November Wrap Up

I can’t believe November is already over, I really did not see it come and go and I barely had time to read anything it seems? I don’t know what happened. My friends visited me for a weekend and obviously I didn’t have time to read at that point, but that was only three days, so it’s not much of an excuse. I tried to do NaNoWriMo but I only wrote about 6k words, so again, not that much of an excuse.

I guess I’ve just been exhausted. Winter is here, it’s dark, and I’m watching lots of TV shows right now, so that would explain why I’ve been reading less. Also I am exactly half-wary through my internship! I have learn some things, and discovered new places. But mostly, I’m starting to panic because it’s going to end in 3 month and I have no idea what I will do with my life after that… Anyway, here comes my reading wrap up, featuring four books only this month, as well as the two I am reading at the moment!

Books I read this month:

Our Dark Duet by V. E. Schwab ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Finding Baba Yaga by Jane Yolen ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (review)

Lights of the Amalou vol.5 by Claire Wendling and Christophe Gibelin ⭐⭐⭐ (series review)

Tess of the d’Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy ⭐⭐⭐

Currently reading:

A Blade So Black by L. L. McKinney

Can We All Be Feminists? edited by June Eric-Udorie ❤️

TV Shows I’ve been watching:

Call My Agent! (10 pour cent), The Good Place, Great News
+ I’m rewatching Friends again

Movies:

Bohemian Rhapsody ❤️


Am I in a reading slump? Possibly. We shall see what awaits in December!

In the meantime, feel free to check out my latest Booktube video!

Top 5 Wednesday: Holiday Party Fictional Food

Top Five Wednesday is a weekly meme created by Lainey @GingerReadsLainey and she has passed down the torch to Sam @ThoughtsOnTomes. For more information and for future topics you can check out the goodreads group.


Holiday food is my favourite kind of food, and I also love bookish food, so obviously I found this week’s topic absolutely fantastic, and I wanted to share 5 bookish food I am obsessed with for the holiday season.

1. Madame Bovary’s Pièce Montée (Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary)

Madame Bovary’s wedding cake from Flaubert’s eponym novel is one of French Literature’s most famous piece of food and I am obsessed with it. I also have to admit that I love “pièce montée” and really resent the fact that it’s a celebration kind of food because I could honestly eat it every day. Of course I had to include it in this top.

2. Any kind vegetarian of Hogwarts banquet food (J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter series)

And I’m not talking about those stupid Hogwarts Mystery sandwiches, I’m here for the Welcoming Banquet from the Philosopher’s Stone, seen through the eyes of a boy who was never properly fed, I’m here for the Halloween banquet (and the one with the humans, not Nick’s birthday party), I’m here for the Christmas parties! If you try to tell me you didn’t get hungry while reading the Harry Potter books, I will not believe you.

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3. The waffles Nina wants to eat with Matthias (Leigh Bardugo, Six of Crows duology)

I had seen people mentioning the waffles on tumblr before actually reading the passage where Nina talked about them, and I was like what kind of quirk is that, it’s porbably overrated, whatever. That was before I read the passage. Now, I do want those waffles, and I want them now. 🥞

4. Catherine’s lemon pie (Marissa Meyer, Heartless)

If you like books with decadent food descriptions, then I would definitely recommend Heartless by Marissa Meyer (although you should be ready to have your heart broken). Throughout the book, Catherine bakes many cakes and pies, and I just can’t get that lemon pie off my mind. I just want to eat all the cake I guess. 🍰🥧

5. Percy’s blue birthday cake (Rick Riordan, Percy Jackson series)

Every year, Percy has a tradition with his mom for his birthday: eat all kinds of blue coloured food. And they’re not just eating blueberries, they are making blue coloured cakes and pancakes, and since I read those books I have become obsessed with the concept. In my mind, it is now associated with holiday/celebration food, and therefore deserves a royal place on my list. 🎂


I realised as I wrote this top that it matched last week’s list in many points, but what can I say, I have my faves and they hold a strong spot in my heart, so here we go again! Thank you so much for reading, and I wish you all the best for this holiday season!

Lights of the Amalou: Series Review

 

If you’re following me on Instagram you’ve probably noticed this series popping up on my feed a few times. As I have finally finished the fifth and last volume, I decided to talk about it on here!

Title: The Lights of the Amalou
Author: Christophe Gibelin
Illustrator: Claire Wendling
Genre: Comic, Fantasy
Publication: Between 1990 and 1996
It has also been published in English.
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐/5

The plot:

The story follows two groups living on amd isolated island in the middle of the (fictional) river of the Amalou, furets and transparents. They have been cohabiting for decades while hating each other. Their fate changes as two furets from the outer world, Andreas and Elwood, crash on the island, while the waters of the Amalou are rising and everyone has to flee.

Meanwhile, and old legend about the mythical place where both furets and transparents would come from, and the magical tree which would supposedly protect them, is turning out to be truer than what they thought, and suddenly furets and transparents have to put their difference aside to try and save the realm they came from, while Andreas and Elwood ally themselves with beautiful transparent damsel Orane.

My opinion:

I picked those books because they were lying around at work, and I didn’t really know what to expect at first. I very much enjoyed the concept of this story. It had many great fantasy aspects, and interesting twists when it came to the universe. The world building was great. It was easy to understand, while it also managed to keep some plot twists for later in the story which I really appreciated.

The main characters are Andreas and Elwood, as well as the transparent Orane. They were all interesting characters with their own complexities. Elwood was probably my favourite, he was scared of things but would do anything to protect those he cared about, and I really loved that about him. He was also willing to put trust in others which I also really appreciate, and to be honest, his character was my favourite aspect of the series.

Another thing I really loved about these books was the fact that transparent kids and furet kids would play together, oblivious to the hatred their parents shared. It was kind of cliché in a Romeo and Juliet kind of way but also totally adorable and really warmed my heart.

Overall, this series is rooted in the 90s French “Bande Dessinée” landscape and I also enjoyed this aspect of the books because it reminded me of all the comics I used to borrow from the library when I was a kid. The story is unique in its own kind of way, but you can also see where it comes from if you know comics a little bit.

I enjoyed the story, but it didn’t blow my mind. It was not that memorable, even if it had its sweet moments. The drawings were lovely, and I grew a little bit attached to some of the characters, but nothing more which is why in only gave it three stars. However, if you come across those books I would still recommend you give them a shot, if only for the universe and the drawings – you might be surprised!

Do I Really Want to See The Crimes of Grindelwald?

This article has been sitting on my mind for quite some time and I am finally settling down to write it. I have mixed feelings about this whole Crimes of Grindelwald situation, and I wanted to share them.

I case you don’t know I am a huge fan of all things Harry Potter, from the books to the movies to the whole fandom on tumblr which has been a source of magic and enjoyment for me since I joined the site in 2012. Oh my god I’ve been wasting my life on tumblr for six years now. I even went to see the exhibition when they were in Paris, and I loved it. I knitted my own Hufflepuff’s scarf for god’s sake. And I’m still playing Hogwarts Mystery almost every day, so I guess that sets the picture.

When Fantastic Beasts was released back in 2016, I went to see it with some friends and I absolutely LOVED it. I love this magical universe, and I’m also a huge fan of Eddie Redmayne and Ezra Miller, which simply makes me want to watch more. I also adore the character of Queenie. And when they announced that Zoe Krawitz would join the second movie as Leta Lestrange, I was even curiouser.

So what’s holding me back?

It all started when Johnny Depp was cast as Grindelwald. I honestly never understood the hype surrounding him, but now that I in addition know what a horrible person he is, I just don’t have it in me to even try and support him. I can’t believe the franchise made such a choice (and I also never pictured Grindelwald looking like this so it’s super annoying).

While I am on the topic of Grindelwald… I mean, it had become pretty clear to all of us at some point that he had a relationship with Dumbledore, so when Rowling announced that Dumbledore was gay, but would not be pictured as such in the movie (that’s pretty much what happened) I was in disbelief. I just can’t deal with this, it’s just ridiculous. And disappointing.

The other thing that completely disturbs me is the whole “I have been sitting on this for 20 years” revelation about Nagini actually being a woman. This is so messy, and I hate it. Nagini was an evil snake and horcruxe killed by Neville during the Battle of Hogwarts, why go make it a tortured Asian woman with a blood curse (while mixing up ethnicities). I just can’t even. It makes me feel bad about many different things, and kind of uncomfortable. This is disturbing, and I totally agree with the backlash that it got on social media. This is just bad representation. (Also if I remember correctly I remember Rowling telling that Nagini was a Thai word… And then make the character Korean??? This makes absolutely zero sense and I refuse to picture Nagini as a cursed Asian woman.)

BUT

Then I watched Jesse The Reader’s video about the premiere of the movie and it got me really excited about it. I still love the Wizarding World with all my heart and I remembered that they filmed in France which is something I definitely want to see. And yes I love the original cast from the first movie. And I loved th creatures. It’s a bit of a guilty pleasure, but I think I’m going to watch it anyway, and I hope I still enjoy it…

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Don’t judge me okay?

I will probably see it eventually, because I’m still curious about the story, and would love to see more of Newt Scamander and his friends. I reread my thoughts on the first movie and honestly I just really loved it when I saw it, so I think I should give this one a chance… I will still be able to judge it after I see it! I know it is bound to have problematic aspects, but I can still see that and enjoy the movie… Who knows, maybe I won’t even be disappointed.

Top 5 Wednesday: Characters You’d Want at Friendsgiving

Top Five Wednesday is a weekly meme created by Lainey @GingerReadsLainey and she has passed down the torch to Sam @ThoughtsOnTomes. For more information and for future topics you can check out the goodreads group.


I absolutely love the topic for this week, and I feel like it’s been forever since I talked about book characters I love. For this edition of the Top 5 Wednesday, I have chosen five characters I would love to spend Thanksgiving with, if I were to celebrate it.

Kai from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

I was thinking that I should have a character from The Lunar Chronicles in this list because I absolutely loved the series. I first considered Thorne but he is too much drama to handle in such a situation, or Cinder, but I came to the same conclusion. And then I realised that Kai was probably the perfect character to organise such a reunion!

Luna from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

She is my absolute favourite character in this series, and would bring her many quirks, to make this Friendsgiving pleasant and fun. I wish I could bring her to all of my family gatherings. Luna is also a deeply caring character, and I feel like if she were there, absolutely nothing could go wrong.

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Leah from Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

I need someone who can fangirl with me, and talk about tumblr (and cute girls?) Who would be better than Leah for such a task? I feel like we could be great friends and I sure want to give her a hug.

Nina from the Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo

Nina is one of my favourite characters ever, she is so strong and amazing. An inspiration, truly. She also loves waffles and food in general, which I figured would make her an asset for such a celebration as Friendsgiving! I would also love to give her a hug.

Percy from the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan

Percy has always been one of my favourite characters. Like, when everyone was getting obsessed with Harry Potter, I was obsessed with Percy Jackson (until I discovered that I could be obsessed with both series). I have always thought he was a very kind and caring character, and I feel like he would fit perfectly in a friend & family gathering.


Since Thanksgiving is an American thing, I never celebrated it so I’m always kind of imagining it as a Christmas like family reunion where you eat a lot, which is kind of what I had in mind while writing this post. And considering my list of guests, there would obviously be waffles and blue food 😉

Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful day!

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And on a side note, I would love to celebrate Thanks/Friendsgiving with the Nine Nine! ❤️

NaNoWriMo (Non) Update

When I was in 3rd grade, my teacher invited one of his friends who was a writer to come and talk to us, and sign some of her books. In my copy, she wrote:

“For Clémence, who dreams of being a writer.”

The first time I did NaNoWriMo was in 2015, and I got around 13k words. I haven’t really touched that story since then.

In 2016, I gave it a try again, this time with a story that had been sitting in my mind for about five years. I was so excited to put it out in the world. Again, I wrote around 13k words (out of the 50k NaNo gives you as a goal). Again, I haven’t touched it much since then.

Last year, I decided not to do it. Instead, I went through some poems I had written through the years and kind of compiled them in a Word document, which I now don’t really know what to do with.

This year I decided to give it a go again. I had an idea, which I got in September. I had an outline, with many steps. It’s the first time I have such a clear plan of what I my story to look like. It has witches, and adventure through Europe, spells and a fluffy F/F romance. Unfortunately, it only has 6k words for now. My biggest worry is that I won’t touch it after November is over.

For now, I try to write at least a few sentences every day. It’s a very slow process, and I’m starting to wonder if I will ever write my own novel. Maybe I need to mature more? Or maybe fiction is not my thing, no matter how much I love reading it. Who knows.

I don’t want to force myself to write, and yet, I also really want to write.

Truth be told, I am really considering writing a non fiction book about my experience with mental illness. People sharing their stories have really helped me, and I just want to do the same thing to others.

In the meantime, I just really want to read the last collection of feminist essays I bought over the weekend, and plan my trip to Berlin for the New Year’s. I don’t know if this year’s NaNoWriMo will be going anywhere in the future, but at least I’m glad I gave it a try. If I manage to keep writing after November ends, then maybe one day you’ll be able to read my story.

Top 5 Wednesday: Books I Want To Read Before 2019

Top Five Wednesday is a weekly meme created by Lainey @GingerReadsLainey and she has passed down the torch to Sam @ThoughtsOnTomes. For more information and for future topics you can check out the goodreads group.


This is actually my first time doing a Top 5 Wednesday, but the topic really inspired me so I decided to give it a go! I haven’t done a TBR list of any sort in a while, so here we go: five books I would like to read before the end of the year. And yes I know it’s Thursday, but I’m trying to be slightly more active on this blog these days, and this seemed like a good idea!

In no particular order:

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

I actually received this one when it was released and I didn’t have the chance to read it yet (I read Our Dark Duet instead…) I heard many great things about it, and hopefully will get to read it soon! Once I finish my current read (A Blade So Black by L. L. McKinney) would be a great time to start it actually.

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green

As soon as I heard that Hank was writing a book, I knew that I had to read it. Since it was released I also heard many great things about it, which made me want to read it even more!

Revenant: The Undead King by Rachel R. Smith

Revevant is the new sequel to the Records of the Ohanzee series by Rachel Smith and I absolutely LOVE this series, so obviously I want to read the new instalment. It’s just that, you know what they say, so many books, so little time. But hopefully I get to read that one before the end of the year!

Lions Can Always Learn To Roar by Charlotte Anne Hamilton

Adding another sequel to the list! This one follows Lambs Can Always Become Lions, a F/F retelling of Robin Hood which I absolutely loved. For some reason, I still haven’t gotten around to reading that one, but I am really excited about it.

I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem by Maryse Condé

This book is based on real life events; and it deals with witches as well as racism and sexism. I am dying to read it, I heard it was really a masterpiece, and it’s been sitting on my shelves since September, so hopefully I get to read it before 2019!


That’s it for today, five books I really want to read before the end of the year! I hope I actually get the time & chance to do so. And thanks for reading anyways!

Finding Baba Yaga: My Review

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Full title: Finding Baba Yaga: A Short Novel in Verse
Author: Jane Yolen
Genre: Fantasy, Poetry, Retelling
(could a blend of literary genres be more perfect that this one?)
Release: October 30th 2018
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

trigger warning: parental abuse

When I heard about this book, I knew it was right up my alley. I love retellings of Slavic mythology, and I hadn’t read any poetry in a while, so it was a perfect opportunity.

The story:

It follows the narrator, Natasha, a teenage girl who is abused by her father and decides to run away from home. After starving and wandering through the woods, she is taken in by Baba Yaga, the infamous witchy character from Slavic Mythology.

My thoughts:

I had read mixed reviews about this book before it was even released, but I absolutely loved the concept, so I knew I had to give it a go and see for myself. I didn’t go in with very high expectations, but I did love it!

I can only describe Finding Baba Yaga as the perfect blend between Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter, Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente and the poetry of Amanda Lovelace in The Princess Saves Herself in This One, and I am here for it. It works well as a story in verse as it does follow a story in chronological order about a girl who is abused by her parents and rescued by Baba Yaga when she runs away from home. The story also features Vassilisa the Beautiful, Prince Ivan and Koshei the Deathless, all beloved characters from the slavic mythology. So it is partly a story, and it is partly a retelling, but it is also an ode to strong women, through both the character of Baba Yaga, and the narrator herself. This book is feminist all the way, and I love it. I have to admit I have a soft spot for feminist poetry (I have already mentioned Amanda Lovelace, but I’m also thinking about Rupi Kaur here) and this book just did the trick for me when it came to this beloved topic of mine, so if that is also something you like, then I can only recommend Finding Baba Yaga.

Overall, this book was a pleasant surprise. It was right up my alley, which was all the better since I hadn’t ready any similar book in a while. Five Stars, it was also a quick read, and I would definitely recommend it.

October Wrap Up

 

Books I read this month:

Lights of the Amalou vol.2, 3 and 4 by Claire Wendling and Christophe Gibelin
⭐⭐⭐

Terada Katsuya + Kim Jung Gi, Illustration Book ⭐⭐⭐

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon ⭐⭐⭐ (review)

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (review)

The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp ⭐⭐ (review)

Goodbye Perfect by Sara Barnard ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (review)

The Kong Crew vol.2 by Eric Hérenguel ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (Release by the end of the year!)

Shows I’ve been watching:

Suits, The Good Place, Elite, Riverdale, Doctor Who, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Movie of the month:

Before I Fall

Currently reading:

A Blade So Black by L. L. McKinney

Tess of the d’Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy