Tess of the d’Ubervilles: My Review + Life Update

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I’ve been listening to a lot of audiobooks recently while I cook, fold my laundry, or drive to work. I’ve almost ran out of them actually, and I think I will have to get a new Audible subscription. Or maybe I could try Scribd? I still have one book and a half to listen to before I completely make up my mind, we shall see. Anyway, one of those audiobooks I listened to recently was Tess of the d’Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy. I picked it up for two reasons: first, that it was a classic, and one I wanted to read at some point in my life, and the second time, because it was narrated by Davina Porter, and I think she is a fantastic narrator. Then when I started reading it, a few people told me how much they had loved this book, and I guess this got my expectations up: but in the end, I was mostly disappointed.

Title: Tess of the d’Ubervilles
Author: Thomas Hardy
Genre: Classics, Literary Fiction
Release: 1891
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐/5

I know I’m not very active on the blog these days, or even on instagram for that matter (partly due to the fact that the algorithm doesn’t make it as rewarding as it used to be), and it’s partly due to the fact that I haven’t been reading a lot lately, though that is no excuse. The fact that I haven’t been feeling well as well might be an excuse and I’m going to blame that on winter, and the fact that I’m not really happy with my life right now. I’m kind of spiralling down if you will. But hopefully this too shall pass. ANYWAY. Back to Tess. One of my latest reads was Tess of the D’Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy, narrated by the brilliant Davina Porter and to be honest I didn’t really like this book. I really WANTED to like it but I winded up being disappointed. I tried, and many people told me how much they had loved this book, so I really wanted to enjoy it as well, but I simply did not see what others saw in this book.

In some ways, I couldn’t help but be reminded of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. Yet another 19th century classics that didn’t live up to the hype — if there is such a thing as hype when it comes to classics, you know, I just wished I would have enjoyed it more. For some reason, I also compared it to Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë a lot, and it only disappointed me more, because I love Jane Eyre. Tess’s mother also reminded me of Pride and Prejudice‘s one and only Mrs Bennett, who desperately wanted to marry off her daughters, and so on. Except there wasn’t a good old Mr Bennett to balance that, instead we had a drunkard attached to the idea that his family used to be noble, but who didn’t do anything. These are some of the thoughts that crossed my mind while I was reading Tess of the d’Ubervilles, along with the fact that there was too much caring-about-what-society-and-other-people-think. But I guess that’s only human. I just felt that it was too much for me too handle.

I was frustrated way too many times during the story, by both Tess and Angel. And in addition to that, I found it all too predictable — even the ending. I still gave it 3 stars because I liked the writing style, and the narration by my queen Davina Porter. It also gave me a few laughs in between the religious sermons and the misogyny, and I didn’t feel like giving it a lower rating. But that’s all.


As for what other audiobooks I’ve been listening to lately, I might write a review for The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald, which was a lovely and sweet story, itself full of love for books. I’m listening now to a french story called La Route des Coqueliquots, by Véronique Biefnot and Francis Dannemark. As for physical reads, I haven’t moved from Can We All Be Feminists by June Eric-Udorie and A Blade So Black by L. L. McKinney. I think I’m kind of in a book slump. Actually, nothing really motivates me. I miss summer, I miss Paris, and I don’t really feel like doing anything these days. My life plans for the future change constantly, to come back to the fact that I want to work in a bookshop. Or is it because of The Readers of Broken Wheel? I always tend to be influenced by the books I read, and I don’t know what to think anymore.

I’m going to stop here, because I’m not here to depress you, I just wanted to share a little bit more than a book review today, so here we go. Wish you all a wonderful day, and a happy holiday season ♥

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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.

The Versatile Blogger Award | 2018 Edition!

I was tagged by Bri’s Book Nook to do the Versatile Blogger Award, thank you so much dear! Since the last time I actually did it was in 2016, I decided to do it again, because a lot has changed since then.

It is possible that other people also tagged me for this Award, if so thank you, and I’m sorry I didn’t reply sooner… Here is my answer! I also realised I haven’t done a Blogger Award post in quite some time, so I decided I might as well give it a go this time. And before I really get into it, I also wanted to make a small life update post at some point soon-ish, so this will do the trick!

Here are the rules:

• If you are nominated, you’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger Award!
• Thank the person who gave you the award.
• Include a link to their blog.
• Select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.
• Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.
• Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself!

Here are my answers:

#1. If you don’t know that already, I am a French book lover, and I will soon turn 23. I’ve had this blog since 2015, and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

#2. I graduated from college in July and I have a Master’s Degree in Comparative Literature. I never thought I would say that, but I actually really miss uni!

#3. I am currently doing an internship in a publishing house, and shipping (sketch)books all around the world

#4. I tried to do NaNoWriMo in 2015 and 2016 and didn’t go through until the end, which is why I didn’t even attempt it last year. However, this time I’m really planning on doing it, and not giving up!

#5. I’m not quite sure what I want to do with my life, and I’m not quite sure where I want to live, but what I know is that it has to be a big city where there are things to see and do. And by that, I mean book events. I just moved to the countryside for my internship, and every time I see a new book event happening in Paris it break my heart, because I wish I could be there. In addition, I weirdly miss public transports and wish I didn’t have to take my car every time I want to do something, including my laundry.

#6. For the past few years, I have been struggling with depression (on top of my anxiety). However, I am feeling better and I have now officially stopped taking my medication. It feels so good to see the end of the tunnel. Honestly when I started taking them, I thought it would be for the rest of my life. And yet here I am!

I have also recently written an article about my mental health on Marie’s blog @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books if you’d like to read more about it!

#7. I love traveling. So far this year I have been to Germany (Berlin and Baden Baden), Belgium (Brussels), Austria (Vienna and Salzburg) as well as Slovakia (Bratislava). It’s something I have always loved doing, and never grow tired of. I also love traveling alone because it makes me feel so free, it’s amazing! I’m not sure what my next destination will be, maybe Heidelberg or Amsterdam, or somewhere else, who knows… I can’t wait!

Enough about me, for the last part of this post I’m tagging some blogs (not 15 because I don’t want to bother that many people) I discovered recently, feel free to do the tag or not, and have a wonderful day!

Clara @ The Bookworm of Notre-Dame

Lily @ Sprinkles of Dreams

Beth @ Reading Every Night

Kat @ Novels and Waffles

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Thanks for reading!

Internship: Day 1

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Here’s a short post to give you a little life update! This week, I moved near Strasbourg. The whole finding a place thing was a great nightmare, but I am finally settled. And today was the first day of my internship which is in a small publishing house in the middle of nowhere, and will last for six months. I was super excited about it, and the good thing is, after spending the afternoon carrying boxes of books and putting stamps on packages, I still am! I’ve also done some translating, and in between tasks, I even managed to read a comic book – one of our latest releases.

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It takes place in Manhattan and follows soldiers strruggling in a city dominated by King Kong. I have to say, it was quite a fun read!

Anyway, I am now super exhausted – and eating homemade curry that I yet again made way too spicy. But I am also really happy and excited about this new part of my life that is starting now, and that’s pretty much what I wanted to share!

Why I Read YA

Today I am here with an article maybe a little different from what I usually post, but I thought it might be interesting as well, and I just wanted to share my love for the YA genre in general. I am 22, going 23 and about to start an internship in a publishing house, as I have graduated back in June. And yet I find myself still reading – and loving – YA. And there is nothing wrong with that, obviously. I just found myself wondering why and I wanted to share it on here.

When I was a kid, I used to read a lot. I went to the library every week and borrowed as many books as I could. When I reached high school, I tuned down my love for books as I became completely obsessed with Korean Dramas and spend most of my free time watching them. Around the end of senior year, I got back into reading, but as college started I basically stopped reading for leisure, as all the books I read were for my classes, and recommended by my professors. However, at the turn between Year 2 and Year 3, I got back into reading with books like Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle, and The Maze Runner by James Dashner. Around that time, I made my bookstagram account, and a bit later, my blog. The rest is history.

But I guess what I’m trying to say is that when I needed YA the most, I wasn’t an avid reader anymore. So now I’m just, in a way, catching up with lost time. But that’s obviously not the only reason I still read and love YA!

Here are some reasons I enjoy it so much:

  • It’s such a broad genre and is providing readers with more and more diverse books which I live for
  • There is something for every mood from contemporary to high fantasy or sci-fi or really anything
  • They are usually fast paced and quick to read, something I always enjoy
  • I can usually relate to at least a few characters, and I’m not going to lie, I love that feeling

Some of my latest YA reads include Unwind by Neal Shusterman, Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles (review), New World Inferno by Jennifer Wilson, Love, Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed (review), and To all the boys I’ve loved before by Jenny Han, which I all really recommend.

I also wanted to mention some YA books that I consider important, such as Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard and Turtles all the way down by John Green, among others obviously. And I couldn’t write this blog post without mentioning how relatable Rainbow Rowell’s book Fangirl was. It was honestly one of my favourite reading experiences ever.

I love how the YA genre keeps renewing itself, and getting more and more diverse, including wonderful LGBTQIAP+ books (by Becky Albertalli, Patrick Ness, Adam Silvera and many others, I just realised I haven’t mentioned them yet in this post so, you know, I had to), including diversity of origins and skin colour, mental illness (something that really matters to me in case you didn’t know) and so much more. So I guess my point is, I will never grow too old to read YA, as long as it keeps being that satisfying.

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

Blogversary & Life Update

I feel like I haven’t posted a life update in forever and now seems to be the right time to do it! But first of all — and I know I miss it every year — a few days ago was my blog anniversary. I have now been blogging here for three whole years and I can’t believe I got that far. Thank you all so much for being here with me on that journey!

As for the life update, I graduated from university at the end of June and am now the proud owner of a Master’s Degree in Comparative Literature. I quit my job as a waitress at the beginning of August, and I’ve been traveling in Austria and Slovakia since then. And I will be starting an internship in a publishing company at the end of the month, something I still can’t believe. For that I’ll be moving to Strasbourg and I’m really excited about it!

That’s it for the news, if you want to read more about my trip to Vienna check out my last post. I will be back in France on Wednesday. Thank you so much for reading and I hope you have a wonderful day 📖❤️