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?

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

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.

favourites

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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