August Owlcrate Unboxing!

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Hi everyone! So for the first time, I ordered a bookish subscription box, and I am delighted by its contents. I have filmed a video of my unboxing, and I also have a bunch of pictures I wanted to share, so here’s everything.

pins: Taryn Draws
art print: Susanne Draws
necklace: Owlcrate special item

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The pins are from my Owlcrate box, the 9 3/4 necklace however was sent to me by WandWitchAndWizard on Etsy!

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And this is the book by Kasie West! I can’t wait to read it, it looks amazing ~

As you can see below, I also started using the colouring book, which I like a lot!

You can follow me on Bookstagram @Clemireads and on Snapchat @Clemichan for more updates like those!

Overall, I am over the Moon. I absolutely loved everything in this box. I had been eying Owlcrate for a while, but didn’t order a box because of the shipping. But since I got some little jobs over the summer, I decided I could treat myself just once, and I’m so glad I did! This was the perfect theme for me too, I’m so glad I got this one.

Did any of you receive this box as well? What did you think?

I won’t order a box next month, and I’m trying to take a break from buying things actually. But if I get money at my birthday/Christmas I will definitely consider ordering another box!

Also if you receive other subscription boxes, feel free to recommend them, and have a nice day!

Teaser Tuesday #31

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme is hosted by MizB from Books and a Beat.

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!

Intangible (Piercing the Veil, #1)

This week I am reading (among others) Intangible by C.A. Gray, which is the first book in her Piercing the Veil trilogy. It’s a modern retelling of the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, and I really enjoy it so far!

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Retelling

My quote:
“They both sat astride beasts that looked almost like horses, but their snouts were too long, their nostrils too large, and their eyes too bright. the beasts glowed too, and each one had a golden horn in the middle of its forehead.” – 39% into the story

Goodreads

Thoughts and feelings on Orange by Takano Ichigo

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I originally wanted to make this into a video but since I’m on holidays it’s a bit complicated so I decided to make an article instead. Last month, Jessethereader made a video talking about this so I added it to my TBR. And then, a few days later, a friend texted me saying this was definitely something I would like, so I knew I had to read it!

Orange is a five-volume manga written by Takano Ichigo. I rated it 4.5 out of five stars.

The story:

The story evolves around a group of friends in high school. On the first day of 11th grade, the main character Naho wakes up late and receives a letter telling her it was written by her future self. The letter states that she woke up late, and gives her guidances as to what will happen, and what she should do. Future Naho is guilted with regret and wants to help her past self to change things so that she doesn’t have regrets. She gives her advice about herself, and about her friends, and about the new boy who soon becomes part of their friend group. But is it really possible to change the past?

My opinion:

It’s been a while since I last read a manga, and my friend was right, this was definitely the thing for me, I absolutely loved it.

The drawings are really sweet, and pretty. They really fit the story, and are pleasant to watch and this is always something I enjoy when I read mangas.

The story is cute, and very moving. Basically, it’s a group of teenagers trying their best to help/save their friend. It’s a beautiful blend of high school friendship and first loves. The characters are rather endearing and relatable. Naho is rather shy, she is a bit of an introvert, but she really wants her friends to be happy. Obviously, she is confused by the letter at first, but as everything it states happens like predicted, she takes it really seriously. I don’t want to get into spoilers, but I’ll only mention that their group of friends is really supportive and that’s amazing.

The story also includes some bits of the “10 years later” with the Naho who wrote the letter, and I really enjoyed those parts as well.

Even though the way the letter got to the present/past is still a bit confusing, I decided to not care about this and just enjoy the story in general. I’m not especially bothered by the impossibility of time-travel and such (actually I really love this type of stories) so it was a really nice twist on the classic shoujo.

Overall, it’s a really great story. It was hard to put down, as I always wanted to know on the one hand, what the letter would say next, and on the other hand, what would actually happen next, once the past had started to change. Orange is a beautiful reflexion on high school and friendship and relationships in general. It is a romance but also what can be categorized as “slice of life” and I really like this type of stories. I loved it so much I’m probably going to reread it!

Recommended for:

Manga and shoujo lovers, obviously. If you have never read any of those, then it could be a good one to start, since it is a rather short series!

If you have read it, I would love to hear your thoughts on it, and if you haven’t the scan is online here!

Sunday Recommendations: Books Around the World (part 2)

Hi everyone! Last week in my Sunday Recommendations I shared books from seven different countries, and I am continuing here with seven other books from seven other countries! As you may have noticed, I am trying to read more and more diverse books. I also want to make you discover different books, so here we go with this second part of my books around the year! I am definitely going to make a third part as well, but I’m not sure when yet.

*****

Stolen: A Letter to My CaptorAUSTRALIA: Stolen, by Lucy Christopher

Genre: YA, Contemporary

The story: At the airport, Gemma is kidnapped and taken to a house in the middle of nowhere, by a young man – Ty – who has planned his life with her for years. Written as a letter from Gemma to Ty, Stolen is a very moving book, as well as an original story with a unique setting.

My rating: ★★★★☆

USA: Looking for Alaska by John GreenLooking for Alaska

Genre: YA, Contemporary

The story: The main character, Miles, transfers school and arrives in a dorm. His life is transformed as he meets a new group of friends, and becomes fascinating with gorgeous, self-destructive Alaska Young. Between last words and a search for the “Great Perhaps”, Looking for Alaska is an amazing YA novel, which breaks my heart every time I think of it.

My rating: ★★★★★

The Old Man Who Read Love StoriesCHILI: The Old Man who read Love Stories by Luis Sepulveda

Genre: Fiction

The story: Set in the Equatorian jungle, The Old Man who read Love Stories is the story of a man who used to live with the natives, and has to cope with the Americans who settled there, and their way of living. It’s a very poetic and original book, as well as an ode to nature.

My rating: ★★★★☆

Balzac and the Little Chinese SeamstressCHINA: Balzac and the little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie

Genre: Historical fiction

The story: During the cultural revolution, two city boys, sons of intellectual, are exiled in the far countryside to work. There, they meet the daughter of a local tailor, and find steal a suitcase full of books. Balzac and the little Chinese Seamstress is a tale of love and the importance of books. Definitely recommended to all book lovers and people who want to travel through books!

My rating: ★★★★★

FRANCE: My Brother Simple, by Marie Aude MurailMy Brother Simple

Genre: Contemporary

The story: It’s the story of two brothers, Kleber, who is 17 and a senior in high school, and his brother Barnaby, or as people call him, Simple. Simple is 22 years old, but has the mental age of a three-year-old. Kleber has to take care of his brother, since their father won’t take him seriously, and to change their situation, he decides they should move in with other students. My brother Simple is a beautiful and moving story which I will never forget!

My rating: ★★★★★

Be With YouJAPAN: Be With You by Takuji Ichikawa

Genre: Contemporary

The story: Between past and present, the story centers on the main character returning from the grave, and how he deals with his grief. Unique, moving and beautiful, I definitely recommend it if you are looking for something different and emotional!

My rating: ★★★★★

IRELAND: Dracula by Bram StokerDracula

Genre: Classics, Paranormal

The story: Need I really tell you what Dracula is about? It’s a dark tale of the Victorian period, between big city and lost mountains, humans and vampire… A rather disturbing book, and I have to say I was extremely proud of myself when I finished it. But still, it is a classic, and an incredible book. So of course I would recommend it.

My rating: ★★★★☆

*****

And that’s it for this week! I hope you enjoyed, feel free to comment with book recommendations and/or article suggestions! I’m thinking of making a book recommendation post with books set exclusively in Paris, what do you think?

Have a great Sunday guys, and i’ll see you soon!

Discussion: Read the book or watch the movie first?

I had this discussion the other day with my family and I decided to make a blog post out of it because I find it is an interesting topic to discuss, especially as a book lover.

We were talking about The Giver since my little brother had to read it for school. His teacher advised him to watch the movie first, so he did. My grandmother believes it is better to watch the movie first, and then read the book. However, I don’t agree, and I think it’s better to read the book first (and this has nothing to do with the fact that the movie did not exist when I read The Giver back in 8th grade.)

As a matter of fact, watching the movie before reading the book is something that happened to me more often than I wish it did. (Some examples are The Hunger GamesThe Perks of being a Wallflower, and The Silver Linings Playbook, which I saw in the cinema, while I only read the book recently.) Now that I think of it, it also happened with TV Shows, since I watched Game of Thrones and The 100 before reading the books (and I have completed neither of those book series).

However, I regret it now, and I think reading the book first is best.

I think movies are usually a great way to complete the book, helping the viewers put images to the stories they read (I hope I am making sense here…) This is something that really struck me when I read, then watched Room, by Emma Donoghue. The movie really helped me picture the story, how small, and crappy the room was, and how awful a person can look after living like this for years. This is not something that felt really clear in the book, and the movie really helped. But I think it was better to watch the movie afterwards. In general, I think the movie is a kind of bonus, to bring you more magic, more elements. But book adaptations are not things of their own.

You can argue that watching the movie first will allow you to go deeper into the story when you read the book afterwards, but to me, that is not the best solution. I think that since the book was there first, it should be read first. I know that many people have watched the Harry Potter movies and never read the books, for example, but I think that’s a pity. Watching the movie first is like reading spoilers before finishing the book.

Again, there are lot of good points to book adaptations. Like, it can help promote the story. And then people will read the book. People hear that the movie will be coming out soon, and decide to read the book before the movie (that’s the reason why I finally read Miss Peregrine’s). The movie can help the book get more audience. I personally have heard of some books through their movies (The DUFF, for example, which I still haven’t read, shame on me.)

But overall, I still believe that reading the book first is better. To some extent, it is because of my love for books. But it is too because the movie is an adaptations. Isn’t it better to know the “real story” first?

Anyway, that’s my opinion, and I would love to have yours! Please, share your thoughts in the comments!

Diversity Spotlight Thursday #1

Hi readers! The Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a new weekly meme created by Aimal on her blog Bookshelves and Paperbacks and I decided to take part because I love diverse books! As it turns out, I’m trying to read more of those, and I thought this feature might help me.

The rules are simple: in your diversity spotlight post, you share three books

  1. A diverse book you have read and enjoyed
  2. A diverse book that has already been released but you have not read
  3. A diverse book that has not yet been released

If you want to read more about it, you can check out the Announcement Post!

And without further ado, here are my features for this week!


A book I have read and enjoyed

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David LevithanWill Grayson, Will Grayson

Genre: YA, Contemporary
My Rating: ★★★★★

Why is it diverse? It features LGBT characters.

This book features two boys with the same name, who are both high school students and accidentally meet one night. It alternates chapter between both Wills, and they each tell their own story, and how their lives changed after the met one another, and met new people, etc. It’s a wonderful and refreshing book!

Goodreads


A book on my TBR

Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4)Winter by Marissa Meyer

Genre: YA, Dystopia

Winter is the last book in The Lunar Chronicles, and I have only read the first two so far. I know that each installment introduces a new heroine, and all the characters are very different. And since Winter is the last one, it finally features all the characters.

Why is it diverse? All the girls come from different origins, and it’s refreshing to read about original heroines.

Goodreads


A book releasing soon

The Sun is also a Star by Nicola YoonThe Sun Is Also a Star

This book will be released in November, but I keep hearing about it everywhere in the book community, so it got me curious and I definitely want to check it out!

Why is it diverse? It features diverse characters coming from different places.

Genre: YA, Contemporary

Goodreads


Thanks for reading, and feel free to share your favourite diverse books in the comments as I am looking for more! And I’ll see you with more diverse books next week!

Thoughts on A Clash of Kings

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Genre: Fiction, Epic Fantasy
Publication year: 2002
My rating: ★★★★☆

This is not exactly a book review, more like a few thoughts on this book since I have finally finished it!

As you may remember from a previous Teaser Tuesday, A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin (second book in A Song of Ice and Fire aka Game of Thrones) has been on my “Currently Reading” shelf on Goodreads since forever. I think I had already started it when I created my Goodreads account back in 2013… So yeah, needless to say it was high time I finished it. I tried to complete it last summer, and eventually failed. And now I have finally finished this giant chunk of a book.

First of all, I am absolutely delighted because it brought back all the feels from the TV show. I have to say, I was a bit disappointed by last year’s season, but this year’s was totally amazing. And now I am completely addicted to Game of Thrones again. I love how the books show us more on the story than the show did, and I am so glad to be with all these amazing characters again. I am going to start A Storm of Swords in September because I can’t wait to see what will happen next! Of course, I know most things because, again, of the TV shows, but the books have some differences, and I can’t wait to see how this one will turn out.

Honestly, I don’t know why I waited such a long time to read this book. The writing is excellent and addictive. It is just so beautifully written, I love it. Even during battle things, which are usually not my favourite thing, I am enraptured by the story.

I just love everything about it, these books are brilliant.

I wish I could say more about it, but honestly, I read the first half such a long time ago, I don’t remember all the details. I just know now that I love this series and will definitely read the rest of the books!

Thanks for reading, and have a nice day!