Top 5 Tuesday: Summer Reads

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Shanah @ The Bionic Book Worm. I can’t believe May is coming to and end already, to be honest. I feel like the confinement robbed me of Spring time (which I love!) and I didn’t have to mentally prepare for summer. And now I’m back to work although the situation is definitely not over, and it’s just a lot to take in. But anyway, this is not what I wanted to talk about today.

I think about “summer reads” a lot for some reason, so when I saw the topic for this week, I knew that I had to do it. For some reason, I associate summer reads with contemporaries. Preferably contemporaries that take place in the summer, but not necessarily. I also LOVE making “summer reads” blog post recommendations, so for today I’m going to first of all attempt picking up books that weren’t on last year’s post, and also books that I have read recently.

Once and For All by Sarah Dessen

When I think summer reads, my mind immediately jumps to Sarah Dessen. Along for the ride will always be one of my favourite books, but for today, I have decided to pick up one that is a little more recent. It takes place mostly over the course of the summer, and despite also lying on heavier topics, it is a perfectly swoon-worthy summer romance. If you haven’t read it yet, maybe this summer is the right time to do so? Bonus if you like weddings, because this book has plenty of them. As for me, I just finished Someone Like You and I will have to find another Sarah Dessen book to read this summer!

Frankly in Love by David Yoon

I’m including this one first of all because it’s a contemporary, and second of all because I’m already thinking a YA “books to read this summer” display at work, and I want to include this one because I didn’t get to promote it that much thanks to the confinement. It’s an adorable coming-of-age story that includes many aspects of a cute romance, and while it doesn’t take place entirely over summer, it does have the “last summer before college trope” and that’s definitely a win. So if you haven’t read Frankly in Love maybe this summer will be the perfect timing for you to read it? I hope so!

Love from A to Z by S. K. Ali

I’m SO GLAD that I found yet another opportunity to talk about this book. It does not actually take place in the summer, but rather over Spring break, and that will have to do, because it actually really have a “summer vibe” with what of Adam’s friends all being back from wherever they are, and Zayneb being halfway across the world to visit her aunt. Love from A to Z also deals with important topics such as racism, islamophobia and grief. And that makes it both an important book, and a great coming-of-age story. The romance is also one of the best I’ve ever read, hands down.

Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno

I still think about this book a lot, and I’m so glad that I read it last year because it was absolutely excellent. I can’t believe I forgot to include it in my “cute romances” blog post, it would have fitted right in! It has characters bonding over the fact that they are preparing a wedding together, it has tales of the sea, and it also is a great story about family. I absolutely loved that book, and I hope you do too.

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

Out of all this list, I think this is actually my most recent read. Radio Silence is an excellent queer, coming of age story that also has some more heavy topic such as parental abuse and depression. That broke me a little bit because I wanted to protect these characters at all cost. But it also has the most wonderful friendhips, and some fun summer shenanigans which makes it the perfect read for this summer in my opinion. (And like Frankly in Love and Once and For All, I’m planning on including this one in my YA summer reads display at work. The other two, unfortunately, have not been translated into French yet.)

I also wanted to include Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli because I feel like I haven’t read it in a long time, and this book was so important to me. But we have already reached five books, so I’m just adding it here as an afterthought. It’s also a quality, cute contemporary romance, so you do what you want with that information!

And that’s it for today! Thank you so much for reading, stay safe, and have a wonderful day! May it be full of books if you want it to be, and full of rest if you need it to be.

Middle Grade Book Recommendations

A long time ago, along with other book bloggers, I started organizing middle grade book readalongs, centered at first on Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, but the idea died down month after month, and I got busy with life and other things. What didn’t die is my love for middle grade books. In the midst of a two months long confinement, I just celebrated the fact that I HAVE BEEN WORKING AT THE BOOKSTORE FOR A YEAR NOW! And I’m in charge of the kidlit/middle grade/YA section, which means that I got the chance to discover and read more middle grade books this past year! And this rekindled my love for middle grade books. Some I would probably have read anyway, and some I discovered by chance and fell in love with. Which is why, today, I’m here to share all the love that I have for middle grade books!

I’m obviously not going to talk about Percy Jackson, even if I just binge read Heroes of Olympus, because it’s all I’m talking about these days, and I wanted to share my love for OTHER SERIES that also deserve it ♥ (Have I mentioned how excited I am that Percy Jackson is finally getting the TV show it deserves?)

Without further ado, here are seven middle grade books(eries) that you should check out!

City of Ghosts (Cassidy Blake #1) by Victoria Schwab

Okay so yes, I know I just said I wanted to share the love about authors and books I don’t talk about all the times, and I KNOW I talk about Victoria Schwab a lot. But hey, it’s worth it. Her books are amazing. The Cassidy Blake series is about a young girl whose parents earn a living by talking about ghosts. They have written many famous books as “The Inspecters” and are now having their own TV Show, which means they’re going to travel to cities famous for their ghosts. They talk about folklore and history, and are not necessarily believers. Cassidy probably wouldn’t have been a believer either, if not for the fact that… her best friend is a ghost. Jacob has been hanging out for the past year, ever since Cassidy almost died. And now they are going to be thrown into cities populated by dangerous ghosts. First Edinburgh, then Paris… And the third books, which will be released next March, is going to be set in Venice!

Aru Shah and the End of Time (Pandava Quartet #1) by Roshani Chokshi

This one is another series in the making and I am OBSESSED with it. I have yet to read the third book, but to be perfectly honest with you, I’m waiting for the paperback version to be released because I want it to match the rest of the series… Anyway. This one does have a special place in my heart, obviously because I loved it. The story is fun, action packed, with awesome characters. But also because I managed to sell it splendidly at work, and I will forever be proud of it. Spreading the love, one book sale at a time! Anyway. Think Percy Jackson, except it’s hindu mythology. On a bet, Aru opens a magical lamp in her mother’s museum. And suddenly, she finds out she is the reincarnation of a famous hero, and she has ten days to save the world, while traveling across the US. These books are excellent, and I will never stop recommending them.

Nowhere Boy by Katherine Marsh

A contemporary book for a change! Nowhere Boy is absolutely precious, and I’m so glad I decided to give it a go. Throughout the book, we follow two books who despite the fact that they have nothing in common, end up sharing a house in Brussels. Max comes from the US and his father has been relocated to Belgium for one year. He has to attend school in French despite his not speaking a word of it, and left all of his friends behind. Needless to say, he is less than happy about it. Ahmed fled Syria with his father. He lost him on the way, and ended up seeking refuge in the basement of a house in Brussels. One night, they meet, and the boys become friends. It’s a beautiful book about friendship in the face of adversity, that also deals with important topics such as the refugee crisis. And of course, I would definitely recommend that you check it out ASAP.

The Strangers (Greystone Secrets #1) by Margaret Peterson Haddix

This one is another fantasy book series that I believe is underrated. I’ve seen the first two books I mentioned around quite a lot on Bookstagram, or Book Twitter, but I haven’t seen this one much except for when I actively look for it. But I’m here to say: if you like middle grade books, then you should definitely give this one a try. The second book in the series has been released in early April and I have yet to read it. Here’s the premise: one day when the come back from school, the Greystone kids come across an odd piece of news. Three kids have gone missing, and they share their names, as well as age, and exact birth dates. The coincidence becomes even bigger when their mom disappears the next morning, leaving behind her a few scattered clues, and abandoning them in the care of a woman they barely know. So of course, they try to piece it together, and what they discover is even bigger than anything they could have foreseen, and much scarier… I’m not going to say anything more, but I LOVED the plot twists in this one, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel!

Thisby Thestoop and the Black Mountain by Zac Gorman

Just like The Strangers, I came across this one unexpectedly, because I received an ARC copy of the French edition at work. And I’m so glad that I decided to give it a go! It’s full of dark humour and irony for a start, and I am always here for that. It’s a story about friendship, and girls standing up for one another, which again, I am here for. Thisby is in charge of feeding the monsters of the Black Mountain, and checking up on them regularly, so that it remains what it is supposed to be: an attraction for wannabe heroes who want to earn some glory. From the get go, I loved the twist on classic fairytale like stories. One day, Iphigenia, the princess and heiress to the throne comes to visit with her brother. When the prince goes missing, the two girls set up on a quest among the half destroyed mountain to save him, facing on their way more monsters than they possibly could have expected. This book was fun and original, and featured not one but two badass female characters. There’s also a sequel called Thisby Thestoop and the Wretched Scrattle, and I can’t wait to check it out!

Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee

Like Aru Shah, this book is a part of the Rick Riordan Presents imprint that promotes books featuring all different kinds of mythology and cultures. That’s pretty much everything they have in common… Well, except for the fact that I also loved them both. Dragon Pearl is a standalone sci-fi/fantasy book featuring creatures from classical Korean mythology, except that it’s set in space. Think something like Gu Family Book or Arang and the Magistrate* meet Star Wars. Min comes from an old family of gumihos, who live on a distant planet. Nobody really knows about their origins, because foxes have a bad reputation. Because, you know, they can shapeshift. When her bother goes missing, and is accused from treason, she runs away from home with one goal in mind: find him, figure out what happened, and clear his name. The book is full of action, and had a very strong vibe of “middle grader saving the world” vibe which I absolutely loved. If you want to check out more middle grade fantasy books, but are too afraid of starting a series because you know you won’t finish it, then this is the thing for you!

*Two of my favourite sageuk kdramas, the first one featuring Gumihos aka shapeshifting nine-tailed foxes, and the second one being about ghosts.

Wings of Olympus by Kallie George

Last but not least, a book about Greek mythology that isn’t written by Rick Riordan (yes, they do exist!) This one is set up in ancient Greece, and follows Pippa, a girl who loves horses, and who is an orphan. One day, she is selected by Aphrodite to take part in a pegasus race organised by the Gods, an event that only takes place every hundred years. It’s an incredible honour, but her pegasus has a mind of its own, and the other kids look down on her because they come from wealthier backgrounds. And honestly, who would take Aphrodite seriously when it comes to winning a competition? She is the goddess of love after all. But Pippa is strong-willed, loves her pegasus Zephyr with all she has, and his determined to win. Its a beautiful book about friendship, and I quickly fell in love with it. A sequel, The Colt of the Coulds, was released in April and I cannot wait to check it out.

And of course, I couldn’t end this article without mentioning one of my favourite reads of 2019, a middle grade book AND a Canadian Classic, yes I’m talking about Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. If you haven’t done that yet, do yourself a favour and go read this book. I don’t know why I waited so long. (And yes, I am also obsessed with the show Anne with an E. I’m still upset Netflix canceled it.)


And with that, I’m done for today, and going back to reading!

Top 5 Tuesday: Favourite Opening Lines

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Shanah @ The Bionic Book Worm. Feel free to check out her post where she shares all the topics for this month! The theme for this week is “opening lines” and as I’m not really good at remembering quotes, I’m afraid I’m not going to be super original, but it sounded fun, and it’s a bit different from my usual content, so let’s have a go at it!

In no particular order:

#1 Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”

I remember I studied this book when I was in high school and we literally spent hours on this sentence. But that didn’t keep me from loving the books, and rewatching the movies countless of times. Jane Austen is a queen and master of irony, and we get it from the get go, and I love that for her and for us.

#2 Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling

“Mr. and Mrs. Dursley of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.”

I warned you I was going to be very unoriginal, and there was no avoiding this one. You can feel the looming disaster that’s about to unfold and change the Dursley’s life forever. It’s irony at its finest, and I love it.

#3 Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

“Look, I didn’t want to be a half-blood. If you’re reading this because you think you might be one, my advice is: close this book right now. Believe whatever lie your mom or dad told you about your birth, and try to lead a normal life.”

Another brilliant thing about those books, by the way, is the chapter titles. Since I shared about Harry Potter, of course I had to share about my preferred child Percy Jackson. Especially considering we are finally, at long last, getting a long awaited TV show. I’ve always had a soft spot for this book series, and the older I get, the more I enjoy how sarcastic and ironic Percy is as a narrator. From the very beginning of the books. And I am here for it ♥

Let me share a story with you. As a primary schooler, I was a very avid reader, and took pride in it. But it turns out, I was always a bit of a snob. So I refused to read the Harry Potter books because everyone was reading them, and I thought it was too mainstream. Instead, I read the Percy Jackson books, and fell in love with them. But one day, my younger brother started reading them, and suddenly it was impossible for me to not have read a book that he had read, so I started binge reading them under my desk at school. And yes, I loved them, but Percy Jackson will always have a special place in my heart. (Which is why I don’t know why it took me until this Spring to read Heroes of Olympus, but hey, I have read them now!)

#4 The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

“When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold. My finger’s stretch out, seeking Prim’s warmth but finding only the rough canvas cover. She must have had bad dreams and climbed in with mother. Of course she did. This is the day of reaping.”

These first few lines are so intriguing, and you can’t help but want to read more. I have read the books a couple of times, and would recognize them anywhere. Am I sharing this because the prequel is just getting released, and I feel nostalgic? Maybe so, but it’s still worth it, and an excellent opening line. I feel like after the Ballad, I will probably end up rereading those once again. If I’m not rereading PJO in preparation for the TV show. Oh my, this is such an excellent year for all the content I used to love as a child, and then a teen.

#5 More Than This by Patrick Ness

“Here is the boy, drowning. In these last moments, it’s not the water that’s finally done for him, it’s the cold.”

This opening line is so intriguing, and really sets up the pace for one of the best and most unique books I have ever read. If you haven’t read More Than This, then I would definitely recommend it! It’s a really good book that makes you think about death and the possibility of an afterlife in a very original way. And truth is, it’s about so much more, but I don’t want to give it away in case you don’t want to be spoiled, but know that: this book is brilliant.

And that’s it for today! Please feel free to share your favourite opening line in the comments, and have a wonderful day!

The Fever: Rant Review

I bought The Fever by Megan Abbott at Festival America in Paris back in 2016, right before I moved to Berlin. Now that I think about it, and considering where I bought it, I should have figured that I wouldn’t be able to relate, because I would end up finding it too American. But anyway. Maybe this also has to do with how my taste has evolved when it comes to reading.

If you liked this book, be prepared, I’m going to complain a lot, and criticize it. You don’t have to read. Now you have been warned!


Title: The Fever
Author: Megan Abbott
Genre: YA Mystery/Thriller
Release: 2014
My rating: ⭐⭐

The story:

A small town turns to chaos as girls start having seizures at school, and people attempt to find out what caused the sickness. Throughout the book, we follow the points of view of Tom, a popular teacher at school, as well as his two teenagers Eli, who is a popular hockey player, and Deenie, whose friends have gotten mysteriously sick.

My thoughts:

I don’t make a habit of talking too much about books I didn’t like. I’d rather talk about those I enjoyed, and share the love, rather than complain. But I’ll make an exception for today because I really have to get this off my chest, and it’s been a while since I was THIS ANNOYED with a book. To be perfectly honest, the only reason I didn’t give it only one star was because I didn’t have the heart to. And the writing was actually good, unlike the story.

The Fever is supposedly a mystery/thriller kind of book about “bad girls” but honestly, I didn’t see it. I know it has received a lot of praise, and the blurb on the back of the book made it seem really catchy, but it just didn’t work for me. The story WAS intriguing and I kept reading until the end (with diffuculty) because I really wanted to see the cause or the culprit or whatnot, but even that was underwhelming.

Off topic, but if you want to read a YA contemporary about “bad girls” instead, I can totally recommend See all the Stars by Kit Frick instead. The mystery aspect of it was more interesting, and the characters more complex! In my humble opinion at least. But back to business.

First of all, let me get this out of the way because it’s probably the thing that annoyed me the most: throughout a huge chunk of the book, we see people arguing that the mysterious seizures have been caused by a vaccine. The amount of antivax talk I had to go through with this book was INSANE and just made me want to throw the book across the room. This kind of thinking is HELLA TOXIC and if this is something that triggers you in any way, then please stay away from this book. I know it made me super uncomfortable.

On top of the insane antivaxxers that constantly pop up, there is also some mysterious talk about the lake of the town. Apparently the waters are weird, and it ended up not playing a part in the book, and I was confused.

Overall, there was a lot of talk about sex, and a lot of lying, and a lot of hiding the truth from people who were supposed to be your best friends. This book took the whole concept of it’s okay to mess up when you are in high school to a whole new level that I was absolutely not invested in. I guess this was my mistake. I was hoping I would find great family support and/or a sense of sorority among the group of girls. I don’t know, anything that would make me root for them. But it just didn’t happen. Instead, we got girls hating on each other, and trying to put each other down, and I ain’t got no time for this. We stan girls who support each other. The rest is a result of patriarchy and we have to break the cycle.

Another thing I heard this book compared to was the Salem Witch Trials, and considering people spend at least half of the book arguing that those seizures have been caused by a vaccine, yeah, you see where I’m going with this: there was no such thing as a witch trial. I was expecting people to be accused, girls trying to protect each other because they were innocent… I got none of this and once again, I was disappointed as well as thoroughly underwhelmed.

Finally (and once again, this is just personal) this book had a very strong “small American town” vibe that was utterly foreign to me. I remember noticing this in other YA book like This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp for example, and lots of other YA contemporaries that take place in small towns where everybody knows everybody. And usually I don’t really mind. I can’t relate, but I don’t mind. But in The Fever it just sounded too fake and unrealistic. All the school assemblies and whatnot. I don’t know, it just didn’t click right this time. But hey, I still managed to finish the book. And now I’m going to donate it because I need more shelf space.

In conclusion, if you want to read a book with strong female characters going through some shit, read Wilder Girls by Rory Power instead. It also has a weird epidemy that appeared because of unknown reasons, but it’s more mysterious, and has an (almost) all girls cast as it’s set up in an all-girls school that is stuck in quarantine. It has girls standing up for each other, it was much more interesting, and I loved it. Also it’s super sapphic and that’s always a bonus ♥ Basically, they had some ground topics in common, and Wilder Girls handled it much better than The Fever. (Again, that’s only my personal opinion, but if you haven’t read Wilder Girls, I’d definitely recommend it!)

And that’s enough complaining for today! Thank you so much for reading this far, and I hope you have a wonderful day ♥

#ThePositivityWave N°4

The positivity wave is a weekly Friday update created by Meggy @ Chocolate ‘N’ Waffles. I haven’t done it in a while, but as I’m back to work this week I didn’t have the time to make a book review, or rant, or whatnot so I decided to participate in the positivity wave for a change! Here are some things that made me happy this week.

🌊 As I said, I’m back at work and even though the situation is not the best with social distancing, I’m still glad to do something else with my days. There’s been a lot of customers, so I keep busy, and I feel useful for a change.

🌊 Not to brag, but a lot of my regular customers have complimented my new haircut and it sure feels nice!

🌊 One of my most anticipated releases of the year aka The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar was released this week and I started reading it immediately!

🌊 I’ve been looking for a new place to live now that the confinement is technically over, and so far it’s going great.

🌊 This is more of a thing that happened over the last couple of weeks, but it still makes me really happy for some reason so I wanted to share anyway. I’ve become obsessed with Lore Olympus (the webcomic) and Hadestown (the musical). On top of that, I binge read Heroes of Olympus around the beginning of the month, and it reminded me of how much I loved all things Greek mythology, and it has somehow reenergised me 🥰 And now the PJO tv show has been announced on top of everything, I am on top of the world!

🌊 As I read YA book after YA book during the confinement, and peppered it with kdrama and a few shojo, I came to realise something: it’s like I leveled up who I was in high school. It’s like, I still enjoy and read the things I used to love, except I do it more openly now. I full on accept it, and I get to share both at work, and online, and I guess what I want to say is that it’s extremely satisfying.

🌊 And last but not least (I don’t want to jinx it!) I started writing again! I stumbled upon a great pep talk on Monday and picked up my 2018 NaNoWriMo project (which didn’t have a lot of words as I quickly gave up) again. I’m really excited because it’s a concept I really liked, and I’m hoping I one day get to finish the story!

And that’s it for today! Have a wonderful day, take care & stay safe!

Top 5 Tuesday: Worst Rulers

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Shanah @ The Bionic Book Worm. The theme for today is a bit different, and I love that! The good thing is, I feel like it’s something I never really talked about, AND it’s a fun topic. So without further ado, here is my list of five of the worst bookish rulers ever, all coming from some of my favourite book series.

The first one that comes to my mind would be Balekin from The Folk of the Air by Holly Black. Maybe that’s because I hadn’t talked about The Cruel Prince in a while. But as soon as I read the prompt, I thought about him. He’s more of an antagonist, maybe, but one thing is sure, he WANTS to be a ruler. And he would make for a terrible one. And while I’m at it: if you haven’t read this series yet, do yourself a favour and go check it out. It’s full of wonderful villains, magical creatres, and complex characters ♥

The second pick came to my mind immediately after was one I pretty sure I have mentioned before, and that comes from yet another of my favourite book series: of course I’m talking about the Dane twins from the Shade of Magic trilogy by my queen Victoria Schwab. They are perfectly evil and super cruel. As rulers, they are absolutely horrifying.

As for my third pick: how could I not mention President Snow from The Hunger Games in a list of utmost terrible villains? Especially now that his prequel is going to get released soon. Which I am definitely curious about. I’m not going to make up my mind before I check out the book, but I have to admit his youth was not something I was curious about when I first read The Hunger Games. But I’m going to trust Suzanne Collins with The Ballad of Songbirds and Serpents, and hope I am right in doing so!

For my fourth pick, I’m going with yet another terrible queen: Levana from The Lunar Chronicles. Her prequel Fairest showed how deliciously evil she was. What she did was not forgivable one bit, both to her family, and to her people. And actually, to the rest of the world as well. (Bonus, I got to talk about yet another of my favourite series!)

As for my last pick, I’m going to go with one of my latest reads because it’s still fresh in my mind, and not at all because I’m obsessed with this universe: Gaia, the Earth mother from Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan. In the beginning of times, she used to rule the world alongside her husband Ouranos, the sky. They were then defeater by their children the Titans, who were in turn defeated by their children the Gods. In Heroes of Olympus she is trying to rise to power again, causing all sorts of havoc. While she is not technically a ruler at the time, she has a pretty strong following, and is still a queen albeit a defeated one, and I think she definitely deserves a spot on the list because damn, she’s cruel and terrifying.

And that’s it for today! I had a lot of fun coming up with this list, and I hope you did reading as well. Feel free to share your picks, and have a wonderful day!

Wilder Girls: My Review

I hesitated as to whether or not I should pick up this book, but I’m glad I did! It’s so different from anything I’ve ever read, and I was worried about the whole gore situation but I didn’t actually mind. I have to confess I haven’t actually read Lord of the Flies for that very reason (okay, I don’t know much about it anyway, but I have more often than not been disappointed by classics, which is also why I’m afraid to give it a try). But when I heard that Wilder Girls was a genderbent, feminist retelling of the classic, it suddenly was right up my alley. On top of it, I’m always looking for sapphic book recommendations, and here I am, I have now read it.


Title: Wilder Girls
Author: Rory Power
Genre: YA Horror
Release: 2019
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

TW: violence, death, body gore, suicide

The plot:

Blurbed as a feminist, genderbent retelling of Lord of the FliesWilder Girls starts eighteen month after an epidemy, the Tox, took root on the island of Raxter. The only residents are an all-girls school, and all of them are either affected or dead. The whole island is in quarantine, only receiving food from the outside world who promised they were looking for a cure.

Month after month, the bodies of the girls are transforming, and they go through horrible seizures.

When her best friend Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to help. Even if that means going out of the school, into the forrest. But the girls are not the only ones affected by the Tox, the animals and the forrest iself are more dangerous than ever, and Hetty just might discover more than anything she could have expected…

My thoughts:

First things first, how absolutely gorgeous is that book cover? I love it. It is both disturbing and fascinating, and the last reason why I wanted to pick up this book. The other reasons being, as I mentioned before, the fact that it was a genderbent retelling of The Lord of the Flies aka a huis-clos following a bunch of girls stuck on an island and trying to survive. And the fact that, you know, I wanted to read a good original sapphic book. What can I say? None of these aspects did disappoint. And although I am slightly horrified, I am really glad I decided to give this book a try.

The story is overall a bit slow-paced, but I didn’t mind. Little by little, we as reader get to know how we got there, and what happened in the 18 month preceding the start of the book. As the characters are mostly in the dark about things, it still remains mysterious and scary through most of the book. But the pieces do come together. The book was intriguing at first, and quickly became enthralling.

The narration is divided between Hetty and Byatt, separated, as they both discover several aspects of the Tox and how it came to be. The story is full of suspense and secrets until the very end. I also really liked how it navigated the girls’ past, how they became friends, as well as their much horrible present. It’s a story about surival despite all odds. I want to say it’s inspiring, but that probably wouldn’t be the most appropriate term. What is for sure is that Hetty and Reese are some of the strongest characters I have ever read about, and I absolutely admire them.

And finally, what can I say, I absolutely loved the slow burn of Hetty and Reese’s relationship. I am so weak for the trope of one character saying I don’t want to be your friend and the other character understands it as I don’t like you when the first one ACTUALLY MEANT I want to kiss you. It is so EXTRA but also works every single time. And kudos to my girl Hetty for mentioning very early in the book that she has always been attracted to both boys and girls although she has never really been in a relationship. That made my bi heart a little fuzzy and I am here for it.

The end of the book was rather open which I didn’t really expect but I liked it. Most of our questions were answered which I didn’t see happening until the very last minute, so props for that. And although I haven’t mentioned them yet, I also really liked all the side characters like Carson and Julia. Welch and the headmistress were also more complex than they seemed at first, and I liked that. Overall, this book shows a large variety of girls and I want to protect them all from the world, both the one they live in, and the one we do! Rory Power really created a masterpiece.

Books I Keep Saying I Should Read

I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m really bad at TBRs. Every time there’s a prompt about “books I want to read this summer” or “books I want to read before the end of the year” or even “anticipated releases” I will gladly talk about those books, and surely end up not reading them. While browsing through my blog (yes I do that) I ended up coming up with a list of books I keep mentioning that I desperately want to read but ended up not reading. Until, for a few of them, a few weeks ago! And I thought it would be fun to once again talk about those books, because I swear I do want to read them!

The Seven Husband of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

When I originally started this list a few weeks ago, I was strongly considering picking up this one as a next read but then, you know, I didn’t. I’ve been meaning to read it for quite some time now, and that for two reasons: I keep hearing nothing but wonderful things about it, and I read Daisy Jones and the Six last year, and loved it. It’s even been sitting on my Kindle for quite some time now, but I don’t know, it hasn’t happened yet.

The Vegetarian by Han Kang

I have owned this book for YEARS and been meaning to read it for even longer. It’s another one I was hoping to pick up during the confinement, but I guess it didn’t happen. I binge read Heroes of Olympus instead (worth it!) which has nothing to do with it, I know. But hey, it’s sitting on my nightstand pile of books. The ones I’m supposed to pick up soon. So I guess it’s going to happen eventually!

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen McManus

No clue why I haven’t picked up this one yet. I loved her previous book One Of Us Is Lying and was really curious about this one. I love the title. It has gorgeous blue decked pages. It’s on my nightstand pile. It just hasn’t happened yet.

Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell

I remember saying I couldn’t wait for this one to be released. Look at all the good it has done to me. To be fair, I do have one reason in mind as to why I haven’t picked it up yet: I think I don’t want the story and the magic to be over! But I know that I will pick it up eventually. And binge-read it, probably.

Love From A to Z by S. K. Ali

I’m pretty sure this one was on my list of books I wanted to read last summer. And then on my list of books I wanted to read before the end of 2019 (which was pretty much the same list of books). But the good news is, I have actually read this one! It’s a sweet, beautiful story, but it’s also so much more. It’s a book about fighting for justice, and it also deals with grief. And of course, it’s THE CUTEST love story. Check out my review, and I’m sure it will make it to my favourite reads of 2020 list! So that’s a success.

Once and for All by Sarah Dessen

Another book I’d been planning on reading last summer, since like all other Sarah Dessen books I’ve read, it has a strong summer vibe. (The infamous list) I’d probably been planning on reading it the previous summer as well, considering I got it at the Paris bookfair a solid two years ago. The good news is, I’ve finally read it, and I loved it! And that’s another sucess.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

My friends got me this book for my birthday back in 2015. Because they knew that I wanted to read it. And guess what? I haven’t. I’m pretty sure it has actually been on my TBR since 2013, when I heard about it. I’m not giving up just yet. This book sounds amazing, and I will read it at some point. I just don’t know when.

A Column on Fire by Ken Follett

This is the second MASSIVE book on my list, and I know that the reason I haven’t read it yet is just that: it’s massive. Just like The Goldfinch, the book is impressive, and I can’t bring myself to pick it up just yet (although, I know, this confinement would have been a good opportunity. But hey, there’s still summer, and if we can’t travel I guess I will have some free time on my hands!) I absolutely LOVED both Pillars of the Earth and World Without End so there’s no need to say I’m pretty excited about this one.

The Magnus Chase trilogy by Rick Riordan

It’s no secret that I always say I’m a huge fan of Riordan’s work. Until recently, I’d only read the original Percy Jackson series, but I binge read the Heroes of Olympus recently, and now I have absolutely no excuse not to pick up Magnus Chase. On top of that, I LOVE Norse mythology. I just need to finish a couple of my current reads, and then I’m pretty sure I’ll pick up that one (although saying it feels like I’m jinxing it… We’ll see!)

And finally, Fierce Frangile Hearts by Sara Barnard

I’d loved all of her previous books, and how she deals with friendships and families. It’s also nice to read YA books that don’t take place in the US but rather in places I’ve actually visited like Brighton! So yes, this book was on my TBR for last summer. But the good news is, I have actually started it! And as soon as I am done with my OTHER current reads aka Wilder Girls by Rory Power and The Fever by Megan Abbott, I WILL be completing it ♥

I was originally planning on making this blog post a video, since I haven’t filmed in a while. But I realised I didn’t have the energy to film. There’s a reason I mostly gave up on my channel, but have always been persistent on my blog. I like writing better than talking. So here we are, this blog post happened. Thank you so much for reading, stay safe, and have a wonderful day!

Top 5 Tuesday: Cute Romances

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Shanah @ The Bionic Book Worm. The topic for today is “cute romances” and I thought I would give it a try, but it was not as easy as I thought it would be! When I think about my all time favourite books, they would not necessarily qualify as cute romance stories. One Day for example, is an epic love story, and one of my absolute favourite books, but definitely woudn’t work for the prompt. Anyway.

As I attempted to make a list for today’s top 5 I realised that I don’t actually read that many cute romance books? I find it hard to define my favourite genre, to be honest. I like fantasy, and when it comes to contemporaries, I will be more likely to go for books dealing with mental illness, so not necessarily romance. There is also the factor that we are looking for cute romance, so for example books like This Is How You Lose the Time War would not match the prompt. I’m talking about this one because it’s one of my latest reads, and I absolutely loved it. However, while it’s strong on the romantic side, and stunningly beautiful, it would not qualify as cute.

Nevertheless, here come five favourite picks for this weeks topic ♥

Love From A to Z by S.K. Ali

I’m going to kick off this list with one of my latest reads because I absolutely LOVED it. This book was super cute and sweet. Yes, it absolutely deals with super important topics such as islamophobia and grief. It’s also a book about friendship, and family, and seeing the many wonders of the world. But you can’t also deny that it’s a romance. A very cute and beautiful romance. I binge read it, all the while thinking JUST HOLD HANDS ALREADY.

A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard

This one is one of my favourite books ever. I think it has to do with how much I could relate to the main character. Heck, I’m sure of it. And also I probably read it at a time when I really needed it. The depiction of thought spiralling and anxiety was absolutely on point. And the romance was beautiful and cute. It was realistic and heartwarming in my opinion. This book will always have a special place in my heart.

Once and for All by Sara Dessen

I felt like I couldn’t write this post without including a book by Sarah Dessen, because she does write some amazing YA romance. The last one I read was Once and For All, and it has so many cliché romance elements but I did not care. Both Louna’s first love and current romantic interest make up for cute stories. On top of that, this book contains a numerous amount of weddings. It’s a feel good book that also has some character developments and deals with grief, because that’s how Sarah Dessen seems to like writing her characters. Some of my favourites also include Along for the Ride and The Truth About Forever and I’m pretty sure they would also have worked here but I wanted to choose something that was a bit fresher in my mind!

Heartstopper by Alice Oseman

Of course I had to include Heartstopper as well. As soon as it had crossed my mind, it became obvious that this adorable web comic more than belonged on the list. It is the epitome of a cute romance.

Let’s Talk About Love by Kathryn Ormsbee

The romance in this book is so pure and cute. Both Alice and Takumi are pure cinammon rolls. Their relationship was full of adorable clichés, and they cared for each other so much. I’m swooning just thinking about it. Yes, I do love epic love stories, but I’d trade them any day for such a cute romance.

Now that I got started with this list I keep getting more and more ideas of cute romance books. Turns out I actually do read some. So i’m going to include two runner ups that were among my favourite reads of 2019: Don’t Dare Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno, and Rosie Loves Jack by Mel Darbon. And that’s it for today, thanks for reading ♥

April Wrap Up

The only good thing that came out of this confinement: I got to read A LOT of books this month, including some that had been on my TBR for a really long time, and I’m really happy about it. That being said, it also feels like this month has lasted a decade. And I’d love to be able to go back to work. But anyway. I read a grand total of 17 books this month (which makes more than a book every two days), so without further ado, let’s get into it!

YA books:

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I had heard many great things about this one, and was curious about it because I wanted to check out more novels in verse. Well I wasn’t disappointed. It’s a great coming-of-age book about a girl who likes to write poetry, and who comes from a very catholic family. While I wasn’t very familiar with her hispanic background, a religious family is something I can relate too, and always appreciate in a book. And now I can understand why it got so much praise: it totally deserved it!

I’m Not Dying With You Tonight by Gilly Segal and Kimberly Jones ⭐⭐⭐

The story of two girls stuck together in the middle of a race riot. They end up at the wrong place, at the wrong time, and will have to stick together if they want to make it out alive. (Full review)

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw ⭐⭐⭐⭐

An amazing witchy book! I’ve seen many people describe it as an “atmospheric read” and I have to agree that it gives off a very unique vibe. I’d been really curious about this book for quite some time, all the more so since I read Winterwood and I really enjoyed it. The universe was unique, although the general plot was mostly predictable. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed it!

Once and For All by Sarah Dessen ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This book had been sitting on my bookshelf for two years, and I am so glad that I finally picked it up. I really like Sarah Dessen’s books, they are great feel-good romance stories (kinda what you need when you are stuck at home!) but also have interesting characters, and often great family relationships, which is why I really enjoy them, and Once and For All was definitely what I wanted it to be.

Scavenge the Stars by Tara Sim ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This was the last Owlcrate book on my TBR. It’s a fantasy genderbent retelling of the count of Monte Cristo, and I ended up really enjoying the story, despite my not really liking Dumas’ book because I was forced to read it for school. In the end, I fell in love for the universe and the characters, and I cannot wait for the sequel.

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Do I need to introduce this series anymore? I really enjoyed The Raven Boys, so naturally I picked up the sequel, and I think I might have enjoyed it even better thanks to Ronan’s POV and a bit more of an insight on the Lynch brother’s past. I haven’t picked up book three yet, but I will definitely. At some point.

The Heir by Kiera Cass ⭐⭐⭐

Another sequel I ended up picking up this month! I really enjoyed The Selection original trilogy when I read it back when it was, I think, 2016. It took me a while to pick up this one (which even coincided with the movie or TV show or whatever being announced) and while I did enjoy it, and am planning on reading the last instalment, the magic didn’t work for me as much as it did in the previous volumes. Also I gotta say, it is damn predictable. But it was still a fun read, and I read it in a day!

The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab ⭐⭐⭐

I absolutely love Schwab’s books, in case you hadn’t gathered that about me yet. So of course, I was bound to read The Near Witch at some point. Of course, I love books about witches too, so really, there was no escaping it. While I did enjoy it, I felt like maybe something was missing? Or maybe I had set up my expectations too high. Whatever the case, I have to admit that both the writing and the atmosphere were amazing.

Love From A to Z by S. K. Ali ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

What can I say? This book had been on my TBR ever since I heard of its release, and I absolutely FELL IN LOVE with the story. It was my first 5 stars rating of the month, and it highly deserved all those stars. It’s a beautiful book, and honestly, I want more like these. Slow pace, hand holding and build-up. That’s all I need. (Full review)

Harley in the Sky by Akemi Dawn Bowman ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I absolutely adored Akemi Dawn Bowman’s previous novels, so I was bound to pick up this one, and I loved it just as much. It did have a different vibe because of the Circus setting, but Bowman’s character building was once again on point. I really liked how she carefully dealt with questions related to mental illness, and thus once again managed to both break me and lift me up. It’s so important to read about characters who feel like me in books, and while I didn’t expect it in a book that took place in a circus, I think it was also really clever, and I absolutely loved this book. Once again, I would definitely recommend Bowman’s work ♥

Middle grade books:

Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This one is a middle-grade science-fiction with a background of Korean mythology, following a 13 years old gumiho who will do anything to find her brother who has apparently gone AWOL. It’s fun, well-made, and throughly enjoyable. (Full review)

The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

It’s been such a long time since I read the Percy Jackson series for the first time. I’ve always thought that I would reread them before finally picking up Heroes of Olympus. Overall, I think I have read The Lightning Thief three times, but I never ended up rereading The Last Olympian. Anyway. I was in a book slump, and in a mood for Greek mythology after listening to Hadestown on repeat and binge reading Lore Olympus and I ended up picking this up on a whim. I am so glad that I did because I am living my best life reading them!

Graphic novels:

I read two graphic novels this month, the first one was in French: Saison des Roses de Chloé Wary ⭐⭐⭐⭐. It’s about a women’s football team and their struggle to stay afloat because their club is refusing to give them proper funding. It was a really good book, with colourful illustrations, and I really enjoyed it. The second one was Heartstopper Vol.3 by Alice Oseman ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. I absolutely love this web comic, and I cannot wait for the next volume to be released. I’m catching most of the story on tumblr, but I also want my own copy! On top of that, I discovered the webcomic Lore Olympus and completely fell in love with it. I had heard about it on tumblr before, and I finally gave it a try, and in the end, I completely fell in love with it.


Break Your Glass Slippers by Amanda Lovelace ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Any poetry book by Amanda Lovelace is a book that I would like to read, so of course, I got my hands on this one as soon as I could. I absolutely loved it. It was truly inspiring as usual, and on top of that, it also gave me some great tattoo ideas!


This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I stumbled upon this book while browsing lists of F/F fiction, and as soon as I saw that it was a TIME TRAVEL story, I knew that I had to read it. Lucky for me, it was available on Scribd and I read it immediately. It took me a while to really get into the story but oh my, it was so beautiful, I completely fell in love with that book. If you want to see me ramble about it some more, check out this blog post.

Currently reading:

The Fever by Megan Abott, Radio Silence by Alice Oseman and Fierce Fragile Hearts by Sara Barnard. And of course, I’m planning on finishing the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan.

TV Shows:

I’ve been keeping up with the latest season of Brooklyn Nine Nine as well as the new season of Money Heist, which, I have to admit, disappointed me a little bit (Okay, I actually haven’t finished it, and I don’t know if I will). Skam France is back with its sixth season, and I also watched (and loved) The Bonfire of Destiny on Netflix, which I would definitely recommend! I binge watched One Day at a Time, and of course, fell in love with the show. And I also watched one kdrama called My Secret Romance.

I feel like I have read so many books in April, this post was never ending so I’m going to stop now. Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful day! ♥