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!

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.

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!

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!

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! ♥

Love From A to Z: My Review

I said I wanted to write more blog posts, and I will. Last summer, as I was browsing English bookstores in Paris with a friend, I had of course decided that I would not buy any book because I had enough at home, I stumbled upon Love From A to Z by S. K. Ali, and I caved in and decided to buy it for three reasons: it’s a stunning, hardcover edition, I’d read her previous book Saints and Misfits and really enjoyed it, and this particular book was ALREADY on my TBR and I knew that would read it eventually (that’s sort of a lame excuse, I know, but I bought the book anyway). As soon as I got home, it ended up in one of my multiple book piles (the priviledged one right by my nightstand, not the ones by my bookshelf), I mentioned at least twice on this blog that I wanted to read it, but it took a whole month of confinement for me to actually pick it up. And boy am I glad that I finally did.


Title: Love From A to Z
Author: S. K. Ali
Genre: YA Contemporary
Release: 2019
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

TW: This book deals with Islamophobia

Before I go any further into this blog post, let me add that I loved this book from the beginning to the end, and it has made it to my list of top favourite books I have read this year. So far, the list also contains Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman, Eliza and her Monsters by Francesca Zappia, and Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee. For some reason, they are all contemporaries (probably because the relatable weighs a lot in my liking a book) but we shall see if the rest of the year keeps it that way or not! (And maybe because the world looks like a dystopia right now, I will carry on with my contemporary books and be envious of book characters who get to go out with their friends, but that’s a whole other topic…)

To sum it up:

After getting suspended from school because she confronted a teacher who keeps targetting her faith, Zayneb is sent to Doha, Qatar, by her parents, so she can stay with her aunt and get an early start to Spring break. Unexpectedly, her path crosses Adam’s.

Adam was attending college in London, where he got diagnosed with multiple sclerosis last fall. He stopped attending classes, and instead decided to create things. Something he’s always loved doing, and something that helps keep the memory of his mother alive. He is very intent on keeping his diagnosis a secret, especially from his father. And then he meets Zayneb.

“I wanted to get to know one person more than I’d ever wanted to get to know any other person in the entire world.”

My thoughts:

This is not a love at first sight. This is the story of people who keep meeting, and each time confirms the fact that they could belong together. This is a story about getting to know one another. Adam and Zayneb have a lot in common, starting with the fact that they are both Muslim, which is closely followed by the journal of marvels and oddities they both keep, which was a very clever way of setting up the narration.

Love from A to Z is a beautiful book. It’s a rather quick and easy read — I read it in 24 hours, but maybe that was because I desperately wanted to know what would happen next. The chapters altern between Adam’s and Zayneb’s POV. Zayneb shares a lot of oddities: she is angry at the world for all it puts her through. The microagressions. Her islamophobic teacher who just won’t let it go. The school who is investigating her activist friends. The woman on the plane who asked to switch seats. The man at the pool who called security on her because she “wasn’t wearing proper swimwear”. But she is also full of love for her friends and her family. Hard-working and unable to bear injustice, she is a very inspiring character. Adam on the other hand is calm. While Zayneb strives for justice, he strives for peace. That’s the very reason why he became a Muslim at the age eleven. He has been through a lot but that doesn’t keep him from admiring what he sees in the world. He looks at the sky a lot, and shares marvels in his journal. He is an extremely kind and overall beautiful human being, but he is also dealing alone (at the beginning of the story at least) with multiple sclerosis, the illness who killed his mother, which is why he is scared of telling his father.

There is a lot of side-characters, starting with Adam’s friends who also all returned to Doha from Spring break, and who quickly adopt Zayneb as one of them, and of course, her friends back in the US. I really loved the relationship between Zayneb and her aunt, and of course, Adam’s little sister Hanna.

Love from A to Z is also a book that deals with grief. Six months before the story started, Zayneb lost her grandmother who was attending a wedding in Pakistan. The circumstances of her passing away are unclear, and Zayneb’s parents are trying to figure out what happened. And then we have Adam’s mom. He shared some cherished memories with her (which teared me up) and has to be strong for his father because the anniversary of her passing away is coming up. So yes, it’s a book that deals with hard topics on many different levels, but it does it in a way that is both human and beautiful. The characters experience grief, anger, being powerless and more. I had to put it down a few times to deal with the tears. But that only made me like it more.

Love from A to Z will hit you with some hard truths about the world. Things are not always easy. There are oddities, but there are also so many wonders, like this book, which is absolutely beautiful.


In conclusion, if you haven’t read this book yet, I most highly recommend it. As for me, I’m wondering if I should reread Saints and Misfits because I can’t for the life of me remember how it ended. Anyway, thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day!

Top 5 Tuesday: Popular Books I Haven’t Read

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Shanah @ The Bionic Book Worm. The theme for today is “popular books I haven’t read”, so without further ado, let’s get into it!

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

I have consistently seen this book on instagram and twitter for YEARS and I hear great things about it. It was quite popular, and still is. On top of that, there were more additions to the series recently, so of course, when you talk about popular books that I haven’t read, I think about this one. However, and like Sara J. Maas books, I don’t think I’m going to read it… We shall see what the future holds.

The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

Another series I have been seeing around for YEARS! To be fair, I own all books in The Mortal Instruments, and have read four of them. I am taking my sweet time, but one day, when I’m done, I will move on with The Infernal Devices. (Yes, I know, in terms of reading order that’s not the best, but by now I’m doing this in terms of the books I own!)

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuinston

This one is more recent but it’s probably on this list the one I’m the most excited about (which leads to the following question: what have I been waiting for? I don’t know). I have heard only good things and my hopes are high because come on, a queer romance with the fake dating trope? What else do I need to like a book? Hopefully I get around to reading that one soon!

Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott, Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis

I’ve been back and forth with this one, wondering whether or not I should read it. I did hear many great things about it, but there’s also this little voice in the back of my head that tells me maybe I have outgrown this kind of YA books (I did read TFIOS back in 2012 after all, and that was a long time ago). So I haven’t made up my mind yet, but it’s definitely popular, and on my radar.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

And finally this one! I heard only the best things about it, and I have read Daisy Jones & The Six which I loved, so I’m pretty sure that I will enjoy it as well. I also know that I have it on my kindle, so really, I don’t know what I am waiting for, but I do know that I will read it one day, and have a great time doing so.

When it comes to the books on my TBR, I feel like the more I talk about them, the less I’m likely to read them, so let’s just stop here I think that’s enough. Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day!

Eliza ans her Monsters | Summer Bird Blue

And on how I’m finding new favourite books ❤

This post is a sort of sequel to a previous one where I talked about books with an asexual MC, and how I wanted to read more books with similar thematics. In my previous post, I talked about Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann, and Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee, which has so far made it to the top books I have read and will have read in 2020 (40-ish books so far) along with the books I’m going to talk about today. With time, and reading experience, the way I relate to characters has become more and more precise. Anxiety often plays a big role, and for example Fangirl will always be a favourite. But now? Give me depictions of thought spiraling process, like in A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard, which is an all-time favourite, or of course, in Turtles All The Way Down by John Gree. Give me a MC who questions their sexuality — bonus points if it’s asexuality. Give me a deep existential crisis. And well, I have found some, and they have become instant favourites.

Eliza and her Monsters by Francesca Zappia (2017) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman (2018) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
[TW: death]

I had heard many great things about Eliza and her Monsters, and to be honest, the reason I didn’t check it out sooner is because I was worried that it was completely overrated. Well, I was wrong. It was worth all the praise — and more. (Now is the moment I realise that I waited too long after finishing the book to write this article, but anyway.)

Eliza leads a double life. At school, she is average, invisible. She is just trying to get through high school before finally graduating. But online, she is the famous author of an extremely popular webcomic. No one knows of her real identity. But things get complicated when she meets Wallace, a new student at her school, who just so happens to write fanfictions for her very own webcomic…

While I am not sure it is ever stated in the book that Eliza has anxiety, she does have panic attacks, which hello, is extremely relatable. (I’m not counting the number of times I ended up in the nurse’s office in high school because I was sobbing uncontrollably…) She’s been through a lot psychologically, and I’m weak for characters like her. Who are creative and find solace in online content and online friendships.

I also LOVED her relationship with Wallace. While the whole romance aspect of the story was cute and adorable, I also loved that they could understand each other, and agreed to take it slow, so that both of them were at ease. I also really loved that Eliza didn’t get better because of a boy because that’s cliché YA romance (although I have to admit, most authors know better by know). She got better because she got help. Because her family finally supported her. Because she took matters into her own hands. She is such a strong character, and I loved that.

Your own mental health > Romance. And also, friendships are super important. This is what I took from this book. And while I’m talking about that, if you liked Eliza and her Monsters, do yourself a favour and check out Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman! It’s a book with an artist as a main character, who also deals with her own issues, and I thought it had a similar message which I LOVED!

As for the other book I wanted to talk about today, Summer Bird Blue, I was worried that Starfish had set the bar too high, and that I was wound to end up disappointed, but I actually liked it even more. It broke my heart even more, and i related even more, which are basically my main criteria when it comes to liking a book. I like to suffer, and this book was brilliant.

Summer Bird Blue is a stunning book about loss and grief. That’s not a spoiler, the main characters, Rumi, loses her sister in the very beginning of the book. Her mother, who doesn’t know how to cope, sends her for the summer to live with her aunt in Hawaii. She barely knows her, and feels abandoned by her mother at the worst moment of her life. The book deals with Rumi’s relationship to music: music was something she created with her sister, and now that Lea isn’t here anymore, she doesn’t know if she can do it anymore. Through the book, she will have to rebuild herself.

One of the things I took from this book was an idea that also is one of my favourite SKAM quotes: people need people. We can’t and shouldn’t suffer on our own. Communication is important. It feels good to have someone who will lend you their shoulder to cry on. Friends are hella important. (Have I said that already? I’m saying it again.)

And of course, the asexual rep was on point. Rumi has known for a while that she probably was asexual (or at least, on the ace spectrum). She thinks she might be aromantic as well. And she also doesn’t want to be defined by labels, especially as she is still figuring things out. Through flashbacks, we see her searching for herself. And maybe she doesn’t have all the answers, but she’s on a journey to understanding herself better, and I thought that was beautiful. You can be ace and still find people attractive. (Her attraction to Kai reminded me a lot of Alice’s cutie code in Let’s Talk About Love!)

In conclusion, I completely fell in love with this book. As I like to say, it completely broke me, but it was worth it.

Other diverse YA contemporaries I have really enjoyed recentlyOpposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds, Frankly in Love by David Yoon and American Panda by Gloria Chao.

Next on my reading quest for more books with asexual charactersEvery Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire.