Top Ten Tuesday: 10 book series I need to finish

Hello dear teacups!

I hope your day is going well! Today I’m really excited to share with you my very first Top Ten Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

For today’s topic, I decided to write a list that is mostly a self-reminder that I should really try to finish at least one of all the series I’ve started so far (probably more than just ten, if I’m being honest). I will mostly focus on those series that I actually plan on finishing, because some of them I have absolutely zero intention on ever continuing.

Also, all the series listed here will be those that are either finished or that have at least more than one book published, so series like The Last Hours won’t be included here.

1. Lux by Jennifer L. Armentrout

This is a paranormal romance that I liked a lot back in the day, even though I never made it past the first book. I have no excuse for this one, because I remember really liking the story and the chemistry between the characters, so I will definitely try to pick this one up again. However, I will have to reread the first book because I can hardly remember anything about the story.

2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I don’t even know why I never finished this one: I borrowed the first book from the library and loved it, then I borrowed Catching Fire, didn’t finish it, borrowed it again and didn’t even try to pick it up, so I ended up returning it untouched (clearly a reading slump). I recently bought myself a copy of Catching Fire and because I already have The Hunger Games thanks to my brother, I will make sure to finally finish this trilogy! I don’t know how I’ve managed to avoid spoilers so far, but I do know there’re some controversial opinions that may or may not make me a liiiiittle worried.

3. The Blood Journals by Tessa Gratton

I read the first book so many years ago that I don’t know if it’s safe to recommend it… But this was the book that really got me into reading. When I was like eleven, one of my friends from school read this book and told me to read it too. We became OBSESSED with it. Later I found out there was a sequel but I don’t know why I never got around to it. I’m really curious to see how I like this series now that I’m older and significantly more critical.

4. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

When I was younger, I was a huge fan of the Chronicles of Narnia movies. My dad got me The Horse and His Boy when I was eight and I loved the book just because it belonged to this series, but I never paid attention to the rest of the books aside from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. These are A LOT of books, but I still want to give them a chance at some point.

5. Green Creek by T.J. Klune

This is the most lovable, heartwarming, achingly beautiful series ever. It has everything I love: the perfect found family with unique dynamics, compelling characters that you will inmediately fall for, combined with T.J. Klune’s charming narrative and a story that pulls at your hearstrings. I’ve read up to the second book so far and Heartsong is high on my priority list. I’ve heard that there’s amazing ace rep that I’m dying to see ♥

6. The Brown Sisters by Talia Hibbert

To be honest, I’m not the biggest romance reader out there, but these books are something special. I read Chloe Brown not so long ago and it was…

My review speaks for itself lol

I recently ordered Take a Hint, Dani Brown and now it’s on its way, so hopefully you’ll be able to read my review soon! And the cover for Evie

7. Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan

Another super popular series that I never got around to. The first book was a lot of fun, and I really loved the concept and cast of characters. I always wanted to see how Percy’s journey continued, so this series is also one that I want to give a go.

8. The Wayward Children by Seanan McGuire

There is simply no way I’m ever stopping recommending this series. It’s top tier fantasy with the right amount of creepy vibes, an efortlessly diverse cast of characters, plus Seanan McGuire’s magical writing that feels like a portal into wonderland. I only have two books left in the series but I’m still hoping that we get Kade’s story soon! He’s my favourite character.

9. All for the Game by Nora Sakavic

For those of you who read my Mid Year Book Freakout, you know that The Foxhole Court was my most disappointing book of 2020 so far —I gave it 1 star, and I stand by that still, but that doesn’t mean I don’t plan on ever continuing the series. Some people whose reviews I trust didn’t like the first book but thought that the other two got better, so I’d like to believe that what they say is true. This read is not a priority for me though, so I’m not sure when it’s going to happen, but I guess we shall see.

10. Cursebreakers by Brigid Kemmerer

Finally, we have the newest addition to the list. I’m currently reading A Curse so Dark and Lonely, and although I haven’t gone through that much yet, I can already tell this is the kind of story I’ll love for sure. I’ve only heard good things about the disability rep in this series and I’m always up for more diversity. And it’s a Beauty and the Beast retelling, which makes it even more appealing. The covers are so simplistic yet so pretty!

Alright, this is all I have for today. I’d love to know if you’ve read/plan on reading any of these books, so let’s chat in the comments!

Also, a quick thank you to everyone who’s followed the blog recently, and to those who’ve been here from the very beginning. Being able to share my bookish obsession and talking about books with you all has been a joy, and I’m forever thankful that you gave my blog a chance. ♥

Thanks for stopping by and I’ll see you soon! Take care and stay safe.

🌻 The Sunshine Blogger Award 🌻

Hi dear teacups!

Today I woke up to the nice surprise that Tiction @ Fictionally Crazy nominated me for The Sunshine Blogger Award. Thank you SO MUCH. I’m beyond grateful! Please make sure to check out their amazing blog as well. ♥

🌻 What Is The Sunshine Blogger Award?🌻

The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to those who are creative, positive and inspiring while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.

🌻 How Does It Work?🌻

  • Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

🌻 Tiction’s questions 🌻

  • WHEN DID YOU START BLOGGING? WHY? WHAT MADE YOU CONTINUE?

I started blogging almost two months ago. I’m still a newbie! And the reason is simply because I wanted to have a place where I could ramble about the books I read and share my love for them with people who actually care about what I have to say lol. Also, it gives you so much freedom and, of course, it’s a lot of fun! So I want to continue blogging for as long as possible.

  • WHAT IS YOUR PREFERRED COLOUR? (AT LEAST TWO)

Yellow and red. I love warm colours in general.

  • WHAT IS YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL?

I’m sorry in advance if you were expecting an actual animal, but I simply can’t not think about Rico, from the Green Creek series. I relate to him on a spiritual level.

  • DO YOU PLAY A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT? WHICH ONE? AND IF NOT, WHICH ONE WOULD YOU LIKE TO?

I play guitar, ukulele and a little bit of bass, but my dream’s always been to learn how to play the piano. I guess it’s still possible for me to learn, though I’d have to get a piano for starters. I also really like singing, does my voice count as an instrument?

  • WHAT IS THE MOVIE YOU CAN WATCH FOREVER?

That’s a difficult one, since I honestly don’t watch that many movies, but I think it’d be any film made by Studio Ghibli. I’m a sucker for the animation, the soundtrack, and those absolutely stunning and heartwarming stories overall. ♥ Any Ghibli fans out there?

  • DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN SIX WORDS

Daydreamer, simple, artistic, clumsy, bubbly, quiet (except when I’m reading because I yell a lot).

  • WHAT SONG MAKES YOU DANCE SO MUCH THAT PEOPLE LOOK AT YOU WEIRD?

Ah, there are so many! But as of lately, it has to be this jewel:

K-Pop in general lifts my mood instantly. ♥

  • WHAT MEMORY IS THE CLOSEST TO YOUR HEART?

One from when I was like six years old, eating icecream while sitting on my grandpa’s lap. I don’t remember much about him, but that memory remains intact and always brings a smile to my face.

  • IF YOU COULD CHANGE YOUR NAME, WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE IT TO?

Wow, I’ve never thought of that really. I really like the name Sarah, so I’d probably change it to that. I don’t look like a Sarah at all though!

  • WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE BOOK? (CAN BE MANY!)

I’m glad that I don’t have to choose only one —that’d be a serious disaster. Most of my favourites are fantasy, obviously, but there’re a few other genres in there (if you haven’t read any of these, I highly recommend them!):

The audiobook is ICONIC

Also, I don’t know what it is about me and blue books, but they tend to be my favourites? Maybe I should change my favourite colour 🤔

  • WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE AUTHOR?

Elizabeth Acevedo’s writing is one of the most mind-blowing, thought-provoking, earth-shaking I’ve ever read. Seriously. Her words have such power and meaning, everything she writes is stunning and unforgettable.

Of course this also means I recommend her books! The audiobooks are also narrated by her, totally worth checking out!

🌻 People I tag 🌻

🌻 My questions 🌻

  1. Since when do you blog? What’s your favourite thing about blogging?
  2. What kind of posts do you enjoy writing the most?
  3. What hobbies do you have aside from reading?
  4. If you could live in a fictional world, which one would you choose? Why?
  5. What fictional character would you like to befriend?
  6. What’s your comfort food?
  7. Is there any book that you would NEVER read?
  8. Do you listen to music while reading?
  9. What’s a book that you would recommend to anyone?
  10. Favourite book quote.
  11. Name a song that reminds you of a happy time in your life.

Wow, this was a lot of fun! Again, thank you beautiful Tiction for the nomination and for giving me these awesome questions. You’re the best! ♥

I’d love to know your answers to these questions as well, so comment them down below if you want to. ANd fot those I tagged, I’m really looking forward to reading your answers to my questions too!

All the blogs I tagged are also wonderful and you should definitely follow them as well! As always, thank you if you’ve made it this far. Have an amazing day!

SEPTEMBER WRAP-UP (yes, I’m not dead, just lazy) [2020]

Hello dear teacups!

I hope you’re having an amazing day and starting this month in the best way ♥

Today I’m back (finally!) with a messy wrap-up! (just like everything I do lol).

A lot happened in September. It wasn’t my best month in terms of reading, but it wasn’t the worst either. I didn’t manage to complete my TBR, but I still had many interesting experiences: I read my first ARCs ever, I had some reading to do for uni, I also DNFed a book for the first time and found some new favourites. All in all, I ended up reading 13 books in total.

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

I’m devastated that I wasn’t able to finish this, but it was literally impossible. Every time I tried to pick this book up, I just spaced out inmediately. Reading it almost put me in a slump.

This book had a cute concept and I actually thought it was very original and engrossing at first, but the story advanced so PAINFULLY SLOWLY, and I swear nothing really happened. It was boring and disappointing, and I just didn’t have it in me to continue, even though I had the audiobook.

Ravensong by T.J. Klune

I’m so in love with this series, I swear. I just can’t recommend it enough!

This is the sequel to Wolfsong, which I read earlier this year and also loved. In this one, we follow Gordo and Mark along with the rest of the Bennett pack (also the most amazing family in the world of shifter literature, mind you), and it was even better than I could have imagined. I can’t wait to read Heartsong and have my heart bursting with love and affection for every. single. character.

★★★★

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

This was easily the most iconic book ever. If you haven’t read this book, please DO. You’re missing out on one of the most beautiful, heartbreaking stories of all time.

This book made me laugh, cry , scream… It was honestly so wonderful. If you’d like to know more about my thoughts on this one, you can find my review here!

★★★★.5

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ok, this book was SO. MUCH. FUN. I can’t remember ever reading a book this entertaining. I listened to the audiobook in like one sitting because it was addicting. Seriously, I could almost feel like I was playing along with Wade.

I highly recommend this book whether you like sci-fi or not; I’m not really into sci-fi myself but I had the best time with this. And the audiobook is so good! I should probably say, though, there are way too many 80’s references here, and they were a little too much at times, but I loved this book anyways.

★★★★

Find Layla by Meg Elison

This was my first time reading an ARC. A really nice experience, even though I didn’t enjoy this book that much. There were quite a few nice conversations made, but I think the overall message of the book was not that well executed.

For more in-depth thoughts on this, you can read my review here!

★★★

We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

In case you were wondering, yes: this is a new favourite.

This book came to me at exactly the right time. I was not in the best mood when I started it, and maybe that was part of the reason why it hit so hard. I loved our main boy, Henry, almost inmediately. And his feelings and experiences meant a lot to me. I just wanted to see him happy, but I also really loved seeing him deal with his grief, questioning himself and everyone else around him, even if it was painful as heck.

I cried a lot with this book, too, as expected. I really want to get a physical copy of this!

★★★★★

Odessa Vol. I by Jonathan Hill

This cute graphic novel was kindly sent to me to review, and I really enjoyed it! It was an intriguing dystopian story that centres around three siblings and their journey to find their mother. The first volume was really promissing and I’m really excited to see how the rest will unfold.

You can find my review here!

★★★

Cress by Marissa Meyer

The reread of the month that I’m also buddy-reading with Mora. What else can I say about this book apart from “I LOVE IT TO DEATH”? This is my favourite book in the series for a lot of reasons, mostly because we finally get to meet Cress (whom I love like a daughter, ok) and see her join our beloved Rampion crew. And well… the romance? is? incredibly? angsty? I adore this book so much.

★★★★★

The Familiar Dark by Amy Engel

This book was the month’s big disappointment. I thought, expected, was so convinced that I would love this thriller, but then I didn’t.

The novel deals with the muder of two little girls, and we follow Eve, the mother of one of them, as she tries to find out who killed them and why. This book had everything I would usually love in a thriller, but ended up being so boring and predictable I just couldn’t care anymore. And it focused so much on Eve’s personal life that the investigation was left forgotten most of the time.

★★

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

This was one of my most anticipated reads for the second half of the year, and it did not disappoint! Reading this book was a happy time, even though it discusses themes that are SO important and that we all should read about.

I’ve recentlynoticed that I struggle a little with YA because of how… juvenile it can be. Sometimes the characters’ actions and attitutes, and even the writing, are quite childish (of course, it’s YA) and it’s something I don’t exactly hate but that is also not as fun to read. However, because the book later dives into more mature and relevant conversations (and also because I loved Felix so much) I ended up loving it and feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.

★★★★

Blue Period Vol. I by Tsubasa Yamaguchi

If you’re someone who likes reading manga, then this one should definitely be on your radar as from NOW.

This is a coming-of-age story about a boy called Yatora Yaguchi, who has a hard time understanding what he wants for his future, since he struggles to feel any passion for anything. After one particular day, he starts to get interested in art, and this marks the beginning of his self-discovery.

Honestly, this manga was perfect for me. I love all things art related, and I loved Yaguchi as a character so much. I need the second volume so badly!

★★★★★

These were the books I had to read for classes. I didn’t rate them so I’ll just show them here.

Now, for my October TBR, I’m going to try and finish the books I couldn’t get around to from my last TBR, plus a few ARCs and other books I want to read because spooky season 🎃

That’s it for today! If you’ve made it to the end, thank you so much! I’d love to hear what great books you read last month and what are your plans for October! See you next time.

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✏ARC REVIEW: Odessa by Jonathan Hill

  • TITLE: Odessa
  • AUTHOR: Jonathan Hill
  • GENRE: Graphic novel, YA, dystopia
  • DATE OF RELEASE: November 10th 2020
  • FIND ON: Goodreads / Amazon
  • SYNOPSIS: Three siblings search for their missing mother across a ruined America in this original graphic novel perfect for fans of Scott Westerfeld and Neal Shusterman. 

Eight years ago an earthquake—the Big One—hit along the Cascadia fault line, toppling cities and changing landscapes all up and down the west coast of the United States. Life as we know it changed forever. But for Vietnamese-American Virginia Crane, life changed shortly after the earthquake, when her mother left and never came back.

Ginny has gotten used to a life without her mother, helping her father take care of her two younger brothers, Wes and Harry. But when a mysterious package arrives for her eighteenth birthday, her life is shaken up yet again. For the first time, Ginny wants something more than to survive. And it might be a selfish desire, but she’s determined to find out what happened to her mother—even if it means leaving her family behind.

Wow! This one was pleasantly surprising. I’m happy that I was able to get my hands on this graphic novel, especially since it turned out to be a very promising first volume.

My first impressions, of course, had to do with the art style. I might be the unpopular opinion here, but I liked it . It was simple, and definitely not what you’d call “cute”, but it worked for me for some reason. Also, I found the choice of colour quite strange: when I see pink, I think of something light and fluffy, even romantic, but this graphic novel, against all odds, was actually quite dark, especially towards the end. My assumption is that the author did this on purpose, but I might be overthinking it. Anyways, I liked it and I found it to be an interesting element.

Because of the blurb, I knew the story would deal with family dynamics (which by now you all know how much I love), and I was interested to see how the dystopian aspects would be like as well. These were the main things that made me want to read this book, together with the cover because, as I said before, I really LOVE that pink colour.

This is the first volume in the series, so I wasn’t exactly surprised that it felt, in my opinion, like a big introduction. For the first quarter of the book, we mostly see how the main characters, Virgiana and her two younger brothers, live their day-to-day lives in a sort of post-apocalyptic world. Then the middle portion of the book focused more on their journey, and the story dragged a little at this point. Nothing much happened for a while, and I almost feared the rest of the novel would be the same, but luckily things started to pick up again, and the last chapters were very action-packed and exciting. The only downside to this was that these events happened in a rather rushed way, which I believe was due to the fact that the author had only a few chapters left to develop the story up to a certain point. Some things also felt too convenient, but that didn’t prevent me from liking how this volume wrapped up.

The worldbuilding was ok, but I expected a more thorough explanation of the eartquakes, or at least some details of how the characters felt when they ocurred. Although we get commentary on the aftermath, it wasn’t enough for me to properly grasp the severity of the situation. Virginia, being the oldest, was the only one of the siblings that remembered the earthquakes, but when she talked about it, it was so vague that it almost felt as if it had happened to someome else. I really hope we get to see flashbacks of the actual disaster in the future.

Virginia’s character was the most captivating: she clearly loves her family and wants to protect them with all her might, and although she may be a little temperamental sometimes, her actions speak loudly for her, showcasing her selflessness and her dedication in order to do what’s best for her father and brothers. She is in no way perfect, but I personally like that a lot better. She’s also very smart and strong, qualities that make her a very likeable character. Also, I had my suspicions regarding a possible romantic interest that turned out to be correct and I think I’m going to love the ship A LOT. We got some hints towards the end that make me think that romance will ensue, who knows, maybe in the next volume? I can’t wait to see it!

Harry and Wes were… I don’t know how to describe them exactly. Their personalities are different, but I don’t think I know them well enough yet. Wes is the more mature of the two, something that the reader can witness throughout the story, but Harry was not as developed, and there were some parts in which I even found him a little annoying. However, after that very unexpected twist in the end, I’m now expecting a deeper exploration of his character and the difficulties he will have to face, and I’m really looking forward to his growth.

I love stories that focus on sibling relationships, and I enjoyed following these three siblings in their adventure. Their bond was very cute and I loved how close they were and how they trusted each other. The ending sort of broke my heart a little and almost made me sob because I want them to be alright. It’s no suprise though; I have a weakness for families, but I seriously came to care for all of them and I’m eager to see where their mission will take them.

Overall, I think this is a very solid start to a new series, and I’m curious to see what else this story has to offer. I’m definitely going to stay tuned and read the rest of the volumes, but for now I hope this graphic novel gets a lot of attention once it’s finally released because I think it has great potential!

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

RATING: ★★★

Jonathan Hill is an award-winning cartoonist who lives in Portland, OR. His comics and illustrations have been featured in publications by Fantagraphics, Lion Forge, tor.com, Powell’s City of Books, The Believer Magazine, and the Society of Illustrators. His first two books, Americus and Wild Weather, were created with writer MK Reed and published by First Second Books. Jonathan also teaches comics at the Pacific Northwest College of Art and serves on the board of directors at Literary Arts. Odessa is the first book he has written and drawn himself.

What do you think of this graphic novel? Are you interested in reading it? I’d love to hear from you!

As always, if you’ve made it this far, thank you so much for your time ♥ See you in the next post!

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✏ARC REVIEW: Find Layla by Meg Elison

  • TITLE: Find Layla
  • AUTHOR: Meg Elison
  • GENRE: YA, contemporary
  • SYNOPSIS: Underprivileged and keenly self-aware, SoCal fourteen-year-old Layla Bailey isn’t used to being noticed. Except by mean girls who tweet about her ragged appearance. All she wants to do is indulge in her love of science, protect her vulnerable younger brother, and steer clear of her unstable mother.

Then a school competition calls for a biome. Layla chooses her own home, a hostile ecosystem of indoor fungi and secret shame. With a borrowed video camera, she captures it all. The mushrooms growing in her brother’s dresser. The black mold blooming up the apartment walls. The unmentionable things living in the dead fridge. All the inevitable exotic toxins that are Layla’s life. Then the video goes viral.

When Child Protective Services comes to call, Layla loses her family and her home. Defiant, she must face her bullies and friends alike, on her own. Unafraid at last of being seen, Layla accepts the mortifying reality of visibility. Now she has to figure out how to stay whole and stand behind the truth she has shown the world.

This book was… peculiar. 

The premise is exactly that: a girl and her little brother who live in a very unstable environment, with an even more unstable mother whose only purpose in the story is to be a terrible person that is clearly in no condition to raise children. I did think that the message of this book was very evident and I was able to sympathize with Layla towards the end. However, I struggled a lot with this book, and therefore it took longer for me to finish it even though it’s actually a really short novel. 

The writing was very good: there were some remarkable quotes that I found made Layla’s train of thought more interesting. The pacing, though, was a little off, and I think it had to do with the fact that, even though this book is less than 200 pages long, nothing much happens in the first half. It’s like we get this unnecessary long setting that makes it extra clear that Layla and her little brother live in unacceptable conditions and that they are basically on their own most of the time, Layla having to take care of Andy while also dealing with her own problems at school. Then, suddenly, a lot of things start happening at once, and not in the way that you’d expect.

Maybe I didn’t pay enough attention, but the blurb made me believe that the video situation would be what triggered the conflict, which ended up being the other way around, and that disappointed me a little. Still, the second half of the book was more dynamic and I enjoyed the commentary on adoption and foster families. Layla’s realistic views on what was happening to her were also really sad to read, but I did like the way she was so aware of everything and everyone around her. I also loved how her feelings were represented: after all, even if she was a really intelligent and clever girl, she was still just that: a girl. Completely alone and with no people she could trust. The way the author described those feelings of fear and uncertainty as an octopus was simply great.

One of the things I didn’t like was, sadly, Layla herself. I expected her personality to be cold or indifferent, even pessimistic,  given her personal situation, but almost as soon as the book starts, we see that she has a really mean way of looking down at other kids, and particularly girls. I don’t like girl hate and I honestly think it’s the worst kind of trait a character can have, so I found it really hard to care for her after reading her thoughts on her girl classmates, especially since she thought they were stupid for talking about pubic hair and such, when she herself mentions she hadn’t known about the period until recently. I had the impression that she displayed certain qualities that made her sort of a not-like-other-girls type of character, but that really didn’t match her because she definitely wanted to be like those other normal girls.

There were other things Layla did that just did not sit well with me, and they were not justifiable despite Layla’s circumstances, but the way they were narrated made it look as if they were.

Another thing I thought was a little off was Bette and her obsession with Layla. I get that, as a parent herself, she wanted to look out for her and help her, but sometimes it was as if she really went too far buying her things or offering her to go out, when they were not that close. It just felt too forced and even made me a little uncomfortable, more so because, from Layla’s point of view, we could see that she was not ok with the attention. 

Then, there’s also that moment when Layla’s mother burst into the school to yell at her. That was so RANDOM. How did she even get in without anyone questioning her? The teachers had never seen her before so they didn’t know her, there was no way they would just let a strange mad woman enter a school just like that. Weird.

In the end, I didn’t like this book as much as I wanted, but I did appreciate that the ending wasn’t anything fairytale-esque. When it came to Layla’s fate, I was pleased with the way things wrapped up, because they were not perfect by any means, but they still left me satisfied. Even if this story did not do much for me, I think the author has a very nice way with words and I’m interested in reading more of their work in the future.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

RATING: ★★★

Meg Elison is a high school dropout and a graduate of UC Berkeley. Her debut novel, The Book of the Unnamed Midwife, won the 2014 Philip K. Dick Award. It was followed by The Book of Etta and The Book of Flora in Meg’s Road to Nowhere trilogy. The author lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and writes like she’s running out of time. For more information, visit www.megelison.com.

That’s all for today, dear teacups. I hope you have an amazing day! Let me know if you know how your reading month is going ♥

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✏BOOK REVIEW: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Hello dear teacups!

Yes! Another review! This time it is for the iconic The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by our queen and saviour Taylor Jenkins Reid. I swear, I tried my best to convey my feelings for this book in a way that makes sense, but I’m not sure I can put them into words because I just can’t make this book justice. Anyways, if you want to know my thoughts on this incredible novel, keep reading!

“Do you understand what I’m telling you? When you’re given an opportunity to change your life, be ready to do whatever it takes to make it happen. The world doesn’t give things, you take things. If you learn one thing from me, it should probably be that.”

Although this book had been sitting on my TBR for ages, I only decided to pick it up now because The Late Night Book Club chose it as their pick for September. Obviously, I knew I was down for a ride with this book, because almost everyone who’s read it mentions that it is (in Monique’s own words) as breathtaking as it is heartbreaking.

Evelyn Hugo is a retired Hollywood actress well known for her mesmerizing looks, her iconic roles and, most importantly, her scandalous love life. Now aging and mysterious, she’s finally decided it’s time for the world to know all about her secrets: her origins, her rise to stardom, and the truth behind her seven marriages. Because, at the end of the day, that is what everyone wants to know: who was the big love of Evelyn’s life?

When the book starts introducing us to Monique, a woman who works for a magazine called Vivant, we quickly learn that she will be the one in charge of interviewing Evelyn in order to write a book with her whole story. As the book progresses, we find out the reason why Evelyn specifically requested Monique to be her interviewer, and we see how their relationship evolves, as well as a few snippets of Monique’s personal life that, at least to me, were not exactly relevant. I admit I really did not care a lot about her as a character, because given that Evelyn was the real centre of attention, I just wanted to hear her story. But it was quite a shock when the truth about the connection between the two of them was revealed.

Evelyn’s life is one of many sorrows, sacrifice and loss in order to achieve what she wants the most. She’s ruthless in her ways to get the things she wants, and once she sets her mind on something, nothing can stop her from taking it. However, becoming a celebrity has many downsides, and the novel dives deeply into exploring “the dark side of fame”. What may look like a life of luxury and privilege to the public eye is actually harder and even crueler than it seems, especially for those who are different from the ideal stereotype. Evelyn is forced to hide her Cuban roots, change her name and appearance to look like a white woman. Having a scandalous lifestyle to be seen by the media and being extremely sexualised because of her body are sometimes the only reason why she gets roles in movies, her talent outshone by her reputation.

Aside from that, the book offers a lot more in terms of meaningful conversations, and for me, the most important one is that of sexual identity. It’s emotional and heartbreaking to see how difficult it is for the characters to live their sexuality, as they are forced to love their partners in the shadows in fear of being attacked and criticised. It’s frustrating how much you want them to just come out and yet you know it’s not possible for the sake of their own safety. I also really appreciated Evelyn’s personal take on this particular aspect, because she brings a lot of things to the table that I never really thought much of: besides identifying herself as bisexual, she makes a very interesting contrast between sex and sexuality that was simply mind-blowing. She’s also very openly sex-possitive, and I love how she wants to encourage women to seek pleasure for themselves, which is a very revolutionary prospect for her time.

“People think that intimacy is about sex. But intimacy is about truth. When you realize you can tell someone your truth, when you can show yourself to them, when you stand in front of them bare and their response is ‘you’re safe with me’- that’s intimacy.”

Taylor Jenkins Reid is tremendously talented at creating characters that feel like they could actually have existed. Reading about Evelyn Hugo and her acting career makes you almost want to google her and check to make sure she is a fictional character. Her story is completely addicting, and it’s easy to see why those around her weren’t able to look away every time they so much as looked at her. She’s a stunning, gorgeous woman, and these traits are so well and vividly described that even the reader agrees. 

I think what enamoured me the most was, of course, Evelyn herself. She’s fierce and confident, she knows what her strengths are and how to use them for her own convenience. She manipulates people with such a talent that you can’t really blame her for doing so, but she also has to deal with the consequences when her actions backfire on her. I love how her character evolves through the course of the book, because she somehow becomes more human towards the end, once she starts realising that fame and fortune might not truly give her happiness. As she says herself, all she wanted was a family, but it takes long for her to finally acknowledge it, and even then she struggles to put those she loves before her career.

I really liked that she was able to form meaningful bonds in the process: as we see early on in the book, Evelyn is a rather lonely person. The only one she ever loved was her mother, who’s also the reason why she wants to become a famous star, so it was really important for me that she find people she could actually trust and love genuinely; people that could also love her for who she truly was. 

Speaking of which, let’s talk about the side characters. Obviously, Harry was my favourite. He was Evelyn’s first real friend and THE BEST IN THE WHOLE WORLD. I mentioned this in one of my updates, but seriously, if it weren’t for him, all the men in Evelyn’s life would be absolute trash. He’s kind, thoughtful, loving, respectful, talented, protective… All the good qualities you can think of, he has them. And he’s also a great father. We choose to stan forever.

Celia was a great character too. Her personality and attitude were endearing, and I loved her character arc. She was very intriguing even after reading about her for many chapters, and I wish we could know more about her past. It wasn’t clear enough to me if her family knew her truly, and I think it would have been really cool to add that to the story. Nonetheless, I am a huge fan of her and her romance with Evelyn was the most passionate and beautiful thing I’ve read in a long time. They made me cry so many times because they were wonderful and brave and I just wanted them to be happy together forever. The way she put Evelyn above all else stole my heart because she always knew what (and who) she truly wanted. She would’ve risked it all before having to lie about her identity, and that made me root for her even more.

I can’t recommend this book enough. It was an experience. It’s a story of self discovery, love, heartbreak, grief and fighting for one’s dreams. It has so many important messages that everyone should read, and yep, it tore my heart to pieces, but I would gladly go through that pain again, because Evelyn Hugo is THAT addicting. Her story filled me with inspiration, and I can see myself picking up this book again in the future just to fall in love with her again.

RATING: ★★★★.5

As I mentioned before, I love Taylor Jenkins Reid’s writing. It’s really thought-provoking, strong, and her reflections on womanhood, sex, love and family are fascinating. I always feel a little more educated when I read them.

I read Daisy Jones and The Six earlier this year and I also really liked it, so I’m thinking about picking up more of her book some other time. If you have any recommendations, please let me know! Because I honestly don’t know where to start after these two.

(Also, apparently now I love books about famous people?)

Did you read this book? Have you read any other books by this author, or books about famous people? I’d love to read what you think!

As always, if you’ve made it this far, thank you! Have a lovely day and see you in the next post.

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✏BOOK REVIEW: On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

Hello dear teacups!

These days I’ve been thinking a lot about some books I read at the beginning of the year (which already feels so far away), and I realised I hadn’t written reviews about them, so I thought, why not do it now? Even though I read them some time ago, they were SO GOOD that it just feels like a waste not to spread the word around so that more people will want to enjoy them. Also, writing reviews is a lot of fun!

For today, I decided to translate an old review I originally wrote in Spanish for a book that I love way too much. And I mean it: WAY TOO MUCH. This is one of my favourite books of all time, and I hope that you can love it at least a little, because it’s so, so amazing!

“Who are you? Of the millions and billions of people in the world, you’re the only person who can answer that. Not people online or at your school. I can’t even answer that. I can say who I think you are. And I think you’re brilliant, talented, courageous, beautiful. You’re my miracle. But you’re the only one who can say who you are with authority.”

This book was everything I didn’t know I needed.

I don’t usually read contemporaries, but I heard so many good things about this one that I just HAD TO read it, and it totally deserves the praise. It goes to show that sometimes it’s good to get out of our comfort zone, who knows what amazing things we may find if we do? For me, it was this. A masterpiece that I will never stop recommending (ON AUDIO PLEASE, but I’ll talk more about that later).

While the premise might sound quite simple, this story has way more to offer than meets the eye.

On The Come Up revolves around Bri, a girl who dreams to become a famous rapper and make a name for herself. She and her family are struggling finantially, and their lives are certainly not easy. As a way to help support her mother and brother, Bri realises she has to make her way to the top, and a particular event at school will mark the beginning of her journey to find her own voice.

“…you’ll never silence me. I got too goddamn much to say.”

Bri’s story is gripping, intense and beyond entertaining as well as inspiring. I lost count of all the scenes that gave me goosebumps because of how incredibly profound they were, and each one of them was certainly thought-provoking. I devoured every chapter with the same enthusiasm as when I started the book, and even when I wasn’t reading, I was thinking about the story, about Bri and her family, the situations she and her friends faced and everything that their experiences had to show me.

Another thing I love about this book is how effectively it discusses discrimination and police brutality against black people. In some scenes I just had to hold my breath and clench my fists because I was just so mad at how unfair everything was, how real, because that’s just how things are in real life. It makes you see the reality that black people endure every day and leaves very important lessons about prejudice, racism and identity. 

I also really appreciated the conversation about drug addiction. It was moving to see it so well portrayed. The book allows us to consider it from all angles: on the one side, the addicts, mostly young people in the streets, and how consuming has affected not only their present lives, but also their futures and the lives of their loved ones. On the other side, the dealers, and how, despite the dangers that the business carries, they choose to put their lives at risk because that is the only way they can get money easily and provide for their families.

“There’s a beast that roams my street and he goes by the name crack cocaine. It’s kinda strange how he gets in the veins and turns mothers into strangers who only share the same name.”

In terms of the characters, is there anything I love more in books that family dynamics? The answer is NO. And this book explores them in a deep, beautiful, emotional and, above all, real way.

Bri is a teenager with dreams, issues and worries, a passion that leads her to work hard for what she wants, and a personality that makes her, in my opinion, the perfect protagonist. Her friends and family are described in a unique way, and each one of them has a special role in the story, a well defined personality, and I fell in love with the way in which the author gives us a close-up of each one’s relationship with Bri.

I personally loved reading every scene involving Bri and Jay. The book focuses a lot on their bond and the way it develops as they both learn to talk and understand each other. I’m a huge fan of mother-daughter relationships and this was one that’ll stick with me forever. Jay was also an incredibly strong woman and her growth was as important as Bri’s. Both of them improve in so many ways and support each other along the way, and if they have to call each other out for what they are doing wrong, they do so with respect and genuine concern for the other.

Trey (aka the best brother in the world) was a sweetheart. He raised the bar high for all the literary older brothers out there. Really, how can I make my brothers be more like him? The world would be so much better if men were more like legend Trey Jackson.

And, listen, don’t you love it when a character has a close relationship with someone in their family that is just like a really cool friendship? Well, that’s Bri and aunt Pooh. She is Bri’s #1 fan and is always encouraging Bri to rap and show exactly what she’s made of because she believes in her talent. And she and her girlfriend were the cutest. I did like what happened to her at the end, because even though she is the best character in this book, she needed to own up to her mistakes and realise how dangerous her lifestlye was and how it affected her family, especially given how much Bri looked up to her.

Of course, I can’t wrap-up this review without mentioning THE RAP, because it has a very meaningful role in the story. Bri’s lyrics are F I R E . I might know absolutely nothing about rap but I can say her words were deep and felt like a slap in the face because homegirl spits facts only.

“Unarmed and dangerous, but America, you made us, only time we famous is when we die and you blame us.”

If you have the chance to listen to the audiobook, DO IT. It has no waste. The narrator literally raps and it’s IMPRESSIVE so why not? Also, the author did a great job explaining everything that was related to the rap scene, to the point where you end up being really into it. Listening to Bri rapping her fire lyrics live made the experience a thousand times better and so, so much more fun.

In short, this book is perfect. I want everyone to read it. I need to reread it myself soon, and also read other works by this amazing author. Angie Thomas has so much talent I’d be stupid if I didn’t read more of her books, even more so if they are as powerful as On the Come Up was.

RATING: ★★★★★

What are your thoughts? Have you read On the Come Up, or any other book by Angie Thomas? What are some of your favourite books by black authors? I’d love to read you. ♥

If you’ve made it this far, thank you so much! Take care.

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AUGUST WRAP-UP (11 books!) [2020]

Hello my dear teacups!

I hope you’re doing amazing today.

August has finally come to an end, which means it’s time for a wrap-up! I read 11 books in total which is crazy because I was so busy at the beginning of the month I thought I wouldn’t be able to finish even five books. Most of them were absolutely fantastic: I have two new favourites of all time and some other remarkable titles that I’d like to share with you. Regrets were made, though (I’m looking at you, The Foxhole Court).

So let’s take a look at all my reads in August!

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

I’m currently buddy-reading The Lunar Chronicles with Mora and I’m having such a good time. This was a wonderful reread! I honestly didn’t remember much about this book, so it was really cool to read it again since it felt like I was reading it for the first time. This series is my favourite YA fantasy ever and I just want more people to read it because it’s great.

My favourite thing about this book is definitely Thorne. Every time he appears I just can’t help but smile. His personality and dialogues are effortlessly funny, and I love his friendship with Cinder with my whole being. I just can’t recommend this series enough.

Rating: ★★★★★

Beach Read by Emily Henry

The second 5-star of the month! Beach Read was nothing like what I expected, but it was a great book nontheless. Both main characters were writers, which I thought was a really cool concept, and their banter and chemistry were on point. Romance is not a genre that I pick up often, but I think the reason why I loved this book so much was because this is not exactly a romance book —more like women’s fiction. The story deals with themes such as grief and the idealization of love and family, and I thought they were very well done and added depth to the characters. Also, the romance aspect was just perfect. I enjoyed this couple a lot and I loved their relationship development from their university days to the present. This book will make you laugh and feel emotional at the same time.

Rating: ★★★★★

Watch Hollow by Gregory Funaro

I decided to pick up this middle grade because I wanted a short audiobook, and it was quite fun! I really liked the spooky vibes it gave off and the whole premise was like nothing I’d seen before. The siblings were sooo adorable, too!

My only problem with this was the way fat people were portrayed —degrading someone, in this particular case another child, because they are fat is just not okay, and especially if it happens in a middle grade book. Apart from that, I really liked the concept and it would have been a 4 star if it weren’t for the ending, which felt too rushed. Now that I know there’s a sequel, I’m a little intrigued to know how it’s going to be like, but I’m not sure if I’ll be picking it up soon.

Rating: ★★★.5

The Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic

Do you ever wish you could unread a book? Because that’s exactly how I felt after reading this.

When I heard that the book was free on Kindle, I inmediately went to get it. It had been on my radar ever since I joined the book community, and I finally got around to it —only to regret it days later.

First of all, what is it about this book that so many people seem to love? Because I’m still not sure I even understood what the book was about. As the story progressed (if you can even call that “progress”), I just got more and more confused, and that just made me upset to the point where, after reaching the 50% mark and still being absolutely lost, I seriously thought about DNFing the book (something that I NEVER do). I decided to push through because I had the slightest hope that things would improve at some point (because, I mean, people love this series for a reason, right?), and nearly killed my two last braincells in the process.

In case you wanted to know, I wrote a simple but precise list of all the things I disliked about this book here.

TW: violence, alcohol and drug abuse, mentions of domestic abuse, sexual assault, misrepresentation of mental health, familial death, murder, homophobic slur.

Rating:

Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

This. Freaking. Book.

This was a great conclusion to a great trilogy. I loved everything about it, and finishing it left me so, so emotional. I just wish I could read about the Blackthorns forever and ever.

I wrote a more in-depth review of this book which you can find here!

Rating: ★★★★★

Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare

Perfection? Excellence? Flawlessness (is that even a word)? This book is ALL OF THEM.

This book was so incredible! I’m amazed by how much Cassandra Clare’s writing has improved. This was the kind of book that made me want to reread it as soon as it was over. If you haven’t read this book yet, I don’t know what you’re waiting for. This cast of characters will make you fall in love and experience all kinds of sensations. Chain of Gold was the perfect start to a new trilogy and I can’t wait for Chain of Iron to be released! I need more and I need it now.

Of course, this is a new favourite book! If you’d like to read my review, click here.

Rating: ★★★★★ (it’s actually a billion stars)

You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle

Two romance books in the same month? Who is she?

This is the story of Naomi and Nicholas, a couple who are about to get married. They seem like the perfect pair, but the truth is they can’t stand each other. At first I thought this was going to be a cute sort of haters-to-lovers situation, but it felt more like two adults acting like children and having serious miscommunication issues that were never really addressed.

This book was… ok? I struggled a lot at the beginning because it felt too repetitive, and mainly because both characters were ✨annoying✨. To this day I still don’t know why they even got engaged in the first place, but the ending was kind of cute and some parts were actually funny. So yes, it was just ok for me.

Rating: ★★★.5

The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter

This is my second book by this author. I’d heard only amazing things about it, since thriller recommendations always include this book but, of course, they always warn you about the many triggering aspects. This book deals with a lot of heavy topics and if you’re a very sensitive reader, then I wouldn’t recommend you to pick it up. However, it is incredibly well written and absolutely gripping. Karin Slaughter’s writing style is engrossing and undeniably brilliant.

TW: violence, offensive language, familial death, murder, sexual assault, pedophilia, character buried alive, school shooting, death of a minor.

Rating: ★★★★

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

I’ve officially read all the books by this author! Gillian Flynn’s writing style never ceases to amaze me: it’s dark humor at its finest, combined with her morally gray characters and weird, disturbing families. I will say, though, I was expecting to like it more than I did. It was a really good book anyways, and the plot twist was something shockingly unexpected that made it deserve a high rating.

TW: alcohol and medication abuse, self-harm, death of minors, mentions of sexual assault, mentions of suicide.

Rating: ★★★★

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

I won’t go too in detail because I actually have a whole review for this that you can find here. But yes, this book was LEGENDARY.

Rating: ★★★★★

The Devil All the Time by Donald Ray Pollock

Yet another creepy book added to the list. But this one was so GREAT?? I’m so happy that I read this even though I wasn’t really planning to.

I actually laughed so much with this book it’s a little hard to believe it’s a horror novel. The book introduces us to a cast of characters located in a small town, all of them dealing with their own situations, having apparently no connection with each other. The way the author pulls the strings in order to bring them all together somehow was so clever and I just loved every part of it, even if the beginning was a little slow-paced to my liking. Again, this one also has a lot of graphic violence, so beware of that.

I really want to see the movie now! The trailer looks so interesting, and I’m soooo looking forward to Tom Holland’s acting as well.

Those were the 11 books I read in August! Overall, it was a really good reading month! There are some other books that I haven’t finished yet but I will talk about them once I’m done.

Finally, here’s my TBR for September. I plan to read a lot more books, but they are actually required reading for my university classes, so these are the ones that I want to read for myself. Hopefully I can get around to all of them.

How did your reading month go? What are your reading plans for September? Have you read any of the books I mentioned? I’d love to hear from you ♥

ALSO, SHAMELESS PROMO HERE: but Mora and I recently created a Bookstagram! We’d love to find more friends in the book community, so go check it out if you want to, we’d really appreciate it.

If you’ve made it this far, thank you so much! I’ll read you soon!

✏ BOOK REVIEW: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Hello my dear teacups!

I hope that you’re doing great!

Today I’m coming at you with a very exciting, although not exactly new, book review! The first one in this blog, yay!

As I mentioned, this is not a new review but one that I posted previously on my Goodreads. But since I really liked it (and the book that it is about) I thought it’d be good to just put it here as well. I also plan to add a few things since now I don’t have to worry about the length. Hurray for book blogs!

“How did you survive the Barrel? When they took everything from you, you found a way to make something from nothing.”

Yes, the hype was real. And totally deserved.

I finally read that popular book that everybody and their mother seems to love, because, of course, I wanted to see if I could love it too. Honestly, I was a little wary at first, given that my first experience with Leigh Bardugo’s work was… well, disappointing, —sorry to all the Darkling fans out there—. But I’m so, SO glad that I picked up this book, because now I cannot stop thinking about it. Hell, I want to start drawing again just to make fanart of it, even if it sucks, because I’m OBSSESED.

To my utter surprise, having read the Grisha trilogy beforehand was actually useful! *gasps*. I’d heard from many people that you don’t have to read those books first in order to understand Six of Crows, but I’d also been told that the first 100 pages of the book were quite slow-paced and a little boring. That wasn’t the case for me, and I think I owe it to Shadow and Bone because I was already familiar with the magic system and the worldbuilding (which are really well crafted, by the way). There were no boring moments, no dead time. I was absorbed from beginning to end and I actually tried to read the book more slowly so that it would last longer —I failed though because addiction hit harder than jurda parem, but I’m not sorry—.

The plot was genius. I was surprised to like it as much as I did because I’d thought that it was going to be quite simple, since there were so many characters that the story could focus on instead. But OH MY GOD was I excited. There’s absolutely nothing better for a vocal reader like myself than a book that makes you jump and tingle and scream in anticipation.

I’m in love with all of them. Who would have thought? Certainly not me. I ADORED the female characters especially, and that doesn’t happen often (even more so in a book by Leigh Bardugo, because heaven knows how much I loathed Alina). They were strong and confident in their abilities without being cocky, they were respected by the rest of the group and they were FRIENDS WITH EACH OTHER which is great because WE STAN GIRLS SUPPORTING GIRLS. I’m so grateful for such a beautiful, healthy friendship.

My favourite was Inej, undoubtedly. She was exactly the type of character I’d create for a D&D campaign. Her arc waz simply awesome. I loved how she found her way amidst the conflicts arround her, how she stood for herself and even how she said no to Kaz (even if it hurt a whole fucking lot) to chase after her own dreams. Speaking about Kaz, their dynamic was everything. It was worth the constant angsty feelings and the frustration —seriously, why is it so hard for men to pour their hearts out?—. Kaz relied on her so much and let her see his weaknesses becaused he believed she wouldn’t use them against him, and just how much they trusted each other unconditionally? That’s my absolute fetish. Obviously, I’m rooting for them because my boy had a shitty life and he deserves happiness and love, okay? The ending promises so much more angst though… I’m here with my Kleanex at the ready, we know tears will be shed.

Nina and Matthias also stole my heart completely. Their whole story ripped my heart out but it was an EXCELLENT execution of the enemies-to-lovers trope. That moment when they hugged each other after Matthias pretended to betray her? ICONIC. I almost thought for a second that he was for real. Points to the author for making me question my faves. I’m still waiting for them to kiss the life out of each other, but I guess that will have to wait.
Thanks to them, I’ve found my new favourite quote that is romance at its finest:

“I have been made to protect you. Only in death will I be kept from this oath.”

My only complain is the lack of appearance that Jesper and Wylan had. Jesper was the funniest guy and almost all his dialogues made me laugh like a hyena, but I wish he had been more relevant to the story. At times I felt like he was just there for comic relief, but he’s clearly so much more than that and I’d love to see deeper into his feelings and his personal history. Also, he’s a bi king.

Wyland is a whole mystery to me. He didn’t even get a POV which felt like such a waste since he clearly went through a great change, more so than the rest of the cast since he came from a completely different background. I’m hoping to learn more about him because he’s a soft boy and I feel like I would love him even more then.
And yes, I want to see his relationship with Jesper develop because the flirting didn’t go unnoticed at all. You know that scene when Wylan admits he spent every night standing next to Jesper while being tailored? I screamed so hard my family thought I was being stabbed. For real.

Basically, I just adored that none of these characters were heroes. They even said so themselves. They are morally grey, stubborn and fierce, each on their own, spectacular way. All of them had different aspirations, but they trusted on each other’s skills and worked as one perfectly to achieve what they wanted. Seeing how they interacted, how their relationship evolved from something merely professional to some sort of odd but endearing friendship, was the most fun of it all. This book was incredible and it deserves the hype and the attention that it still gets, even years after its publication.

I mean it: I’m OBSESSED, Just look at how heavily annotated my copy is! I had so much fun tabbing even though I almost ran out of post-its because I just wanted to tab EVERYTHING. My copy of Crooked Kingdom will probably meet the same fate but it’s worth it if it means I can easily reread every awesome quote, joke, or my OTP having a moment.

AND THERE’S A TV SHOW COMING.

Honestly, the only reason why I’m not dead yet is because I haven’t read Crooked Kingdom, which is at the top of my TBR right now.

So yes, everything hurts, because this book had it all and even made me want to cry out of pure happiness. I will not forget about it any time soon. Instant new favourite! ♥

“No mourners. No funerals.”

RATING: ★★★★★

This is not my first book by Leigh Bardugo, and it will not be the last. By now, I’ve read enough of her work to know that her books are a hit-or-miss for me, really. She has great talent and I totally understand why her stories are so loved, so I really hope to find more that are actually my cup of tea (haha get it because I love tea).

Before reading Six of Crows, my favourite books by her were actually some short stories she wrote as part of the Grishaverse (except for The Demon in the Wood, I never really understood what was their connection to the main story, but since I don’t really like it, I’d rather it stays that way lol). If you haven’t read these yet, I encourage you to do so! I gave all of them 5 stars:

Now I’d love to hear from you! Have you read this book or any other by Leigh Bardugo? let me know in the comments!

(A LITTLE LATE) MID YEAR BOOK FREAKOUT TAG [2020]

TIME TO BALANCE SOME BOOKS!

Even though the middle of the year has long passed already, I just couldn’t resist the chance of taking part in this tag. What better way to start off a brand-new blog than to take a look at all —the absolutely remarkable as well as the not so worth remembering— books that are part of my ‘read’ shelf?

2020 has been my strongest year ever in terms of books read. In the past, I would never read more than 10 books a year —actually, it was much less than that most of the time—. But I’ve always loved books, and I knew I wanted them to have more relevance in my life, so I decided to give it my all and read as much as I could, as often as possible. I seem to be doing well, because I’ve managed to read 76 BOOKS SO FAR IN 2020.

Yep, I’m very proud of myself ♥

Of course, reading so much means I’ve been able to read a wide variety of things, some books that I was super excited to pick up, some others that I decided to read on a whim and ended up becoming new favourites… Overall, there’s a lot to say about them! So without any further ado, let’s jump right in into the questions!

1. BEST BOOK YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2020

There’s only one (1) possible answer for this, and it’s a book that I actually read very recently. Guess which one? Yes! No other than Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare!

Special thanks to Mora for lending it to me ♥

This was the year in which I read the whole Shadowhunter Chronicles for the first time, so it was a huge goal to finally get to this book in particular. And oh boy, it was just … PERFECT. There’s not a single day since I read it that I don’t think about it. This is the kind of story that I would recommend to anyone who loves fantasy with big casts of characters. I would also suggest that you listen to the audiobook as well because the narrator’s voice was a 10/10. For more of my thoughts on this incredible work of literature, you can check out my Goodreads review here.

2. BEST SEQUEL YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2020

Thanks to Cassandra Clares many series, I managed to read quite a lot of sequels, and it’s a little hard to choose which one of them is THE best. But in terms of how emotionally struck I felt after reading it, my answer for this will be Lord of Shadows.

The Dark Artifices has easily become one of my favourite series ever, and this book stands out as the one that left me absolutely broken. It was a life-changing experience with all kinds of ups and downs (mostly downs towards the ending; if you read the book you know what I mean). I can totally see myself rereading it despite its lenght, because it was oh so wonderful, and I would gladly grab at any chance I can get to spend more time with the Blackthorn siblings.

3. NEW RELEASE YOU HAVEN’T READ YET, BUT WANT TO

So many books, so little time! There are tons of books that haven’t even been published in 2020 that I want to get to… And this year has been full of amazing new releases. Just LOOK AT THOSE STUNNING COVERS.

4. MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR

We have a lot of amazing books coming our way! I can’t choose one only.

5. BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT

Something I’m really happy about is the fact that most of the books I’ve read this year were AWESOME. It might be because I always try to pick up the ones that I’m sure I’m going to love, so it’s not often that I find a book I dislike. However, that doesn’t mean there haven’t been any… regrets. Sadly, these are the books that really didn’t do it for me:

The Grisha Trilogy is a series that everyone seems to love, and I wanted so badly to be a part of the club. But oh my God, reading this book wsa probably one of the most painfully difficult tasks of my life. I didn’t like a single thing about them except, maybe, the worldbuilding. The characters were incredibly plain and one-dimentional and they were SO ANNOYING. I was rolling my eyes the whole time. The only character I did care about was Nikolai, but then the author also decided to turn him into yet another Alina fanboy and that’s where I lost it. I actually didn’t read Ruin and Rising because of how tired of it all I was. So yeah, definitely a disappointment.

The Foxhole Court was another big letdown (even more so than the previous one). This is the case of a book that I absolutely cannot understand why everyone loves it. I swear I tried, but this was clearly not for me. It left a really bad taste in my mouth with all the questionable things that these characters did, and even though it’s a rather short book, it just took me SO LONG to go through it because of how much I disliked it. I would open my Kindle app just to read a few pages, then read something that made me go “no, no, nope, I can’t do this” then close the app and read whatever else I was reading at the moment. I’ve never dnfed a book before so I guess that’s why I didn’t want to just give up, but I thought about doing it more than once. I’m not sure if I will continue with the series, honestly.

6. BIGGEST SURPRISE

*swoons* THIS. BEAUTY. RIGHT. HERE.

This is a book that I haven’t seen a lot of people talking about, and I honestly don’t see why? It was incredible, an immediate favourite. It had everything, EVERYTHING I TELL YOU: sirens (which is something I apparently love now), a truly badass female character with actually valid motivations, an enemies-to-lovers situation that was perfectly executed… I can’t wait to get my own copy of this so that I can read it again and again and again because I LOVED IT SO SO SO MUCH. Please read To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo ASAP, thank you.

7. FAVOURITE NEW AUTHOR (DEBUT OR NEW TO YOU)

For this question, there are two authors I’d like to mention: Talia Hibbert and Karin Slaughter. Yes, I know, they write completely different genres, but both of them have awesome, brilliant, witty writing styles. I read books by them for the first time this year and I fell in love with their way with words. Now I want to read everything these two have written (which is going to take me forever, but oh well). Have you read any books by these authors?

8. NEWEST FICTIONAL CRUSH

CAPTAIN CARSWELL THORNE, EVERYONE. I’m currently rereading the Lunar Chronicles, and as always, he’s stealing my heart like the criminal he is. I just love this series and his character so freaking much!!

9. NEWEST FAVOURITE CHARACTER

Ugh, I love so many characters, this one is really hard. But one character that I’m absolutely obsessed with is Kit Herondale from The Dark Artifices. I never expected to love him as much as I do now, but he’s so sweet and loyal that it was impossible for me not to root for him. Also, there are so many things about him that will probably be revealed in TWP that I’m DYING TO SEE. He’s my favourite Herondale and I just want him to be happy and healthy.

(And I want to see him be happy and healthy with Ty as well, of course.)

10. BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY

Basically, every book written by Cassandra Clare. I swear that woman just wants me to dry out. I’ve got no tears left.

11. BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY

Ah, yes. This book had me giggling like an idiot. Actually, once you read it, you soon find out that this is not a light, fluffy romance like the cover suggests (which I think is the reason why many people thought this book was not that good). And while it may deal with some heavy topics and sad things, I still enjoyed it SO MUCH. I listened to the audiobook for this and there were parts where I would have to pause it because I was laughing so hard I couldn’t hear the narrator. And the romance was fantastic, even if it wasn’t really the focus of the story. I personally loved learning about January and Gus’s pasts and the hardships they went through, because seeing how much they grow and change for the better as the story progresses just made me so proud and happy for them. I would advice you to pick this book up with an open mind because it’s not the conventional romance that you might expect, but I can assure you that it’s worth the read!

12. MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK YOU’VE BOUGHT SO FAR THIS YEAR (OR RECEIVED)

That’d be Chain of Gold! But Sadly, my copy is on the way so I don’t have it here yet. I can’t wait to have it displayed on my shelves ♥

13. BOOKS YOU NEED TO READ BY THE END OF THE YEAR

*sighs* My TBR has no end. WHat I like to do is make lists, the Chloe Brown style, and cross out the titles as I read them. My current list has +30 books that I hope I’ll be able to get to soon, and these are some of the ones I’m the most excited about!

Last but not least, these are some of the things I’d like to accomplish by the end of 2020.

  • read more diversity: more ownvoices, more authors of colour, more books about mental health and disability, more lgbtqiap+
  • read outside my comfort zone: I haven’t read a single non-fiction this year and I seriously need to fix that because I want to educate myself. Also, I’d like to read more romance and literary fiction. Basically, I need to read more than just fantasy and thrillers!
  • be more active in the book community: this blog is part of it and I’m so happy that I finally gathered the courage to do this! I’m very excited to meet all the incredible people that love books as much as i do
  • keep writing!: I love writing reviews and I want to do it more often. It’s so much fun to put my thoughts into words and share them with everyone else!

2020 is being a great reading year for me. What about your reading year? Do you have any goals you need to accomplish? Let me know in the comments!

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