My Autumn 2020 TBR 👻🍂

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl. On Tuesdays, you post a list of ten books that coincides with the week’s prompt.

Today is the autumn equinox, so happy first day of autumn! I’m so excited for my favourite season to be there! 🍂

As it’s finally autumn, I’m now in the mood to read all the books about witches, vampires, gothic novels, but also fantasy books, of course! I adore making seasonal TBRs, and as this week’s prompt for Top Ten Tuesday is: “Books on My Autumn 2020 TBR”, I thought I’d take part in it once again!

So without further ado, here are the books I’m hoping to get to this autumn:

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova – This book sounds absolutely perfect for autumn: it follows a young girl who discovers a mysterious book and letters in her father’s library, which will send her on a journey to discover the secrets of her father’s past and her mother’s puzzling disappearance, and will put her on the trail of the legend of Dracula. I’ve heard such good things about this, so I’m looking forward to it!

The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow – I’m always there to read about witches, and this one sounds right up my alley! The Once and Future Witches is set in 1893, and follows the Eastwood sisters, who join the suffragists of New Salem. Soon enough, they begin to pursue forgotten words and ways that might turn the women’s movement into the witch’s movement. It’s coming out on October 13th, and I’m so excited about it!

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir – All I know about this book is that it is about lesbian necromancers in space, and I don’t need any other information to want to read it. I’ve been trying to get more into sci-fi this year, and one of my friends has recently become obsessed with this series, so I really want to read this as soon as possible, and autumn seems like the perfect time to do so!

Vampires Never Get Old: Tales with Fresh Bite edited by Zoraida Córdova and Natalie C. Parker – I’m so excited about this anthology… which is actually coming out TODAY! I’ve been in the mood to read more paranormal books lately (it *might* be because I’m currently watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer), so an anthology about vampires sounds perfect for me!

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova – I’ve been curious about Zoraida Córdova’s works for so long, and I really want to read her Brooklyn Brujas series this autumn. This one follows Alex, who is a bruja, but hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, she performs a spell to rid herself of her power, but it backfires, and her family vanishes.

The Burning God by R.F. Kuang – Well, this is only my most anticipated release for the rest of the year, so of course it’s on this list! The Burning God is the last book in The Poppy War trilogy, it’s coming out on November 17th, and considering how much I loved the first two books in the series, I cannot wait to get to it. It will probably break my heart, but still, I can’t wait to see how Rin’s story will end.

Jade War by Fonda Lee – I read Jade City earlier this month, and absolutely loved it! This fantasy series is set in an Asia-inspired fantasy metropolis, where jade grants those with the right training and heritage superhuman abilities. It follows the Kaul siblings, who are members of the No Peak clan, as tensions with an opposite clan are rising. I can’t wait to read it, as I loved the first book, and desperately want to go back to these characters.

The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin – This one is the last book in The Broken Earth trilogy, and as I’m currently reading The Obelisk Gate, second book in the series, I’ll try to get to The Stone Sky as soon as possible! I really enjoy this series, which is quite unique, as it blends both fantasy and dystopian elements, so I can’t wait to know how it ends!

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien – I read The Hobbit back in April, so it’s about time I start reading The Lord of the Rings! My boyfriend gifted me a bind-up with the whole series last weekend, so I’m hoping to start The Fellowship of the Ring soon, then read the rest of the series as soon as possible, as I’m so curious to experience it at last!

Fool’s Errand by Robin Hobb – Last, but certainly not least, I’ve been starting a new Robin Hobb series every November since 2018, so of course I’ll be doing so again this year! This one is the first in The Tawny Man trilogy, and follows the characters of The Farseer trilogy, whom I can’t wait to see again! Reading Robin Hobb’s novels always feels like home somehow, so I can’t wait to go back to her world soon. ❤️

What are you planning to read this autumn/spring? Have you read any of these books?

August wrap-up + favourites ☀️📚

To quote Taylor Swift, “August slipped away into a moment in time / ‘Cause it was never mine“. 🎵

August was quite a busy month for me: my family and I were in the process of moving houses, so we finished painting the house, packed, then moved into our new house mid-August. Since then, we’ve been settling down in the new house, and we’re breathing again. I also spent the last week of August with my boyfriend in the countryside, as we had to pet-sit his dog, and it was the best way to end the month: I needed time to rest and focus on working again, plus I finally went to the movies for the first time in six months!

Now we’re finally in September, and I’m so happy about that… Autumn is my favourite season, and it’s (almost) there on my side of the world! 🍂

I’m really happy with my reading in August: I mostly read books I adored, discovered two new favourite books (which is a lot for me, as they’re my third and fourth 5 star reads of the year!), took part in Tome Topple, read one of my most anticipated releases of the year, and started a new book series I’m loving! Here are the books that I read:

  • Beach Read by Emily Henry – It was an enjoyable romance focused on two writers; I really liked their banter, and to read about their writing processes. That being said, I found the transitions between chapters/scenes a bit abrupt, and the last chapters to be a bit rushed, but I really enjoyed it! 3.5/5 stars
  • Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – This book has it all: it’s inspired by Mayan mythology, is set in Mexico during the Jazz Age, and has a Death and the Maiden storyline. It felt like a beautiful fairy tale, I loved that it was a journey book, and the main characters and their relationship were so well-written. I loved it so much. 4/5 stars
  • The Deep by Rivers Solomon – This novella is about descendants of African slave women tossed overboard who have become mermaids, and it was such a thought-provoking story. It explored themes of history, generational trauma, belonging, and the importance of memory for a society. I listened to it on audio, and I highly recommend it, plus it’s narrated by Daveed Diggs! 4/5 stars
  • Les Travailleurs de la Mer by Victor Hugo – This classic is set on Guernsey island and follows a man trying to save a ship from wreckage. I liked it, but the three parts of the novel felt disjointed, and the character development too glossed over for me. Still, it had an interesting man vs. nature theme! 3/5 stars
  • The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang – This book was such an excellent sequel to The Poppy War, it was gripping, the stakes were high, and the world even more developed! All the characters in this series are all so gray and flawed, but I love them so much! Now, the ending was a lot and I need a million days to recover, but wow it was everything. 5/5 stars
  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – This novel followed Ifemelu and Obinze, who fell in love as teenagers in Nigeria, before leaving for the West, then reunite there as adults. Americanah was so many things: it explored immigration, being a Black person in western countries, coming of age, coming back to your country after leaving it for years, and also love. It was a hard book to read for many reasons, but it was definitely a needed read! 4/5 stars
  • The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin – This was my first book by N.K. Jemisin, and I adored it! It’s better going into it without knowing too much, but I have to say that I loved that it blended both fantasy and dystopian elements, as it made for a very unique read, and the way the author wrote the characters was amazing! I can’t wait to read the rest of the trilogy. 4/5 stars
  • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab (e-ARC) – Victoria Schwab is one of my favourite authors, so I was really excited to read this, especially as this was about a young woman who made a deal with the devil! This book was a magical experience, I loved Addie so much, and the novel tackled down themes that are very close to my heart. It’s definitely one of my favourite reads of the year! 5/5 stars

TV SHOWS // The Bold Type, and How to Get Away with Murder

Right before moving houses, I caught up on the six episodes I was behind on of The Bold Type, and it was exactly what I needed. I talk about this show quite often on here, as it’s one of my favourites, and it really was my comfort show during August: it always makes me hopeful and give me a confidence boost, I love it so much. ❤️

I also binge-watched season 5 of How to Get Away with Murder, and as usual, it kept me on the edge of my seat, and following the characters was fascinating. I only have the last season left to watch, and they’ll put it on Netflix France in October, so I can’t wait to binge-watch it then!

MOVIE // Tenet (2020)

I finally went to the movies for the first time in six months, and it made me so happy. My boyfriend and I watched Tenet, Christopher Nolan’s latest movie: while the movie was confusing at times and I didn’t get everything, it was a great movie experience, and the actors (namely John David Washington, Robert Pattinson and Elizabeth Debicki) were amazing. Also, everyone keeps making memes about the movie on Twitter (especially about how confusing it is) and there is a lot of fanart going around, which brighten my day every time. The Tenet experience is really something else.

MOVIE // The trailer for The Batman (?0?1)

Last, but certainly not least, The Batman‘s trailer deserves its own category, considering how many times I’ve watched it. I grew up watching DC animated TV shows on Sundays, and a lot of Batman movies; I loved Batman and Robin back then, as it had both Batgirl and Poison Ivy, and of course I watched Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. That being said, the DCEU movies have been hits or misses, so I try not to get too excited about them until they are released… and then I watched The Batman trailer. I showed it to my best friend, my three brothers, and my boyfriend, so well… I am obsessed. Honestly, Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman? I was already excited for that. Robert Pattinson as Batman, with smudged eyeliner and saying “I am vengeance”? That’s a YES.

September is going to be quite a busy month, as everything is settling down: I have lots of work to do, my brothers are going back to school, and there are so many books, movies and TV shows I want to consume, which I’m really happy about. I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself for this month, though, so I’m looking forward to take things as they go. ❤️

How was August for you? What was your favourite book of the month?

Wrapping up #TomeTopple | August 2020 📚✨

From August 8th to August 21st, I participated in the twelfth 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, which I love. It was my second time participating, and I’m now planning to participate each time if I can.

As I posted my TBR for it two weeks ago, I thought I’d wrap-up this readathon today, so here is some sort of wrap-up of everything I’ve read in the past two weeks. For this round of Tome Topple, I put a little bit of a challenge on myself, not with the books that I was reading, but with the fact that my family moved houses on August 12th, so I’ve had a lot to do during those two weeks… but I was still really motivated!

For Tome Topple, I was planning on reading:

  • The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang
  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Les Travailleurs de la Mer by Victor Hugo

So, here are the books I managed to read for Tome Topple:

🌊 Les Travailleurs de la Mer (The Toilers of the Sea) by Victor Hugo

> I started the readathon with this French classic, which is set on the island of Guernsey, and mainly follows Gilliatt, who tries to save a ship from a wreckage. I liked this book overall, but I have a bit of a mixed opinion: it was separated in three parts, and they all were so different that they felt a bit disjointed.

I really enjoyed the first part, which established the setting and who was who in society on the island. The second part focused on the man vs. nature theme, as Gilliatt tried to save the ship, I found it interesting and the descriptions well-written, but it was a bit too long for me. The third part of the book was about what happened on Guernsey after Gilliatt came back, and it was fine, but my main problem with it was that all the developments needed to move the plot forward happened off-page, while Gilliatt wasn’t there, so I didn’t feel much for the characters (though I did, in the first part). I liked the drama of it all, but it was a shame I didn’t connect with the characters. In the end, I’m giving this 2.5-3 stars.

🐉 The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang

> I then moved on to The Dragon Republic, and without any surprise, I adored it so much! The Poppy War is my favourite book of the year, and this sequel really delivered.

R.F. Kuang wrote amazingly how each character dealt with what happened at the end of the first book, it made perfect sense considering what they had had to deal with. These characters are all so gray and flawed, but I love them so much! The Dragon Republic also explored a lot more of the world, and expanded on the world-building, which was great. By the way, I 100% would love a spin-off on Moag! Once again, this book was very military-based, and the author managed to keep me interested throughout. Now, the ending was a lot and I need a million days to recover, but wow it was everything. I gave it 5/5 stars, it’s my favourite book of the readathon, and I can’t wait for the last book in the trilogy, The Burning God!

💑🏿 Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

> I listened to Americanah on audiobook throughout the readathon, and this book was such an important read! This novel follows Ifemelu and Obinze, who are young and in love when they leave military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Ifemelu heads for America, while Obinze, unable to join her post 9/11, plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they then reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria.

This novel was so many things: it explored immigration, being a Black person in western countries, coming of age, coming back to your country after leaving it for years, and also love. Ifemelu is a blogger who discusses race on her blog and in her real life, and I really enjoyed how Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie brought up very much needed conversations. Reading Ifemelu’s and Obinze’s stories made me so angry, yet really hopeful for them. It was a hard book to read for many reasons, but it was definitely a needed read. That being said, I would have loved to see more of Obinze, as there were some gaps in his point of view, and I’m bit on the fence about the last 10% of the novel, but it remained an excellent read! I gave it 4/5 stars.

In the end, I read exactly what I had been planning to during the readathon, which I’m really happy about, considering that I moved houses in the middle of it! I can’t wait to take part into Tome Topple next time!

Did you take part in any readathons this month? How has your reading been in August so far?

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?

Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag | 2020 edition 😱❤️

midyear-freakout-2020

Hello There

As we’re in July, and officially more than halfway through the year, it’s time to do one of my favourite book tags… *drum rolls* the Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag! I always find that it is such a fun tag to do every year, so here I am, doing it again. This tag was originally created by Chami and Ely.

I’m a little late to the Mid-Year Book Freak Out party, as we’re already eight days into July, but oh well… better late than never, right? 😂

So without further ado, let’s jump right into it, so I can gush about all my new favourite books!

the-poppy-war

♡ Best book you’ve read so far in 2020

My favourite book of the year (so far) is… *drum rolls* The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang! There are no words to express how much I love this book; I’ve already read it twice this year, and I can’t wait to continue with the trilogy. It’s a Chinese-inspired fantasy novel following Rin, a war orphan who aces a test that gives her the opportunity to study at the most elite military academy in her world, while the Empire is preparing for war, and it’s everything (to me, obviously).

empire-of-gold

♡ Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2020

The Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty by far! As I had rated the first two books in the Daevabad trilogy 5 stars, this finale was one of my most anticipated reads of the year, and I’m so happy to say that it was everything I could have asked for, and more. It’s one of the best finales I have read, I can’t stop thinking about it, and I’m already thinking about when I’ll do a reread of the trilogy next (I say that as if I hadn’t reread The City of Brass and The Kingdom of Copper in June to prepare for that finale… oh well). There are no words to express how much I love this trilogy. 💛

beach-read

♡ New release you haven’t read yet, but want to

Everyone has been raving about Beach Read by Emily Henry since May, so I’m really looking forward to reading it this summer! This romance novel is about January, a romance writer, and Augustus, a literary fiction writer, who are spending the summer in neighbouring beach houses and used to be rivals in university. As they both suffer from writer’s block, they decide to switch genres, and help each other with research… of course no one is going to fall in love. 👀 I’ve only heard amazing things about this book, so I can’t wait to dive in!

most-anticipated

♡ Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

There are so many books I’m anticipating for the second half of the year, so it’s quite hard to choose… That being said, out of everything I’m excited about, A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik and The Burning God by R.F. Kuang are definitely at the top of my list (I really can’t pick between these two)!

Naomi Novik is one of my favourite authors, so I’m over the moon that she’s starting a new fantasy series. All I know about A Deadly Education is that it’s set in a magical school where monsters are lurking in the hallway, you have to teach yourself if you want to survive, and the main character has dark magic?! I can’t express how excited I am for this!

I also cannot wait for The Burning God, because it is the last book in The Poppy War trilogy, and The Poppy War is my favourite book of the year. Have I read The Dragon Republic, the second book in the series, yet? No, but that’s because I’m waiting for the UK paperback release in August… Whatever. Still, I already can’t contain my excitement for this, because I’m following the author on Twitter, I hope that it’s gonna be amazing, and it will probably break my heart, so!

court-of-miracles

♡ Biggest disappointment

The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant was one of my most anticipated reads of the year and I was over the moon to get an e-ARC of it! Unfortunately, it really wasn’t for me… The book kept trying to convince me of how amazing the main character was and nothing was really challenging for her, there were too many time jumps for me to care about anything and she had… three potential love interests. It was so promising, but I really disliked it… I’m sad. 😭

witches-of-ash-and-ruin

♡ Biggest surprise

Witches of Ash and Ruin by E. Latimer came out in March and as I had barely seen anyone talk about it, I didn’t know what to expect, but wow, it was the witchy book of my dreams! This book was everything I didn’t know I wanted: it blends modern witchcraft and Celtic mythology, it’s quite dark, it has a bisexual main character with OCD, as well a f/f romance I loved. I highly recommend it!

winternight-trilogy

♡ Favourite new author

I binge-read the Winternight trilogy by Katherine Arden in two weeks in February and adored it so much, so I’m happy to say that Katherine Arden is my newest favourite author! This trilogy is inspired by Russian folklore, and Katherine Arden’s writing was so vivid and magical that I felt like I was in in Rus’ with Vasya, and this story truly felt like a fairy tale, which I loved. I have yet to read Katherine Arden’s middle-grade series, Small Spaces, but I’m so excited to read anything she writes next!

Side note: I only consider an author a new favourite if I’ve read at least two of their books… otherwise, I’d add R.F. Kuang to this list, but I’ve only read The Poppy War by her so far.😉

♡ Newest fictional crush

Well… I don’t have any new fictional crush, so let’s move on to the next question. 🤷🏼‍♀️🙈

rin
Indonesian cover of The Poppy War (100% the best representation of Rin)

♡ Newest favourite character

Rin from The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang!! She’s everything to me, she’s persistent, tough, stubborn, powerful, ambitious, and to be honest makes quite terrible decisions, but I’m in awe of her. She’s definitely the reason I love The Poppy War so much, Rin is such an interesting (but quite flawed) protagonist, and as everyone else says, she could step on me.

books-of-ambha

♡ Book that made you cry

Definitely Empire of Sand and Realm of Ash by Tasha Suri! These two books are part of an amazing Indian-inspired fantasy duology, and I got so invested in the characters’ stories that I cried a lot during the endings. I wouldn’t say their endings are necessarily sad, but I thought they were perfect for me, and because of that, they made me cry… a lot. I remember crying for 15 minutes after finishing Empire of Sand… Then I read Realm of Ash and it was even worse, it took me an hour and a half to get through the last fifty pages, because I was crying so much. This duology was such a nice surprise as well, and I really recommend it if you’re looking for a new adult fantasy series to read! 😊

chloe-brown

♡ Book that made you happy

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert made me so happy. This romance novel was such a delight to read, it has characters I love, and were amazing with each other. I loved that it had a dual perspective, that the characters really communicated with each other, and that any miscommunication was dealt with pretty quickly (usually in the next chapter or so), so there was no unnecessary drama. Moreover, there is an amazing cat in this book and I’ve been fancasting it as my own grey cat, Peter, so that was a great bonus! I’m currently reading Take a Hint, Dani Brown, which follows Dani, one of Chloe’s sisters, and this one makes me really happy as well. 💛

most-beautiful

♡ Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

I mean… Look at the beauty that is the UK hardback of The Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty. The covers of this trilogy are the most beautiful. 😍

to-read

♡ What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

I really need to read The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang and The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin as soon as possible! I’ve talked a looooot about The Poppy War in this post, so of course, I’m so excited to read The Dragon Republic, as it’s the second book the trilogy. The UK paperback is coming out at the beginning of August, so I’m really hoping to read it then (am I considering pre-ordering it? Why, yes.). I’m also planning to read The Fifth Season very soon: N.K. Jemisin is such a high-praised author among fantasy readers, I’m interested by many of her works, but want to start with this series. The synopsis is quite vague, but it sounds intriguing, and every book in this trilogy won a Hugo, so that’s a nice bonus.

What are your favourite book(s) of the year so far?

lots of love

My most anticipated book releases of this summer 📚☀️

grabby-hands

Hello There

This is it, summer is really here in the northern hemisphere! ☀️

With a new season comes a new list of books I’m anticipating, which makes me so happy, because I love writing these posts! As always, I’ll be talking about the books I’m anticipating the most for the next season, meaning the books I’m anticipating that are due to be released in July, August and September. I find it easier to track new releases on a shorter period of time, otherwise I’m scared I’d forget some of them, so that’s why I’ve been doing seasonal most anticipated book releases for a few years now!

So, without further ado, here are the books I’m excited for that will be released this summer:

summer-releases-1

Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust

Published: July 7th 2020 by Flatiron Books

Genre: fantasy

Why do I want it? This Persian-inspired fantasy novel is about a princess cursed to be poisonous to the touch, which sounds amazing! I also know there is a f/f romance in it and someone mentioned there were monster girlfriends (sorry, but that’s one of my favourite tropes)? I don’t need any other information about this book, I am so in! 😱

Loveless by Alice Oseman

Published: July 9th 2020 by HarperCollins Children’s Books

Genre: contemporary

Why do I want it? Alice Oseman is one of my favourite authors, so I’m super excited about her newest book! Loveless follows Georgia, who starts attending Durham University with her best friends and is ready to find romance. However, she starts to question why love seems so easy for other people, but not for her and discovers herself more and more. This book is an aromantic asexual coming-out story and we so need more of those!

Splinters of Scarlet by Emily Brain Murphy

Published: July 21st 2020 by HMH Books For Young Readers

Genres: historical fiction, fantasy

Why do I want it? This book is a historical fantasy set in nineteenth-century Denmark, so considering how much I love Denmark, it was all I needed to get excited about it. It is about Marit, who uses magic to secure a job as a seamstress in the Vestergaard household. Marit’s father died in the Vestergaards’ jewel mines, so she starts to investigate what really happened, which leads her to a deception that goes all the way up to the king of Denmark. It sounds amazing and I can’t wait to read it!

summer-releases-2

Seven Devils by Laura Lam and Elizabeth May

Published: August 6th 2020 by Gollancz

Genre: science-fiction

Why do I want it? Seven Devils is the first book in a feminist space opera duology following seven resistance fighters who will free the galaxy from the ruthless Tholosian Empire, or die trying. The main character is the heir to the galaxy’s most ruthless empire and faked her death! Her partner on her newest resistance mission is a mechanic and hotshot pilot who bears an old grudge against her! These two informations 100% got me. I really want to get more into sci-fi and this one sounds amazing, so I can’t wait to get my hands on it!

Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar

Published: August 11th 2020 by HarperTeen

Genre: fantasy

Why do I want it? This debut is a contemporary fantasy inspired by Hindu mythology, so that’s enough to get excited about! Star Daughter follows Sheetal, the daughter of a star and a mortal, who is used to keeping secrets, until her powers puts her human father in the hospital and she needs a full star’s help to heal him. To save him, Sheetal must go to a celestial court and take the stage as her family’s champion in a competition to decide the next ruling house of the heavens. Also, can we take a moment to appreciate this stunning cover? I’m speechless. 😍

Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles

Published: August 25th 2020 by Wednesday Books

Genre: fantasy

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

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Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

Published: September 15th 2020 by Bloomsbury

Genre: fantasy

Why do I want it? I adored Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke when I read it two years ago, so I’m beyond excited that she’s releasing a new book! This one follows Piranesi, who lives in a house that he is always exploring… this house being essentially a labyrinth, with infinite rooms, thousands upon thousands of statues, as well as an ocean. It seems like a very whimsical read and I’m so ready for it!

Vampires Never Get Old: Tales with Fresh Bite, edited by Zoraida Cordova and Natalie C. Parker

Published: September 22nd 2020 by Imprint

Genres: anthology, fantasy, paranormal

Why do I want it? Here it is: I miss vampire stories a lot (not some of the most popular paranormal tropes, though), so I’m quite excited that a new YA anthology focusing on vampires is coming out! 🧛‍♀️ I first got interested in this anthology because Victoria Schwab wrote a short story for it, but anthologies are also the perfect way to discover new authors (I’m really interested in Zoraida Córdova’s and Rebecca Roanhorse’s works, for example), so I can’t wait to discover all of these short stories and new-to-me authors!

A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

Published: September 29th 2020 by Del Rey Books

Genre: fantasy

Why do I want it? Naomi Novik is one of my favourite authors, so of course I’m over the moon that she’s starting a new fantasy series! A Deadly Education is set in a magical school where monsters are lurking in the halls and failure means certain death, which sounds super brutal, but really intriguing! The main character also apparently has dark magic and I’m so there for it! I got lucky enough to get an e-ARC of it (!!) and I can’t wait to read it soon! 😍

Are you excited for any of these books? Are you anticipated any book releases for this summer/winter?lots of love

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? 👀

tome-topple-tbr

🐉 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!

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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