Il était temps : les livres que j’ai lus pour la rentrée littéraire

Oui il était temps que j’en parle, d’autant plus qu’on arrive à une douzaine de romans donc c’est déjà pas mal à condenser en un seul article. J’étais partie un peu déçue sur cette rentrée littéraire, mais finalement j’ai réussi à y trouver mon compte, et voici sans attendre un récap de mes lectures !

_ Une piscine dans le désert de Diane Mazloum (JC Lattès). L’histoire se déroule entre les montagnes et le désert, au Liban. Fausta essaie d’avoir un enfant, et s’est éloignée du bruit de Beyrouth pour séjourner chez son oncle dans un village entouré de montagnes. Sur un coup de tête, elle fait construire une piscine sur le terrain des voisins. Léo doit alors quitter le Canada pour résoudre cette affaire, et prouver à son père qu’il est digne de confiance. À la frontière de trois pays en guerre, nos deux personnages se croisent et se cherchent. Dans l’ensemble, j’ai trouvé le livre un peu lent, mais l’écriture très belle. (3/5 ⭐)

_ Mémoire de soie d’Adrien Borne (JC Lattès). Dans celui-ci, on navigue entre l’épidémie de grippe espagnole qui a succédé à la première guerre mondiale, et l’année 1936 où un jeune homme part au service militaire. Mais lorsqu’il ouvre son livret de famille devant l’officier en charge, le nom de son père n’est pas celui qu’il croyait… Les secrets de famille si bien gardés s’apprêtent alors à être dévoilés. Une très belle fresque historique à l’écriture poignante ! (3/5 ⭐)

_ Liv Maria de Julia Kerninon (L’Iconoclaste). A nouveau, il va être question de secrets de famille. On y suit une jeune femme appelée Liv Maria à travers une grande partie de sa vie. Elle va être amenée à voyager, habitera un moment à Berlin Ouest, construira sa vie en Amérique du Sud, et plus tard en Irlande, toujours mystérieuse, sans cesse elle fuit son passé, et recherche l’indépendance… (3/5 ⭐)

_ Fille de Camille Laurens (Gallimard). C’est l’histoire d’une femme, Laurence, depuis son enfance dans les années 60, jusqu’à la maternité. Toute sa vie, elle a été marquée par le fait que son père voulait un garçon. En passant par le sexisme ordinaire et les violences obstétricales, c’est un livre qui finalement nous fait réfléchir à la condition des femmes ces soixante dernières années. J’ai eu un peu de mal au début, car franchement la situation me faisait mal au cœur, mais j’ai au final beaucoup aimé la relation que Laurence a construit avec sa fille vers la fin du roman. (3/5 ⭐)

_ Comme un empire dans un empire d’Alice Zeniter (Flammarion). Celui-là aussi je l’attendais avec impatience, car j’avais vu d’excellentes critiques dessus cet été. Le retours sur son précédent livre étaient tout aussi bonnes, donc j’étais assez curieuse. On y suit deux personnages dont les vies vont se croiser à l’hiver de 2019 : L, une hackeuse dont le compagnon vient d’être arrêté, et Antoine, qui est assistant parlementaire auprès de l’un des derniers députés du PS. C’est un roman très bien fait sur le désabusement vis-à-vis de notre situation politique. J’ai été un peu déçue par la fin, mais cela n’empêche pas que d’une part le concept était une super idée, et d’autre part, le livre m’a vraiment plu dans l’ensemble. (4/5 ⭐)

_ Le souffleur de nuages de Nadine Monfils (Fleuve Editions). C’est l’histoire d’un chauffeur de taxi et de la vieille dame qu’il emmène sur les routes à la recherche des lieux et des personnes qui ont marqué son passé. C’est certes un livre sans grande prétention, mais surtout une histoire très touchante qui vous réchauffera le cœur : à lire et à offrir ! (3/5 ⭐)

_ Noces de jasmin de Hella Feki (JC Lattès). L’intrigue se déroule à Tunis, en janvier 2011. Mehdi est journaliste, et vient de se faire arrêter à cause d’un article qu’il a posté sur son blog. Au fond de sa cellule, il tourne en rond, tandis qu’au dehors la population gronde. Essia, qu’il a rencontré il y a peu, s’inquiète de sa disparition, et prend la route de Sfax, leur ville d’origine, à la recherche d’une explication, tandis que son père, pharmacien, se remémore l’indépendance et essaie à sa façon de participer au mouvement. Un premier roman magnifique sur la révolution tunisienne, et gros coup de cœur en ce qui me concerne. (5/5 ⭐)

_ Du côté des Indiens d’Isabelle Carré (Grasset). J’avais entendu beaucoup de bien du premier roman d’Isabelle Carré, et j’étais donc curieuse de découvrir celui-ci, mais finalement j’ai été déçue. D’abord, on y retrouve une thématique que je trouve sans intérêt : les maris qui trompent leur femme. Thanks, but no thanks. Ensuite, l’histoire dans l’ensemble est rejouée quatre fois selon les perspectives de quatre personnages différents, et je n’ai tout bonnement pas saisi l’intérêt. Un point positif cependant lorsque Murielle (la voisine du dessus) témoigne du fait qu’elle a été abusée pendant un tournage, et met en avant les relations toxiques qui peuvent avoir lieu dans le monde du cinéma. C’était un très bon passage, mais à part ça je n’ai pas accroché à ce livre. (2/5 ⭐)

_ Car je ne lis pas que des livres originaux, j’ai aussi lu Les aérostats d’Amélie Nothomb (Albin Michel). L’intrigue se déroule à Bruxelles. On y suit cette fois-ci une jeune étudiante en philologie de 19 ans qui se retrouve à donner des cours particuliers de français à un jeune lycéen, et avec des méthodes un peu particulières, elle va finir par lui faire aimer la lecture, d’une manière qui va changer sa vie. Bien que j’ai trouvé ses goûts en matière de lecture un peu snobs, c’est un chouette livre pour les gens qui aiment lire, qui en plus se lit tout seul ! (4/5 ⭐)

_ En poche, j’ai enfin lu Né d’aucune femme de Frank Bouysse dont j’avais entendu tellement de bien. C’est vrai que je savais que ce livre allait être un roman noir. On est bien prévenus, je le reconnais. Mais je ne m’attendais pas à ce que les personnages présentés soient aussi tordus, et d’une certaine manière, c’était fascinant. On y suit, principalement à travers ses journaux, l’histoire de Rose qui a 14 ans a été vendue au propriétaire d’une forge. Elle va d’abord se retrouver à s’occuper de la cuisine et du ménage, jusqu’à ce que le plan machiavélique de cette riche famille soit mis à jour dans toute son horreur… Je ne vous en dis pas plus, si ce n’est qu’on alterne aussi avec le point de vue de plusieurs personnages, et que le livre est un peu violent, mais aussi très bien fait ! (4/5 ⭐)

Et pour finir, deux romans traduits de l’anglais,

_ L’incontournable Nickel Boys de Colson Whithead (Albin Michel). Celui-ci, c’est mon gros coup de cœur. L’intrigue se déroule aux Etats-Unis dans les années 60. On y suit Elwood, un jeune homme à l’avenir brillant, militant pour ses droits à l’image de Martin Luther King qui sur un malentendu, est accusé de vol et se retrouve envoyé dans un institut de correction : la Nickel Academy, qui s’avère être un lieu cauchemardesque, où les pensionnaire sont soumis à des conditions inhumaines. A cela s’ajoute une couche de ségrégation et de racisme. Ce roman, vous n’êtes pas près de l’oublier, mais il est absolument nécessaire. (5/5 ⭐)

_ Et enfin le roman de science-fiction Mother Code de Carole Stivers, qui paraîtra chez Bragelonne fin octobre. Dans un monde ravagé par une épidémie, on suit une équipe de chercheurs qui pour préserver l’espèce humaine, va créer des robots-mères, qui seront capables d’élever des enfants (d’où le concept de “code-mère”). J’avais trouvé le concept assez cool, mais j’ai eu du mal à m’attacher aux personnages, et finalement j’ai eu l’impression d’avoir attendu pendant tout le livre que l’intrigue décolle, sans que cela n’arrive jamais. J’attends un peu de voir les retours à la parution du coup ! (3/5 ⭐)

Et je pense que ça suffit pour aujourd’hui ! Mais la liste de ceux que j’ai envie de lire est bien sûr sans fin, et si tout se passe bien, je pourrais refaire un bilan courant octobre en ajoutant quelques nouveaux coups de cœur de cette rentrée littéraire (qui reste un concept absurde, mais elle s’appelle comme ça donc j’utilise le terme…) En matière de BD j’ai aussi pris le temps de lire Radium Girls de Cy. et Anaïs Nin, Sur la mer des mensonges de Léonie Bischoff, ainsi que le volume 2 de Charlotte Impératrice qui doit il me semble dater du mois de juin, et je les recommande tous les trois ! J’ai aussi eu la chance de pouvoir mettre la main sur l’essai de Pauline Harmange Moi les hommes, je les déteste que j’ai trouvé très intéressant !

Top 5 Wednesday: Favourite Bisexual Characters

First of all, I can’t believe it’s already September 23rd. But let’s not dwell on it, and move on to the topic of this post.

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted on Goodreads. It’s had its ups and down, but now it’s back with new topics! Feel free to join the group here. The theme for this week is favourite bi characters, so of course I had to do it. At this point, T5W is the only thing that is keeping my blog afloat, so I couldn’t miss the opportunity.

 


I cannot start my list without mentioning Leah from Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli. I felt so SEEN while reading this book, and I will always cherish it. I absolutely love Leah with all of my heart, and I am so glad that I have this book in my life.

I’m going to keep up with really obvious choices for my second pick and go with none other than Alex from Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuinston, the prime example of a disaster bi. Very relatable in both his choices of crushes and bad decisions. Also, needs to be protected. I don’t know why it took me so long to pick up this book, it was honestly a treat.

For my third pick I’m going with another character from a book I read not too long ago, and have become obsessed with: I’m talking about Mina from Starling Days by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan.

“On their first date, she told him that she was bisexual,
vegetarian and on meds.”

This quote, seriously. The moment I read it I knew that I was going to be with obsessed with this book, and that there was no going back. I felt so seen, and it came from places I didn’t expect. I’m pretty sure I needed this book, and I’m so grateful that I got to read it.

Then we have Frances from Radio Silence by Alice Oseman, who tries to combine her A+ grade and her passion for drawing in her daily life. She studies well, plans on going to a good university, but also spends a lot of time on tumblr, which is seriously an excellent representation of me in high school. On top of that, it has plenty of pop culture reference that felt relevant to my high school experience, and the other main character of the book, Aled, is asexual. Radio Silence is a story about friendship, and finding your true self, and it’s absolutely PRECIOUS.

And finally, I needed one more disaster bi to complete this list, and I picked Fin from the Aurora Cycle by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman. It’s not easy to pick up a favourite character from this series, but I think I have a soft spot for Finian, mostly because he is absolutely hilarious, but also because he is very honest with himself when it comes to the fact that he would be okay being pinned against a wall by either Scarlett Jones or her twin brother Tyler. He is seriously a mood, and also deserves happiness. I know they all do, but seriously, I would die for him.


As you may or may not have noticed this post is a combination of girls who are cinamon rolls and boys who are walking disasters, and this statement pretty much sums up how I feel attracted to people, I swear I didn’t do it on purpose. It’s either soft girlsTM or full on dumbass I guess.

Afterthought: I didn’t have room to include Rosa from Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno in the list, but she really belongs here as well, and if you want to see me rave about how much I loved this book, you can check out my review here! I read it a year ago and I still swoon when I think about it.

In Which I Do Two Belated T5W | On Books I Loved And Books I Don’t Want To Read

I honestly have no idea how it happened but when I checked the topics for this month’s Top 5 Wednesday, I decided that I wanted to do last week’s and this week’s (at least) and in the end I didn’t write any of them? So I decided to catch up today.

First of all, I’m going to start with last week’s topic: Booktube Didn’t Make Me Read It. Basically, I’m going to talk about five books that I picked up “on my own” and not because they were recommended to me on blogs, or booktube, or bookstagram.

The first one is one of my most recent reads: I’m talking about Where I End And You Begin by Preston Norton. The reason why I picked it up is simple: I work in a bookstore and the French translation was released a couple weeks ago. As soon as we received it, I was drawn to it and decided to check it out. It was absolutely amazing, and I loved it from the bottom of my heart. It’s basically a body swap story that questions gender and sexuality, and I’m really surprised that I hadn’t stumbled upon it on bookstagram before! LOVED IT.

My second pick is Izzy + Tristan by Shannon Dunlap. I actually also read the translation for this one. I received it as part as an event that promoted YA books last summer, and I devoured it. It’s a modern retelling of the story of Tristan and Isolde, which is an old favourite of mine, combined with serious discussions about racism. It’s another book that I haven’t seen on bookstagram that much, but I would also 100% recommend it!

As I was writing this post, my eyes stumbled upon The Fever by Megan Abbott, which I bought at a book event featuring American authors a couple of years ago. So yes, it definitely counts as a book that I didn’t pick up because of social media. I don’t even see it on bookstagram that much anyway. However, I didn’t like it at all, and it’s actually sitting in the midst of a pile of books that I want to donate.

My fourth pick is The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. After all, I don’t talk about it that much on here. I wanted to pick up a different reason for each of my choices, and although this book is one most of you have read, I actually read it before I ever got instagram, and solely because a friend recommended it to me. So it totally counts. Did I love it? Absolutely, yes. Is the sequel still sitting on my shelves unread? Also yes.

And finally, my childhood favourite Percy Jackson by none other than Rick Riordan. When I was in primary school I went to the library next to my school all the time, and would borrow as many books as I could. This is how I discovered PJO, as well as so many of my childhood/middle school favourites (Narnia by C.S. Lewis, and Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman to only mention the two of them). Libraries are the best. I now own more books than I can store, but I didn’t have many books as a kid because books are expensive, and the library was the best thing that happened to me at a young age!


The second theme I wanted to chat about was Reader Canon, yesterday’s theme, and I more particularly wanted to talk about books that are EVERYWHERE on bookstagram and booktok, books that everyone seems to have read, and that I don’t plan on reading. (Beware my ~controversial~ opinions.)

The first one I wanted to mention is not a book per say, but quite literally any book by Sarah J. Maas. This quite frankly seems to be one of the only authors that booktook has read. I still remember bookstagram pre-ACOTAR *sigh* I honestly wanted to check out the book when it first came out because I love fairy tale retellings, but for several reasons, namely the fact that it targets a new adult audience (aka NSFW), the love triangle, and the fact that SJM has been called out many times when it comes to the lack of diversity in her books, I ended up removing it from my TBR. And the *dick soap gate* which I know is not her fault, but was, for me, the final nail in the coffin of me not reading her books. This also applies to her assassin series whose title I can’t remember. I stopped seeing the appeal. (I apologize to the fans, I just think those books are not for me!)

Next comes We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. After all these years of stumbling upon this book everywhere, I still have no idea what it’s about and it’s seriously not helping. I know it’s kind of the whole point, but I don’t see the appeal. I have also read some not-so-great reviews and figured that I would probably never read this book, and that’s okay.

The third spot on this list goes to The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee. I have to admit, the book looks pretty great, but the author has done so much problematic things that I gave up and decided that I had other books I wanted to check out more on my TBR. At least 500 of them.

And then comes another book that I know many people have enjoyed: Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman. I don’t want to read a book about grooming, sorry. Read Simon vs. instead. Read any book by Adam Silvera. Read More Than This by Patrick Ness, or Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender, or On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong, or Like A Love Story by Abdi Nazemian. I could go on and on. There’s so many M/M fiction out there that is not about grooming. I know this book is special to a lot of you, but I would rather read something else.

And last but not least Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth. White savior complex? No thank you. And although I did very much enjoy Divergent I didn’t like the rest of the series that much, so I’ll pass.Again, this is just my personal opinion! If you liked those books, then good for you. I just don’t think they are for me, and I already have an endless TBR.

 


And that’s it for this post! Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful day, full of books and happines!

August Reading Wrap Up

So apparently I have read 18 books this month. Deep inside, I knew this would be a long post to put together, which is why I kept pushing it back. August both feels like it lasted forever, and like it went by in the blink of an eye. Basically, I’ve had two weeks of vacation, and two weeks back to work. But anyway, I have enough to talk about, so without further ado, let’s proceed to: the books.

Non fiction:

No Modernism Without Lesbians by Diana Souhami ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I’m starting with this one because it’s the first book I finished, as I had started it in July. Basically it’s a non fiction about the cultural influence of the lesbian community who lived in Paris in the 1920s. It focuses on Sylvia Beach, the founder of my favourite bookstore Shakespeare and Company, Bryher, Gertrude Stein and Natalie Barney. If I remember correctly, I think I picked up this book because Leena Norms mentioned it in one of her videos, and I’m so glad that I once again decided to follow her advice!!

Young adult:

Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Tell Me How You Really Feel by Aminah Mae Safi ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Falling in Love Montage by Ciara Smyth ⭐⭐⭐⭐

When it comes to YA, I read three sapphic contemporaries this month. The first one is what we call a Royal AU in the fanfiction world (for a lack of better term, because come on, this is exactly what it’s about), featuring the roommates + enemies to lovers tropes, and what can I say, I love both of those books, so of course I enjoyed this one thoroughly. Tell Me How You Really Feel is also an enemies-to-lovers sort of story, but this time it has do do with cinema, as one of the main characters, Rachel, is trying to set up a film about women and the Trojan war. And of course, she is forced to work with Sana, and realise that maybe, just maybe, she doesn’t hate her? This feels like a good book to read on a reainy day with a chai latte, and I just really enjoyed it. And finally, The Falling in Love Montage is the ultimate summer romance, featuring rom-com bashing, two teenage girls who may or may not be falling in love, and some super cheesy moments. If you are looking for a WLW equivalent to Simon vs. then this might be the thing for you! (Bonus: I listened to the audiobook for this one, and the narrator has a gorgeous Irish accent, and it was impossible not to fall in love.)

Fiction:

The Mother Code by Carole Stivers ⭐⭐⭐

The Mother Code is a science-fiction that takes place during and after a pandemia, and I found myself wondering why on earth I again, picked up a book that had to do with pandemia, but by this point I had gotten curious about the plot. Unfortunately, I found it hard to get attached to most of the characters. And although the book is about 350 pages long, I spent most of it waiting for something to happen. So overall: I liked the concept, but I was disappointed. (I also find myself reading more and more books that have to do with the concept of motherhood, and I’m not sure what to make of it? I blame the French publishing industry for that.)

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
TW: racism, violence

Wow this book was excellent. I think it was my favourite book of the month. The story takes place at a so-called reformed school in the 1960s, where straight-As, university-bound Elwood is wrongfully sent. The school is segregated, and the violence knows no limit, but through it all, Elwood attempts to stay faithful to Martin Luther King’s words of love and peace. This book is oretty much a punch in the gut, but also a necessary read, as for starters, the school the novel was based down shut down in 2011, and of course, the violence is not over yet. If you have read this book as well, I would love to hear your thoughts! (Also, I listened to the audiobook on Scribd, and it was absolutely excellent!)

Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
TW: violence, death

This one also made it to my top favourite books of the month. It’s my second book by Octavia Butler, and I really need to get my hands on the the sequel. Basically, it’s a dystopia that was written in the 1990s, and takes place in the 2020s, in a world that could very soon become ours. That was very striking, to be honest, although things have pretty much stopped surprising me these days. (Full review)

Graphic novels/Picture books:

I finally picked up vol.3 of The Steel Prince by V.E. Schwab and it’s always a pleasure to delve into the Shades of Magic universe! I gave it ⭐⭐⭐⭐. I also picked up another graphic novel that had been on my TBR since FOREVER, and yes I am talking about Nimona by Noelle Stevenson. I had a lot of fun reading this one, and I also gave it ⭐⭐⭐⭐.

In addition to that, I’m adding two new picture books to the list of my favourites: Pippa’s Nigh Parade by Lisa Robinson, a story about a little girl who wants to get rid of her nightmares, and Ocean Speaks: Marie Tharp and the Map That Moved the Earth, by Jess Keating, which is based on a true story about a very interesting woman who desperately wanted to be a scientist. I both gave them ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and I hope that they can inspire a lot of kids!

Books in French:

End of August and September is what we call in France the rentrée littéraire which means that a lot of books get released. With new releases usually come endless TBRs, but to be honest, not many of them have tempted me this year. So far, I have managed to read seven + one I finished in September + The Nickel Boys and The Mother Code that I have mentioned above, as they are both getting a French translation. Aside from Nickel Boys, I haven’t really fallen in love with any of them, but I still have hope. And I can always turn back to YA!

Mémoire de soie d’Adrien Borne ⭐⭐⭐ (déjà paru)
Le Souffleur de Nuages de Nadine Monfils ⭐⭐⭐ (parution fin septembre)
Une piscine dans le désert de Diane Mazloum ⭐⭐⭐ (déjà paru)
Liv Maria de Julia Kerninon ⭐⭐⭐ (déjà paru)
Les aérostats d’Amélie Nothomb ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (déjà paru)
Du côté des Indiens d’Isabelle Carré ⭐⭐ (déjà paru)
Fille de Camille Laurens ⭐⭐⭐ (déjà paru)

The plan is to make a wrap up sort of post in French very soon, in order to chat about those books… We’ll see how long it takes me.

And finally, here’s what I’m currently reading:

Where I End and You Beging by Preston Norton
Wicked As You Wish by Rin Chupeco


Update: I somehow forgot to mention the last two French books I had read in August, which makes the total 20 instead of 18, but I didn’t want to mess up the article so I’m just adding them now. One of them is a graphic novel about the life of Anaïs Nin, it’s called Sur la mer des mensonges, and I gave it ⭐⭐⭐⭐. The second one is an essay about feminism, whose title can roughly translate as I hate men. It was written by Pauline Harmange and is stirring up quite a controversy. Hopefully it gets translated into English at some point. I of cours gave it ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐.

Parable of the Sower: My Review

I haven’t written a book review in forever, it seems, so I decided it was high time that I did. I have been reading quite a few books in French lately, new releases mostly, to have some things to talk about at work, and I’ll try to make a separate post about that soon. But for now, I wanted to talk about one of my latest reads: Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler.

Title: Parable of the Sower
Author: Octavia E. Butler
Release: 1993
Genre: Dystopia
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

TW: violence, death

A few years ago, I read Fledgling and completely fell in love with it. It’s a vampire story that is absolutely unique, and a book I’m sure I will never forget. Ever since, I’ve been meaning to pick up another book by Octavia Butler, and it has finally happened!

Parable of the Sower was published in 1993. It’s a dystopia that shows the United States slowly turning into flames, with a badass main character who wants to build a community called Earthseed, where people would live in harmony and peace, and help one another. The story is supposed to take place in the 2020s, and it’s really striking to read it today, because at this rate, this could very much be our future. Of course, I hope not, but many aspects of the novel are becoming true when it comes for example to poverty and gun violence, and crisis in general. This quote in particular really made me pause, and I wanted to share it:

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The main character, Lauren, is absolutely amazing. The story is told through her point of view, in journal entries. I loved that I was entirely unable to guess what would happen next (except, you know, for the fact that things would probably get worse). I also loved the small community that she managed to build around her on the way north, especially Zahra, who is another strong, independant woman who will take no shit from anyone. And of course, I enjoyed watching Lauren grow into the character she had become by the end of the book. She is fascinating, and I truly aspire to be as strong as she is.

Another great things about this book is the very diverse cast of characters that it has. Two of the main characters are Black women, and it has several mixed couples. It raises many questions about race and white priviledge. It also deals with poverty, and again, class priviledge. If you are looking for a diverse dystopia with empowering young women, then you should add this one to your TBR!

The story was a bit slow in the beginning, but Butler really managed to build up a great dystopia universe, or should I say an alternate reality really close to the world that we live in. I also really enjoyed her writing style. It’s beautiful and easy to follow, and if you haven’t read any of her books yet, I highly recommend that you do so! Parable of the Sower actually has a sequel as well, and I really need to get my hands on it, because I simply have to know what happens next.


That’s it for today, but I’m really not done thinking about this book, which is one of my favourite reads of the month so far, along with The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead. Thank you so much for reading this far, please feel free to share your thoughts if you have read Parable of the Sower as well & have a wonderful day!

Which Popular YA Book Have I Read? (Or Not!)

I saw this on Elli @ AceReader‘s blog and I thought it sounded like something fun to do, so I decided to give it a try as well. I know I’m always adding new releases and such to my TBR, but am I actually reading them? Not so sure! Anyway, earlier this month, Goodreads shared a list of the 40 most popular recent YA books. Let’s have a look at which ones of them I have read, and which ones I haven’t!


#1 The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. Yes I have read it, I actually gave it 5 stars, and I can only recommend that you read it as well, if you haven’t read it yet!

#2 Turtles All The Way Down by John Green. Yes I have also read this one. It’s an own voice book with a main character who has OCD, and a bit of a murder-mystery plot. I also gave it 5 stars.

#3 One Of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus. Yes, I was lucky enough to get an ARC of this book before it was released, and I never thought it would get this popular! I’m glad that it did though, because it was excellent. And I’m also really glad to hear that it’s getting an on-screen adaptation!

#4 The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. This one doesn’t really come as a surprise considering the hype that this series has received, and keeps receiving. I binge-read the trilogy back in November, upon the release of the last book, and greatly enjoyed it! So again, yes.

#5 Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han. Also yes. I binge-read the trilogy two years ago, when the first movie was released, and I really loved it!

#6 Caraval by Stephanie Garber. No, I haven’t read that one. It’s still on my TBR after the great purge I did a few months ago, but to be fairly honest, I’m not sure I will ever get around to reading this one.

#7 Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. Yes I have also read this one, and I absolutely LOVED IT. I haven’t gotten around to reading the sequel yet, but I am pretty sure that it’s waiting for me on my kindle. If you like fantasy, and don’t know what to read next, go pick this one up!

#8 King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard. No, I haven’t read this one, but I have read both Red Queen and Glass Sword and I actually already own a copy of it, which I’m pretty sure that I got immediately upon the release, but I guess I wasn’t in the mood to read it back then, and never got around to doing so. But, you know, it’s going to happen some day.

#9 Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas. No, I haven’t read this on, nor have I read any other book by this author, and I’m not really planning on doing so anyway.

#10 Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare. No, I haven’t read this one yet. I haven’t gotten this far into Cassandra Clare’s book, but in theory, I’m planning on doing so, eventually!

#11 The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee. No, I haven’t read this one either. I heard that the author has done some pretty problematic stuff, like signing other people’s books for fun, especially BIPOC authors, so I’m not really planning on picking up anything of hers.

#12 They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera. Yes, I have read this one, and yes, it completely broke me, pretty much like anything Adam Silvera writes to be honest. I loved it, and definitely recommend it though!

#13 Warcross by Marie Lu. Yes, I have read this one and really enjoyed it. I’m pretty sure I read it not long after it was released, actually, but, as it often happens, I haven’t gotten around to reading the sequel yet.

#14 The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman. No, I haven’t read this one. I was a huge fan of his series His Dark Materials and Sally Lockhard when I was younger, but I guess I lost interest? I also heard that he said some pretty shady stuff, and I don’t think that I will pick up this one.

#15 Five Feet Apart by Rachel Lippincott. No, I haven’t read it. This is one of those books that has been sitting on my TBR since forever, and I’m not sure that I will ever read it.

#16 Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman. No, I haven’t read this one either. I kind of want to check out this series, but I still haven’t finished the Unwind dystology, and I’d like to do that before I pick up Scythe.

#17 Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth. No, I haven’t read it, and nor will I. I’m really not interested in the white saviour trope, and besides, even though I did enjoy Divergent, I wasn’t really impressed with the rest of the series.

#18 What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera. No, I haven’t read this one yet, but it’s on my TBR and I will definitely get to it at some point. I believe it’s already waiting for me on my kindle, actually.

#19 The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli. Yes, I’ve read it, and yes, I loved it.

#20 On the Come Up by Angie Thomas. Yes, I actually read this one in June, and I didn’t really have time to chat about it on here yet, but one, I loved it, and two, this book is so important and worth your time. Also three, I can’t wait for Angie Thomas’ next release!

#21 Renegades by Marissa Meyer. No, I haven’t read it yet. I really have no explanation for this one. I absolutely LOVED The Lunar Chronicles, as well as her other release Heartless, and I’m also pretty sure that I got my copy of Renegades signed a few years ago, but life happened, and I haven’t taken the time to read it yet.

#22 Sadie by Courtney Summers. No, I haven’t read it, and also I have seen it around, I have to admit that I have no idea what it’s about.

#23 The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert. Same as the previous one, no I haven’t read it, I also have no idea what it might be about although I believe it’s probably a fantasy?

#24 The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins. No, I have to admit that I haven’t read this one either, although I clearly remember that I complained that my preorder was arriving very late, and look at me now. I have it, and I have done nothing about it. (It’s just so big!)

#25 Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli. Yes, I have read it, and also completely fell in love with it. This book is so important to me, and I cherish it with all my heart.

#26 The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo. Yes, I have actually read this one during the lockdown, and while it wasn’t my favourite book of hers, I loved it, and cannot recommend it enough, because the topics it deals will are so, so important.

#27 Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds. No, I haven’t read it. I’m actually not sure this is my kind of book, honestly, although I’ve heard nothing but great things about it!

#28 Eliza and her Monsters by Francesca Zappia. Yes, I have read this book quite recently actually, and absolutely fell in love with it. I am pretty sure it will make it to my list of favourite reads for this year!

#29 Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell. No, I haven’t read this one yet. We have here pretty much the same case as King’s Cage and The Ballad of Songbirds and Serpents: by the time my preorder arrived, I was busy doing something else, and haven’t gotten around to picking it up yet.

#30 To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo. No, I haven’t read it. I am pretty sure that I have in facts seen it around, but I have truly no idea what it might be about.

#31 A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer. No, I haven’t read this one either. I can see that it’s on my Goodreads TBR shelf, but to be fairly honest, I have completely forgotten how it ended up there.

#32 We Are Okay by Nina Lacour. Unfortunatly no, I haven’t read this one yet, but I desperately want to. I have heard nothing but great things, and I want to read more YA sapphics, so its time will come eventually.

#33 Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson. No, I haven’t read it either, and this is another occurence of “I have no idea what this book might be about” although I have actually read and enjoyed other books by Maureen Johnson!

#34 Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin. No, I haven’t read this one either, but I am pretty sure that it’s already sitting on my kindle, and will get around to reading it eventually!

#35 When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon. Yes, I have read this one, and completely fell in love with it! I also enjoyed From Twinkle, With Love, and will definitely be checking out more of her books!

#36 Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen McManus. I feel like this is getting pretty recurrent, but no, I haven’t read this one yet, although I do own a copy which I’m pretty sure that I got right upon the release. It even has gorgeous blue decked pages so really, I don’t know what I’m waiting for.

#37 King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo. For some reason, seeing this book on the list makes me completely giddy with happiness. Yes, I have read it, and I fangirled a lot while reading it actually. I simply cannot wait for the sequel to be released!

#38 Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson. No, I haven’t read this one, although it is on mmy TBR, and I might pick it up on Scribd at some point because I have noticed that it is available!

#39 History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera. Yes, I have read this one and it completely broke me. It’s such a strong book about grief, and I can only recommend it.

#40 Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh. Yes, I’ve read this one, and I’m actually really happy to see it on this list, because I enjoyed it a lot! I haven’t actually gotten around to reading the sequel (I know, this is a pattern) but I’m sure I will at some point!


And the list has come to an end! I have read 17 of those books, and have even more on my TBR. It’s always interesting to see these lists, because although they don’t necessarily mean a lot, some of the picks can be surprising! And it’s always good to have a reminder that for example oh, I actually wanted to read that one… Thank you so much to Elli for giving me the idea for this article, and thanks to you if you have read this far!

#ThePositivityWave N°6

The Positivity Wave is a weekly Friday update that’s all about positivity, as you guessed it, and was created by Meggy @ Chocolate ‘N’ Waffles. I haven’t participated in a hot minute, and I felt like talking, so I am back!

I’ve been having an on and off existential crisis for the past few months (what’s new) and since my two week summer break is soon coming to an end, I felt like it was a good time to share some of the things that I’ve been grateful for lately!

🌊 The month of August has always been a bit weird, it’s hella hot, I’m not following a regular schedule, etc. But for the past few years, it has always brought along something that I cherish, and that makes me immensely proud and happy: my blog’s anniversary! I’ve been talking about books on here for five years now, and it has helped me become who I am now. Without this choice, I am not sure I would have applied to work in a bookstore, and I never thought that I would like this job so much, but I do! (Which comes to no surprise to the people who know me irl, because I’ve always loved books, but still, it makes me very happy.)

🌊 Between the beginning of July, and last week, I got to spend some quality time with both my grandmas, and with the rest of my family in general, and that makes me very happy.

🌊 I got to spend some quality time with my my two Erasmus besties, and it has been awesome! I’ve known them for three years and a half, and this friendship has truly been a blessing to me. I feel like I can be myself with them, and I am truly grateful that I have them ❤

🌊 This one is not as deep, but you know what, I’ll just go with it anyway. I got to read so much more during the lockdown, and I was worried that this would come to an end, or at least slow down when it ended, but it hasn’t. I’m still reading more than ever, and it’s extremely satifying!

🌊 And finally, I got to spend a few days alone in Dresden, and city that I’d been meaning to visit for quite a while now, and I’m so glad that I got to do it! The city is amazing, and though I’m not sure I enjoy traveling on my own as much as I used to (something I never thought that I would say) I had a lovely time, and got to see some very beautiful places.

On the left: the Frauenkirche in Dresden, which was destroyed during WWII, and then rebuilt. The inauguration of the new church was in 2005. On the right: Schloss Moritzburg, which is only 40 minutes away from the Dresden city center, and is absolutely beautiful.

 

5th Blogversary!

One one fine day in August 2015, I finished reading Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, and decided that I MUST make a book blog to talk about it. I had already ventured in the blogventure, with an old kdrama blog, and an attempt at a cooking blog. I had been a part of bookstagram for a few months, and I was finally finding myself again through books. The leap just made sense. To be fairly honest, I wasn’t sure I would stay here for long, but I knew it was something that I had to do at the time. Well, five years later, I am still here.

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I have been through so many things with this blog! I’ve graduated from my double bachelor in 2016, and then moved to Berlin for a year. I then got a student job, came back to France, got my Master’s in comparative literature in 2018, got an internship in a publishing house, and lived in Strasbourg for a while. I moved back to Paris, got a job in a bookstore, celebrated a year of working there, survived the confinement, and moved again to a new flat. I’ve been through ups and down, got to figure myself out a little better, and I’m still here, one book at a time.

There has been months when I would post a lot, especially in the beginning, and months I barely shared anything. I’ve never felt pressured, but I always came back. Because if there’s one thing I love doing, and the past few years have only confirmed it, it’s talking about books.

So I guess what I wanted to say is: thank you for being here! Whether you’re new on my blog, or have been here since the beginning, your presence means everything to me. Thank you, and stay amazing ♥

Top 5 Wednesday: Books With Rail/Air Transport

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted on Goodreads. It’s had its ups and down, but now it’s back with new topics! Feel free to join the group here. The theme for this week was “Rail and air transport” and I decided to twist it a little bit, and talk about books where the main character goes on a trip abroad, or starts living abroad for a while.


The first one I have picked is With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo, which involves a trip to Madrid and a fantastic cooking class. I’ve read this book quite recently. We follow teenage girl Emori who lives with her grandmother and her baby daughter. She is juggling with motherhood, high school, and her passion for cooking. When a new class and new opportunity opens up at her school to take a class with a professional, she knows she has to take it. And of course, there’s the trip to Spain! I absolutely loved that book.

Again, But Better by Christine Riccio is about spending time abroad as an exchange student. The main character stays in Scotland for a semester, and it also includes a few trips all around Europe. Although I have to admit that this book is not the most original thing ever, I really enjoyed it! I may be obsessed with the whole concept of Erasmus + time travel twist, but either way, I read it not long after I studied abroad, and I thought it was very much on point!

For my third pick, I have chosen one of my most recent reads. In Starling Days by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, we follow Oscar and Mina, recently married, who leave NYC to stay in London for a few months, because Mina needed a change of air. This book is as much about a change of air, as it is about Mina’s struggle with depression, and I thought it was very beautiful. I enjoyed roaming through the streets of London with her, and I would overall really recommend this book.

Love from A to Z by S.K. Ali involves a trip to Doha, Qatar, as well as a meet-cute scene at the airport, which I thought would be perfect considering the topic of this T5W. Obviously, this book is about so much more than this, but it just gave me a perfect opportunity to gush about it. On top of that, it features a very international cast of expats, and I just loved both the book and the characters SO MUCH.

And finally, I picked one of my absolute favourite reads of the year, Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman, which includes a summer spent in Hawaii (and an aro-ace MC!) After her sister passes away, Rumi goes to Hawaii to spend the summer with her aunt. Through the story, she will learn how to grieve and make friends. It’s an absolutely stunning book about identity and creativity. It’s so beautiful, and I recommend it with my whole heart.


And that’s it for today, thank you so much for reading, have a wonderful day, and feel free to recommend me books about traveling!

July Wrap Up

July was another extremely productive reading month! Apparently I have read 20 books, and in addition, reached 108 books on my Goodreads challenge for the year! On top of that, I’ve reached more than 1000 books on my “read” shelf which I’m impressed with. Numbers don’t really matter, but it still feels pretty good!

Fiction/New Adult:

Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuinston ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Well this one was just as good as everybody said, and I’m so glad that I decided to read it. It’s exactly the kind of enemy-to-lovers angsty romance that I can enjoy (if I am in the mood, I guess, and I was). It reads like fanfiction, but the good kind, and I just flew through it. I cannot wait to see what Casey McQuinston has in store for us yet.

The Shivering and On Monday Last Week by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie ⭐⭐⭐

I’d always been meaning to pick up some of Adichie’s fiction after reading We Should All Be Feminists so when I saw these short stories I knew it was my chance. Both stories deal with race, questioning your sexuality, and religion. I read them in one sitting, and enjoyed both of the stories.

Starling Days by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan ⭐⭐⭐⭐

TW: Depression, Suicide

I heard about this book on booktube. It was part of a list of queer books with Asian or Asian-Americans characters. Since the main character was both bisexual and struggling with depression, I decided to check it out, and bought it at the end of May. (Once again, I have been a good bookworm and picked it up rather quickly, I keep surprising myself these days!) First things first, let me say that the way Buchanan writes about depression is INCREDIBLY ON POINT, my mind is blown (and a bit shaken to be honest).

Non fiction:

Dear Ijeawele: A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Another one that had been on my radar for a while now! Of course, I’d already given some thought to how to raise your children into feminists, even though I am not sure that I do want kids. I know some of my friends, cousins, siblings, will probably have children. And it’s a notion that I think is extremely important. Adichie also raised some points that I never really considered, because if course, she knows and researched the topic, and I’ll definitely keep this book as a reference in the future!

Young Adult books:

Stay Gold by Tobly McSmith ⭐⭐⭐⭐
TW: Suicide, Transphobia

This one is the story of Pony, a trans teenage boy who decides to go stealth at his new high school in Texas, and wants to stay under the rader, and Georgia, a cheerleader who sworn off dating after having her heart broken during the summer. On the first day of school, their eyes lock across the hallway, and they even end up sharing all of their classes together. Sparks keep flying as they get to know each other, but things are not always easy. This one is a fun romance story, that also deals with heavier topic such as self-harm, and transphobia. It’s a great read for the summer!

Solitaire by Alice Oseman ⭐⭐⭐⭐
TW: Suicide

This one had been on my TBR for quite some time, especially since I love the Heartstopper comics, and I knew that it was about Charlie’s sister. Tori Spring is a depressed teenager who spends too much time on tumblr (been there, Alice Oseman really knows what she’s talking about). But then Solitaire hits and keeps targetting the school, and Tori meets Michael Holden and together they will try to solve the mystery of what is happening, and I absolutely LOVED this book.

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera ⭐⭐⭐⭐
TW: Suicide, Homophobia, Violence

It had been a while since I last read a book by Adam Slivera, but I’m SO GLAD that I picked up More Happy Than Not. While it does get heavy (I don’t know how I ended up reading so many books with suicidal thoughts this month) and deals with the very serious and real topics that are homophobia and depression, it also brings in a sci-fi concept of a company that can erase your memory. It’s a beautiful story about friendship and first love and identity. I’m so glad that I finally decided to read it, and I’m so grateful that this book exists.

Loveless by Alice Oseman ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Easily my favourite read of the month, Loveless was a book I was really waiting for. It follows Georgia, who is about to start college with her two best friends, and is slowly coming to terms with the fact that she is aro-ace. It has an amazing queer cast, some drama, Shakespeare and some amazing friendships, and I loved it so much. I think I kind of needed this book right now.

Middle Grade Books:

Ghost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I only read one middle grade book this month, and it was absolutely amazing. I actually listened to the audiobook, and it was a wonderful experience. As expected, it’s a story about ghosts and ghost hunting. It also has witches, and it’s full of Dominican folklore. Oh, and a curse, of course, it wouldn’t be fun otherwise. The characters are adorable and I 100% recommend it! I’m also hoping that it gets translated to French, because I’d love to promote it at work!

Mangas/Graphic novels:

Living-no Matsunaga-San vol.6 by Iwashita Keiko ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Prince and the Seamstress by Jen Wang ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Weathering With You vol.1 by Makoto Shinkai ⭐⭐⭐
The Tea Dragon Festival by Katie O’Neill ⭐⭐⭐⭐

French literary fiction (or non fiction):

Nu avec Picasso d’Enki Bilal ⭐⭐⭐
Le complexe de la sorcière d’Isabelle Sorente ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Sorcières, la puissance invaincue des femmes de Mona Chollet ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Moi, Tituba sorcière de Maryse Condé, also known in English as I, Tituba, the story of the first woman arrested at the Salem trials, who was a Black slave. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Les Évadées d’Alexandra Fritz ⭐⭐⭐⭐
La ville sans vent d’Eléonore Devillepoix, a YA fantasy ⭐⭐⭐⭐

More on the subject of French books I’ve been reading recently here, on one of my latest blog post in French!

Currently reading:

No Modernism Without Lesbians by Diana Souhami
The Mother Code by Carole Stivers
The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead


And that’s it for today! On top of that, I can’t believe it’s August already. I have two weeks of vacation, and I think I will still get a lot of reading done this month, and we shall see what happens next! In the meantime, have a wonderful day!