Rentrée Littéraire 2019

Pour la rentrée littéraire, j’ai emporté huit livres à lire pendant les vacances. Le premier était un roman jeunesse, Toxic Girls de Kit Frick, traduit de l’anglais (publication en VO en 2018). C’est un roman basé sur un scénario avant/après, qui suit Ellory, une jeune fille de 17 ans qui est en terminale. Il lui est arrivé l’année précédente un événement traumatique, et depuis, elle n’est plus en contact avec son groupe d’amies proches. Elle a été exclue de son lycée pendant deux mois, et plus personnes ne lui parle. Petit à petit, le lecteur découvre ce qu’il s’est passé, et comment Ellory en est arrivée là. Honnêtement, ce livre n’apporte rien de neuf à la scène Young Adult. Cependant, c’est tout de même une bonne réflexion sur la toxicité, que ce soit dans les relations amicales ou amoureuses. Je lui ai mis une note de 3/5. Sortie le 21 août. (Full review in English)

Le deuxième est traduit de l’Espagnol, et c’est sans doute mon coup de cœur de la rentrée littéraire. Publié pour la première fois en 2017, l’édition française sort le 21 août. Le titre: De l’autre côté, la vie volée d’Aroa Moreno Duran. L’histoire se passe en Allemagne pendant la guerre froide. Le personnage principal, Katia, est issue d’une famille espagnole ayant fui le régime franquiste pour l’Allemagne. La famille se retrouve coincée à Berlin Est, tandis que Katia, qui est tombée amoureuse d’un jeune homme originaire d’Allemagne de l’Ouest, décide de s’enfuir au péril de sa vie. On suit sa vie avant et après la fuite, la difficulté à s’adapter, sa douloureuse relation avec sa famille. C’est un roman absolument magnifique que je ne peux que vous conseiller.

Ma troisième lecture est le nouveau roman d’Abdourahman Waberi, Pourquoi tu marches quand tu danses? Sous la forme d’une lettre qu’un père adresse à sa fille, le lecteur suit l’histoire d’un homme depuis son enfance difficile à Djibouti, jusqu’à l’âge adulte, en passant par la rencontre avec sa future épouse, originaire d’Italie, et leur installation en France. Mon deuxième coup de cœur de la rentrée littéraire, c’est un roman magnifique et très émouvant. Il sort également le 21 août.

Dans ma pile de lectures, j’avais également choisi le nouveau livre d’Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt, Journal d’un amour perdu. Ecrit sur une durée de deux ans, il s’agit du journal tenu par l’auteur à partir du décès de sa mère. Il y est question de deuil et d’amour filial. C’est un très beau récit. J’ai réalisé alors que le seul livre de lui que j’avais lu jusque là était La nuit de Valognes (que j’avais absolument adoré !), et j’ai du coup immédiatement enchaîné cette lecture avec celle d’Oscar et la dame rose pour remédier au problème : encore un livre qui m’a fait chaud au cœur. Et en ce qui concerne Journal d’un amour perdu c’est une lecture magnifique, qui m’a fait réfléchir et écraser quelques larmes. L’auteur s’y livre à cœur ouvert, et c’est à mon sens un cadeau magnifique pour ses lecteurs. Sortie le 4 septembre.

Mon cinquième choix était un autre livre qui m’a extrêmement marqué. Il prend la forme d’une enquête, dont les faits remontent presque à un siècle. Il s’agit de l’ouvrage Soir de fête coécrit par Mathieu Deslandes et Zineb Dryef. Lorsque Mathieu Deslandes découvre que son grand-père a été conçu lors d’un viol à une fête de village au cours de l’été 1922, il décide d’en apprendre plus sur les événements, et s’aperçoit que deux autres enfants sont nés au même moment, dans les mêmes circonstances. Nous sommes en 2017, et sa compagne Zineb Dryef enquête sur la culture du viol, à l’issue de l’affaire Weinstein. Entre réflexions, suppositions et interviews, Soir de fête est un livre difficile à oublier. Sortie le 28 août.

J’ai également lu A la demande d’un tiers de Mathilde Forget. Dans ce livre, on explore la relation entre deux soeurs, avant et après le suicide de leur mère lorsqu’elles étaient enfants. On explore ce qui a poussé l’une à envoyer l’autre en hopital psychatrique, tandis que la narratice se recherche elle même, et cherche à en apprendre plus sur sa mère. C’est un texte très beau et troublant. Sortie le 21 août.

Et enfin, un autre coup de coeur : La calanque de l’aviateur, le deuxième roman d’Annabelle Combe qui parait le 22 août aux Editions Héloïse d’Ormesson. Après le décès de son père, personnage principal, Leena, s’installe dans un petit Village au fond du Cotentin pour y ouvrir une librairie. C’est un texte très poétique, une histoire de famille pleine de secrets mais aussi de traumatisme, et enfin de développement personnel.

Le dernier des huit livres que j’avais pris pour l’été est celui d’Emmanuelle Pirotte, D’innombrables soleils, que je n’ai pas encore eu le temps de lire. Affaire à suivre, donc. (Sortie le 22 août). Sinon il y en a encore une ribambelle que j’ai hâte de découvrir, avec notamment le nouveau livre d’Akira Mizubayashi qui sort la semaine prochaine chez Gallimard, Âme brisée. Comme Un Amour De Mille Ans que je viens de lire, il parle de musique. Cette fois-ci l’histoire se déroule à Tokyo en 1938, et suit un groupe de musicians sino-japonais. Très franchement, je pense que ce livre va me faire pleurer, mais j’ai hâte.

Enfin, j’ai aussi eu le temps de lire le nouveau livre d’Amelie Nothomb, sorti le 22 août chez Albin Michel. Le titre : Soif. Le sujet : la passion du Christ. C’est le premier livre d’elle que je lis (oui, je sais) et pour être honnête, je ne sais pas trop quoi en penser… Ce n’était pas vraiment ce à quoi je m’attendais. C’est bien écrit, mais dans l’ensemble, le livre l’a laissée assez indifférente.

Mais à part ce dernier bémol, je suis vraiment contente de mes lectures comme de mes découvertes en ce début de rentrée littéraire ! Avec un peu de chances, je vais continuer sur cette lancée sans me laisser submerger par toutes ces nouvelles publications qui m’appellent !

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Les loyautés / Les gratitudes : Double chronique

Le gamin de douze ans qui devient alcoolique, la jeune prof de sciences traumatisée par le fait que son père l’a battue jusqu’au jour de sa mort, et la mère de famille qui découvre que son mari est un troll haineux sur Internet. Tels sont les personnages attachants du roman Les loyautés de Delphine de Vigan, paru en 2018.

Le suivant, Les gratitudes, paru il y a quelques mois seulement, se déroule en maison de retraite, et suit une vieille dame sur le déclin à travers le regard de son orthophoniste et de sa fille adoptive. En même temps qu’il lui faut accepter une difficile réalité — elle a de plus en plus de mal à parler — elle souhaite avant qu’il ne soit trop tard retrouver les gens qui l’ont cachée pendant la guerre, alors qu’elle était enfant.

Cela fait un certain temps que je voulais lire un livre de Delphine de Vigan, et ce encore plus depuis que je travaille à la librairie. De plus, je l’ai vue lors d’une conférences du salon du livre, au mois de mars, où elle parlait justement de ces deux livres, ce qui m’avait encore plus donné envie de les découvrir.

Et bien on peut dire que je n’ai pas été déçue. J’en ai lu un jeudi, et l’autre vendredi. Le premier m’a brisé le cœur, et le deuxième m’a beaucoup émue. Ce sont deux lectures magnifiques, qui font réfléchir sur les liens que nous pouvons tisser avec nos proches, familles, amis, voisins et autres. Ce sont deux livres qui nous interrogent sur les valeurs qui nous tiennent à cœur. Je ne peux que les recommander.

C’est donc avec grand plaisir que j’ai enfin découvert Delphine de Vigan. Et c’est avec certitude que je vous dit que je vais chercher à tout prix à lire ses autres ouvrages — j’ai déjà No et Moi sur mes étagères. Son style d’écriture me plait beaucoup, de même que les sujets qu’elle aborde : si réels, à la fois importants et émouvants. Je suis donc absolument ravie par ces deux lectures.

Down The TBR Hole

I was blog hopping when I stumbled across a “Down the TBR Hole” post on Fadwa’s blog @ Word Wonders and I realised that I too needed to do some cleaning up on my never-ending TBR. As I right now start this blog post, it has exactly 797 books on it. Now let’s be real, I’m never going to read all of that. Some of them were added to this black hole of a list back in 2013 or 2014, and there’s a huge chance that I don’t even want to read them anymore. So I decided to give this a go!

In addition to that, I was running out of inspiration for new blog posts, so this was the perfect opportunity to do something a little different!

This was created by Lia, formerly @ Lost in a Story.

The Rules:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date Added.
  • Take the first 5 to 10 books (I’ve picked 10)
  • Read the synopsis of the book
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

So here we go, starting from some of the oldest books on my TBR!

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1. No et Moi by Delphine de Vigan

The first book on my list is a book in French. It’s a story about two teenage girls, one is very smart, and the other one is homeless. I heard many great things about it. I’m actually reading another book by this author right now, and it reminded me of how much I actually wanted to read it.

IT STAYS. (And hopefully, I’ll be reading this in the next few months)

2. Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

This one is the story of a nice zombie who falls in love with a human girl. I’m pretty sure I added it to my TBR when the movie was released. I don’t really want to read it anymore. YA has evolved a lot since 2012, and there are so many books that I want to read more than this one… I don’t even like zombies.

IT GOES.

3. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

This one is a rather well-known book. It’s about two sisters, one of them has leukemia, and the other one was conceived as a bone marrow match for her sister. I heard many great things about this one, and I have to admit that I want to read it to make up my own opinion on it.

IT STAYS.

4. The Five Stages of Falling in Love by Rachel Higginson

I can’t remember for the life of me adding this book to my TBR list. According to Goodreads, it’s a story about grief, and accepting the fact that you may fall in love again. As I had forgotten the existence of this book until five minutes ago, I am pretty sure that I will never get around to reading it.

IT GOES.

5. Saving Juliet by Suzanne Selfors

This one is a retelling of Romeo & Juliet with a modern twist. I have a soft spot for retellings, and I’m always looking for more to read and discover. I think this could be something that I could enjoy, and it seems to have a decent rating. At least, I want to give it a go.

IT STAYS.

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6. P. S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern

According to Goodreads, P.S. I Love You is “a novel about holding on, letting go, and learning to love again”. I haven’t read any of Cecelia Ahern books, although I did have the opportunity, and I’m pretty sure that I will never get around to reading this one. I’d rather read YA Fantasy or Literary Fiction to be honest.

IT GOES.

7. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

I have a general idea of what this book is about. It’s the story of a girl and a boy, a man and a woman who keep meeting through time, but he is not following the same timeline. It’s something that I definitely want to read, as I am generally a huge fan of time travel stories. And yes, it appears to have been on my TBR for four years or so. But I will definitely read it one day.

IT STAYS.

8. The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

This one is a classic, and according to Goodreads “a poignant tale of love and betrayal”. I am always trying to read more classics, and this one seems to be something that I could enjoy.

IT STAYS.

9. Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

A story about heartbreak, falling in love and falling out of love from what I gather. I thought that I really wanted to read this book, but if I take to seconds just to think about it, I don’t really have any interest in it anymore. And let’s face it, it has been on my TBR shelf for four years without moving an inch, so I’m probably never going to even purchase it at this rate.

IT GOES.

10. The Green Knight by Iris Murdoch

This one is a medieval story with bits of murder and fantasy. I translated some texts by Iris Murdoch in class back when I started uni, which is how I came across this book, but I have lost all interest by now.

IT GOES.

VERDICT: I’m keeping 5/10.


As it turns out, I had a lot of fun doing this. It’s also really satisfying to see my TBR growing slightly smaller, I have to admit. So I think that I will do this again soon!

I Finally Read Another Murakami Book And It Inspired Me

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Title: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
Author: Haruki Murakami
Release: 2007
Genre: Non Fiction, Memoir
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This book was recommended to me by a customer at the bookshop where I work. As soon as she told me what it was about, I knew that I had to read this book, and I decided to give Murakami a second chance after my rather underwhelming experience with Norwegian Wood last summer (see my review). And she was right. I had the BEST time reading What I Talk About When I Talk About Running even though I am not a runner myself. It actually made me want to give it a try once again. I also want to check out more of Murakami’s work now, probably Kafka on the Shore since I heard many great things about it (and also, I’ve already acquired it on my kindle because I felt like I was on a roll).

Basically, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running is a book about the author’s love for running. In several essay-like chapters, he talks about how he practices in order to run marathons and participate in triathlons. He also compares running and writing, his two passions, in terms of how both are a long term practice. And this really spoke to me on so many levels for some reason. Reading this book was a truly inspiring experience.

IT ALSO MADE ME FEEL SO MANY THINGS! Reading Murakami’s book What I Talk About When I Talk About Running made me want to reread some classics such as The Great Gatsby or Great Expectations, or even Tess of the d’Ubervilles, and fully appreciate them because they are very clever observations of our society. I fell now that I wasn’t ready to really enjoy them when I first read them. And even though I probably won’t ever get the chance to reread them (at least not any time soon, as I mostly try to read new releases for work), it feels like a few words from Murakami about The Great Gatsby gave me a better understanding of classics in general.

So yes, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running is a really good book, and I devoured it. I have also now decided that I too, should dedicate my life to running and writing. And to overall becoming a better person. Of course it happens every so often that books make me want to do things with my life like trying out archery or some other random thing. Mostly, it’s also traveling, which I love doing. Sometimes, it’s something that has nothing to do with anything I have ever done or aspired to be. But this time, it’s something that is truly, absolutely in phase with who I am. It speaks to me. I do love writing, and have loved it since I learnt how to read. And I do want to leave a healthy life. So it just makes sense. And this is probably why this book left such a deep impact on me.

But that’s not all. Murakami’s style is excellent, and he is also a very humble narrator, which made for an even better reading experience. So yes, you should read this book. Read it right now, it might change your life.

See All The Stars: My Review

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I have been reading a lot of Adult/Literary Fiction for work these days with what of all the end-of-August expected releases which is why I don’t have much YA to talk about HOWEVER the French edition of See All The Stars by Kit Frick is about to be released as well, and I was lucky enough to get an ARC, so of course I was going to talk about it here!

And by the way yes, the French publisher decided to do that thing where they changed the title to another title in English, for some reason it happens a lot with French YA books, I don’t get it but here we go again.

Title: See All The Stars
Author: Kit Frick
Original release: 2018
Genre: YA Contemporary
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐

The story:

See All The Stars is the story of Ellory before and after a big event that broke the balance of her group of friends. In the before, she is happy with her “solar system” friends, and her boyfriend. After, she is alone, and just came back to school after a two month exclusion. Nobody talks to her, everybody judges her, and the reader doesn’t know why. Chapter after chapter, the past and present unveil themselves to show what happens, and the repercussions.

My opinion:

While I did like Ellory as a character for the most part, I was really disturbed at the toxicity of her friendship with Ret. I know that it’s kind of the point of the story, to point out toxic relationships. And the fact that people can do wrong while they are only trying their best to be right. But it made me uncomfortable. Probably because of the fact that it depicted rather accurately some of the relationships that I had when I was in high school actually. But I wanted to start with this: if toxic friendships and relationships in general are something that trigger you, then you might want to stay away from this one. (And yes,  the French title being Toxic Girls I should’ve known I had it coming.)

On to the second point. This book is labeled as a mystery/thriller because yes, throughout the story, the reader is waiting for the big reveal, and trying to guess what exactly happen between the Then and the Now. But aside from the Then/Now setup, I didn’t really feel like I was reading a thriller, but rather a YA contemporary with an overused trope. I swear I’ve been reading so many Then/Now books lately, and I usually really enjoy them, but I feel like this one let me down.

Maybe it just wasn’t the thing for me? It felt a little bit like something was lacking, although I’m not sure I can pinpoint what. I do like complex characters, but I felt like Jenni, Ellory, Ret and Bex were mostly dislikable and TOXIC. And the fact that I didn’t know what had happen didn’t help me sympathize with the characters. And at the same time, it was super realistic, and with some deeply flawed and human characters, which is something that I usually appreciate. And yet I kept feeling that something was missing. I can only guess as to what it was. Sometimes I feel like I am too European to fully enjoy American high school novels, and maybe that was the case here. Whatever it was in the end, I wasn’t convinced entirely.

But there are some things that I liked though! And for starters, the fact that I didn’t manage to piece together what the big event that changed Ellory’s life forever was. I really had no idea or theory whatsoever throughout the book, which made for an interesting reading experience. And yes, I should have seen it coming. I’m glad I didn’t piece it together sooner, and at the same time, I was a little bit disappointed by the ending. It didn’t feel like all was resolved, and I felt like the whole TOXICITY of the book was not dealt with in the end, which frustrated me greatly.

But I was supposed to talk about the things that I liked about this book. Apart from the fact that I enjoyed how it kept the mystery part until the end, at least as far as I am concerned, I really liked that it portrayed flawed characters. I mentioned before that it was not enough for me to really LOVE the book, but I still appreciated it. While all the alcohol drinking and drugs doing seemed a tad unrealistic when it comes to teenagers (I mean yes, drinking at parties, but showing up at school completely wasted is on a whole other level), I still appreciated the fact that the book managed to portray realistic characters. I could recognize some of my high school experiences. (Thank heavens my friends were better than Ellory’s though!)

All in all, I had mixed feelings about this book. I wanted to like it so badly, but alas, some things were amiss. I enjoyed the fact that it deals with important topics such as coming of age and deciding things that will affect your entire future, and of course, the whole discussing of toxing relationships. However, it did feel like most of the issues were not resolved by the end of the story.

As Ellory and Robert Frost would say, two roads diverged in a wood and I…

Well I’m still not sure what to make of this book.

So if you have read it, please feel free to share your thoughts because I would LOVE TO DISCUSS it!

Top 5 Wednesday: Retellings

Top Five Wednesday is a weekly meme created by Lainey @GingerReadsLainey and she has passed down the torch to Sam @ThoughtsOnTomes. For more information and for future topics you can check out the goodreads group.

For this summer, there are no weekly themes, but this week I wanted to talk about retellings, since it’s been a while since I did an actual recommendation post about them! So without further ado, here are five of my favourite retellings…


Geekerella by Ashley Poston
a Cinderella retelling

Geekerella is both a Cinderella retelling and an ode to pop culture and conventions. It’s full of (fictional) references to nerd culture, which made me completely fall in love with this book. That and the fact that I may or may not be obsessed with Cinderella retelling. It was a fun, light book, with an amazing MC as well as adorable love interest, so if you’re into YA contemporaries that may or may not be predictable while being super enjoyable then this is the thing for you! (Full review)

The Song of Achilles by Madeleine Miller
a retelling of the Trojan war

This book was so beautiful, it’s one I will never forget. It’s mostly based on the Illiad, and tells the story of Patroclus and Achilles from their childhood to their undoing during the Trojan War. This book is truly a masterpiece. (Full review)

Lambs Can Always Become Lions by Charlotte Anne Hamilton
a Robin Hood retelling

Lambs Can Always Become Lions was the Robin Hood retelling I didn’t know I had been waiting for, and oh boy was it worth it. It features the best crew of characters, and I absolutely loved both Robin and Marian. I guess I have a weak spot for Robin Hood-like adventures, and the fact that on top of that, this one is a F/F romance? 👏 I 👏 am 👏 sold 👏 (Full review)

Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter
a Russian mythology retelling

Through the years, I am trying to acquire more and more knowledge when it comes to Russian and Norse mythology — and this book was such a good surprise when it came to it. It takes old tales if Baba Yaga and Vassilissa the beautiful, and spins then into a modern, dark contemporary tale. This book enchanted me. (Full review)

Izzy + Tristan by Shannon Dunlap
a Tristan & Iseult retelling

One of my most recent reads. Picture this: a modern retelling of the ancient story of Tristan and Iseult featuring a chess loving teenager as well as sent in the midst of some protests against police brutality. This book surprised me in many ways, and I would definitely recommend it! (Full review)


And that’s it for this week everybody! Please feel free to recommend me some of your favourite retellings as well!

July Wrap Up

With my job at the bookstore, I am bound to read more and more books in French, so these monthly wrap up posts might change a little bit. However, I still love YA, and reading in English, so don’t give up on me just yet!

Books I’ve been reading:

Love, Life and the List by Kasie West ⭐⭐⭐⭐
A sweet summer romance/best friends to lovers romance. Love, Life and the List is a story about growing up and facing your fears. It’s my second Kasie West novel, and I’m so glad I finally got around to reading it! (Full review)

See All the Stars by Kit Frick ⭐⭐⭐
This book was way more complex than I thought it would be. It revolves around a before/after concept and the reader knows that something terrible has happened but it takes us to the very end to grasp exactly the extent of the problem. It’s nothing fantastically new, but overall it was a great novel about growing up, and toxic friendships. Hopefully I get to write a full review of that one soon.

Miss Marvel vol.1 ⭐⭐⭐⭐
A superhero comic about a hijabi teenage girl living in America? I am here for it! I can’t wait to pick up the sequel for that one.

Izzy + Tristan by Shannon Dunlap ⭐⭐⭐⭐
A wonderful modern retelling of the as-old-as-time tale of Tristan and Iseult. This one really took me by surprise in the best possible ways, and although it kept breaking my heart time after time, I would definitely recommend it. (Full review)

Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The amazing sequel to Passenger! It’s a historical fiction and time travel story using the concept of secret passages through time and space that only selected families can use, and the story of a quest to find the unique astrolabe that can control them, and could mean the change of the world as we know it. I absolutely loved this duology. (Full review)

French books:

Except for the first one on this list, these are all 2019 releases, or books that are about to be released, so (correct me if I am wrong !) they have not been translated yet.

Un amour de mille ans d’Akira Mizubayashi ⭐⭐⭐
A beautiful story about love, growing old together, and music.

La vie rêvée des chaussettes orphelines de Marie Vareille ⭐⭐⭐⭐
A very moving story about sisterhood and grief (full review in French).

Pourquoi tu danses quand tu marches? d’Abdourahman Waberi ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The coming of age story of a boy who didn’t fit in. It’s told by a father to his daughter. It’s extremely beautiful and moving, and well written. Hopefully I’ll write a full review of that one (in French). To be released in August.

A la demande d’un tiers de Mathilde Forget ⭐⭐⭐⭐
A heartbreaking tale about sisters and family, trauma and mental illness. To be released in August.

La plus belle des marchandises de Jean-Claude Grumberg ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The heartbreakingly beautiful story of a poor woman who adopts a child during WWII. It’s extremely witty and well written, making the reader think about the horrors that mankind is capable of producing. This one, for sure, is a book I won’t be able to forget.

Currently reading:
Rainbow Valley by L. M. Montgormery
La hija del comunista (The daughter of the communist) by Aroa Moreno Duran

Kdrama I’ve Been Watching:
Suspicious Partner ✨ Descendants Of the Sun ✨ School 2017

TV Shows:
Druck ✨ The 100 ✨ Stranger Things

Movies:
Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again ✨ The Parent Trap


Goodreads Challenge: 55/70 (I read 10 books this month)
Audiobook Challenge: 6 books (currently reading 1)
YARC: 10 books (check out my last post for a full update)