T5W: Prettiest Covers on my TBR

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted on Goodreads. Feel free to join the group here. I feel like I say this all the time, but I haven’t been really active on here lately! I haven’t felt much inspiration to write anything unfortunately, but the prompt for today doesn’t require too much thinking so I can work with that. Basically the idea is to go through your TBR and find the 5 prettiest book covers. They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but you know we all do!

So I decided to go through my extensive TBR shelf on Goodreads, and pick five of the prettiest books I saw!

Rebelle Belle by Rachelle Hawkins

This book has been on my TBR since FOREVER and I never got to actually even buy it, but I am pretty sure that I would love the vibe, so every time I cleanse my Goodreads shelves I end up keeping it because I keep hoping that I read it one day. And of course, I just really love the cover.

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Honestly I am not even sure I know what this book is about, but the cover is simply stunning and I can’t bring myself to remove it from my TBR shelf. It belongs here now, basking in its beautiful glory.

Made You Up by Francesca Zappia

I’ve been drawn to this book ever since I first heard of it and that for two reasons: its stunning cover and the fact that it deals with topics that are important to me. After reading Eliza and her Monsters last year, I want to check out this one even more, so hopefully that happens soon!

A Curse of Roses by Diana Pinguicha

I have ordered this one a while ago and I can’t wait to receive my copy because it’s absolutely beautiful (it’s also sapphic and I can’t say no to that). I have a feeling I’m really going to enjoy this, and you got the gist of it, I’m excited. And of course, the cover is absolutely stunning, so really what else could I ask for?

Yesterday Is History by Kosoko Jackson

This cover really hits different and I think it’s absolutely BEAUTIFUL. This one is a brand new 2021 release and I am really excited about it. Yes it will probably make me cry but I like to belive that it will be worth it.

And that’s it for today! My next post will be a February wrap up, and hopefully I will be more active next month, who knows. In the meantime, thank you so much for reading and I hope you have a wonderful day!

January Reading Wrap Up

For some reason I do not have the inspiration nor the energy to blog lately. However, I did manage to read a lot of books this January, so here is an extensive wrap-up of my progress!

Young adult:

Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Baryron ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Consider this: what if not long after her marriage to Prince Charming, Cinderella had passed away and her tale become a legacy. For two hundred years, young women between the age of sixteen and eighteen would have to present themselves to a ball where (older) men would pick them as wives. If you didn’t attend the ball, you became an outlaw. Sophia knows this, but she doesn’t accept it. She is in love with her best friend Erin, and has always wanted to run away. And what if an opportunity presented itself on the very night of the ball? And what of there was more to Cinderella’s story than what the people had been told? I’d been eyeing this one for a while now, and I’m so glad that I finally read it. To be honest, it was a bit predictable, but it was perfectly enjoyable, and the sapphic romance was definitely a bonus!
TW: violence, death, abuse

These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Sapphic witches, seriously, what else could one ask for. Hannah is an Elemental witch who lives in Salem. Aside from the fact that no one should know about this, even her best friend, over the summer she suddenly has to deal with her overly present ex-girlfriend, the new girl she may or may not have a crush one, and a series or events that seem to have been caused by a dangerous Blood witch. This book was a cute and enjoyable urban fantasy. It’s an easy read and I can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel!

I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Another one that had been on my TBR for a while! I Was Born For This was the last Alice Oseman book that I had yet to pick. This one follows a band and a fangirl over the course of a few days. Angel Rahimi has been dedicated to The Ark for years, and when they do a concert in London, of course she has to attend, using this opportunity to meet her internet bestie Juliet. Jimmy Kaga-Ricci also has found family in The Ark, as their frontman. He has been feeling pretty good about it, until lately things stopped going according to plan. Going into an Alice Oseman book pretty much feels like going home at this point, and this was no exception. The anxiety descriptions were so on point as usual, and I am now adding this book to the list of those that I want to cherish.
TW: anxiety, depression, suicide/suicidal thoughts

Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno ⭐⭐⭐⭐

When I hear that this book had a lesbian MC with an asexual best friend, I ordered it immediately. And then I proceeded to pick it up as soon as I received it. This book is set on a small island who hosts a (not so secret) family of witches, and every summer a very particular bird and a flock of bird lovers. Except that this summer it’s different because Arabella never shows up. Georgina, our main character, is about to turn eighteen, and still waiting for her magic to eventually show up. She only has until her 18th birthday at the end of the summer, and on top of everything, her twin sister has been acting very strange lately. Sprinkle in a little bit of romance and great friendships, and there you have it. This book was super nice, and I am so glad that I read it!
TW: rape, abuse, violence

Across the Green Grass Fields by Seanan McGuire ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This one is the sixth instalment in Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children book series. It was released in January, and I was really excited about it. Once again, it didn’t disappoint! This volume introduces a new character called Regan (who happens to be intersex) and a brand new world we hadn’t seen yet that’s called the Hooflands, and is inhabited by centaurs, unicorns, and basically all kinds of creatures with hoofs. Of course, as the only human in that universe, she has a destiny to fulfill, but all she wants is to have a peaceful life with her found family. It had a vibe a bit similar to that of In an Absent Dream, and I absolutely loved it!

Rent a Boyfriend by Gloria Chao ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I think Rent a Boyfriend was my favourite read of the month. The plot is simple: to avoid an arranged marriage set up by her parents and their community, Chloe hires a fake boyfriend. In a twist of fate that is oh-so-surprising, Chloe and Drew find themselves falling in love with each other. Was this extremely predictable? Yes, absolutely. It had all of the tropes from fake dating, to parent that is secretly sick, to of course the inevitable parents-want-child-to-marry-rich. Did it matter? Nope, I loved it with all my heart. (On a side note, I’m not sure whether this one should actually be classified as YA or NA.)

Historical Fiction:

The Radio Operator by Ulla Lenze ⭐⭐⭐
(Translated from German: Der Empfänger)

Over the course of a few decades, The Radio Operator tells the story of a German man who moved to the US in the 1930s in search for a better life. Soon, he was taken in by a group of Nazis who wanted to use him for his radio skills. Reluctantly, he agreed to help them (partially because he felt threatened, partially because he thought he could use the money). I personally thought it was a bit too slow for my taste (and that not enough things were happening) but if you like morally grey characters and stories that are following small people in the grand scheme of History, then this might just be the thing for you!

The Children’s Train by Viola Ardone ⭐⭐⭐⭐
(Translated from Italian: Il treno dei bambini)

The story starts in Naples in 1946 and follows a group of children from poor backgrounds who are sent to live with wealthier families in the North of the country. It’s a beautiful book about family, motherhood and choices, and I also really liked it.

Non-fiction:

In Their Shoes by Jamie Windust ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

After reading The Invisible Orientation, I wanted to read some non-fiction about non-binary life, and I stumbled upon this book. Jamie Windust is an activist, and they have also done some great TEDtalks if you’d like to check them out! Anyway, I enjoyed this book SO MUCH, and I am so glad that I decided to read it. If you have more queer non-fiction recommendations, then feel free to send them my way!

How To Be Ace by Rebecca Burgess ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This was SUCH A CUTE graphice novel, and it filled my heart with joy. It made me feel SEEN and yes, I have also added it to the list of books that I want to cherish.

Feminism for the 99%: A Manifesto by Cinzia Arruzza, Tithi Bhattacharya and Nancy Fraser ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I’ve been reading quite a few books about feminism in French these past few weeks, so when I saw this one on Scribd, I knew that I had to check it out! It was super interesting, and I will be looking for more similar reads.

To Drink Coffee With A Ghost by Amanda Lovelace ⭐⭐⭐⭐

To avoid a reading slump, and because I always feel the need to be reading several books at the same time, I picked up Amanda Lovelace’s poetry collection To Drink Coffee With A Ghost. As usual, it was amazing.
TW: abuse

French non-fiction:

L’enfant des camps de Francine Christophe ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Beauté fatale de Mona Chollet ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“Madame il fallait partir” de Céline Marcovici ⭐⭐⭐⭐
M’explique pas la vie, mec! de Rokhaya Diallo ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Le parfum des fleurs la nuit de Leila Slimani ⭐⭐⭐⭐

As far as these are concerned the first one is a memoir about life in the concentration camps during WWII. It was such a beautiful and important books, and I’m so glad that I read it. Leila Slimani’s book is about her relationship to art and writing, it was also super beautiful, and the other three are books about feminism!

French literary fiction:

Love me tender de Constance Debré ⭐⭐⭐⭐
On était des poissons de Nathalie Kuperman ⭐⭐⭐

French graphic novels:

Appelez-moi Nathan de Catherine Castro et Quentin Zuttion ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Malgré tout de Jordi Lafebvre ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Blanc autour de Wilfrid Lupano et Stéphan Fert ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
(Also available in English as: White All Around)

And I think that’s quite enough for today! Thank you so much for reading
and I hope you have a wonderful day!

Top 5 Wednesday: Required Reading

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted on Goodreads. Feel free to join the group here. I haven’t been very much active on the blog this past month, so this is kind of my opportunity to make up for it. The theme for this week is required reading, and I wanted to talk about five books that I picked up in high school or thanks to university. These were not necessarily required reading, but maybe some suggestions from professors that I ended up really loving! I studied both French and English/American literature, so it’s going to be a combination of both, with a mix of autobiographies because that’s also a subject I took many classes on!

The Ladies’ Paradise by Emile Zola

I read this one for school when I was in 9th grade, and I ended up falling in love with this book. To this day, it is still one of my favourites. I remember reading way into the night because I couldn’t sleep. And because of this book, I ended up picking up more of Zola’s work (I particularly enjoyed The Kill as well, I feel like it’s been a while since I last talked about it.) Basically the story centers on the opening of a big department store in Paris during the 19th century, while the city is being modernized. We follow Denise, who has lost everything and became an employee there. She is quickly noticed by her employer, who falls in love with her. Bonus: it’s one of the only books by Zola that actually has a happy ending!

The Years by Annie Ernaux

I picked up this one when I was doing my bachelor’s degree, and it has also become one of my favourite. It’s non-fiction this time. It’s this autobiography of the other from childhood to adulthood. She was born in 1940 during the war, and through the book, explains how she felt like through her life, she passed through major historical events without really being able to participate in them. She is an amazing writer and I can only recommend you check out her work!

A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf

I picked up this one, as you guessed it, through my English studies, and I don’t think I really need to introduce it. I’ve since then read many more books about feminism, but I still cherish this one, and I would love to reread it one day.

Fledgling by Octavia E. Butler

When I started my Master’s I took a class on Afrofuturism, and my professor recommended this book, which I ended up really loving. It’s a vampire reimagined story, which starts when a seeminly young girl wakes up with no memory of her life. She soon finds out that she is actually an adult genetically modified vampire, and that her community is at risk. This book was absolutely excellent, and I’m so glad I got to discover Butler’s novels through it!

The End of Eddy by Edouard Louis

And last but not least, another French autobiography that was also recommended to me by one of my professors. This one is also contemporary and contemplates questions of class, education and sexuality. Edouard Louis is an amazing writer. I have yet to pick up more of his work, but I am definitely looking forward!

And that’s it for today! Thank you so much for reading, have a wonderful day, and please feel free to recommend some of your favourite required readings!

Favourite Reads of 2020

I haven’t posted in a while and this post has been sitting in my drafts for even longer, but I really wanted to share it at some point.  I usually pick a list of ten favourite books each year, or at least that’s what I have been doing for the past few years. However, as I managed to read 200+ books in 2020, I decided to indulge myself and picked out 16 books that I absolutely LOVED and wanted to talk about just once more.

Most of them were released in 2019/2020, and no one will be surprised when I add: most of them are YA. But without further ado, let’s get to my list!

I added trigger warnings as much as I could, if you feel like I missed some please let me know!

Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee
Ace rep 💜

I was really looking forward to this one because Anna Karenina is one of my favourite classics, and of course I wanted to check it out because of the ace rep. And it’s no surprise I completely fell in love with it. I really loved the fact that we follow a bunch of content creators. It has some really good tropes, and overall, I am full of love when it comes to this book.

Eliza and her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
rep: anxiety, panic attacks, questioning aro/ace
Trigger warnings: anxiety, bullying, suicide, suicidal thoughts

I had heard so many great things about this book, and I don’t know why I put off reading it for such a long time. It was excellent. Again, we are on fandom territory (which is partt of what made it so relatable.) It’s a beautiful book about internet friendships and fame, and I loved it with all my heart.

Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman
rep: multiracial, questioning aro/ace
TW: car accident/death

I had read Starfish in 2019 and really loved it, so of course I was looking forward to reading this one. It deals with grief, and my heart ached with Rumi on many occasions, but it also resonated with her on her journey and the whole questioning of her sexuality. This book was both stunning and important, and I can only recommend it. I’m already looking forward to Akemi Dawn Bowman’s future releases!

Love from A to Z by S.K. Ali
rep: multiracial, muslim
TW: racism, islamophobia

This one gets the palm of the only non-queer book on that list! It was just too cute not to belong on here. It had already been on my shelves for a couple months when I finally picked it up. I had originally bought it because I really enjoyed S.K. Ali’s previous book Saints and Misfits, but I actually loved this one! It deals with islamophobia a lot, and has a badass feminist main character called Zayneb. The other main character, Adam, is secretly dealing with the fact that he was just diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and left college without telling his family. It’s a beautiful book about friendships, and the romance is THE CUTEST THING.

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
rep: lesbian, Dominican MC

Elizabeth Acevedo is an author I discovered I 2020, and Clap When You Land is so far my favourite of her books. We follow two sisters who just learn of each other’s existence when their father disappears in a plane crash. It’s a poignant book about grief and family, and I’m pretty sure I won’t forget it any time soon. I would also 100% recommend it if you haven’t read it yet.

Little Black Bird by Anna Kirchner
rep: questioning aro/ace

I have been following Anna on Instagram for quite some time now, and was really looking forward to her book release. It has polish folklore & mythology, as well as a great cast of queer characters, and it now also has my heart. It’s a great fantasy novel and I cannot wait for the sequel to be released!

This Is How You Lose The Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
rep: WLW

This book is the hill I will die on. It was so well written, I couldn’t put it down. The world building is honestly a little mysterious and complicated to follow at first, but those love letters really have my heart. I actually read this one on Scribd during the first lockdown not really knowing what to expect and seriously I wasn’t prepared for what came for me. Is it too much to say that this is now my favourite book ever? Because I think it is. (Yes, this list is in no particular order, and yes, I absolutely need my own copy of this one because I WILL be rereading it.)

Loveless by Alice Oseman
rep: aro/ace MC, pan, enby & lesbian side characters

Loveless was also one of my most anticipated releases of the year, and I’m pretty sure it is my favourite of Alice Oseman’s novels at this point (I can say it now that I have read them all!). It has been brought to my attention that yes, this is not the only ace experience, and that some of the rep can be harmful, but I also want to cherish it because I identified with Georgia SO MUCH (despite the fact that I do not identity as aromantic.)

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
rep: trans, gay

I 100% read this book because of the hype, but it was also 100% worth it so no regrets! It has a great fantasy world building with a bruj family and ghosts and also a very addictive romance. I am competely sold, and looking forward to Aiden Thomas’ next releases!

I’ll Be the One by Lyla Lee
rep: Korean-American, bisexual, fat rep
TW: homophobia, fatphobia

The kpop and kdrama fan in me knew I had to check out this one, especially once I heard that the main character was bisexual. This book follows a kpop contest set in the US and it has everything my kdrama loving heart could want. I loved the pace and the characters. Honestly this is such a good comfort book, and I can only recommend it 💜

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson
rep: African-American, WLW
TW: racism, homophobia

Again, I picked up this book because of the hype, and again, I fell in love with it. We follow Liz, a no-nonsense teenage girl who enters a prom queen contest because she wants to get a scholarship and soon finds herself falling for the new girl… A cute romcom with amazing characters and friendships!

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
rep: asexual MC, trans, lesbian (MC of the sequel)

Another book that had been on my TBR for a while! I have now read the whole series (well, I’m almost done with the one that was released in the beginning of January) and I’m honestly not sure what my favourite thing about these books is: the world building which is seriously everything I have wished for in my life, and didn’t know that I needed until now, or the amazing cast of queer characters. I love them all so much.

Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuinston
rep: gay, bisexual

Yes I am aware that this list has many hyped books, but what can I say, I am weak for chaotic bisexual characters, and enemies to lovers romance, and as you probably guessed at this point if you haven’t read it, this book has both (and on top of that a 2020 that was much nicer than the one we went through!) I devoured this book, and I am now trash for it.

The Black Flamingo by Dead Atta
rep: gay, drag queen
TW: racism, homophobia

This is a book that I discovered thanks to Scribd, and it blew my mind away. It’s a beautiful novel in verse, about coming of age and coming to terms with one’s sexuality. The main character also discovers drag in college, and I loved that aspect of the story! If you haven’t checked out this book yet, then I highly recommend it. It was beautiful and heartwarming and so, so important.

King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender
rep: gay
TW: death, racism, homphobia

I know I say this a lot, but this book was SO IMPORTANT! (Also yes, I read Felix Ever After, it was fantastic, but I liked this one even better.) We follow King who is mourning for his brother, and navigating his own sexuality and his relationship with his best friend who just came out to him. This book was stunning and I want to cry just thinking about it. It’s so beautiful. 💜

On Earth We Are Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
rep: Vietnamese-American, gay
TW: racism, homophobia

I’m going to say it once again, and it’s the last time for today: this book was asbsolutely stunning. It’s written in the form of a letter from a son to his mother, in which he talks about his roots and his homosexuality as well as addictions. I picked it up because I heard about it on booktube, and this was one of the best decisions I ever made. This was such a beautiful book, and I’m also delighted to say that it’s just been translated to French which means I now get to talk about it at work and convince more people to buy it & read it!

Honorary mention: three middle grade books I fell in love with in December because I wanted to hype them one more time before moving on to the rest of my reading list: Rick by Alex Gino, Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi and The Strangeworlds Travel Agency by LD Lapinski. These three seriously warmed up my heart and deserve all the love they can get!

December Reading Wrap Up

I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to read as much in December as in the past few months, because with what of Christmas month, I had more work to do, and was more tired. Thankfully, that wasn’t really the case! I started the month with three amazing middle grade books, and managed to get a decent amount of reading done in the end. With that being said, happy new year! And let’s get into the books I read last month!

Middle grade books:

Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I was really excited about this one since I loved the two previous books in the series, and it was just as great. New characters are introduced, as well as new plot twists, and it was overall wonderful. The book ends on a cliffhanger, and I can’t wait for the last instalment in this amazing series!

The Strangeworlds Travel Agency by LD Lapinski ⭐⭐⭐⭐
I also started a new series which had been on my radar for a while! In this one, we follow 12 y/o Flick who stumbles upon a mysterious travel agency. Soon she discovers that she is able to travel to parallel universes through suitcases, and that the heart of this world is in danger. With the help of the agency owner, she will do anything to stop it. This book was amazing, and really promising for the rest of the series! I’m excited for new youger readers to discover it!

Rick by Alex Gino ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I read George a couple years ago, and loved it with all my heart, so when I heard that Alex Gino had written a new story with an a-spec character, I knew that of course, I had to check it out. It won’t come as a surprise when I say that I absolutely loved it. This book is precious, it’s beautiful and important and I’m so glad that it’s out there in the world.

Young adult:

The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly by Jamie Pacton ⭐⭐⭐
I was really excited for this book when I first heard of it because I’m all about girls who want to be knights. And to that extent, it did live up to my expectations! This book was also nicely diverse. But it was also very full of clichés. And I have come to the conclusion once again that I’m getting too old for YA books (or at least some of them… Not that it’s going to stop me from reading them!) So overall: enjoyable, but maybe not for me.

Historical fiction:

The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles ⭐⭐⭐⭐
It had been a while since I had last read a good historical fiction novel, and this reminded me of how much I do enjoy them. This one follows a dual timeline betwen WWII Paris and small town in Montana in the 1980s, and mostly centers on what happened to the American Library in Paris and its members during the war. It’s a beautiful story about bravery and trust and betrayal. If you like stories with morally gray characters, and WWII stories in general, then I ddefinitely recommend you check out this one!

Graphic novels:

Chinese Queer by Seven ⭐⭐⭐
This one follows the life story of Tian Fushi as he goes through several relationships, and overall both grows up and figures himself out a little bit better.

Peau d’homme de Hubert et Zanzim ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Literally “a man’s skin”, this graphic novel takes place during medieval times and follows a young woman who disguises as a man with a precious man’s skin that is a family heirloom, and tries to get to know her fiancé a little bit better. Overall, it went places I didn’t really expect, and I really enjoyed it!

Livres en français:

La belle lumière d’Angélique Villeneuve ⭐⭐⭐⭐
A stunning historical fiction about the story of Helen Keller’s life. Based on the real life story, Angélique Villeneuve filled in the gaps left in between letters, and built an amazing character who faught for her daughter’s right to independance. It was absolutely beauitful.

La ville sans vent vol.2 d’Éléonore Devillepoix ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The sequel to a book I read earlier this year, it’s a fantasy story with a great world-building. I really grew attached to the characters, and would definitely recommend it to people who loved A Winter’s Promise by Christelle Dabos, and who like fantasy in general!

L’âme agit des livres de Mademoiselle Fa ⭐⭐⭐.5
This one is a short poetry book with many word plays.

Non fiction:

This is How it Starts by Dawn Lanuza ⭐⭐⭐⭐
A beautiful poetry book about breakups. I had read another collection by Dawn Lanuza in the past, and greatly enjoyed it, so I’m really glad I picked up this one to finish the year!

The Invisivle Orientation by Julie Sondra Decker ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
This one if you haven’t heard of it is an introdution to asexuality. I bought it back in June and was really looking forward to reading it. I felt so seen and validated through it all (even if it’s not something I relate to one hundred percent of the time, it’s nice to hear that it’s OKAY and NORMAL to feel and thing like this). Anyway, I’m still confused, but I loved this book wholeheartedly and I can only recommed it.

Présentes by Lauren Bastide ⭐⭐⭐⭐
A newly released French book about feminism, developing on the place and presence of women in public space and media. I have to admit I didn’t learn that much, but I’m still educating myself, and the author did make some pretty good points.

Freedom is a constant struggle by Angela Y. Davis ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
And finally, this one was a series of speeches about freedom and anti-racism by activist Angela Davis. I’m so glad I took the time to read it, it was very interesting, and I would definitely recommend it! And overall I’m also really glad I finally took the time to pick up some non-fiction this month.

That’s it for today, thank you so much for reading, and again, happy new year!

Four Dystopias That Feels Like 2020

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted on Goodreads. Feel free to join the group here. The theme for this week is dystopia that feels like 2020, and I gotta admit I thought it was pretty hilarious at first (and sad at the same time), then a had to rack my brains, and I’m rather happy with the results (although I only picked four books, but it just felt right this way).

Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler

I finally read this one over the summer, and boy did it feel like the perfect timing to do so. The story was written in the 1990s but supposedly takes place in the 2020s, and in many aspects of it echoed the realities of this year especially when it comes to poverty and the discrepancy with the rich (Bezos I’m looking at you). Aside from that, it’s also a really beautiful and powerful book. Octavia Butler is a fantastic writer, and I highly recommend you check out some of her work!

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

I’m not talking about the fact that bookstores were shut down, because that would be elitist of me, and besides that didn’t stop people from reading (although I was unable to work for two months during the first lockdown, but that’s on the pandemic not the banning of books which is the topic I wanted to mention). No, the reason why I picked this book is because I wanted to talk about censorship. You may or may not have heard of it, in August a French author released a book called Moi les hommes je les déteste aka I hate men so of course men were pissed without reading the book, called it a hate speech, and some members of the government even said that it should be banned. (Meanwhile they have no problem with books that are full of islamophobia.) And witnessing that on top of everything felt pretty dystopian. That being said, the book has now been translated into several more languages including English, German and Spanish, and I highly recommend it.

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

The situation that echoed with me when it comes to BNW and the present time is how controlled women and pregnancies are. The situation right now in Poland and many other countries is disastrous, and I truly hope it gets better in the next year. With the new law that just passed in Argentina, there is hope after all!

That being said, please stay informed about the situation in Poland. When it comes to the rights of women and LGBTQIAP+ people, it’s getting worse and worse. Now more than ever, the worlds needs to look at this and make it better. This also applies of course to Hungary, and other countries in Western Europe and the rest of the world. Seriously, we need to do better as a society.

The Mother Code by Carol Stivers

This is another one that I read over the summer. Did I pick it for this list just because it follows a pandemic? Maybe so. But it felt really weird to read in the context of the corona anyway, so I decided that it belonged on the list. As you can expect from the title, The Mother Code also deals heavily with the idea of motherhood, considering we folow a bunch of kids raised by robots, and that was definitely fascinating. As far as dystopias and sci-fi go, this one was a bit different from what I usually read, but definitely interesting!


And that’s it for today! Thank you so much for reading, and I wish you all the best for 2021!

Six 2021 Releases I Am Waiting For

After establishing in my previous post that I am already far behind on my TBR, I thought I would make it worse and add even more books to it. After all, a new year is coming soon, new year means new books, and here are six books that are getting released in 2021 that I am really excited about!

Ravage the Dark by Tara Sim (sequel to Scavenge the Stars)

I received Scavenge the Stars in an Owlcrate box, and ended up reading it in April. It’s a genderbent retelling of the story of the Counte of Monte Cristo, and I completely fell in love with it. I loved the main characters, and the overall very queer cast. I’m also really curious to find out what happens next. Expected release: March 2021. (Also the cover is freakin gorgeous!!)

Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo (sequel to King of Scars)

It took me a few books to really get into the Grishaverse, but now I’m obsessed. King of Scars was my favourite so far, and I cannot wait to see what Leigh Bardugo has in store for us in the second book of the Nikolaï duology! Expected release: also March 2021. (And yes I also love the cover. This actually applies to every single book on this list.)

One Last Stop by Casey McQuinston

I was a bit late on the RWRB train but I loved the story nonetheless, and I’m now fully on board waiting for Casey McQuinston next release (pun intended, I know I’m very bad at puns, sorry I couldn’t help it) especially since it’s going to be SAPPHIC. It’s already everywhere on Bookstagram and I CANNOT WAIT. Expected release: June 2021.

Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers

As soon as I saw that this one would follow a 21 y/o girl with a PHD about to meet her wife, I was already sold. I’ve actually seen it around quite a few times on Bookstagram already, and I was a bit disappointed to see that it hadn’t been released yet. It’s a debut novel, and I’m really curious about it! Expected release: February 2021.

Aru Shah and the City of Gold by Roshani Chokshi (last book in the Pandava Quartet)

If you have been following me for a while, this won’t really come as a surprise. Especially now that I have read the third book, and it ENDS ON A GOTTVERDAMMT CLIFFHANGER and I cannot wait to see how things will unfold in the last book. Expected release: April 2021 (but I might wait for the paperback so that it matches the rest of my collection…)

I’m going to take this opportunity to once again encourage you to check out this series, and may I add: middle grade books are the best ❤

The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman

And last but not least, I have read every single Akemi Dawn Bowman book so far, and loved them wholeheartedly, so of course, I’m looking forward to whatever she has in store for us yet. This one has bits of sci-fi and afterlife if I am correct, and I know it will also deal deeply with human connections. It sounds fascinating and I’m really excited! Expected release: April 2021.


And that’s it for today! I hope you had a wonderful day, and cheers to a new reading year coming soon! Feel free to share your most anticipated releases for 2021, despite the crushing weight of my TBR, I am always looking for new books to read!

Five Sequels I Read This Year & Five I Failed To Pick Up

Finally Christmas mania has come to an end and I have time to write a blog post! The good thing about this year was that I managed to fit in more reading through the month of December, but since I was working every day for three weeks in a row I didn’t have time to write a single thing since my last Top 5 Wednesday. As the year is coming to an end, I have many ideas for wrap-up post, and the first one is finally coming to light today! I’m usually not very good at keeping up with series, and this is proof of it. Today I wanted to talk about five sequels I picked up this year and loved, and five sequels I’ve been raving about and highly anticipating, but didn’t pick up (yet) in the end.


I read: Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

Easily one of my most anticipated releases of the year as I am OBSESSED with Roshani Chokshi’s middle grade series dashed with South-Asian mythology and badass girls + found family trope. I’m so glad I finally took the time to pick this one up. Seriously, if you love PJO and haven’t read this one yet, what are you waiting for? It is top excellence and I cannot recommend it enough. The sass, the adventure, it as it all, and I can feel that the last instalment will have some great revelations in store for us. I cannot wait.

I didn’t read: Iron Heart by Nina Varela

How many times did I mention how excited about this one? I stopped counting. And I’m very disappointed that I didn’t pick it up. It’s sitting on my desk right across from me, and I can see it judging me.

I read: The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston

I originally read Geekerella back in 2017 and never thought it would get a sequel but here we are: it is now a trilogy! These are quick, fluffy reads, and I’m so glad that I finally picked up book 2 because I loved it just as much as the first one.

I didn’t read: The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi

Also very disappointed that I didn’t read this one because I am pretty sure that it was on my most anticipated releases for the year list. The Gilded Wolves had everything that I love, so seriously, I don’t know what I have been doing wrong. But all seriously, I’m really excited for this one, and fingers crossed I will be reading it soon.

I read: Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan

Kudos to me for finally reading these books, and mind you, I read all of them (gotta thank lockdown for this). The Percy Jackson were seriously my favourite as a child, and I don’t know what I had been waiting for. I loved Heroes of Olympus with all my heart, and even picked up the Magnus Chase series.

I didn’t read: The Camelot Betrayal by Kirsten White

Again, I have no excuse for this one, as it is also sitting on my bookshelves. I am pretty sure I had even preordered my copy, but what can I say, I got drowned in other books and here we are now. It’s still sitting high on my TBR, and hopefully I can read this one soon.

I read: Greystone Secrets: The Deceivers by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Greystone Secrets is a middle grade series I discovered last year and fell in love with. I was so glad when we received copies of the sequel at work, and loved the second book just as much. It’s a series that deals with the topic of parallel universes, which already had me sold, and it’s full of great plot twists and character development, I can only recommend it.

I didn’t read: Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell

Seriously. I am pretty sure this one already was on my list of books I should have picked up last year. I gifted it to my cousin last Christmas and she read it, but did I read my copy? Nope. Have I raved over and over again about how much I wanted to read it though? I sure have.

I read: Thisby Thestoop and the Wretched Scrattle by Zac Gorman

This one is full of dark humour, monsters, friendship and a pair of badass heroines. The sequel was just as good as the first book, and I am so glad that these books exist.

I didn’t read: Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

I started the year with the first two audiobooks for The Raven Cycle, and was really proud of myself for doing so. Despite the hype, I still really enjoyed those books, but somehow never picked up the third one. To be fair, I have a general idea of how it will all unravel through Tumblr and spoilers, but I still wanted to read the other two books, so hopefully that will happen soon(ish).


And that’s it for today! Thank you so much for reading, I hope you have a wonderful day, and feel free to share the best sequel(s) you have picked up this year!

Top 5 Books I Will Recommend To Every Parent For Christmas

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted on Goodreads. Feel free to join the group here. The theme for this week is “Gift Wrapped” and as you may or may not know, I work at a bookstore, where I am in charge of the kidlit/YA section. Of course, Christmas is our busiest time of the year, and thankfully we reopened just in time on December 1st. Today, I decided to share 5 books that I hope people who ask me for gift ideas for their kids and grandkids will buy!

 


~ The first two are great for children between 9 and 12, the other three are for 13 and up ~

The Strangeworlds Travel Agency by LD Lapinski

This is my most recent read! The French translation was published in September, and the ARC had been sitting on my shelf since this past summer. I finally took the time to read it, and I’m so glad that I did! Basically, it’s about a travel agency that allows you to travel to other universe. We follow Flick Hudson, a 12 years old girl who just moved to a new time, and stumbles upon an unusal travel agency and its teenage owner. She is excited to discover that she can see magic, and travel to other worlds… through different suitcases! But Five Lights, the city at the heart of this strange web of worlds, is in danger, and Flick soon realises that she has very little time left to save it! The world building is really nice, and so is the adventure. Bonus if you are looking for books with trans rep, that are not at all about being trans, then this one fits perfectly!

Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

I know this one is not actually a new release but I just read the third one in the series (which has actually not yet been released in France, I cannot wait!) so it’s fresh in my mind, and it seriously deserves all the hype it can get. The good thing about recommending middle grade books is that kids grow up, so the next year when their grandparents ask me about book recommendations they will be eleven instead of ten and I will think about another book… Anyway, these books have it all, mythology, adventure, humour and found family, what else would you need?

The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

I’m excited for this one to get new readers because I think it has a very important message. It has a very strong Handmaid Tale’s vibe, and will probably appeal to reader who are looking for a book with a deeper meaning, and with a feminist message.

Suggested Reading by David Connis

Trust me to love and recommend a book… about books. In Suggested Reading, we follow high school senior Clara Evans is horrified to find out that her school is banning books from the library, and decides to set up a banned books library in her locker. But of course, things will get out of hand, because what’s the fun otherwise? It’s a GREAT BOOK about friendships, that also lies on heavy topics [TW suicide, homophobic parents] and it will be my greatest pleasure to recommend it to parents who tell me that their kid really likes to read!

Where I End and You Begin by Preston Norton

I am so glad I decided to pick up this book when I did. Basically, the plot is as follows: Ezra has a crush on Imogene, and for some reason, her best friend Wynonna hates him. But suddenly, they start exchanging bodies at random. Of course, trouble ensues, and things get even more complicated when they have to put together a representation for Shakespeare’s Twenlfth Night. This is a beautiful book about gender identity, and finding your true self. It’s also a great friendship story and I had a lot of fun reading it!


And that’s it for today! Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed and found some great reading ideas, both for you and maybe to give as a present!

 

 

November Reading Wrap Up

It is surreal to think that finally, we have reached the last month of 2020. It feels like a minute ago, we were celebrating the new year. It feels like a century has passed. And once again, I have read more than 20 books this past month! (22 actually, not to brag!)

Young adult:

Magnus Chase and the Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Magnus Chase and the Ship of the Dead ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I started this month with the new lockdown here in France, and apparently lockdown is Rick Riordan time for me. I had been meaning to pick up this trilogy since FOREVER and I’m so glad I finally did. I loved it. I’m a huge fan of Norse mythology, and I really enjoyed seeing Riordan’s take on it. I also obviously enjoyed the Percabeth moments, but more importantly, I loved the new characters we met in those books! Magnus is a chaotic softie, and his narration was the absolute best. Alex and Samira were both super badass and I am so glad that these characters exist. Blitz and Hearth were the perfect blend of chaotic mess and angsty ball of rage, and were indeed a perfect addition to the cast. So anyway, if you haven’t read this trilogy yet, do yourself a favour and check it out!

Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This is another book that had been on my TBR for a while now, and I’m so glad I finally checked it out because it’s SO IMPORTANT. Juliet Takes a Breath takes place in the early 2000s, in an America that still lives in the aftermath of 9/11. We follow a teenage girl who is going to be apart from her girlfriend over the summer, as she pursues an internship with a white feminist hippie writer called Harlowe Brisbane. Through her summer, Juliet discovers more about intersectional feminism and the queer community. This book was extremely well made, and the writing was excellent.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire ⭐⭐⭐⭐
In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire ⭐⭐⭐⭐

After reading Every Heart a Doorway last month, I picked up the rest of Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children series and I have to admit I am now obsessed with these books. And yes I want Jack to be my girlfriend so bad. The series has everything I want and need in my life: tons of queer characters, and tons of magical realms, each character fitting with a different one. I knew I would love the concept of this book series, but seriously, I hadn’t realised it was everything i had dreamt for. I can’t wait for January and the next book to be released!

Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Among all the rest of things, I also decided that it was time for Christmas movies to make their grand comeback in my life, and ended up watching Dash & Lily on Netflix like, in one sitting last Sunday, and I enjoyed it a lot (despite the fact that the actors looked way to old to be playing teenagers, a disturbing quickly followed by the fact that they were roughly my age… Anyway.) After that, I decided to pick up the book. It has a very distinct early 2010s vibes (I don’t know, the characters really screamed John Green novel to me) but I really enjoyed it. It’s a cute, feel good novel, and if you are looking for a fluffy albeit slightly pretentious Christmas romcom then this just might be the thing for you!

That’s it, that’s the mood.

Fiction:

The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V. E. Schwab ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This book was everything I was waiting for when it came to 2020 and it was really good, but did not end up becoming a favourite! It is however very beautifully written, and I couldn’t help but fall in love with the characters. (I talk about it over here.)

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Okay so I think this one fits into YA but it didn’t really feel like YA to me? Also I didn’t want to leave Addie Larue alone in the fiction section. I had heard MANY great things about this book before its release, so I had preordered a copy on my e-reader, and picked it up almost immediately, and boy was it worth it. The things that struck me the most was probably how stunning the writing was. Seriously, it’s beautiful. It’s smart, and it’s everything really.

Of course I had to share a quote. As for the concept, I was all in for the Romeo and Juliet retelling, and seriously got more than I bargained for. The main character are fully fleshed and fascinating (much more so than Shakespeare’s characters if I may). The intrigue really kept me on the edge until the end. The only thing that disturbed me was the gory detailed description of people tearing out their own throats. Aside from that, I am completely smitten with this book, and I cannot wait for the sequel! (A bit disappointed that this was not a standalone to be honest, because I’m not really good at picking up sequels, but even the cliffhanger ending was excellent so what can I say!)

Manga/Graphic novels:

À mains nues by Leila Slimani and Clément Oubrerie ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This one is a beautiful graphic novel about one of the first women who became a surgeon in the beginning of the 20th century.

Our Precious Conversations by Robico vol.4 ⭐⭐⭐

Ceux qui restent (Those Who Stay/translated from Spanish) by Josep Busquet and Alex Xöul ⭐⭐⭐⭐

It’s a fascinating story about the parents who stay behind when their children run off to another world with magical creatures. Think about all of the therapy that Nancy’s parents would have needed in Every Heart a Doorway for example. It was a very moving graphic novel, I absolutely loved the concept!

Daughters of Ys by M.J. Anderson and Jo Rioux ⭐⭐⭐

I have to say I was really looking forward to reading this one, which is based on an old Breton folklore tale, but I was a bit disappointed. Maybe I had set up my expectations top high? Sure, I enjoyed it, but I felt like I was waiting for more, and it just didn’t happen.

Vent lointain (Le printemps suivant vol.1) by Margaux Motin ⭐⭐⭐

Wonder Woman vol.6: Bones by Brian Azzarello ⭐⭐⭐

Livres en français:

Plus d’une langue de Barbara Cassin ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Les roses fauves de Carole Martinez ⭐⭐⭐⭐
L’enfant des tempêtes de Mélanie Guyard ⭐⭐
N’aie pas peur. Jamais. de Baptiste Beaulieu ⭐⭐⭐⭐
La plus que vive de Christian Bobin ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Les impatientes de Djiali Amadou Amal ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

If I can, I will try and make one more reading update post in French by the end of the year, but at this point I honestly don’t know what I’m doing so we will see.