May Wrap Up

Now that works has started again, I don’t know if I’m going to be able to read as much, but for now I have read quite a lot of books in May — 17 actually — and I’m really happy about it!

YA books:

The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The House of Hades by Rick Riordan ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

My reading month started with the rest of Heroes of Olympus. I’ve read all of them within a week or so, and absolutely loved them all. I know I’m always babbling about how much I love Percy Jackson, but I hadn’t actually read HOO yet, and I fell in love with every single one of those books, and new characters.

Wilder Girls by Rory Power ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I had heard about this book, and really wanted to check it out. I finally took the time to read it, and I loved it! It is so full of badass girls, and queerness, and I am here for it. (Full review)

The Fever by Megan Abbott ⭐⭐

It took me such a long time to finish this book, and truthfully, the only reason why I did is because I wanted to see how it ended. And even that disappointed me. The only reason why I didn’t give it simply a one star rating is because I didn’t have the heart. And the writing was okay. (Full review)

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Because I love Heartstopper, I knew that I actually had to check out Alice Oseman’s novels. I finally did with Radio Silence, and I absolutely loved it! It’s a beautiful book with an incredibly queer and diverse cast. It’s extremely relatable, and it totally warmed my heart. I can’t wait to read the rest of her books. (Also, I read this one on Scribd, and I’m really glad I got the app during the confinement, because it’s totally worth it!)

The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This one was one of my most antcipated releases of the year, and I read it immediately upon the publication. The main character is a lesbian, and from Bangladesh, and deals with life as a a queer teenager of colour. It’s a really good coming of age book, which also has to do with cultural appropriation, and I would most definitely recommend it.

If you want to check out my previous blog post, I talk about both Radio Silence and The Henna Wars, as well as Harley in the Sky by Akemi Dawn Bowman which I read in April!

Aurora Burning by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I read Aurora Rising back in February, and I really enjoyed it. The story is quite catchy, and fun to read (even though, I have to admit, it’s not the best book I’ve ever read, it’s still a good, enjoyable book). So of course, upon the release of Aurora Burning I knew that I had to check it out (and now I have to wait for the sequel, like a peasant). I think I enjoyed Aurora Burning more than the first book. I got to love the characters a bit better, and although the adventure is quite insane, it’s pretty much impossible to put the book down, and I’m really glad that I decided to give it a go!

The Crown by Kiera Cass ⭐⭐⭐

I can now proudly say that I took the time to finish The Selection series. While I really enjoyed the original trilogy, I didn’t like the last two books as much. They were nice, but that’s it. I thought this last instalment was a bit rushed, to be honest. Marid Illea came out of nowhere and was a pain in the ass, and the relationship between Eadlyn and her chosen consort as well as many other plot elements just came out of NOWHERE. Also, I wanted to see more of Kile. And I cried because of some family drama. (Because yes, I don’t cry for romantic drama, but FOUND FAMILY gets me weak.)

What I Like About You by Marisa Kanter ⭐⭐⭐.5

I heard that this book would be released in France by one of my favourite publishers, so I decided to read it in advance, you know, to get ready for work. In the end, I had mixed feelings about it — and I’m also working on a blog post in order to wrap up my final thoughts when it comes to this book. It’s a story about a famous book blogger, and what happens when real life collides with online life.

Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen ⭐⭐⭐

I was looking for more Sarah Dessen books to read on Scribd, and this one was available as an audiobook, so I decided to give it a try. It’s one of her first releases, and it deals with teenage pregnancy, as well as one’s relationships with their parents. My favourite things about it was the main character’s relationship with her best friend. The main romance was honestly not that great, and and her relationship with her mother was super frustrating. But it did have some great character development, and I can say that in the end, I enjoyed it.

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Not totally last, and definitely not least, I listened to the audiobook for Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo and I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT. I completely fell in love with the story, and this book will definitely make it to my list of favourite books I’ve read in 2020. It’s about two teenage sisters from the Dominican Republic who just lost their dad in a plane accident. But the trick is, they have different mothers, and didn’t know about the other’s existence in the beginning of the book. One lives with her own mom in the US, and one is still in DR with her own grandmother. This book was absolutely stunning and brilliant, and I loved it.

Manga/Graphic novels:

I have read three volumes of manga or graphic novels this month, and I’m hoping to read as much in June. First, I read Living-no Matsunaga-San vol.5&6 by Iwashita Keiko, which I rated ⭐⭐⭐, and then I finally got my hands on the second volume of The Steel Prince  by Victoria Schwab which I rated ⭐⭐⭐⭐.

French books:

And finally, I read two non fiction French books which I both greatly enjoyed. I will be making a blog post in French about them as well as other French books as soon as I am done with Leila Slimani’s latest book.

Il y a un seul amour de Santiago H. Amigorena ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Dehors, la tempête de Clémentine Mélois ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Things I’ve been watching:

When it comes to booktubers, I’ve been watching a lot of Leena Norms and Jessethereader videos. When it comes to Netflix, I loved The Half of It and I binge watched Never Have I Ever which was a lot more fun than I was expecting! I wasn’t convinced by the trailer, but I heard many people saying it was great, and it was definitely worth it 🥰 I’ve also seen Ratatouille, The Great Gatsby and Green Book with my family. And I’m now rewatching New Girl because it’s finally available on French Netflix again.

In Which I Talk About Books That Are Dear To Me #RadioSilence #TheHennaWars #HarleyInTheSky

I am back with another one of my occurences where I talk about books dealing with topics I deem important! Truth be told, I’m trying my best to read only books with those topics, and also, I want to be endlessly screaming about books, but anyway. I’m back with three new contemporaries today, and they are all wildly different, but also super awesome. Just like I love it, these books feature queer characters and/or deal with mental illness. And without further ado, let’s get into it!

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman (2016) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar (2020) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Harley in the Sky by Akemi Dawn Bowman (2020) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Radio Silence is one of Alice Oseman’s previous works, and was released in 2016, but Harley in the Sky as well as The Henna Wars were both released this year, and I’m also rally happy about the fact that I get around to reading recent releases.

Radio Silence, just like the rest of Alice Oseman’s work, features a highly diverse cast. *insert that EVERYBODY GAY song from TikTok that I just can’t get out of my head*. The main character, Frances, lives with her mother. She is head girl at her school, and gets excellent grades. She working hard on getting a spot at Cambridge University. But one night, when she is out with her friends, she meets Aled. Quickly, she realises that she can be herself when she is with him. And that will change her life and her perspectives forever. No, this is not a love story. It’s a story about friendship, and that’s even better.

Warning: Radio Silence deals with parental abuse, and depression. (And I thought it did so excellently)

I loved that this book was unapologetically queer. Frances is bisexual, and we know it pretty much from the get go.  Some other characters are gay, and one is questioning his sexuality. There are some great discussions revolving around asexuality, and the need for labels (or not). As someone who suffered from depression, this book felt like a warm, accepting hug.

I LOVED the fact that Frances was obsessed with a Podcast from the Internet, and had a complete other life there. At school, she’s all business, and a serious student. But at home, she’s on tumblr, and wearing fandom t-shirts. It’s not always easy to be a teen, between real life and expectations, whether those expectations come from yourself, your parents, or your peers, and I thought that she portrayed that really well. I also loved that she had a really wonderful relationship with her mother.

After reading Alice Oseman’s graphic novel Heartstopper, I knew that I wanted to check out novels she had written eventually, and I’m so glad I finally got started with them. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of them, and especially her upcoming release Loveless.

The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar was just released at the beginning of May, and was one of my most anticipated releases of the year. I started it on the day of its release, and finished it on the next day. It’s a beautiful story about friendship and sisterhood, first love, and also cultural appropriation, which is a very important topic.

Potential trigger warnings for: racism, islamophobia, homophobia and cultural appropriation. Bare also in mind that someone is outed in the book.

Nishat’s family moved from Bangladesh to Ireland when she and her sisters were younger. She is attending an all girls high school, and just trying to get by until she gets to college. Although her sister has always been supportive of her, when she comes out to her parents after attending a beautiful wedding, they act like nothing happened. But when Flàvia, the girl she has a crush on, decides to open a henna shop for a school project, simply because she saw it and liked it, Nishat can’t just stand by. Not only is it cultural appropriation, but it is also the very idea Nishat had.

The Henna Wars is a wonderful coming of age story, that navigates the complexities and difficulties of not only being a teen, but a queer POC. Nishat can be very stubborn, and she is full of angst, but rightfully so. I’ve seen reviews blaming her for that, but honestly? After all she’s been through, I totally understand, and really admire her. The only thing that saddened me was the miscommunications with her best friends, but hey, it’s okay to be a teen and mess up.

Overall, this was a really great book. If you’re looking for new releases for pride month, then I’d really recommend this one! Nishat is really unapologetic about who she is — as she should be! — both as a queer teen, and as a woman of colour. She is proud of her culture and heritage. I loved her discussions with her grandma over Skype, about henna, and about her family. I absolutely loved her relationship with her sister. And of course, I have to admit that the romance aspect of the story was also really cute! Full of angst, but I loved it.

And finally, Harley in the Sky by Akemi Dawn Bowman was released in March, and was also a book I was highly anticipating because I absolutely loved the author’s previous works. I was surprised by the setting at first, but once again, was swept away by the story.

This one is possibly triggering if you have depression and/or anxiety.

Harley in the Sky is the story of a girl who runs away with the circus… But she actually rans away FROM the circus. Harley’s parents are the successful owners of a circus in Las Vegas, but want their daughter to go to college. Except she wants to be an aerialist. So since her parents won’t give her the opportunity to train, she takes off with Maison du Mystère, a rival circus whose ringmaster has questionable morals.

The romance aspect of the story was hella predictable, but it was also super cute so I’m not complaining. What I didn’t expect was how it delved into mental health and mental illness — although having read Akemi Dawn Bowman’s previous works, I should have seen it coming. Although it is never explicitely stated, it is pretty clear that Harley has OCD, or at least, something very similar to it. And I really liked how it was dealt with throughout the  book. As usual with the author, the mental health rep is SO ON POINT.

Just like The Henna Wars, it’s a book about how teens can mess up, but also how it’s okay to mess up, as long as we work on fixing our mistakes. I thought that this book was very powerful, and I could barely put it down so of course, I’d definitely recommend it. If you’re looking for something that’s a bit different, if you have ever considered running away with the circus (I know I have!) then Harley in the Sky is definitely the thing for you! And if you’re looking for more queer reads for pride month, then you should go check out Akemi Dawn Bowman’s previous book Summer Bird Blue which has amazing ace rep!

And that’s it for today! This has been my segment where I talk about books with queer and mental health rep, because both are deeply personal to me. That being said, I also just fell in love with Elizabeth Acedevo’s latest release Clap When You Land which is a book about two teenage girls who just lost their dad in a plane crash. As usual, I’m trying to read more and more diverse reads. And of course, that does not only include queer books (although I do love them with all my heart!) I’m also trying to read books with POC protagonists, and support Black authors more than ever. And I’ll try to have it show on my blog, so hopefully I can get my words together to write a review for this one, because it’s definitely making it to the top best books I have read this year!

Belated Top 5 Wednesday: Comfort Reads

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted on Goodreads. It’s had its ups and down, but this month we’re back with new topics! Feel free to join the group here. The topic for this week is “comfort reads” and my list is a combination of middle grade books, classics and books I’ve read a long time ago that make me feel good.

#1 Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan

Of course, the first spot is taken by my favourite middle grade book series. It shaped me into who I became as a reader on many steps of my reading journey. It’s a brilliant book series, and I’ve reread at least the first book several times. I will forever think that it’s underappreciated, and will never stop recommending it.

#2 Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Although I read this one much later than the rest of the books on this list, I still think it deserves a spot on this list. When I think about it, I think about baking in a kitchen full of sunlight, picking up flowers in the wilderness, and having a cup of tea with friends (or raspberry cordial!) It’s super heartwarming, and I definitely think it’s an excellent pick up book.

#3 The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

Along with PJO, this is hands down one of the best middle grade series that I read when I was a kid. I was OBSESSED with it. When I think about it, I think about Christmas, hot cocoa on a snowy day, friends and family… Okay, so this is mostly an aesthetic from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, but it’s fair considering it’s the one I have reread and rewatched the most. Throughout the books, Lucy also turns into a strong, inspiring young woman and I am also here for it. I will always cherish those books, and just thinking about them makes me feel all sorts of comfortable.

#4 Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I don’t know why, but when I think about P&P I always think of a rainy day, reading by the window with a hot drink, and overall feeling very cosy. To be fair, maybe it’s because of the aesthetic of the movie. I can definitely picture Jane Bennett doing all of the above. But anyway, when I think of cosy books and comfort reads, this one almost immediately comes to my mind.

#5 Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Maybe it’s because this is one of the first books that I read in English, or because it’s one of the first non YA/kidlit books that I remember reading, but this one will always hold a special place in my heart. But it may also be because of the fact that I love traveling, or because it’s a book about a woman who realised she was not doing what she wanted, took the matter into her own hands, and did amazing things. All in all, I find this book truly inspiring, and that’s why I thought it deserved a spot on the list.

That’s it for today, thank you so much for reading, and please feel free to comment with some of your favourite comfort reads!

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 ♥

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!