January Wrap Up

I can’t believe I read so many books in a single month, like, is this even real? And I have blogged a lot too, I’m rather proud of myself actually. Anyway. Without further ado, here is my reading list for the month, with ratings and links to my articles!

Reads:

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige ★★★★★ (review)

Secrets in Phoenix by Gabriella Lepore ★★★★☆ (review)

How I found you by Gabriella Lepore ★★★★☆ (review)

The Kill Order by James Dashner ★★★☆☆ (review)

The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider ★★★★★ (review)

Nocturnes by Kazuo Ishiguro ★★★☆☆ (review)

Pedro Paramo by Juan Rulfo ★★★★☆ (review)

L’Etranger (The Stranger) by Albert Camus ★★★☆☆

ARCs:

Broken Dolls by Tyrolin Puxty ★★★★☆ (review)

Reflection: the Stranger in the Mirror by Rachel R. Smith ★★★★☆ (review)

Reflection: Harbinger of the Phoenix by Rachel R. Smith ★★★★★ (review)

Rereads:

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling (book talk)

Currently reading:

My true love gave to me, edited by Stephanie Perkins

Scardust by Suzanne Van Rooyen

TV Shows:

I still haven’t finished Outlander, but finally, The 100 is back, my life is doomed because of this show, but I’m so glad it’s back!! And I started watching How I Met Your Mother, this show is so great, my friends hava been blabbling about it throughout middle school and high school, and now, 3 years later, I’m finally getting around it.

On the blog:

I posted a lot this month, and I’m quite proud of myself. I’ll try to post as much in February if I can, but since I’m going back to college it probably won’t be that easy… I’ll see what I can do!

Also, the blog reached more than 1,100 views this month, which I find rather impressive. Thank you so much guys! Even more importantly, I now have 100 followers… Is this even real? Thank you so much guys!!

And I have created a bookish tumblr if you want to check it out, here’s the link!

Book Talk: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Hi guys! Here is a quick update on our Middle Grade Bookclub readalong!

In case you didn’t know, I am cohosting a readalong of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson through 2016. We are reading one book each month (more info here). It’s not too late to join us, we will read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in February!

Not a lot of people have joined in, but I love those books, so it’s still very enjoyable.

This month’s read was The Philosopher’s Stone, as you probably guessed. It was the third or fourth time I read it, but it was the first time I actually read it in English, and oh boy, I loved the experience. Not only did Rowling create an amazing magical world through her series, but she also has an awesome writing style. It was such an enjoyable read, I love going back to Hogwarts!

My reactions in a nutshell:

I’m so glad to be back in the Wizarding world, and I think I like those books even more each time I read them! I think this one is my favourite in the series, it’s so beautiful to discover and rediscover this amazing and magical world! It was also fun to share my opinion with others every other chapter… I’m definitely looking forward to our new read! (Because at the end of the day, they are all my favourites…)

I was cohosting with Sabrina from thebookishtheory, and I wanted to feature her opinion as well so here we go!

“I really enjoyed the experience and I also loved having a place where I could share my feelings and thoughts on the books as I read it.”

“I finished it too and I loved it. Definitely one of my new favorite books, I can see why everyone loved this series.”

If any of you guys wants to be featured on my next post (aka in a month) feel free to comment, join our Goodreads group or contact me on instagram (Clemireads)!!

Seoul Paris Seoul

Here is something a bit different for today, I hope you enjoy it nonetheless!

As you may or may not know, I really like Korean Dramas. I discovered them back in 2012 thanks to my best friends, and even though I haven’t matched much of them for the past few months, I still hold them dear.

Through them, I started discovering Korean culture, and I absolutely love it. It’s so interesting and fascinating. I started learning Korean back in October, and even if I struggle a lot, I learn a lot and I love it!

So when my aunt gave me free tickets for this exhibition, of course, I was delighted. I went there on Wednesday, and I’m so glad I did: it was truly interesting.

The exhibition is called Seoul Paris Seoul, and it takes place in a small museum in Paris, the Musée Cernuschi, which is a museum about Asian arts. The point of the exhibition was to share the work of Korean artists (especially painters) who had lived in Paris, and had been influenced by what they learnt there, through the 20th century.

I love paintings, so this was really enjoyable, and I saw a lot of beautiful things. It was interesting to learn about the relationships between France and Korea through arts, and to see that even when Korea wasn’t free – when it was under the Japanese domination – there were still artists willing to leave the country to come to Paris, and would try their best to do so even if it was almost impossible for them. I decided to share some of my favourites, so you may have an idea of what it was about!

Shim Kyung Ja, Karma 2012,©Shim Kyung Ja/ D.R.

Shim Kyung Ja, Karma

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Bang Hai Ja, The birth of light

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Hong In Sook, Trace

musée cernuschi

Han Mook, Pride

musée cernuschi

Han Mook, Golden Spiral

musée cernuschi

Park In Kyung, Orchids

What do you think about those paintings? Do you like paintings in general, and do you have any favourite artists?

Pedro Paramo: Short Review

Pedro Paramo is a Mexican short novel, written by Juan Rulfo and published in 1955. Rulfo was mainly a photographer, and this is his only novel, but it got him worldwide recognition.

I read it for an Instagram readalong called the International Readathon, where we were paired with someone from another country, in order to discover new books from other countries! I was not familiar with Mexican Literature at all, or even Spanish Literature for that matter, and it was such an interesting discovery. I borrowed other books from the library, and I’ll talk about them when I’ve read them as well!

My rating: ★★★★☆

Thoughts:

This book was beautiful, interesting and fascinating at the same time. It had a bit of a magical feeling which made me want to read more. It was such a great discovery for me, I’m really glad I read it!

The back cover of my copy compares it to The Sound and the Fury by Faulnker, which I studied at uni during the first semester, and it said that both books are books that will transform the reader, books one can’t forget, and I do agree with this.

This book takes you to a deserted village in the middle of nowhere, where the main character is trying to find his father, Pedro Paramo. We are transported to a land of inbetweenness, where it’s hard to know if what you’re actually reading is the truth, a dream, a ghost, the past, and I think that’s what makes the book so interesting.

Goodreads categorizes it as “magical realism” and I think that’s a perfect depiction of this novel. If the idea of magical realism grabbed your attention, then that’s the thing for you!

Plus point: It’s a rather short read, so if you haven’t read it yet, I strongly advise you to do so. It’s a cultural read as well as a classic, and I believe it is a must-read. Please tell me your opinion if you have read it, I would love to talk about it!

Reflection: Harbinger of the Phoenix – My Review

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I received an ARC copy from the auther in exchange for a honest review. This book was published in November, 2015. It is the second book of the “Records of the Ohanzee” series by Rachel R. Smith.

Warning: since it’s the second book in the series, it might contain spoilers for the first book!

Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, YA

My rating: ★★★★★

The Story:

Heiress Nerissa now lives with the Ohanzee, the secret faction in charge of protecting the throne of Chito, under the disguise of a man. Few people know who she truly is, but she has been introduced as the Heir of Chiyo.

Nerissa – or Caeneus, as she is called under disguise – goes on a mission with Raysel, her guardian, and a group of Ohanzee swordsmen. They end up searching throughout Renatus for mysterious books which might help save the entire kingdom from Casimer, who took the power through blood.

My opinion:

First off all, I enjoyed this book even more than the first one! The pace is just perfect, and I realised how much I love the writing style. I read it in one day, and now I will patiently wait for the sequel to be released.

I loved the fact that we got to see characters from the first book again, even if they hadn’t played a really big part so far – Charis and Shae for example. I really like how Shae and Desta’s storyline turned out too, I would have loved to see a little bit more of Shae though! And Desta really is an interesting character.

I really love how the relationship between Nerissa and Raysel evolves, they’re both really interesting characters and clearly they work well together so it’s really enjoyable to read.

Another thing I loved is how Rian and Nerissa are slowly getting closer – she obviously feels something, even if she can’t remember that she already met him, and he is uncovering the mystery around “Caeneus” little by little. I’m looking forward to seeing how the story will evolve between those too!

The rest of the side characters are also lovely, I love the twins, they really add something to the story, and Jarold and Leal add something more calm and mature to the group, which shows how balanced their party is: well done!

As to the story itself, I really like the turn it is taking. The prophecy is fascinating, it unveils itself little by little and keeps the reader alert. As much as it confused me in the first book, I think it’s good to see sometimes other points of view such as Casimer’s part, since it gives a little more information to the reader, while keeping the suspense.

I’m really immersing in this world, and once again the story stopped with a lot of suspense!

The only thing that saddens me is that Nerissa still has to hide as a boy, but it’s obviously part of the story and she manages pretty well. I’m just curious as to how things will turn out when people realise who she really is!

Teaser Tuesday #3

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme is hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm.

1. Grab your current read

2. Open to a random page

3. Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

4. Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

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For my third Teaser Tuesday, I will be talking about Scardust by Suzanne Van Rooyen. Scardust will be realseased in February and I had the chance of recieving an ARC copy frop the publisher.

If you want to know more about the story, here is the Goodreads page!

Genre: Sci-Fi, New Adult, LGBT

Here’s my teaser:

“Gently, I roll him over and starlight spills across his face. He’s around my age, a single gash on his head leaking red.” (5% into the story)

A New Year A New Booktag

I know we are already in the second half of January, but whatever. I found out about this tag over on Elena’s Blog The Queen Reads (here is her article) and I thought I had to give it a go.

This tag was created by Reading With Luigi, here is the original post if you want to check it out!

1- How many books have you read last year? Thoughs on this accomplishment?
I read a total of 74 books (56 reads and 18 re reads) and I’m really proud of it.

2- What was your biggest regret on reading/as a reader last year?
I used to read a lot, but then I kind of stopped, and got back to it about half-way through last year, so my regret would be that I didn’t get back to reading earlier!

3- What were your accomplishments as a reader last year?
I met John Green holy shit!! He signed my copy of The Fault in our Stars. It was obviously one of the best days of my life. And also I started this blog, which I’m pretty proud of, seeing how far it has come, as well as my bookstagram.

4- How many books are you planning to read this year?
I have set a Goodreads challenge of 60 books, excluding rereads, and considering I have already read 9 books, I’m pretty confident!

5- What are your goals in 2016 as a reader?
Get to discover new books and new authors, read new releases and old classics.

6- What is your biggest bookish dream that you want to accomplish this year?
I would love to get a summer job at Shakespeare and Company.

7- If you’ll wake up after celebrating the new year into a fictional place and you’ll have to spend you entire 2016 there, what fictional place would it be? Who two fictional characters would you want to spend your 2016 with?
I would love to wake up in Hogwarts and spend some time with Ron and Luna!

Since I wasn’t tagged, I’m not tagging anyone, but this was pretty fun to do, so obviously, anyone who wants to do it can do it!