The Princess Diarist: My Review

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Today I’m going to review something a little bit different from what I usually do, since it is a non fiction book, and I haven’t reviewed one of those in a very long while. The Princess Diarist was written by Carrie Fisher, who is mostly famous from playing Princess Leia in the first Star Wars trilogy (Episode 4, 5 and 6). This book is a mix of memoir, diary and poetry, which deals with her life while filming Star Wars, and how it changed everything for her. She explains how much this role has influenced her life in many good and bad ways. She also discusses her short affair with Harrison Ford (who plays Han Solo). She talks about the way socitety sees her, and discusses her image, and so much more.

Release: October 2016
Genre: Non Fiction, Memoir
My rating: ★★★★☆

My opinion:

This book was beautiful and unexpected. It is hard to describe everything that I felt while reading it. It was moving and wonderful.

I have to say, six months ago, I had never seen any of the Star Wars movies. My Erasmus friends made me watch them all recently, and I absolutely loved them. Though I had never seen any of the Star Wars movies – or any movie with Carrie Fisher – I had always admired Carrie Fisher. And when I heard about this book, I knew that I had to read it. It is always interesting in my opinion to delve into the lives of famous people, because they are so much more than they appear, so much more than their image. Our society is a mess, honestly, and so is the Hollywood world. The world of fame is a hard one, where a lot of things are fake. And it’s by reading such books that you realise it. Just because people appear to be happy doesn’t mean they actually are.

What I found interesting in this book – and also very revealing of our screwed, sexist society – is that the world always portrays Carrie Fisher as Pricess Leia (if it can be in her very revealing slave outfit that’s even better). But she was so much more. And of course, I knew it, but I didn’t really know what she was, what she thought, etc. And through this book, I was transported through her thoughts. I discovered that she also wrote poetry. I read through her inner turmoils. When she filmed the first Star Wars movie, Carrie Fisher was roughly my age, and it is very interesting to see that we can have the same kind of thoughts and doubts and uncertainties.

The fact that it was a mix between journal and memoir was also very interesting because it included her thoughts while filming, and her thoughts on it about fourty years later. You can see how she evolved, how she grew, and it’s beautiful.

Carrie Fisher is also a very important figure to me because she spoke up about her mental disorder, and it’s something I really admire her for. She truly is an inspiration. She doesn’t really discuss it in this particular volume, but she does in others and I can’t wait to check them out as well. Her writing is raw and true, and she speaks about important things, about what’s wrong with our society. And I will never get enough of that.

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Balance Broken: My Review

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Balance Broken is the second book in the Starbright series by Hilary Thompson. It was first published in 2014. You can also read my review of the first book, Justice Buried, by clicking this link.

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Dystopia
My rating: ★★★★✩

Warning: Spoilers for the first book in the series!

The story:

Astrea and Lexan have escaped Asphodel, trying to figure out a way to save their people from First Leader Keirna, and achieve the prophecy surrouning their birth. Running away from the Tribes with the help of Stian and Zarea, they decide to turn to the city of Tartarus and its leader Hadeon. Except little by little, they realise there is more to their story, to the prophecy, to the past creation of the place they grew up in. The second book in the series takes them on a journey through their roots and their miraculous powers, trying to find a way to save their people, their world, and everything they know.

My opinion:

I read this book back in March, so it’s getting harder and harder to review it as I have read and done a lot since then, but I will try my best.

When I read the first book in the series, I came with low expectations and was pleasantly surprised in the end. With this one, I have to admit I liked it even more than the previous one, and I can’t wait to finish this series, now that I am finally out of my reading slump.

One thing I really liked about this book is that it introduced new, very interesting characters, like Hadeon and Irana. I’m a sucker for complex characters, and this book has plenty, including Astrea and Lexan, the main characters. I really like the evolution of their relationship (even if it’s a tad cliché, I really don’t care in this particular book!) and how it turned out in the end got me really curious about the last installment. What is also interesting is that these characters are not perfect, and they make mistakes. They have to go through impossible choices, but do not try to act like some sort of “superhumans”. They try their best and don’t always succeed. They go through a lot of shit, but they are human. I really like this aspect of the story.

On the other hand, I’m not a huge fan of Stian, to be honest, though I have to admit he is a quite interesting character. He is part of why I didn’t give this book 5 stars, unfortunately. I really love Zarea though, and I can’t wait to learn more about her.

I really love the fact that this series mixes a lot of different elements such as astrology and prophecies, but also mythology and dystopia, as well as fantasy and magic. It has a bit of everything, in a perfect and unexpected blend, and I just find this fascinating.

Overall, it’s a quick, catchy, easy and very enjoyable read. Very hard to put down. I definitely recommend it.

If you want to learn more about this series you can also check out my Release Day post.

Please feel free to share your opinion in the comments if you have read/are reading this book as I would love to discuss it. If you have anything similar to recommend, I am also interested!

Vassa in the Night: My Review

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I can’t believe I still haven’t reviewed Vassa in the Night here. I received it last year in the October Owlcrate (Once Upon a Dream) and I finally read it in January, not really knowing what to expect, and it was amazing.

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Russian Mythology, Retelling
Author: Sarah Porter
Publication: September 2016
My rating: ★★★★✩

The story:

In a magical Brooklyn, purple haired Vassa grew up with her step-mother and her two step-sisters, never truly finding her place in this family after her mom died, leaving behing a mischievous talking doll called Erg, and her father ran away.

Day after day, the nighs seem to get longer, but people keep on living their lives as if nothing strange was happening.

One night, all the lights in their flat goes off, and her sister dares her to go out and buy some light bulbs at the local convenience store to buy some. Except this particular convienience store is a gruesome one with a very particular policy: all shoplifters are beheaded, their heads exposed in front of the shop for days, and Vassa has always avoided it. But her sister is driving her mad, and this night, she decides to go. It may be a suicide mission, but she decides she has nothing to lose.

The shop is no ordinary one though, and its magic wants to trap Vassa. But she also has magic of her own, and unexpected help…

My opinion:

Vassa in the Night is a dark tale of magic and death and hope, maybe. And I absolutely loved it. It is unlike anything else I have ever read. And I couldn’t put it down. I spend an entire weekend gasping, crying and hoping on my bed. This book really never let me down. From beginning to end, it is full of surprises. It’s a really original story, and I definitely recommend it if you are into dark twisted stories.

A word of advice: this book was based on the Russian folktale Vassilina the Beautiful, which I had never heard of before, and at first I was really confused, so I decided to check out what happened in the tale (I love Russian mythology) and it really helped with my understanding of the book, so I would really recommend doing that if you want to read it to (which, again, I really recommend). It really made me enjoy and appreciate the book more. I love reading retellings, because I like replacing original elements in the new story, and once I knew more about the original tale, I realised how smart and creative and smart this book was.

From beginning to end, it was honestly a rollercoaster of a ride.

Vassa is a relatable character, smart and unique. It was so wonderful to read about her. Each and every one of the side character is extremely well written, which makes the book very enjoyable.

I can’t quite put into words what I felt what reading this book, from laughter to heartbreak. One thing is sure, it was a unique read, and it definitely made me want to read more books like it. So if you have any recommendations, they are very welcome.

Please feel free to share your opinion in the comments if you have read this book as well. Honestly, this book is one I will never forget and I would love to discuss it.

Anything You Can Do: My Review

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Finally, a book review. Considering I read this one back in February, it was long due… Like so many others I will maybe write and post at some point this month. Since I’m in a kind of book slum now, I figured it left me time to actually write reviews for all the books I read in the past two or three months which I hadn’t reviewed yet.

Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Trope: Enemies to lovers
Release: February 2017
Author: R.S. Grey
My rating: ★★★✩✩

Anything You Can Do

The story:

Lucas and Daisy have been neighbours for their entire life – until they moved to college. They have been rivals for their entire life, born a few hours apart, both excellent at school… Until they moved away, to study medicine. Now both of them are coming back to work side by side as doctors, both competing for the same job.

But the situation has changed in ways that Daisy did not expect. Especially when Lucas starts kissing her…

My opinion:

I picked up this book because I have been following the author on instagram for quite some time without actually reading anything of hers. So when I saw this was going to be released, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to pick it up and I did. It’s available on Kindle if you want to read it as well.

However, I was to say I was a bit disappointed. Overall, I did enjoy it, I just wanted more, expected more of it. Maybe it’s my fault for setting up my expectations too high. Maybe I was not in the right mood when I read it. I don’t know.

I really love the enemies to lover trope, it is honestly something I don’t think I will ever grow tired of. It’s my guilty pleasure I guess. So I did really enjoy this aspect of the novel.

But I often felt it was too slow, and I found the main character, Daisy, extremely frustrating. She failed to notice so many obvious things, damnit… I don’t want to say anymore because this is a spoilerfree review, but come on. She was a strong character in her own way, but she could also really be frustrating.

That being said, I really liked Lucas’ character. I thought he was much more likeable and patient than Daisy, though he too could be frustrating at some point.

Overall, the story was a bit predictable, but hey, it was obvious from the beginning. When you go into this kind of books, you know more or less how it will turn out in the end, and I will not complain about this. Anything you can do is a quick read and a no-brainer, so if that’s what you’re looking for, and if you like hate to love relationships, then this is definitely something you will enjoy.

Similar novels I can recommend:
* Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld. It’s a modern Pride and Prejudice retelling, you can check out my review here.
The 100 by Kass Morgan also has a hate to love relationship though in a very different context.

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Please feel free to share your opinion in the comments, and maybe point out things I didn’t notice, I would love to discuss in the comments!

March Wrap Up + April TBR

Books I read in March:
Adulthood is a myth by Sarah Andersen ★★★★★
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie ★★★★★
Melody’s Key by Dallas Coryell ★★✩✩✩ (review)
Balance Broken by Hilary Thompson ★★★★✩
The Phoenix Project by C.A. Gray ★★★★✩ (review)
City of Saints & Thieves by Natalie Anderson ★★★★★ (review)
The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen ★★★★✩
The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher ★★★★✩
Culottées #1 & #2 by Pénélope Bagieu ★★★★★

Additional reviews:
Scandalized by Tara Frejas
The Eden Conspiracy by C.A. Gray

TV Shows I’m watching:
Shadowhunters
The 100
Riverdale
New Girl
SKAM
That 70s Show

Currently reading:
The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab
The Princess saves herself in this one by Amanda Lovelace
City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

I’m in a book slump at the moment, sadly, so basically the books I am currently reading are all books I have barely started and am hoping to finish in April.

Again, I’m sorry this has not been a very busy month yes again. I can’t promise anything in the future, but I will definitely try to post AT LEAST once or twice a week. And we’ll see how it all turns out!

I attended the Paris bookfair…

… and I met Rainbow Rowell!!!

Here’s a little vlog I made about my experience.

Guys, I’m so sorry, I haven’t really been active lately. I wish I had, honestly. I still read a lot, and I could really write some book reviews, but for some reason I haven’t. I have posted some one my Booktube channel though if you want to check them out, just click on the video above!

Anyway. The Paris bookfair was amazing, I went twice, last Friday and last Sunday. I met five different authors, including Rainbow Rowell, which was something I never expected to happen to me. She was SO adorable. I even came to talk to her a second time because I wanted to get a picture with her, and the previous one I had was completely blurry. I almost didn’t go, but then I knew I would regret it if I didn’t, so I gathered my courage, and voilà!