Diversity Spotlight Thursday #14

Hi readers! The Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Aimal on her blog Bookshelves and Paperbacks and since reading diverse books is important to me, I’m trying to take part every week.

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!


A book I have read and enjoyed

Me & Earl & the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

This is one of my most recent reads, and while it was not my favourite book ever, nor one of my favourite reads of 2016, I really liked the concept of the story, and found it overall quite hilarious.

Me & Earl & the Dying GirlGenre: YA, Contemporary
Release year: 2012
Why is it diverse? POC characters + leukemia
A unique coming of age story.
Full review coming soon (hopefully)

Goodreads summary:
Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics. Until Greg’s mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel. Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia—-cue extreme adolescent awkwardness—-but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives. And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight.


A book on my TBR

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic, #2)Genre: YA, Fantasy

A Gathering of Shadows is the second book of the Shades of Magic trilogy by V.E. Schwab, following the amazing A Darker Shade of Magic which I absolutely loved (see my review here!) I keep hearing about how awesome and diverse this series is, and how it keeps getting even better with the sequel, so it’s on my list of must reads for 2017. The last book in the trilogy (A Conjuring of Lights) will also be released at some point in 2017 I think, and I’m also really excited about it. I’m not including a summary here because it might be spoilery if you haven’t read the first book in the series (and I definitely recommend you do that anyway!). If you want to check it out, here is the Goodreads page!


A book releasing soon

The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana

The Library of FatesGenre: YA, Fantasy
Release date: July 2017

Goodreads summary:
No one is entirely certain what brings the Emperor Sikander to Shalingar. Until now, the idyllic kingdom has been immune to his many violent conquests. To keep the visit friendly, Princess Amrita has offered herself as his bride, sacrificing everything—family, her childhood love, and her freedom—to save her people. But her offer isn’t enough.
The unthinkable happens, and Amrita finds herself a fugitive, utterly alone but for an oracle named Thala, who was kept by Sikander as a slave and managed to escape amid the chaos of a palace under siege. With nothing and no one else to turn to, Amrita and Thala are forced to rely on each other. But while Amrita feels responsible for her kingdom and sets out to warn her people, the newly free Thala has no such ties. She encourages Amrita to go on a quest to find the fabled Library of All Things, where it is possible for each of them to reverse their fates. To go back to before Sikander took everything from them.
Stripped of all that she loves, caught between her rosy past and an unknown future, will Amrita be able to restore what was lost, or does another life—and another love—await?

This book looks absolutely amazing, and I’m really excited about it!


And that’s it for this week, please feel free to recommend me more diverse reads in the comments and have a nice day!

Teaser Tuesday #46

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme is hosted by Ambrosia from The Purple Booker.

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!

Me & Earl & the Dying Girl

This week I am (among others) listening to the audiobook for Me & Earl & the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews. The book was released in 2012 and I kind of feel like I am the last person in the book community to read it, but finally, here I am.

Genre: YA, Contemporary

My quote:

“I am definitely the stupidest smart person there is.”

Goodreads

Sunday Recommendations: Winter Reads

Merry Christmas readers, and on this occasion, I will be sharing with you all some great winter & Christmas reads! I also made a video about this which you can find here. And in the meantime, here are my selections for this week’s Sunday Recommendations!

*****

The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

hpAnd especially book 1 to 4. I couldn’t talk about Christmas without talking about Harry Potter, because Christmas at Hogwarts is such a magical event, of course I had to mention it. It always seems like the perfect occasion to read Harry Potter anyway, but I think Christmas is the most perfect one. Especially for the first book, because this is where Harry, who grew up with people who didn’t like hime, discoverse the true magic of Christmas, and gifts. The fourth one is also a great exemple with the Yule ball, obviously. Then the story gets darker, and it’s not that much of a Christmas read anymore. But if you have never read the Harry Potter series, what are you waiting for? Go pick it up and cuddle by the fireplace!

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Lord of the Rings (The Lord of the Rings, #1-3)I believe The Lord of the Rings is another great series to cuddle by the fireplace. Winter sounds like fantasy to me, cuddling up with a great adventure, and of course, The Lord of the Rings is the perfect pick. I read them when I was in 8th grade, and I have to admit I have never watched the movies (I know, shame on me). But I definitely plan on doing that at some point. And I would also like to reread the books because I think I didn’t appreciate them to their full extent.

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

img_20150529_221140I believe Narnia is another great fantasy and adventure that matches with the Christmas spirit, and especially The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which is the second book in the series, and probably the most well known. It is the perfect book for winter, because at that point, Narnia is stuck under the snow, in the midst of a never ending winter… So of course it’s the perfect read for now. It just matches the Christmas spirit perfectly. Whether you dream of a white Christmas or not, I think Narnia is a wonderful read for winter and Christmas.

Let it Snow
by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle

img_20151217_173838I believe Let it Snow is another perfect example of the perfect Christmas read, of course because it takes place on Christmas. Let it Snow is all about people going home for Christmas, and reuniting with the people they love on the longest night of the year. It is a very sweet book, which matters a lot to me because it is the book that got me back into reading two years ago. You might find it a bit cheesy, but honestly, it never gets too cheesy for me, and it’s a Christmassy book, so what’s the point if it’s not about love and sweet things like this? If you haven’t read it yet, I definitely recommend it as a Christmas read, or something you might give as a present!

My True Love Gave To Me
a collection of short stories collected by Stephanie Perkins

MTLGTMAnother book that you have to read during the winter, this one is a collection of 12 different short stories, all set around Christmas break. This is about people finding each other, and celebrating Christmas/Hanouka/New Year’s Eve together. I have to admit I didn’t enjoy all the stories, but you don’t have to read them all if you don’t want to! And that’s the good thing about short stories. For example I absolutely loved the first one, which was written by Rainbow Rowell… And many others. Honestly, this book is the perfect read for Christmas break, it has a bit of everything! (review)

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

IMG_20160521_183625While I’m talking about Rainbow Rowell, I was about to mention Fangirl as a great winter read, and then I remembered that Landline is set during Christmas and Christmas break, so I believe it’s an even more perfect pick for this list. This book is probably one of my favourite 2016 reads, and I really recommend it anyway, but moreover, it’s the perfect time of the year to read it! If you want a contemporary, cheesy book, then that’s the thing for you. If you want a book with a Christmas miracle, then that’s also the thing for you. Unlike FangirlLandline is more of an adult fiction, with tads of magical realism, and I absolutely loved it. (review)

The Weaver’s Riddle by Claire Marie Lucas

the weaver's riddle 1An last but not least, another fantasy/adventure book which is also a perfect read to cuddle by the fireplace with a hot drink in my opinion. If you have read all of the books above, you may not have heard of this one anyway (which is available on paperback and kindle if you want to read it right away). This book is about a booklover (what is not to like?) who goes on a quest to save her favourite bookshop and is transported to a magical kingdom where all the women have disappeared. There, she realises she has to help those people, and also the mysterious boy-dragon who is their captive. One of my favourite 2015 reads, I definitely recommend it, and I cannot wait for the sequel!! (review)

*****

And that’s it for today! I hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas, or a wonderful holiday if you do not celebrate it.

xoxo

Clémence

One more life update before Christmas!

Hi readers! I hope you are all haveing a great time for Christmas break with the people you love, because it’s what Christmas is all about. I flied hope for Christmas to be with my family (which is not as feisty as it sounds) and I will be with my high school friends for New Year’s Eve, and I am really excited about this, because for the first time ever, I will celebrate New Year’s on the beach!!

In the past few weeks, I have been extremely busy with studying, and also spending time with my Berlin friends, and traveling around Germany. I am having such a good time there, I didn’t even want to come home for Christmas. (But here I am, reunited with my bookshelves…) I will be flying back on January 2nd anyway.

In the meantime, I made a new travel video, so if you are curious, here it is!

I don’t think I have mentioned it yet, so I also wanted to thank you all for 300 followers! I never expected that to ever happen when I started this blog. I never expected myself to be that involved either (though I have been slacking lately). And this makes me extremely happy. I have found something I really enjoy, something that makes me really excited. And that is fantastic, isn’t it? So thank you all for being with me on this journey.

While I’m bragging, one of my recent videos got over 100 views which is absolutely crazy. So thanks again. And I made my first sale on Etsy, which is also something I had stopped believing in!

I hope all sorts of wonderful things happen to you as well. Merry Christmas, and I will see you soon ♥

Aristotle and Dante discover the Secrets of the Universe

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

I feel like I am the last person on Earth who has read Aristotle and Dante discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sàenz, but it was such an amazing book I still feel the need to write a review of it. I actually listened to it on Audiobook, and it was narrated by Lin-Manuel Miranda, and it probably made the story even better, if that was possible.

Genre: YA, Contemporary
Publication: 2012
My rating: ★★★★★
DEFINITELY RECOMMENDED ♥

The story:

Aristotle is a solitary teenager with his older brother in prison, and the weight of his father’s past as a soldier in Vietnam weighing on his shoulders. He is trying to stay busy during the summer, and do whatever he wants.

Dante is the smart and witty son of a professor, another unique teenager with a lot of imagination and ideals.

The two boys meet each other at the swimming pool and eventually spend the rest of the summer hanging out together. But one event following another, they each have to go their own way at the end of summer, not sure if the relationship will hold.

Aristotle and Dante is a wonderful story of coming of age, finding yourself and growing up, which I would pretty much recommend to anyone. Set in the 80s in the South of the US, it follows two teenagers of Mexican descent trying to find themselves and it’s absolutely wonderful.

My opinion:

I cried and laughed so much while reading this book, it was really an emotional and wonderful story. In addition – and I know I have already mentioned this – Lin-Manuel Miranda’s narration was absolutely amazing.

I haven’t read many books set in the 80s, I don’t know why I find so little of them. I read Eleanor & Park over the summer, and aside from the story (which I also really liked) I really enjoyed the setting of the 80s, so it was a really nice surprise to find that this book was set in the same decade, because honestly, I didn’t really know what to expect when I started it. I just knew that everyone was recommending it, and now I know why, and will also recommend it to everyone.

Aristotle and Dante were both somehow relatable characters, and this is always something I enjoy in a book. I could recognize myself in how they were lost/hesitant. I could recognize myself in their desire for solitude. And I don’t know why this is something I always love in books for some reason, I really loved the “learning how to drive” part.

Overall this was both a refreshing read and an extremely emotional ride. And it’s definitely a must read.

Diversity Spotlight Thursday #13

Hi readers! The Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Aimal on her blog Bookshelves and Paperbacks and since reading diverse books is important to me, I’m trying to take part every week.

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!

I wanted to make my regular post last week, but I didn’t get to write it in the end, so here it is, one week later!


A book I have read and enjoyed

The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

Also known as Severed Heads, Broken Hearts
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Published in 2013
My rating: ★★★★★ (review)

Goodreads summary:
Golden boy Ezra Faulkner believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them—a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen. His particular tragedy waited until he was primed to lose it all: in one spectacular night, a reckless driver shatters Ezra’s knee, his athletic career, and his social life.
tbofNo longer a front-runner for Homecoming King, Ezra finds himself at the table of misfits, where he encounters new girl Cassidy Thorpe. Cassidy is unlike anyone Ezra’s ever met, achingly effortless, fiercely intelligent, and determined to bring Ezra along on her endless adventures.
But as Ezra dives into his new studies, new friendships, and new love, he learns that some people, like books, are easy to misread. And now he must consider: if one’s singular tragedy has already hit and everything after it has mattered quite a bit, what happens when more misfortune strikes?
Robyn Schneider’s The Beginning of Everything is a lyrical, witty, and heart-wrenching novel about how difficult it is to play the part that people expect, and how new beginnings can stem from abrupt and tragic endings.

I know this book does sound cliché at first, but it includes physically disabled characters, LGBT+ characters as well as characters consulting psychiatrist, so in the end, I found that it was a different and refreshing book!


A book on my TBR

In the Country We Love: My Family Divided by Diane Guererro

Genre: Non Fiction, Autobiography
Released in May 2016

Goodreads summary:
The star of Orange is the New Black and Jane the Virgin presents her personal story of the real plight of undocumented immigrants in this country.
In the Country We Love: My Family DividedDiane Guerrero, the television actress from the megahit Orange is the New Black and Jane the Virgin, was just fourteen years old on the day her parents and brother were arrested and deported while she was at school. Born in the U.S., Guerrero was able to remain in the country and continue her education, depending on the kindness of family friends who took her in and helped her build a life and a successful acting career for herself, without the support system of her family.
In the Country We Love is a moving, heartbreaking story of one woman’s extraordinary resilience in the face of the nightmarish struggles of undocumented residents in this country. There are over 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the US, many of whom have citizen children, whose lives here are just as precarious, and whose stories haven’t been told. Written with Michelle Burford, this memoir is a tale of personal triumph that also casts a much-needed light on the fears that haunt the daily existence of families likes the author’s and on a system that fails them over and over.


A book releasing soon

How to disappear by Sharon Huss Roat

Genre: YA, Contemporary
Release: August 2017
Why is it diverse? It deals with social anxiety which is hugely disregarded in my opinion.

Goodreads summary:
Vicky Decker has perfected the art of hiding in plain sight, quietly navigating the halls of her high school undetected except by her best (and only) friend, Jenna. But when Jenna moves away, Vicky’s isolation becomes unbearable.
How To DisappearSo she decides to invent a social life by Photoshopping herself into other people’s pictures, posting them on Instagram under the screen name Vicurious. Instantly, she begins to get followers, so she adds herself to more photos from all over the world with all types of people. And as Vicurious’s online followers multiply, Vicky realizes she can make a whole life for herself without ever leaving her bedroom. But the more followers she finds online, the clearer it becomes that there are a lot of people out there who feel like her— #alone and #ignored in real life.
To help them, and herself, Vicky must find the courage to face her fear of being “seen,” because only then can she stop living vicariously and truly bring the magic of Vicurious to life.
In this beautiful and illuminating narrative, Sharon Huss Roat shines a light on our love of social media and how sometimes being the person you think you want to be isn’t as great as being the person you truly are.


And that’s it for this week, I hope you enjoyed and please feel free to recommend more diverse reads in the comments! Have a nice day! Have you read any of those? Feel free to share your (nonspoilery) opinion below!

Heartless: My Review

img_20161125_104916.jpg

Hi readers, and first of all, I am very sorry I have been so inactive recently. I was very busy with uni work, and sightseeing Berlin with a friend. But now I am back in Paris for Christmas break, and I have many reviews that are long overdue. One of them is for Heartless by Marissa Meyer, so without further ado, here we go!

Genre: Fantasy, YA, Retelling
Publication: November 2016
My rating: ★★★★★

The story:

Catherine is one of the most popular girls in Wonderland, beautiful, rich and from a rich family, and also the center of the King of Hearts’ attention. He wishes to propose and make her his wife, but all Cath cares about is opening a bakery, the best one in Wonderland. But before the King is able to propose, Catherine meets Jest, the new Court Joker, and soon realises she is falling for him, though this was not part of her life plan… Nor her parents’ obviously.

As the King enter a courtship with her, Cath grows closer to Jest, and starts questioning all she knew in a country menaced by the mysterious Jabberwock.

My opinion:

This book being a retelling of Alice in Wonderland following the future Queen of Hearts, I know it could never end well, however I couldn’t help hoping for my happy ending. I grew very attached to Catherine, who is a rather relatable character. Bold, independant, and also a dreamer, Catherine is the girl I sometimes wish I could be. It gave me a complete new view on the infamous Queen of Hearts, and I will probably never read Alice in Wonderland the same way.

I am a huge fan of The Lunar Chronicles so of course I had high expectations for this book. I was also very curious because it focuses on a character known as a villain, like Fairest. And I have to say, I was not desappointed. Maybe it was not as good as The Lunar Chronicles, but it was still an amazing and very emotional read, and I gave it five stars without second thoughts.

This book made me swoon and laugh and cry and stress out about all the dear characters. Even though it was a retelling, it still managed to have great surprises in store for the readers, and I really appreciated it.

I’ve read it at the end of November and it’s getting harder to write a proper review, so I won’t say much more now. I really liked this book and I heavily recommend it. It was unique, surprising, and overall an amazing read!

Recommended for:

Retelling lovers, Alice in Wonderland fans, overall people who liked The Lunar Chronicles and enjoy a great YA fantasy. If you watch the TV Show Once Upon a Time then this is also something I would recommend!