June Nerdy Post Unboxing | Multifandom

After six months without a subscription box I finally ordered another one! When I saw that the one year anniversary theme for Nerdy Post was Multifandom, I knew I had to get it, and oh my, I certainly do not regret it! I love every single item, even if some are not from fandoms I belong in, they are just too gorgeous.

Here’s a video unboxing if you’d like!

And of course, here are some additional pictures so you can admire the precious jewel that this box really is.

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Here you can see all the items except for the candle wax thing that I forgot on my bookshelves when I took the picture… And the poster… Anyway. The items are so colourful and beautiful, I just can’t get enough.

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Here’s a picture including the poster. And since some of the cards are printed on both sides, this is the other side for those, and they are both fantastic and gorgeous.

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Some more multifandom love with the little candle wax things, and let me tell you, their smell is absolutely divine.

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And of course I had to take a Harry Potter themed picture with this awesome wrist band. I love the design so much, the drawings are adorable, and it’s really easy to wear.

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And finally a Game of Thrones themed picture with this amazing quote about Samwell Tarly and books, what else could one ask for.


Thank you so much for checking out this post, I hope you enjoyed! If you want to check out Nerdy Post, here’s their website. Have a wonderful day ♥

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Lambs Can Always Become Lions: My Review

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When I saw that there was a retelling of Robin Hood with Robin Hood actually being a woman, and a F/F romance, I knew I had to pick it up. I saw the blurb, and suddenly I realised it was all I had been waiting for. And I wasn’t disappointed.

Title: Lambs Can Always Become Lions
Author: Charlotte Anne Hamilton
Genre: YA, Retelling, Romance
Publication: May 2017
My rating: ★★★★✩

The story:

Robin Hood – formerly known as Lady Loxley – lives in the woods with her companions, robbing rich carriages and dividing the money between the people who need it. They are outlaws, hoping for a better world, waiting for the return of King Richard, and running from the Sheriff of Nottingham.

With the help of her lover Lady Marian Fitzwalker, Robin hears word of an important shipment, and starts planning for an ambush, but gathering more information might endanger everyone she cares about, including Marian herself, who really wants to help.

My opinion:

I can’t even begin to tell you how amazed I was at the diversity in this book. First we get a F/F romance at the center of the story. But quickly we find out more about Robin’s friends, and discover that Will Scarlet is non-binary (which has officially become a headcanon, I will never see them as anything else from now on) and that one of the other members of the group is a Muslim girl called Edda who basically embushes rich people while wearing a hijab, and if that’s not awesome then I don’t know what is. It is also strongly implied that Little John is asexual. This book was so refreshing. I was literally squealing half the time while reading it. I need more books like this.

Lambs Can Always Become Lions follows the main lines of Robin’s Hood story as we know it, with Robin as an excellent archer, the merry gang living in the woods, the rivalry with the Sheriff of Nottingham, and of course, the romance with Lady Marian. I’m a huge fan of retellings, but I had never read a Robin Hood retelling before, though I really love the story. The closest that came to it was my binge watching Once Upon A Time two years ago. So if you have any great Robin Hood retelling to recommed, feel free to leave them in the comments, I am up for that!

I don’t know what else to say. I guess my only regret is that it was too short (96 pages). A sequel is coming in 2018 I believe, and I can’t wait to read it. I really hope you check out this book, and are as excited by the premise as I was. Please let me know your thoughts if you have read it, I would love to talk about it!

Ps: Follow the author on Twitter!

What Depression Feels Like

Before I go any further I just wanted to point out that everyone lives with their mental illness differently, and what I’m going to describe and talk about is just how I feel, and how I live with it. I plan on being really blunt and unapologetic about my feelings, so bear with me if you want to read this.

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I have depression and anxiety. And sometimes, it can be a horrible nightmare, though you probably won’t see it.

Have you ever felt like you didn’t have energy anymore, that you couldn’t do anything, that you simply didn’t have the strength? I feel like that almost every day. Going out of bed in the morning every day is a huge accomplishment. Going out of my room to go to the kitchen I share with five other people is an even bigger one. And going out of my flat an even greater one. And I always congratulate myself for that. It means I haven’t given up yet. Everything is a challenge. Walking to the bus stop? Talking to people? A challenge. Making food when someone else is using the kitchen? Perhaps the worst challenge of all.

I want to use examples of things my friends have told me to show how depression and mental illness are misunderstood, but also how they work – at least with me. And I’m not blaming my friends for what they said. It’s just to illustrate that they really don’t understand. And in a way, it’s good for them. Because I don’t wish that on anyone else.

I wasn’t planning on making my article this way at first, but basically this is how it ended up after a while, so I decided to roll with it. In bold, you will find things that people have told me. And then, how I feel about it.

“I like to think a good friend is like a therapist. You can tell each other everything. It’s like you are each other’s therapist.”

THE. HELL. NO.

I have already talked about that in previous posts I believe. I don’t want to burden people with my depression. And though I’m getting more and more open about it, there are some things that are not for my friends to hear. And it’s normal. I have too much thoughts, and too much dark ones at that. A therapist knows how to deal with this. Of course I talk with my friends. But I can’t talk with them every time I feel like shit, because that’s basically all the time. Just because it’s unbearable for me doesn’t mean it should be unbearable for them as well.

And if you compare a friend to a therapist it probably means you don’t need a therapist anyway. However, please consider their feelings in that matter.

“I had four mental breakdowns last week.”

Girl you clearly don’t have any mental illness, talking with your friends helps just fine, and you just made it very clear. You also know I have real mental illness issues. We have talked about it. So please don’t go around using words that don’t fit. If you say that I’ll get really worried for nothing. It was clearly not a “mental breakdown” even if your life clearly has ups and downs. And it also makes me feel like my feelings are not valid. How many time to we need to say it: stop misusing mental illness terms when you don’t have an actual mental illness. It hurts.

“I just think you can train your brain to stop having those thoughts if you work really hard.”

Oh trust me I have tried. I can recognize those dark thoughts. I can recognize the symptoms that are coming from my depression most of the time. But oh how I wish I could make them go away. When someone tells you you suck, you can’t help but hear it. Even if you know it’s not true. You still hear it, and it hurts. Depression is like this. It’s like having a shadow in a corner of your mind dancing at your unhappiness, and feeding on your darkest thoughts, and telling you that you are worthless. The worse you get, the happier it gets. You can’t not see it. You can’t not hear it. It hurts. But you can’t do anything about it. It’s here, it’s always here. And yes, noticing that this unhappiness, these dark thoughts, all this spiraling down (and so on) comes from your depression and your mental illness is a step. You can, if you take a step back, realise that those thoughts are untrue. But you can’t stop thinking them no matter what. It’s okay. Your pain is valid. Never let anyone tell you otherwise. (I’m both telling myself and you if you also feel like this. Stay strong. We’ll get through this.)

“She told me you don’t share a lot.”

First of all it’s up to me what I share or not. Second of all I don’t want to burden her (we were talking about one of our common friends) because she is a precious human being who is also going through a lot. And third of all, these horrible things are hard to put into words. And I’m afraid no one will understand. And I don’t really want to talk about it, maybe, have you considered that? Talking about suicidal thoughts isn’t exactly easy. And then again, I have a therapist for that if I need to.

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“I don’t know how you manage.”

Well trust me, neither do I. Though thank you, that is really comforting. Yes, there are also some positive things that I heard! And honestly, this is one of the most beautiful ones. By saying this you’re acknowledging my pain. And it makes me feel valid and stronger. And I want to go on.

“You’re such a strong person.”

This is something I don’t see myself. And having people tell me that is beautiful and troubling and comforting. Honestly I want to cry when people tell me that I’m strong. And a lot of my friends have told me that lately. It is the best compliment I have received. Please, if you have friends going through mental illness and problems, tell them that they are strong. They deserve to hear it. And be ready to hug them afterwards.

*

I think I will stop here for today because this article is already long enough. I just wanted to give you a bit of an insight of what it’s like to be in my head.

And don’t forget:

important

Same Love: My Review

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I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for a honest review. This doesn’t affect my thoughts in any way.

Title: Same Love
Author: Tony Correia
Release: August 10th
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
My rating: ★★✩✩✩

Trigger Warning:

I honestly would like to put trigger warnings for homophobia, racism and slut shaming because some elements made me really uncomfortable, and if this is something that triggers you, then you may want to avoid it. Oh and ableism too. This book has a gay main character, but so many people were against it and really homophobic it really pained me. If you’re looking for a gay positive book, you might want to read something else (even if the ending was decently positive).

The story:

Adam’s very religious parents are scocked and ashamed to find out that their son is gay and send him to a Christian camp for the summer, using his university savings. There, he makes new friends and tries to find an equilibrium for his religion and his sexuality. And little by little, he falls in love with one of his bunkmates… That’s the basic plot of the story, which also flirts with issues such as depression and slit shaming.

My opinion:

I would honestly really like to have someone else’s opinion on this book. So many things made me really uncomfortable, and I would love to discuss it, to see if I’m the only one (like, am I becoming really paranoid and see hate everywhere). I suppose it was made at least to some extent to reflect “real life”. I know this definitely happens to some teens. But is it really necessary to reflect such hate in fiction? This is open to discussion. I really want to know. It’s a bit hard for me to write this review because I have some really conflicted about this book.

What I did find interesting is that we got to see characters who are both Christians and gay, and it’s not something we get often in YA. However, I feel like it could have been dealt with in a better way. There is this post going around tumblr, where someone shows (by quoting the Bible) that being a loving person, and accepting people is the most important thing in religion. This is something I would love to see in a book, and I wish we’d had more of that in here. Sadly, I also know this is also often how things are in the non fictional world (and it’s also why I’m having so much trouble with religion, but it’s a complete other topic). What I want to say here, is that this book was heartbreaking in many way when it comes to family, and contained a lot of negativity, and it was, in my opinion, a pity.

I also had issues with slut shaming and racism in this book, and maybe it’s just made in a way to show that some people think like that and it’s bad and it’s find because our main character doesn’t. But really. It made me jump in my seat to see how Rhonda and Paul were treated (by Randall for example). And by the way, Paul is almost all the time described as Asian, but that’s not enough information. I believe he is Korean? I think that’s mentioned at some point. But again, you can’t just give minimalistic characteristic like that to your love interest. I think this should have been explored a bit more – once again, a pity.

And don’t get me started on the ableism. First we get Randall shaming Martin for being diabetic. And then the entire camp is shaming him for his mental illness – which was another issue overlooked by the book.

I want to believe this book was full of good intentions, and just badly executed. There were even some cute parts I enjoyed, but it’s overshadowed by all the parts that disturbed me.

I did like the ending though. But in the end, I don’t know what message I’m supposed to get from this book. Sure, our main character gets to accept himself more in a way. But most issues aren’t even solved in the end. The book isn’t even that long and I feel like a lot of elements could have been explored in a better way.

I really wanted to like this book, but so many things clicked wrong, I just couldn’t. (And on an afterthought, I checked other reviews on Goodreads and people seem to overall agree with me…) So I guess that’s it. Please let me know your thoughts if you have read this book as well. Thanks for reading this article, and I hope you have a wonderful day!

The Feminist Booktag

I found this tag on a French blog called Allez Vous Faire Lire (which would be translated as “Go read yourself” or something of the sort!) and when I saw the title, I knew I had to do it as well. It was created by La Voix Du Livre, another blog in French (The voice of the book).

Basically, the idea of this tag is to talk about female characters, female authors and feminist ideas. And I love it. If you want to do it, you just have to answer the 10 different questions.

I haven’t done a tag in forever, and it felt like a good idea!

*****

1- Your favourite female author

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Victoria Schwab

I haven’t read all of Schwab’s book yet, but I’m definitely planning on achieving that. She is so talented, and creates diverse and unique characters. Her fantasy worlds are amazing. And she, herself, is an amazing person. I really admire her.

2- Your favourite heroine

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Sansa Stark from Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

Based on both book and TV show, I really love Sansa and her character development. She has always been one of my favourite characters in A Song of Ice and Fire, and I think she is a badass underrated heroine.

3- A novel with a feminist message

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The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer

For this prompt I decided to pick the Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer because it has a set of diverse, badass ladies who are all different and take no shit from anyone, and basically save the world together.

4- A novel with a girl on the cover

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The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Many books would have matched this prompt, but I decided to pick one of my recent reads, with an important message and an incredibly brave heroine.

5- A novel featuring a group of girls

For this one, I first thought of the Lunar Chronicles series, but I eventually decided to choose it for another prompt. Then there is also the Summers of the Sisterhood series, which feature a group of friends through the years. And finally, I thought of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, and its modern retelling Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld (review). All of these match the prompt and have an amazing cast of amazing ladies!

6- A novel with a LGBTQIAP+ feminine character

The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker

This book centers on two amazing ladies who create cartoons together. It is taught through the point of view of Sharon, and her best friend, the other central character, is a lesbian. Honestly, this book changed my life. It was fantastic. (review)

7- A novel with different feminine POV

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When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

This book features three major different feminine point of views and I love it for that (and many other reasons). First, there’s obviously Dimple’s point of view, she’s a young feminist, and wants to have a great career as a coder. Then there’s her mother, who is more conservative, and wants her daughter to find a good husband. And then there’s Dimple’s friend Celia, who is also a coder, and struggles to be accepted by others (while Dimple basically doesn’t care). All three amazing ladies ♥

8- A book where a girl saves the world

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I can’t help but think about the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins and the Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth. But I wanted to mention something more original. And then I remembered about The Awakened duology by Sara Santana and the New World triology by Jennifer Wilson. Though I haven’t finished that one, it is definitely amazing.

9- A book where you prefer the female sidekick to the male MC

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Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

I will seriously never get tired of Hermione. She’s amazing. And I do love Harry Potter, but it’s in Hermione that I found myself while reading those books. She is such an inspiration.

10- A book written by a male author and featuring a female character

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All the Light we cannot see by Anthony Doerr

And of course I’m talking about Marie-Laure, who is one of the strongest characters I have ever read. Seperated from her father during WWII, uprooted from everything she knew, and still so strong. She is a character I will never forget.

*****

There are so many other great female characters that I love and admire, some of which are Annabeth Chase from the Percy Jackson series, Delilah Bard from A Darker Shade of Magic, Inej Ghafa from Six of Crows or Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games. The list never ends. Feel free to share your favourite in the comments!

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed! I’m not tagging anyone because I wasn’t tagged myself, and I don’t want to bother any of you, but if you want to do this tag as well, feel free to do so and consider yourself tagged!

Diversity Spotlight Thursday #19

Hi readers! The Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme which was created by Aimal on her blog Bookshelves and Paperbacks and you are welcome to participate as well.

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

I haven’t done a Diversity Spotlight Thursday in forever, but I’m trying to read more and more diverse books, and I love it. I’m also trying to read all the books I mentioned previously on the TBR part of my previous spotlight posts, and it works sometimes well, sometimes not at all because I’m also a lot busy… But we’ll get there. So here we go for this week!


A Book I Have Read And Enjoyed

Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard

Beautiful Broken ThingsFor this part I decided to talk about a book with a subject that is very important to me: mental illness. You can check out my review of Beautiful Broken Things here, I really think this book is important, and it talks about issues often considered taboo by our society. I liked the fact that this book shows how important and amazing friendship can be. It doesn’t contain any romance (as a main focus at least). And it felt realistic from beginning to end.

Publication: 2016
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Why is it diverse? Includes several characters with mental illness

My blurb:

Caddy and Rosie have always been best friends, and as far as Caddy was concerned, she didn’t need other friends. Of course, she had a small group of girls she would hang aroud with at school, but no one as dear as Rosie, even if they didn’t attend the same school, and Rosie was much more extroverted than her.

A new school year starts, and Caddy makes plans, to meet boys, become less of an introvert, or have a life changing event. Rosie in the meantime becomes very close to new girl Suzanne, and wants more than everything for Suzanne and Caddy to become friends as well.

Suzanne is beautiful and mysterious and Caddy wants to be more like her. She also believes that Suzanne is hiding something, but when she finds out what she realises she didn’t expect that at all. It’s something bigger than her, something that might change her life as well.


A Book On My TBR

She Wore Red Trainers by Na’ima B. Robert

She Wore Red TrainersI found out about this book on Reg @Shelatitude‘s blog, and I have to say it looks right up my alley, and I’m really curious.

Publication: 2014
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Why is it diverse? Muslim protagonist, Own Voice

Goodreads summary:

When Ali first meets Amirah, he notices everything about her—her hijab, her long eyelashes and her red trainers—in the time it takes to have one look, before lowering his gaze. And, although Ali is still coming to terms with the loss of his mother and exploring his identity as a Muslim, and although Amirah has sworn never to get married, they can’t stop thinking about each other. Can Ali and Amirah ever have a halal “happily ever after”?


A Book Releasing Soon

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

I keep hearing about this book everywhere, and what can I say, it looks fantastic!The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue

Publication: June 27th/August 10th
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction
Why is it diverse? Gay MC

Goodreads summary:

An unforgettable tale of two friends on their Grand Tour of 18th-century Europe who stumble upon a magical artifact that leads them from Paris to Venice in a dangerous manhunt, fighting pirates, highwaymen, and their feelings for each other along the way.

Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

Witty, romantic, and intriguing at every turn, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is a sumptuous romp that explores the undeniably fine lines between friendship and love.


That’s it for this week, I hope you enjoyed, and feel free to share your favourite diverse reads in the comments!

I talk about some other diverse books in my latest video here if you want to watch it!

Buy me a coffee?

Have a wonderful day ♥

Love Is Love: My Review

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I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for a honest review. This doesn’t affect my thoughts in any way.

Title: Love Is Love
Author: Mette Bach
Release: August 10th
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
My rating: 3,5 stars ★

The story:

Emmy is a high school student dealing with body issues as well as anxiety. After attempting and failing a relationship with a popular guy in school, she decides in agreement with her mother to leave Winnipeg, and start a new life with her uncle and aunt in Vancouver.

After years spending away from Vancouver, her father’s hometown – one reason among many others being the over perfectness of her cousin Paige – she is back and meets again with Paige’s trans friend Jude. Emmy is instantly attracted to him, even if both her cousin and mother warn her that he is trouble.

But Emmy finds herself spending more and more time at the café where Jude works and presents poetry and slam. And slowly, the wto of them grow closer.

Warning:

I found that this book inluded a lot of body negativity and it made me sometimes really uncomfortable. It does end on a positive message, but if it is something that triggers you, you may want to stay away from it.

There are also some passages where Jude is misgendered, so again, if it’s something that triggers you, you might want to stay away. It also made me uncomfortable. I get that there are (in real life) some rude people who refuse to gender trans people correctly. But is it necessary to include something harmful like this in a book which is supposed to have a positive message? (By the way, this is an open question, if you have an answer for that, I’m interested.)

My opinion:

First of all, I picked up this book because I absolutely loved the concept. It is unique, and unlike anything I have read before. An overweight protagonist and a trans love interest are sadly not common in literature, though they have so much potential. And I do feel, however, that this could have been exploited a bit (a lot?) further. The book is roughly 180 pages, but it could have been so much more. It was still great though, and had many passages I greatly enjoyed. I also really enjoyed Emmy’s character development through the book, and could really relate to her anxiety and lack of self-confidence, however I did find that it sometimes became a little bit unhealthy and harmful to read. She had lots of issues with her bodies which I can understand, but she was also very self-deprecating. And yes, it felt very realistic. But some body positivity would have been nice.

Another thing I wanted to mention is that I find the cover actually quite inaccurate, so don’t be fooled by it. For some reason it doesn’t seem to mach any of the protagonists?

I also appreciated the fact that the book was set in Canada. When it is not Fantasy or Dystopia, most of the YA (and fiction in general) I read is set in the US, or sometimes in the UK (which usually comes off as a nice surprise) so it was definitely interesting to see something playing somewhere else, even if the location didn’t play such a big part in the story.

The relationship of both characters to art and poetry was a great surprise, and I really enjoyed watching Emmy learning more about her dad. Her relationship with her mom was quite messed up, but seeing this bond with her dad – even if he has passed away already at the time of the story – was beautiful to read. And through writing of all things, of course I loved it.

I really like the fact that Jude and Emmy found each other through poetry, and got to realise they had a lot in common, and really understood each other more than everyone else did. But it felt that it all happened to fast. And I couldn’t help but think in the back of my mind that yes, it’s great to find love, but love doesn’t solve everything. Maybe I’m misreading it, but it seemed all too easy sometimes.

That being said, this book has overall a very positive message of accepting others as they are, and I couldn’t help but swoon at the end. I just wish it had been longer, and more deeply explored.

Feel free to share your thoughts on this book or my review in the comments, and have a nice day!