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?

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:

june20-fave-book

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

chromatica

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 📚❤️

may20

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!

flower

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

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

lots of love

April wrap-up + favourites 📚❤️

apr20

Hello There

I hope that you and your loved ones are okay, please take care of yourselves as much as you can. I’m sending you all a lot of love. ❤️

For me, April was one of those months where you carry on, and there isn’t much to say about it, which is totally okay. It was a month of homeschooling my two youngest brothers due to the current situation and of carrying on with projects I’m currently working on. On a more positive note, April was also the month of the O.W.L.s readathon and I dedicated so much time to reading, often in the sun in the garden or way past midnight. I also figured out my working out routine, which I’m really happy about. Last but not least, our kitten Peter (who is not a kitten any longer, I guess) celebrated his first birthday. 😻

peter

what i read

In April, I participated in the O.W.L.s readathon and it motivated me so much to read! I passed all the O.W.L.s I needed within the first two weeks (I got carried away because of my excitement) and it was so much fun, I can’t wait for August to pass my N.E.W.T.s and become a Spell Maker.

Here are the novels I read:

  • Witches of Ash and Ruin by E. Latimer, 4/5 stars
  • Red Sister by Mark Lawrence, 4/5 stars
  • Tower of Thorns by Juliet Marillier, 4.5/5 stars
  • The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren, 3/5 stars
  • House of Names by Colm Toibin, 2/5 stars
  • Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri, 4/5 stars
  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, 3.5/5 stars
  • Den of Wolves by Juliet Marillier, 4/5 stars
  • Furyborn by Claire Legrand, 3.5/5 stars
  • Grey Sister by Mark Lawrence, 4/5 stars
  • Bound by Mark Lawrence, 3/5 stars
  • Holy Sister by Mark Lawrence, 3/5 stars

I mainly read adult fantasy during the month and managed to finish two book series: the Blackthorn and Grim trilogy by Juliet Marillier, as well as The Book of the Ancestor by Mark Lawrence. I also finally read The Hobbit, which I’m weirdly proud about, as I was intimidated by Tolkien’s fantasy works for the longest time. I’m quite looking forward to reading the Lord of the Rings series at some point now!

I also read a few comics:

  • Monstress, vol. 1: Awakening by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda, 3.5/5 stars
  • DC Comics: Bombshells, vol. 5: The Death of Illusion by Marguerite Bennett, Laura Braga, Mirka Andolfo and Elsa Charretier, 4/5 stars

apr20-fave-book

My favourite book of the month was Tower of Thorns by Juliet Marillier, second book in her Blackthorn and Grim trilogy. It follows a healer who was wrongly imprisoned and has to make a deal with the Fair Folk to assist anyone who asks for her help for the next seven years. These books are set in medieval Ireland, are inspired by Irish folklore and feels like fairy tales, Tower of Thorns having Beauty and the Beast vibes, which I adored. I can’t recommend Juliet Marillier’s books enough. ❤️

favourites

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🎵 MUSICAL // Watching The Phantom of the Opera

Over the past month, The Shows Must Go On! on YouTube has made available a performance of one Andrew Lloyd Weber’s musicals for free for 48 hours. I was over the moon the week they made The Phantom of the Opera available, as it’s one of my top 3 musicals ever and the only one of my favourite musicals I have yet to see live (at least the 2004 movie exists, so I watched that a few times).

It was such an amazing experience, I love Ramin Karimloo and Sierra Boggess as the Phantom and Chrisine, The Music of the Night is still my absolute favourite musical number in it (though The Point of No Return isn’t far behind) and I’m back at listening to the musical all the time. I love this story so much and it makes me a little bit nostalgic of when I dressed up as the Phantom for Halloween two years ago. 👻

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📺 TV SHOWS // Fleabag, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and The Clone Wars

Because of lockdown, I feel like I’ve been watching TV shows more consistently than usual: there are so many of them I’m watching weekly, as new episodes are released, and I’ve been catching up on and finishing others! Among all of them, my favourites were Fleabag, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and The Clone Wars.

I binge-watched Fleabag in an afternoon and an evening, I couldn’t get enough of it! It’s a British TV comedy-drama television following Fleabag, a free-spirited and sexually active but angry and confused young woman in London. It has such a stellar cast, with Phoebe Waller-Bridge as the lead, but also Olivia Colman AND Andrew Scott in the second series. I wasn’t sure what to make of it at first, but I ended up loving it, found it really clever (the fourth wall!) and I still haven’t recovered from the second series. I finally get what all the fuss was about Andrew Scott in series two because d a m n that chemistry (… and now I want to rewatch Sherlock). 😳

I’ve been putting off watching the final season of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend for a year, because I didn’t want to say goodbye to this show, but I finally watched it in April and I loved it! It was a satisfying ending, I loved the new songs and what it talked about. They even did a concert special as a bonus episode and it was a lot of fun! I’ve been listening to Hello, Nice To Meet You on replay for most of the month and while I’m sad I finished yet another show that means so much to me, I’m glad I finally did. ❤️

I’ve also been watching the final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars weekly (I just watched episode 11 and had to relive Order 66… I’m sad) and I adore this show so much, it’s my favourite animated TV show. Set between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, it got cancelled before its final season, but they decided to finish it on Disney+ and I’m so glad they did. This season keeps getting better and better and the last three episodes were EVERYTHING. There was a scene with a dark side user offering their hand to a light side user once again, I’m fine. Honestly, other than The Mandalorian, it’s the best Star Wars we’ve had since The Last Jedi in my opinion, and that’s the tea. ☕

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Chilling in my campsite ✌️

🎮 VIDEO GAME // Animal Crossing Pocket Camp

As Animal Crossing: New Horizons came out on Nintendo Switch recently, there’s been a lot of Animal Crossing hype everywhere. I didn’t plan on getting the newest game, but I still wanted to play Animal Crossing, so I downloaded the Android version, Animal Crossing Pocket Camp and I’ve been having fun with it. In this one, you’re in charge of a camping, then later a house, and I love decorating everything. Thanks to all the seasonal events, both my campsite and house are all pink and it makes me so happy.

Looking Ahead

Just like for April, I don’t know what to expect for May considering the current situation, so I decided not to have any specific goals for now. Sometimes you have to accept that you can’t always get through huge to-do lists, so I’ll just try my best, and that’s okay.

The only thing I know for sure is that I’ll be participating in the new round of Tome Topple, which was created by Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes, from May 9th to May 22nd and I’m so excited to get through my tomes!

What about you, how was April? Have you discovered any new favourite books?

lots of love

March wrap-up + favourites 📚❤️

march2020

Hello There

As I’m sitting down, trying to wrap up this month, I’m a bit at loss for words. I hope that you and your loved ones are okay, please take care of yourselves as much as you can. ❤️

It feels weird to think about the first half of the month, all things considered, but it had started well for me. I continued working on a project for a castle and driving lessons, I even went to Disneyland Paris with my best friend. My mental health was manageable and I was happier. The first half of March feels like it happened forever ago, but I’m glad I had it and I can think about it when things get hard.

It won’t come as a surprise when I say that the second half of the month was tough: like so many around the world, my country is on lockdown because of the pandemic. I don’t really want to talk about it more than that, as it’s everywhere on the news and that no words could express how I feel, but let’s just say that some days are better than others. Let’s hope it gets better as soon as possible. 🙏🏻

That being said, I want to focus on what I love, though I know we can’t always do that and it’s okay not to be okay. Still, it’s important to talk about what we love and that’s also something that I know I need right now, so I’ll try to do my monthly wrap-up as usual.

what i read

In March, I was in a huge reading mood and spent most of my spare time with my nose stuck in a book, so it’s no wonder that I read a lot. I’ve had a lot of average reads, but thankfully some stood out. Here are the books I read in March:

  • DC Comics: Bombshells, vol. 4: Queens by Marguerite Bennett, Laura Braga, Mirka Andolfo and Marguerite Sauvage, 4/5 stars
  • The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave, 3.5/5 stars
  • Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare, 4/5 stars
  • Star Wars: Lost Stars by Claudia Gray, 4.5/5 stars
  • Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren #4 by Charles Soule and Will Sliney, 4/5 stars
  • The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu, 3/5 stars
  • Dreamer’s Pool by Juliet Marillier, 4/5 stars (reread)
  • The Bridge Kingdom by Danielle L. Jensen, 3.5/5 stars
  • The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers, 2.5/5 stars
  • Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron, 3.5/5 stars
  • A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes, 4/5 stars
  • Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley by Charlotte Gordon, 4/5 stars

lost-stars-fave

My favourite book of the month was Star Wars: Lost Stars by Claudia Gray, an excellent book set from the rise of the Rebellion to the fall of the Empire in a galaxy far, far away. It was the first Star Wars book I read without knowing the main characters beforehand, but I loved Ciena and Thane so much. This book mainly focuses on the inner workings of the Empire, explores what loyalty means to different characters and is so full of nuance. I also adored the romance, which doesn’t happen often! It’s now my favourite Star Wars book, along with Star Wars: Bloodline by the same author.

favourites

emma-2020

MOVIE // Emma (2020)

I finally got around to watching the newest adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma and I absolutely fell in love with this movie. I am a huge period drama fan and Emma is my favourite of Jane Austen’s novels, so I was anticipating it so much and I’m glad it did not disappoint. The cast did an amazing job, the sets and costumes were stunning, I already knew and loved the story and the romance, but the pinning and all the hand-touching were to die for… I have not enough words to express how much I loved it. I can’t wait to rewatch it! 😍

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MISC. // Disneyland Paris

At the beginning of March, I went to Disneyland Paris to have a (belated) birthday celebration with my best friend and we had the best time! The parks had both the Frozen Celebration AND Legends of the Force season, which I was super excited about and we made the most of our time there to watch as many shows as possible, do our favourite rides as many times as possible, eat Star Wars-related food and see Disney Illuminations at night, which always gets me teary-eyed.

The highlight of my day was “meeting” Kylo Ren at Disney Studios. Ben Solo/Kylo Ren is my favourite male character ever, he means the world to me, so I was really excited to see him. No one asked for details, so I’ll mostly keep them to myself, but after these three months, it meant so much to take a picture with him and to fangirl a lot because he asked me to join him and a lot of other things. I can’t express how much he means to me, so I’ll just say: Ben Solo forever. ❤️

lore-olympus

WEBCOMIC // Lore Olympus

I finally read this webcomic everyone has been talking about and I LOVE IT SO MUCH. It is a modern retelling of Greek mythology, where Olympus has been around for more than two thousand years (meaning it’s set in the 21st century). Persephone, the goddess of Spring that most have never heard of, moves to Olympus to start university and at a party… She meets Hades, king of the Underworld and it all goes down from there. I love this Persephone and this Hades SO MUCH. Honestly, this is the Persephone/Hades story we deserve, I binge-read all 103 available episodes in three days and am now waiting for weekly updates like everyone else. If you’re interested, you can read it on Webtoon!

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TV SHOWS // Castlevania, The Bold Type, Las Chicas del Cable

In March, I binge-watched Castlevania and loved this animated television series so much (that being said, it’s very violent and graphic!). Set in 15th century Wallachia, it’s about the vampire Count Dracula who decides that he will slaughter everyone for having burnt his human wife at the stake, summoning an army of demons to do so. In the meantime, an outcast monster hunter, aided by a magician and a dhampir, are trying to stop him. On top of the plotline, I adored the characters (especially Lenore, she’s my girl now, bye) and I loved how it made references to vampire lore! I can’t wait for season 4 now!

I also continued watching the fourth season of The Bold Type weekly and it continued in being excellent. I’ve been talking about it in every wrap-up lately, so I don’t have much to add, but it is both my comfort and empowering show and I love it for that. I’m a bit sad that the fourth season is over, but I’m glad it continued at the same level of amazingness throughout. Please watch it. 🙏🏻

Last but not least, I caught up with Las Chicas del Cable and it was amazing once again! This Spanish period drama is about cable girls who have very eventful lives and it’s so entertaining. Does it have far-fetched plotlines sometimes? Absolutely. Still, I love it because it’s so addictive and the characters are amazing. The fifth and last season is set during the Spanish civil war, which I find really interesting as I’ve only studied it in Spanish class, but that’s about it. Netflix only released the first half of that season so far, so I can’t wait for the second half!

Looking Ahead

I accomplished most of my goals for March: I continued working on a project for a castle and job-hunting, took driving lessons, caught up on Las Chicas del Cable, so I was more active in learning Spanish, went to Disneyland Paris with my best friend and breathed. I didn’t post weekly on the blog, but I’m getting there and I started blog-hopping again. I wanted to take as many driving lessons as possible because my initial goal was to pass my driver’s license at the end of April, but all of my lessons of the past two weeks were understandingly cancelled due to the pandemic, so I didn’t reach that one.

I’m not quite sure how April will go, but I still have a few goals:

  • participate in the O.W.L.s readathon,
  • work on my castle guide project,
  • find a workout routine,
  • blog weekly,
  • watch a show in Spanish to improve in the language,
  • start posting on Instagram again,
  • find a way to keep up with job-hunting and driving despite the current situation,
  • finish my knitting project,
  • breathe ❤️

How was March for you? What’s one good thing that happened to you in March? Have you found any new favourite books?

lots of love

February wrap-up + favourites 📚❤️

feb20

Hello There

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

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

what i read

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

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

the-poppy-war-fave

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

favourites

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MOVIE // Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn (2020)

February wasn’t much of a movie month for me, probably because award season was ending, but I watched Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn on release week and I loved the movie SO MUCH. I knew most of the characters already, but didn’t know what to expect, so I had a lot of fun watching it. So many details made me love the movie even more, like a woman passing a rubber band to the other mid-battle so she could tie her hair back. I loved that it was all about female gaze, that it was diverse, that it was directed by a woman of color. Just… Women. ❤️

MISC. // Driving lessons

As I lived in Paris for six years, I put off passing my driver’s license for years, because I didn’t need it and to be honest, I was (and still am in a way!) scared of driving. In the past few months, I pushed myself to pass the driving theory exam and in February, I finally started driving lessons… and I realized that I actually love it (who would have thought?). Am I the greatest at driving? No. Am I very stressed and did my instructor tell me today I needed to relax because that’s how I’d gain confidence? … Yes.

Still, I’m always looking forward to the lessons and I’m so happy to learn about a topic that’s so outside of my comfort zone. Last week, I even drove in the snow, learnt to park in this weather and while it was terrifying… it was one of the best parts of my week and I’m so proud of myself for it all because I didn’t picture myself doing it (maybe it’s weird, but I’m rolling with it). I still have a very long way to go, but I love it and I’m making progress each time.

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TV SHOWS // The Bold Type, Sex Education & Anne with an E

As for TV shows, I’m still watching The Bold Type every week and it really is one of my all-time favourite shows. Jane, Kat and Sutton always inspire me so much, I love how it tackles a variety of topical issues and time sure flies when I watch it. If you want to know more about it, I dedicated a blog post to this show two years ago!

I binge-watched Sex Education in February and I had a lot of fun! It’s been a while since a TV show set in high school really hooked me, but I couldn’t get enough out of it. It’s about a socially awkward teenager who sets up a sex advice business with a classmate and it follows these teenagers’ lives as they’re figuring themselves out. I think it does a fantastic job discussing topical issues, plus the characters are so endearing. I’m so excited for season 3!

Last, but not least, I finally watched the last season of Anne with an E and I’m so sad the show is over, though I liked how it ended… I just wanted more. 😭 This show is such a breathe of fresh air and an amazing period drama, I can’t recommend it enough. I really didn’t want to say goodbye to it, so I’m planning on continuing to read the books this year, though it’s not the same.

Looking Ahead

In February, I completed almost all of my goals: I attended driving lessons, continued job-hunting, binge-read the Winternight trilogy, listened to myself a bit more and started breathing easier. I posted *some* stories on Instagram and watched two episodes of Las Chicas del Cable in Spanish, but I could have done better with these two, so I’ll try again this month.

In March, I’m planning on:

  • have as many driving lessons as possible (I‘m hoping to pass my driver’s license in April, fingers crossed I can do this)
  • work on the castle project I’m doing
  • continue job-hunting
  • post weekly on the blog and start blog-hopping again
  • go to Disneyland with my best friend
  • catch up on Las Chicas del Cable and be more active in learning Spanish
  • breathe ❤️

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

lots of love

January wrap-up + favourites 📚❤️

jan20

Hello There

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

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

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

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

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

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

what i read

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

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

ship-of-destiny

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

favourites

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

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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!

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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