen many people say it was amazing rep! Last but not least, there wasn’t drama for the sake of drama, things were confronted pretty quickly by the characters, and I really loved that as well. I’m so excited to read Take a Hint, Dani Brown soon!

favourites

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MUSIC // Chromatica by Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga released her newest album at the end of May and I have been obsessed with it, it’s pretty much all I’ve been listening to in June. I love the aesthetic of Chromatica, as well as the way the album was built, each part starting with an instrumental track. I adore so many songs in it, I fell in love with Rain on Me when it was released as a single, but I also adore Fun Tonight as well as all of the third part of the album, meaning Sine From Above (it’s my favourite of the album and it features Elton John), 1000 Doves and Babylon. Can you tell I’m listening to the album while writing this wrap-up? 😂

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VIDEO GAME // Animal Crossing New Horizons

My 14 y.o. brother bought the game three weeks ago so… I’m finally playing it! 🎉 We realised that we could each have our own characters on the same island (my brother is super into the Arrowverse right now, he named the island Lian Yu), so my three brothers and I are sharing the same island, and we’re having a lot of fun! I love Animal Crossing so much, it was one of my first games on Nintendo DS and I’m so thrilled to play the newest version of it!

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BOOKS // Rereading The Daevabad Trilogy

In preparation for the release of The Empire of Gold, the last book in the Daevabad trilogy, I reread both The City of Brass and The Kingdom of Copper in June and it made me so happy. This trilogy holds a special place in my heart and I often say that The City of Brass put me in a fantasy slump in 2018 because I loved it too much. I adore everything about this trilogy: it has complex world-building, characters who definitely don’t have it easy, but whom I love, as well as an amazing plot and endings that literally have me on the edge of my seat (the last 150 pages of The Kingdom of Copper are… a lot). I just started reading The Empire of Gold and I’m so excited about it. ❤️

Looking Ahead

I pretty much gave up on this category over the past few months, but I think that it might help me to use it again. So, in July, I really want to:

  • finish the two big work projects I have on the go (so I can enjoy August as actual holidays!),
  • get back into watching TV shows,
  • start playing the guitar again,
  • declutter my room,
  • breathe ❤️

How was June for you? What’s one positive thing that happened during the month for you? Have you discovered any new favourite books? 

lots of love

May reading wrap-up + favourites 📚❤️

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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

Wrapping up #TomeTopple | May 2020 📚✨

tome-topple-wrapup

Hello There

From May 9th to May 22nd, I participated in the eleventh round of Tome Topple, which was created by Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes and I had a lot of fun! The goal of this readathon is to read books that are over 500 pages and I’m glad I prioritised some of my tomes during these two weeks. As I posted my TBR for it two weeks ago, I thought I’d wrap-up this readathon today, so I guess this post is a sort of wrap-up of everything I’ve read in the past two weeks.

For Tome Topple, I was planning on reading:

  • A Storm of Swords, Part Two: Blood and Gold by G.R.R. Martin
  • The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • Kingsbane by Claire Legrand
  • The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang (reread)

… which meant I needed to read 2,545 pages. So, did I manage it? 👀

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🐉 A Storm of Swords, Part Two: Blood and Gold by G.R.R. Martin

> I started the readathon with this one and read it pretty quickly: it was so action-packed and I totally understood why A Storm of Swords is so many readers’ favourite book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series! It motivated to catch up on the series before the end of the year, so it was a success! I gave it 4/5 stars.

👑 Kingsbane by Claire Legrand

> I then moved on to Kingsbane, second book in the Empirium trilogy, and devoured it as well. It was so much better than Furyborn in my opinion, I cared a lot more for Rielle and Eliana, I loved how dark the story became (it’s the reason I was reading this series in the first place), I have a new favourite antagonist (everyone, please look away 🙈and considering that it ended on a big cliffhanger, I can’t wait to get my hands on Lightbringer in October! I gave 4/5 stars to this one as well.

🎨 The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

> After that, I started reading The Goldfinch, and I was really excited about that one! Unfortunately, this book triggered my anxiety for days and I had to push myself to read it: I started with the physical copy, then switched to the audiobook, but really couldn’t get through it. Honestly, life is already scary enough as it is, so I decided to abandon it after 235 pages. I’ve felt so much better since I DNF-ed it, so I guess it wasn’t for me (though I loved The Secret History)!

🕊️ The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

> As the newest Hunger Games book came out during the readathon, I really wanted to read it straight away. Considering it’s 540 page-long, it fitted Tome Topple really well! It just came out this week, so I won’t say too much about it (there’s so much to say though!), but I enjoyed it overall. I thought the characters weren’t entirely believable in the beginning (though it got better by the end) and the pacing was a bit off at times, but I found Collins’ take on a villain origin story and the way she pictured the Capitol and its society very interesting (they’re the worst, I hate them so much). I’m still debating my rating, but I think it’s a 3-3.5/5 stars for me.

⚔️ The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

> Last, but not least, I reread my favourite book of the year and it was everything.

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me, rereading The Poppy War

The Poppy War is such a brilliant fantasy novel in my opinion, I find its characters and the world-building fascinating. In fantasy novels, my least favourite scenes are usually battle scenes, because I struggle to picture them, but while The Poppy War focuses a lot on, er, a war, I didn’t have any problem with that in this one, which rarely ever happens. That being said, this book gets very graphic towards the end and there a lot of trigger warnings for it because it’s set during a war, so it’s not for everyone! Still, I think it’s an excellent and powerful book, I gave it 5/5 stars and it was my favourite book of the readathon!

flower

In the end, I finished four books and read 2,549 pages (counting the first 235 pages of The Goldfinch) for Tome Topple, so despite abandoning one book, I read four more pages than planned (am I weirdly proud of myself? Absolutely)! This readathon was a success for me and I’m looking forward to take part in it again in the future! 🙌

What have you been reading lately? Are there any books on your TBR that you find intimidating?

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.

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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

January wrap-up + favourites 📚❤️

jan20

Hello There

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

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

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

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

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

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

what i read

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

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

ship-of-destiny

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

favourites

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

jan20-tv-shows

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

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

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

jan20-movies

MOVIES // Little Women, Parasite and Miss Americana

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

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

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

Looking Ahead

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

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

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

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

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

lots of love

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

the-mad-ship.jpg

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

October and November Wrap-Up + Favourites

oct-nov-wrap-up

Hello There

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

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

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

what i read

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

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

ninth-house.jpg

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

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

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

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

favourites

this-is-us

TV SHOW // This Is Us

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

hp-party

MISC. // Our Harry Potter Party

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

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TV SHOW // The Crown

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

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

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

frozen-2

MOVIE & MUSIC // Frozen

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

Looking Ahead

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

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

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

lots of love