My #TomeTopple TBR | May 2020 📚✨

tome-topple-tbr

Hello ThereFrom May 9th to May 22nd, I’m participating in the eleventh round of Tome Topple, and I’m super excited about it! This readathon was created by Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes and its goal is pretty simple: you have to read books over 500 pages. I’m one of those people who adore big books, so I’m looking forward to dedicating two whole weeks to some tomes I had been meaning to get to for a while.

This readathon has been around for a few years, but if you’re interested, here’s Sam’s announcement video for this round:

I’m being *quite* ambitious for this round of Tome Topple, but I’m not quite sure about how it will go. My initial plan is to read 2,018 pages across three books, but there’s a fourth book I really want to reread, so I *might* try to read 2,545 pages in these two weeks? It’s probably wishful thinking, but uh, we’ll see.

Here are the books I’m hoping to get to during this readathon:

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

I’ve been slowly catching up on the A Song of Ice and Fire series (I have all the time in the world though, considering… The Winds of Winter), but it’s been a year since I last picked up a book in the series, so it’s about time I continue it (do I blame season 8 of Game of Thrones? Maybe). I’m reading this series in the UK paperback edition and A Storm of Swords is divided in two in it: weirdly enough, I’ve only read the first half, so I really need to get to the second one and Tome Topple is the perfect motivation to do it!

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🎨 The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

I loved The Secret History by Donna Tartt when I read it three years ago and have been meaning to get to the rest of Donna Tartt’s works since then, so it’s about time I finally do that! All I know is that this book follows Theo Decker, a young boy who miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother, through his teenage and adult years. It apparently goes from “the streets of New York to the dark corners of the art underworld” and focuses on a painting called The Goldfinch, which intrigues me so much!

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👑 Kingsbane by Claire Legrand

I read Furyborn by Claire Legrand last month, really liked it overall, and I’m curious to see where the story is going! Kingsbane will probably be my quickest read for Tome Topple (though it’s 600 page-long) and considering I have some daunting books on my TBR, I’ll need it. This series is set in a world where two queens have been prophesied: one of light, the other of blood, and follows two young women, a thousand years apart, who hold the power to save their world or doom it. So many readers said Kingsbane is better than Furyborn, so I’m excited to get to it!

These three books are my priority for this readathon, but if I manage to get to all of them, I’m hoping to reread my favourite book of the year, which is…

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⚔️ The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

I read The Poppy War back in February, it was in my 5 star predictions for the year… and it became my first 5 stars since March 2019. 😱 It’s a grimdark Chinese-inspired fantasy blending historical elements and mythology following a war orphan who has been accepted in an elite military school and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since I read it. It’s definitely not for everyone, it’s quite graphic and has a lot of trigger warnings, but it’s a very powerful story and I so want to reread it.

So that’s it for my Tome Topple TBR. I can’t wait for tomorrow to get started on all of these books and I’m hoping I’ll manage to read everything, but we’ll see! 📚

Are you participating in Tome Topple? I know we’re already eight days into May, but what are you planning to read this month?lots of love

April wrap-up + favourites 📚❤️

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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. ❤️

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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

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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. ❤️

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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

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

owls-tbr-2020

Hello There

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

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

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

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A SPELL MAKER!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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✨ Charms – Lumos maxima: white cover

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For this one, I’m going with Tower of Thorns by Juliet Marillier, second book in the Blackthorn and Grim trilogy. This trilogy follows a healer who was wrongly imprisoned and one of her fellow prisoners. To escape prison, she makes a deal with the Fair Folk to assist anyone who asks for her help for the next seven years, which means she can’t get revenge on the one who imprisoned her. Juliet Marillier’s books are filled with folklore and feel like fairy tales: the first one in this trilogy featured a transformation and considering there is a howling creature in Tower of Thorns, I’m thinking there will be some sort of transformation. 👀

and for my two optional courses…

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🐉 Dragon Tamer Training – Read an extra book with dragons

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

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

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

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

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

lots of love

My most anticipated book releases of this spring 📚🌸

grabby-hands

Hello There

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

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

EDIT, May 2020: due to lockdown, several of these books’ release dates have been pushed back, so I’ve changed the planned dates for the ones affected.

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The Silence of Bones by June Hur

Published: April 21st 2020 by Feiwel & Friends

Genres: historical fiction, mystery

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

Queen’s Peril by E.K. Johnston

Published: May 5th 2020 by Disney Lucasfilm Press (moved to June 2nd 2020)

Genre: science-fiction

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

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

Published: May 19th 2020 by Scholastic Press

Genre: dystopia

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

spring-releases-2

The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna

Published: May 26th 2020 by Delacorte (moved to February 9th 2021)

Genre: fantasy

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

Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles

Published: June 2nd 2020 by Wednesday Books (moved to August 25th 2020)

Genre: fantasy

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

The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant

Published: June 4th 2020 by Harper Voyager

Genres: historical fantasy

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

spring-releases-3

The Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty

Published: June 11th 2020 by HarperVoyager

Genre: fantasy

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

Forest of Souls by Lori M. Lee

Published: June 23rd 2020 by Page Street Kids

Genre: fantasy

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

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

lots of love

February wrap-up + favourites 📚❤️

feb20

Hello There

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

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

what i read

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

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

the-poppy-war-fave

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

favourites

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

My 5 star predictions for 2020 📚❤️

july-2019Hello There

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

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

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

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

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

the-poppy-war

The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

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

age-of-innocence

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

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

the-harp-of-kings

The Harp of Kings by Juliet Marillier

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

long-way-small-angy-planet

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

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

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

lots of love

January wrap-up + favourites 📚❤️

jan20

Hello There

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

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

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

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

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

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

what i read

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

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

ship-of-destiny

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

favourites

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

jan20-tv-shows

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

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

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

jan20-movies

MOVIES // Little Women, Parasite and Miss Americana

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

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

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

Looking Ahead

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

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

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

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

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

lots of love

My favourite books of 2019 📚❤️

fave-books-2019.jpg

Hello There

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

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

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

the-kingdom-of-copper

The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty

Genre: fantasy

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

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Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Genre: fantasy

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

liveship-traders

Ship of Magic and The Mad Ship by Robin Hobb

Genre: fantasy

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

sevenwaters

The Sevenwaters series by Juliet Marillier

Genres: fantasy, historical fiction

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

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The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

Genres: gothic, historical fiction

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

the-priory-of-the-orange-tree

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

Genre: fantasy

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

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

What were your favourite books of 2019?lots of love

December Wrap-Up + Favourites 📚❤️

december-wrap-up.jpg

Hello There

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

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

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

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

what i read

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

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

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

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

favourites

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Watching Dear Evan Hansen live

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

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

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Star Wars

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

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MOVIES // Knives Out and Marriage Story

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

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

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TV SHOW // The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

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

Looking Ahead

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

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

lots of love