End of Hiatus (life update!) + Hiatus Wrap-Up

Hi everyone!

Wow, I’ve actually missed this blog a lot. But I also feel like this time away from it rekindled my interest in blogging about books and not just write reviews on Goodreads (which I kept doing while on blog hiatus).

I really felt like I needed some time off an activity (blogging) that I know I enjoy in order to explore my passion in doing other things too, so I sacrificed bookblogging because I knew I would get back to it and enjoy it even more, while other passions needed my full attention in order for me to integrate them in my routine in a way that would be permanent. Does that make sense? I don’t know, but it made sense to me.

It wasn’t just about my passions though! I moved to another country just this past week, so I’ve had to get prepared for that, physically and mentally. Now, because I’m here and I still don’t know how things will work and how my week will look once I find a job (sigh adulting) I actually don’t know how active I will manage to be, but I have queued a few reviews of books I’ve read this summer that I want to have on my blog too (although you can always read reviews of every single book I read on my goodreads), plus all the tags I’ve been neglecting (aehm, shoutout to Laura who kept tagging me ♥) so there should be at least one post a week.

But let’s talk about books because that’s what we’re all here to do.

Here’s my hiatus wrap up, just in picture format because it’s every book I read since June (and the ones worth talking about are getting full reviews here soon).

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Well, well, well. I wonder if these books follow a trend? Yes, yes they do.

In June (pride month) I promised myself to only read LGBT+ books, and I realized it wasn’t much of an effort at all. And the thing is, I was already reading mostly books that featured LGBT+ characters, and that’s what I kept doing all summer. Which brought me to realize that this is what I’m “known” for (not that I’m famous but whatever). It’s just that every one of my mutuals on twitter and my friends on GR know I mostly read those books and I realized that I don’t mind that one bit and that my blog should reflect that. So, once I’m fully back, this blog will feature discussions surrounding LGBT+ lit, LGBT+ representation in books and media, as well as the usual reviews of LGBT+ books.

All I can say is that I’m really happy that I found a.. niche? where I fee comfortable, both reading-wise and (book)community-wise, plus it brings me joy to help (often younger or much younger) readers find books where they might feel represented (or warn them to avoid others if the representation in them is bad or harmful).

Of course I’ll also review any book I feel like reading regardless of that, but that’s the direction I feel make the most sense for me.

I’m pretty sure none of the people who follow me will be bothered by all this, but just in case, well, you’re free to leave.

With all that said, I’m looking forward to keeping up with this blog again and I hope you’re all doing well (plus if you wanna tell me about your summer -or winter for some of you I guess- I’d love to hear what y’all were up to while I was away) ♥

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Burn, Rewrite, Reread Tag

I was tagged by Emma @ A Dreamer’s Library quite some time ago and I’m finally getting around to write this! Thank you so much!

The Rules:

  1. Randomly choose 3 books (Tip: use the ‘sort>random’ option on your Goodreads’ Read shelf)
  2. For each group, decide which book to burn, which one to rewrite, and which to reread (a lot like Kiss, Marry, Kill)
  3. Repeat until you completed three rounds (or six)

Round 1

Burn: This is a no-brainer, I’d burn Down: Portal by Glenn Cooper. I can’t remember much, except that while the idea was cool, the execution sucked. I didn’t even like book one in the series too much, although it had some interesting elements, but this sequel is so stupid it’s not even worth “rewriting”.
Rewrite: I wouldn’t say I’d want to rewrite all of it, but there are some parts of ACOMAF I’d definitely change. If you’ve read my review of ACOWAR, you’ve see some of the problems I had with it, and while I didn’t reread ACOMAF recently (I originally gave it five stars when I read it last year, but my tastes have changed so much) I’m willing to bet that if I reread it now I’d find the same problems I had with ACOWAR, especially when it comes to the “steamy” parts *cringes because she didn’t find them steamy at all*
Reread: As if I need an excuse to reread one of my favorite series of all time 😀 Well, it’s obvious I would and will reread The King’s Men by Nora Sakavic (I in fact have reread the whole trilogy in January/February this year). I really miss the Foxes of PSU and I can’t wait for the pain that my third reread will bring (why are we readers like this?)

Round 2

Burn: I’m sorry but I didn’t like Flame in the Mist and among these books it’s the one I wouldn’t mind burning.
Rewrite: I loved the Girl in a Box series when I read it three years ago. I can’t remember much about it except that it’s really, really long but I binge-read it in just a little bit over a month. I wasn’t as much of a critical reader back then as I am now but I’d say if I read it now I’d find some things in the writing that I’d like to change. I even gave Untouched four stars instead of the five I gave every other book in the series so I probably must have found something I wanted to change.
Reread: I’ve been meaning to reread the Gli Invisibili series for so long! It was one of my favorites (together with Harry Potter) when I was a kid, and I remember Gli Invisibili e la Strega di Dark Falls was my favorite one. I was obviously still a kid so maybe I’d find it awful now, but I’d still read it because I like feeling nostalgic of good things. The only reason I haven’t done it yet is because I can’t for the life of my find book one (it must be somewhere in my house, unless I lent it to someone back in school and forgot and never got it back…I really don’t know). It’s too bad the series is only in Italian because I never find anyone who has read it!

Round 3

Burn: I’m probably going to readers hell for this but I’d burn Pride and Prejudice PLEASEDONTKILLME! I read it a couple of years ago and I liked certain parts but it was so boring and difficult to read (please remember that English isn’t my first language so I had some issues with this because it was written so long ago). Out of the three books above it’s the one that has given me the least in terms of enjoyment, so it’s a burn. *watches followers count drop while sad music plays*
Rewrite: Despite all the flaws I might find now, the Throne of Glass series has given me so much that I would never hate it no matter what. I’d rewrite the first book to fix the character problems (Celeana being described as a ruthless, bloodthirsty assassin…while we’re being shown that she, in fact, isn’t ruthless OR bloodthirsty).
Reread: I definitely would and will reread The Raven King (and the whole series) because it has some of the best characters I’ve ever read about (Adam and Ronan are character goals tbh)

This was really fun to do! I don’t really know who has done this tag already so I tag anyone who wants to do it!

#T5W: Books That Would Make Good Video Games

Top Five Wednesday is a book meme that Lainey started and I discovered through the lovely Samantha‘s videos. If you’re interested you can join the goodreads group to get the topics for each week.

This week’s topic:

April 12th: Books That Would Make Good Video Games
–Since I’ve been in video game hell (in a good way) for the past year, this topic is timely. Remember, not all video games are action games! The Sims has proven that 🙂

love this topic! I haven’t played much lately but I love video games and I totally see how certain books would work really well in that format. Even if it’s not even Wednesday here anymore (I’ve had a busy day and didn’t manage to write or pre-post this) I needed to put this out here.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

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Ever since the first few pages of Illuminae I thought it reminded me of some video game setting, specifically some kind of mashup between Portal 2 and Soma.

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Soma was way too scary for me to play lmao

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Portal 2 started me to video games tbh

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

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While reading about this at some point I realized I was imagining the settings as Skyrim locations, and the world in this book is so full of characters and places that I wouldn’t have trouble seeing it as a similar video game.

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I lost years of my life playing Skyrim and I regret nothing

The Grisha trilogy

I tried to imagine this as a computer game but I couldn’t see it. Then I thought of my beloved Nintendo DS games and I thought that this would look great in such a graphic. I’m thinking something like Radiant Historia.

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I loooved this, it’s such a unique concept for a video game (but I didn’t like the battle system too much – mainly because I suck and I found it a bit too difficult)

Virals by Kathy Reichs

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I’m trying to come up with some game whose graphics/gameplay could work for Virals but I can’t come up with anything right now. Maybe some point and click like The Walking Dead? I don’t know to be honest, but I do think it would work out great in some kind of video game.

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

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I was having a hard time trying to find a fifth book/series for this post, so instead I started thinking in reverse (I thought of a game first, and tried to see if any book came to mind that might work similarly), and since Persona 5 just came out it was the first game I thought about, and I started thinking that TRC also has a group of high school students that have to do with some paranormal stuff. And the cards??? Wow. It fits so well.

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I only played Persona 4 and I loved it (never finished it though  ;_;)

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I reeaaaally want to play Persona 5 (I’ll have to take advantage of my BF’s new PS4 :3)

 

#T5W: Top SFF books on my TBR

Top Five Wednesday is a book meme that Lainey started and I discovered through the lovely Samantha‘s videos. If you’re interested you can join the goodreads group to get the topics for each week.

This week’s topic:

April 5th: Top SFF Books on Your TBR *Booktube SFF Awards Babble Crossover Topic!*

–Talk about the science fiction and fantasy books you want to read ASAP!

I’ll only list books that are already out, so here they are:

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

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Look, I own the hardcover of this and I read Illuminae as my first book of 2017 and I absolutely adored it. It also caused me so much pain that I still don’t think I’m fully recovered, and that’s why I haven’t started Gemina yet. But hopefully I can read it this month since I’m feeling ready.

The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima

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I own the e-books of this whole series but I haven’t felt like starting a high fantasy lately, especially not such a long one! I mean, each book is extremely long and it’s four books in the series, and I know I need to binge read fantasy to fully enjoy and not forget all the little details of the world. So I’m just waiting for the right time I guess.

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

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I can’t get over the fact that the person on the cover is dabbing tbh

See what I said above, plus the fact that I’m pretty sure the last book so far ends with a cliffhanger and there’s still too many months before the last book comes out. My friends who have read it loved this series so much but they’re suffering now so since I’m not in the mood for such a long series I’ll just wait a bit, but I’m really curious about it.

The School of Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

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I haven’t read middle-grade books in a while, but what I’ve heard of this series honestly sounds amazing. I don’t know how soon I’ll get to it since I seem to be drowning in my TBR but I’m still very excited about it.

Every single book by Victoria/V.E. Schwab

Because Shades of Magic was amazing and I need more.

March Wrap-up

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I honestly don’t know how to start my Wrap-up posts anymore so here’s a gif of a fluffy cat in a tie with a tiny book and tiny milk bowl and a tiny milk bottle

BOOKS

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Here’s everything I read in March. Seven “full” books, three mangas (that come in different volumes so they count as multiple books on GR *sigh*), three short stories, one webcomic, plus one DNF (Finnikin of the Rock).

Honorable mentions are (links go to either GR or to my review if I’ve done one):

  • A Conjuring of Light, by V.E. Schwab: I loved this book and the whole series so much I still haven’t been able to review this last book at all. I still plan on writing a series review at some point because this quickly became one of my favorites.
  • A Guy/Man Like You (the title translates to “guy” in the comic but everywhere else it’s written as “man” so idk), by Waje: I really love this manhwa! It’s very character-driven and the art is beautiful. It’s still ongoing and each update kills me.
  • Check, Please!by Ngozi Ukazu: you can read this webcomic on this tumblr page and honestly you should because it’s going to heal your soul.
  • Openly Straightby Bill Konigsberg: your monthly dose of coming-of-age contemporary LGBT+ novel that’s funny and sweet and opens a discussion about labels.
  • rock, by Anyta Sunday: a beautiful love story, maybe not for everyone, but it’s definitely worth checking out.
  • fawn, by Nash Summers: beautifully written, magical and free.

Overall it was a very good reading month!

ANIME

I rewatched Yuri!!! On Ice. Yes. Again. In my defense, I was sick and really needed something to cheer me up, and yes, it was still as awesome the 8th or so time around.

I also started rewatching Death Note, which I first and last saw around 8 years ago. I actually also really want to read the manga at some point, but for now I’m sticking to the anime (it also gives me something to do when I don’t feel like reading). I loved it 8 years ago and I still love it now, though I’m not very far into it because I want to savor it instead of binging it for once.

MUSIC


 

I hope you all had a great month! Tell me some of your highlights in the comment if you feel like it!

#T5W: Favorite Angsty Romances

Top Five Wednesday is a book meme that Lainey started and I discovered through the lovely Samantha‘s videos. If you’re interested you can join the goodreads group to get the topics for each week.

This week’s topic:

March 22nd- Favorite Angsty Romances
–This topic has been much requested! Talk about your favorite ships that have a healthy side of angst. (definition: adj.: describes a situation or literary piece which contains dark, depressing, angry, and/or brooding emotions from the participating characters.)

I know for some of us seeing the names of the couples in a book/series might classify as a spoiler, so if you don’t want to know about those don’t read this post (I’m going against my interest here but hey, I’d never want to spoil anyone).

So, POTENTIAL SPOILERS BELOW!!!


If you’re still reading, I managed to round up five series where I feel like the romance plays an important role, but they’re not strictly classified as romance. I’ve just never found an actual romance book to be as angsty as some of the romances that are built in books that classify as fantasy.

Damen and Laurent (Captive Prince)

If you know me a bit, you’ll know this is my favorite series. It features a lot of political intrigue, but it’s extremely romance-heavy, and let me tell you, it’s so angsty and slow-burning it almost physically hurts.

Neil and Andrew (All for the Game)

Okay, this is the only series in this post that is not actually fantasy, but it’s not classified as romance either. And it should’t, because the romance is so slow-burning you don’t see it happen until…well, until it happens (unless you’re re-reading and then you see all the signs). As for the angst, boy, it’s there alright.

Kaz and Inej (Six of Crows)

Many of you have read this duology, so you probably know why the way the romance between Kaz and Inej develops is extremely angsty. To say more would be really spoilery for those of you who haven’t read this, so I’ll just say your heart will break a little bit every time you find out some new piece of information about both characters.

Arin and Kestrel (The Winner’s Trilogy)

One of the easiest way to achieve angst in a romance is make it a tale about forbidden love. This is exactly what happens in this series, and the romance between the MCs is constantly hindered throughout the series for different reasons (none of those are the cliched-miscommunication that often happens in contemporary romances). This is another romance that really hurts.

Karou and Akiva (Daughter of Smoke and Bone

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This is another case of forbidden love, for different reasons and on a completely different level than TWT. The romance starts out pretty heavy in the first book, but as the characters grow and worlds expand, and the series becomes so much more.


I have a question: do you prefer an angsty romance or a “smooth” one? I think for me the most memorable ones are the angsty ones, but once in a while I need something easily shippable and that doesn’t hurt me in the process of reading it.

February Wrap-Up

Hello everyone!

BOOKS

Excuse another wrap-up featuring a screenshot (plus a very poor Paint job) but I don’t feel like posting a picture of each individual book I read this month!

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Admittedly I haven’t done a great job at reviewing these on the blog, but (here is my monthly-excuse list): 1) I was in the middle of my AFTG re-read, of which I have a full series review, and there was no point in reviewing the books again; 2) I plan on doing a series review of Shades of Magic, but since I haven’t finished A Conjuring of Light yet, that will have to be in a March post.

I’d say I really enjoyed everything I read this month, and while I was sure I would like Shades of Magic, I really didn’t expect to love it as much as I am! Another great surprise was Peter Darling  by Austin Chant, which I’m already dying to reread.

I’ve also read two mangas:

  • Hachimitsu Darling was a very short and very sweet one, plus it involved a kitten and I was sold on page one;

  • Himegoto Asobi was a kind of similar manga as Hachimitsu, but much longer and even though it was still 5 stars (probably more like 4,5?) I found I wouldn’t have minded it if it was slightly shorter.

And a short story, The Prince of the Moon by Megan Derr.

Despite the short month, I know I could have read much more than this, but I spent a lot of time reading YOI fanfiction (yes, I’m still deep in that hell), plus February has been a really tough month for me. I know I seem to say it every time, but that’s just how things have been lately (on top of things I also have the flu, yay!).

 

MUSIC

I’ve listened to more or less the same stuff as I always do:

Plus a few new things:

And a few old favorites I hadn’t listened to in a while:

  • The entire Marina and the Diamonds discography;
  • Così fan tutte by Mozart (here’s something you might not know about me: I was born a classical music lover, and only later started discovering modern music): it’s one of my all-time favorite operas and they were playing it at my local theater, so I went to see it twice ♥

 

GAMES 

The only game I played this month is Pokemon Go, and I didn’t get to play it nearly as much as I would have. Sadly, after they released the second generation, I’ve been down with the cold first and then with the flu, so I’m waaay behind on my Pokemon trainer goals :/

That’s all for this month! How’s everyone been doing? I need some positivity so I’d love if you left me a comment with one positive thing that happened to you in February ♥