A very late December Wrap-Up

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I’m going to keep this post short because it’s kind of late and I feel bad for posting it basically in mid-January. But I love doing it and I didn’t want to skip a month so I guess we’re here.

books

december

I’ve read a total of 20 books which is much more than the previous month, but don’t be fooled, a lot of it was just me reading short things, being on Christmas break and going on a webcomic binge of epic proportions.

○ 3 audiobooks

○ 1 rereads

○  9 graphic novels/webcomics

○  3 ARCs

Overall this was a really good reading month for me. There were new favorites within their genre, stuff I’d been meaning to read for a long time that I finally did, some objectively good books that didn’t really stay with me, and a lot of mood reads that were perfect for me at the time when I read them.

highlights

📖 Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo (reread, audiobook) – this book is still miles away from the perfection that is Six of Crows, but Bardugo has grown so much between Shadow and Bone and Ruin and Rising, it’s amazing. In R&R we finally get some of those squad dynamics and banter that will shine even brighter in SoC and this squad made me feel at home because I remember loving them the first time I read this series. I only read this series again to remember details that will probably help me immerse in King of Scars even more, and if you’re anticipating that book as much as I am and you have the time I highly recommend reading or rereading this series. ★★★★.5✩/5 

📖 No End by Erli & Kromi -I have a whole review about this webcomic (please go read it, both the webcomic and my review) and if I had to choose only one highlight for this month I think it would be this one. It had been a while since I kept thinking about characters from a book or comic while not reading but whenever I had to put this down to do other things I kept wondering what would happen next. I just love everything about it with all my heart and I can’t recommend it enough. ★★★★★/5

📖 A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole – I’d been wanting to read this since I heard about it and idk why I waited so long but boi oh boi! I am glad I finally read it. First of all, the cover is stunning. Second, I loved both MCs SO MUCH. Prince Thabiso is the only man I love so jot that down. The romance was so, so good. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series. ★★★★.5✩/5

📖 Shootaround by Suspu – I was recommended this as I was in No End hungover so I decided to start it to ride that gay zombie apocalypse wave. This is very different from No End but just as gay and it’s much more a hilarious take on the zombie apocalypse. I mean, it has its serious moments but it’s truly going to make you laugh out loud and it’s so positive and it has such diverse rep (various disabled people, a trans MC, almost every girl is queer, almost every guy is bi or pan, two Japanese MCs, one Mexican MC, and more that I’m sure I’m forgetting). It’s also complete so you can read it all in one go and reach the end without having to wait for further updates. ★★★★★/5

📖 Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire (audiobook) – first off, I knew this series had some queer characters but I didn’t expect just how diverse this was (asexual MC and trans FTM secondary character). I truly went into this book without knowing anything about the plot or setting but I loved it. Listening to it made me feel a little disconnected from it at first but it ended up being so, so good. ★★★★.5✩/5

📖 Under the Lights by Dahlia Adler (ARC) – this book surprised me because I thought I would like it but still be kind of neutral towards it, and instead I ended up loving it and having a lot of Feelings about the queer rep and the friendships portrayed and even Josh. Read my full review and then go read the book for yourself. ★★★★.5✩/5

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📑 Fake Out by Eden Finley – you can read my full review here. There are more personal reasons why this didn’t work for me but mostly I’m just tired of m/m authors being generally shitty when it comes to the rest of the spectrum, which usually shows when they write really transphobic comments in their books (and I bet they thought they were being woke). Just stop writing queer fiction if all you care about is just some of the letters of the acronym.

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I’m not completing this post with my current reads because by the time this post is out I’ve already read 6 books in January and it doesn’t make sense to add my CRs from the end of December here.

Instead I want to know what your favorite part of last year was for you, whether it was a book or a vacation you took or a new recipe you discovered or anything. I hope you have an amazing month!

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November 2018 Wrap-Up

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books

So this month I’ve read considerably less than in the past months, but keep in mind that one book was 1000 pages long and I was busy with uni. Also, I would be NOTHING without my audiobooks ♥

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My month in numbers:

○ 4 audiobooks

○ 4 rereads

○ 2 graphic novels

○ 0 ARCs (???????????????????????????? wow this hasn’t happened in years)

highlights

📖 The King’s Men by Nora Sakavic – I finally finished my AFTG reread and wow I am always so emotional about these gays I can’t. ★★★★★/5

📖 Kingdom of Ash by SJM – I have no intention to like, do a review or anything. It was what it was and I enjoyed listening to it a lot because I needed to see this series through. That said, I can’t give it five stars because of a number of things that bothered me and I didn’t agree with, but what else is new? I’m just glad that it’s over and I want to keep a good overall feeling about this series that in the past meant so much to me. ★★★★✩/5 

📖 Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty – this was one of my most anticipated books this fall and it didn’t disappoint. I’m so glad I chose to listen to it because the audiobook was awesome and it really made me enjoy more than I would’ve otherwise. Definitely read it if you’ve loved Big Little Lies and if you love multiple point of views and basically a whole lot of character study. ★★★★★/5

📖 The Steel Prince #2 by V.E. Schwab – GSHGHSLGHSGFHSLGHSFLGHSLH my god this is stunning. The art is incredible and it fits the world so well, plus the dialogue is amazing. I knew V’s style would work well in this format and I can’t wait for the next issue. ★★★★★/5

📖 Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo – I’ve decided to reread the Grisha Trilogy in preparation for King of Scars which is coming out in less than two (!!!!!!!!!!!) months. I remembered very little about it and I have to say the first two books aren’t great, but they do get better and I know Ruin and Rising will probably be a five stars again this time around, but I lowered my original rating for both S&B and S&S. ★★★★✩/5

current

🔖 A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole – I’d wanted to read this and its sequels forever and what finally pushed me to start it was the fact that apparently the sequel has an ADHD main character! Anyway, this is so delightful and I love all the tropes used in it. I’m around 50% but I can say that I have found a new favorite romance author.

🔖 Odd One Out by Nic Stone – I got an ARC of this a little while back but in the meantime I saw not-so-positive reviews from my friends, so I postponed it. Then I was with nothing else to read on my commute and decided that I would start it and if by 5% I didn’t like it I would DNF it. I don’t know if my low expectations tricked me into liking it but I actually am enjoying it quite a bit and flying through it fast even though I only read it on my 20-minutes commute.

🔖 Herr der Diebe [in English The Thief Lord] by Cornelia Funke – bear with me, I know I’ve been reading this since August but this month alone I’ve managed to read 50% of it and I’m now on 80% and I feel like I might manage to finish it before the end of the year. I’m so proud of me for finally (almost) finishing another book in German.

blog

I didn’t blog a lot this month and you know what? That’s okay. I’m adjusting to uni life and my mental health has ups and downs and if I can only write a few posts a month instead of 4 posts a week like I did last year that’s fine.

Here’s the posts I did write:

📜 Book Blitz of The Fever King by Victoria Lee – read an excerpt from chapter 1! I loved this book and the full review is coming a bit closer to the release date.

📜 I did my first Book Haul! Turns out physical books are nice to touch and show off, especially when you paid them like, 3€.

📜 ARC Review: Outrun the Wind by Elizabeth Tammi

Even if I didn’t write much, I do have something exciting to share with you all! Back in October I met with Lea @ DrumsOfAutumn and we filmed a bookish video for her channel! The video finally came out a couple of weeks ago and although I’m incredibly shy I thought I’d give you all a chance to like, see me “in person”. Also, Lea is an incredible BookTuber and if you’re not already you definitely need to go follow her!

 

 

watched

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Please pretend to be surprised if you follow me on twitter: I watched She-Ra and the Princesses of Power!

This show…this show. Please understand that the only reason I haven’t rewatched it already is because I’ve been incredibly busy with uni and other commitments. But I’m going to rewatch it soon because it’s just That good.

If you need one (1) reason to watch it, just know that it pissed off a lot of allocishet white dudes (who, by the way, are the real snowflakes here).

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invented being attracted to women

Just please? Go? Watch? It? It’s conveniently on Netflix and it takes my absolute favorite trope (friends to enemies to lovers) and makes it f/f. Now before you pee your pants, it’s not f/f yet (it might never explicitly be since it’s a kids’ show) but there’s little mistaking Catra and Adora’s relationship as purely friendly. Hopefully season 2 will be announced soon and we’ll get to see all that good character development and redemption arc.

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invented love

That’s not the only reason the show is so good though: the characters have never heard of toxic masculinity, there’s one side f/f canon pairing, the characters are diverse, every princess has her own set of skills and strengths and not one is seen as better or lesser than others.

 

3ok-1-770x578Well, She-Ra took up most of my mental space in November, but towards the end of the month my friend came over for the weekend and we started watching Adventure Time! I’m taking it slow, only watching a few episodes when I have 10 minutes to spare, but it’s so funny and random??? Liking it is definitely a matter of how you react to its humor because it’s very weird! If you like weird and kind of nonsensical millenial humor it might be worth trying to check it out, and now it just occurred to me that I’m writing this stuff as if I’m not the literal last person on the planet to watch it, but whatever.

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What was your favorite thing that happened in November? You’re totally going to watch She-Ra now that I talked about it, right? Are you excited for 2019? I hope you had a great month and are having an even better December!

October Wrap-Up

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Hey everyone! October seemed to have simultaneously passed in a heartbeat and have lasted 348 years. How does time do that??

IRL, I spent my time getting used to my new house and settling into uni life again. Yes, I’m going to finish my studies after having to take some time away from it. That means you’re all going to have to be patient with me because not only the thing I’m studying isn’t the easiest, I also have to do it in German. So that means less time for books and for blogging, even though I hope to find a rhythm that works for me.

Other exciting things I got to do this month are joining my university’s choir (I used to sing throughout high school and I missed it so much) and meeting my friend Lea, whom some of you might know as DrumsOfAutumn from BookTube!

books

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This is everything I read this past month! From memory/feeling alone I honestly thought I’d read like, three books, but it’s actually more like 17 ahahhaahahah anyway most of them are comics or novellas/short stories so it’s not that impressive, but considering I thought I wouldn’t manage to read anything it’s still good.

○ 2 audiobooks

○ 6 rereads

○ 3 comics or webcomics

○ 4 ARCs

○ 1 beta read

highlights

📖 A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab (reread/audiobook) – I started this reread in September and then I didn’t touch it for almost an entire month (I was trying to spare my feelings). Inevitably I ended up crying for more than one hour straight (not that anything I do is ever straight but you get me) which is more than I cried the first time so I’d call that a success (?????????). If you haven’t picked up this series please do it! It’s so amazing and it gets better with each book. ★★★★★/5

📖 Vengeful by V.E. Schwab – I still uh…haven’t fully processed the fuckupness of this book. The same exact thing happened as when I first read Vicious: the book was just so perfect that I was analyzing all the ways it was perfect more than actually reading it as a book. Like, I felt like humble amateur writer me was trying to learn everything she could from this book and that’s a really weird way to read a book and I can’t fully explain it either, all I know is that I obviously still did read it as a piece of fiction and I Get what happened but I think I will only Feel it when I reread (which is, again, the same exact thing that happened with Vicious). Anyway I love this fucking family. ★★★★★/5

📖 The Fever King by Victoria Lee (ARC) –  This book is so, so important. I’m still trying to write my review and I’m not entirely sure what to write in it. I feel so lucky that I got to read it so early because it’s one of my most anticipated books of 2019. Some things in the writing didn’t completely work for me but the story and characters made it all worth it. I’m still deciding on a rating but probably ★★★★✩/5 

📖 Shrewd Angel by Anyta Sunday (beta-read) – Guys, I did my first beta-read??? Technically it’s my second one but the first one didn’t get published yet. Anyway WOW I beta read a book that I can actually talk about, I feel Accomplished! This book is a standalone part of a Christmas series that will be published in December and it’s a M/M romance set in New Zealand featuring music, found families and enemies to lovers. It’s not too heavy on the Xmas element which is something I appreciated a lot since I’m not big on Xmas. If you’re into the genre and are looking forward to some slightly xmasy romances I can definitely recommend this. ★★★★.5✩/5

📖 L’Ascesa dei Re by C.S. Pacat (reread) – I finally finished my Italian capri reread! I honestly don’t know how y’all keep reading books in your first language. This hurt so much more to read in my first language than it hurt in English (which already hurt a lot), I definitely never want to do that again. I still am not the biggest fan of the translation because I’m pretty sure a lot of parts were translated so liberally that the original meaning actually got lost, but one thing I did love was the fact that my language has formal and informal yous and I’m not going to spoil but I love what was done about that in regards to how the MCs used those between each other, which is something that obviously can’t happen in the original English version. Anyway, please read this series (be careful of the TWs though) and then come talk to me. ★★★★★/5

📖 Mating the Huntress by Talia Hibbert (ARC) – you can read my review here but okay who allowed Talia Hibbert to write romance so perfectly? This is a genre (paranormal M/F romance with a werewolf) that I wouldn’t have reached for if I wasn’t sent an ARC and if I didn’t already trust Talia Hibbert to write books that always steal my heart. I’m so glad I didn’t pass on the opportunity to read it because it was simply amazing. ★★★★★/5

📖 Empire of Storms by SJM (reread – audiobook ) – I want to read KoA but I wanted to refresh my memory and also back then when it came out I really loved EoS and it has a lot of moments that I will always remember fondly and that helped me a lot when I was going through a really tough time so I wanted to read it again to also sort of say goodbye because I think after KoA I’m probably not gonna read this series again. Anyway I reread it as audio on 2x speed which made it so much easier and also made it impossible to see all the em dashes and ellipses, so the book was definitely more enjoyable that way and I’ve decided to listen to KoA too. And while I’m not going to change my original rating from two years ago (five stars)I still enjoyed it a lot and I would probably give it four stars now. I just wish people stopped purring and snarling and being weird about the whole mate thing and also like, can we get some real fucking diversity tho.

📖 The Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic (reread) – I’ve postponed rereading this series for almost two years for a number of reasons (this is my third time reading it), but I’m glad I finally felt good enough to decide to embark on this journey again. The first book is undeniably Uncomfortable to read and honestly not That Good but it’s all worth it to get to the rest of the series (pain. only pain awaits you. be warned. and google the TWs because there’s a lot.) ★★★★✩/5 

current

🔖 The Raven King by Nora Sakavic – obviously I am continuing my reread and I’m about to be in a lot of pain because this book has some of the most heartbreaking fucking shit ever

🔖 Love like This by Melissa Brayden – this is an ARC I got through Netgalley and it’s a fluffy f/f romance. I have to say I was quite enjoying it but I got so annoyed when the first kiss was a non-consensual one that’s depicted as romantic. I haven’t read it in two weeks and I’m actually thinking of DNF’ing it without a rating for the reason above.

🔖 Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty – I’m audiobooking this and it’s probably the best way to do this since it’s a lot of character development all thrown together in the best possible way, which is something I love but I would probably have no patience to read with my own two eyes right now. If you love a book with a focus on a lot of different characters with minimal plot (at least up until the point I reached), this is definitely a book for you. I can already see myself giving it five stars, easily.

blog

This month I’ve been nowhere near where I would like to be when it comes to scheduling and the types of posts I put out. But as I said I’ve been busy and I’m at least glad that even if the only reviews I’ve written were ones for ARCs, I’ve still managed to write a few of them, plus a couple of miscellaneous posts.

📜 I shared my most anticipated releases until the end of the year (spoiler: there’s a lot)

📜 In my only T5W post this month, I talked abut my favorite magic systems

📜 I did my first ever (!!!) author interview with Tara Gilboy, who wrote the middle age novel Unwritten which I enjoyed and highly recommend

📜 ARC Review: Age of Magic by Elise Kova and Lynn Larsh

📜 ARC Review: Thrall by Avon Gale and Roan Parrish

📜 ARC Review: Pisces Hooks Taurus by Anyta Sunday

📜 ARC Review: Mating the Huntress by Talia Hibbert

📜 ARC Review: A Hidden Hope by Laura Ambrose

 

watched

260px-avatar_logoThe only thing I’ve watched is Avatar: The Last Airbender (yes I’m late don’t judge) and it was probably the best animated series (excluding anime) I’ve ever watched. I mean, it’s up there with The Dragon Prince but since TDP is still ongoing I’m not going to put them on the same level. I’m so happy I’ve finally done it and if I’m somehow not the last one to have seen it, I definitely recommend catching up with the world. Whether you’re just interested in a fun story or want to see what the fuss is about, there is absolutely NO reason why you shouldn’t watch it. I also recommend it if you’re a writer or creator and are looking for inspiration, because there’s so many tropes that are used so well and I personally was inspired by a few specific episodes or scenes that got me like, “Ohhh, that‘s what I would like in a story!”

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What have you read this past month? How are you dealing with the fact that there are only two months left this year? Are you a Waterbender, Earthbender, Firebender or Airbender? I’m a Waterbender (you can do a quiz here) which doesn’t surprise me at all.

September Wrap Up

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Hey friends!

I feel like every month I’m posting my monthly wrap-ups later and later, but the truth is this month I at least have an excuse for that! I found a small, sunny and cozy (and cheap) apartment that’s like, everything I could have ever wished for. I was so lucky to find it (it literally only took me half an hour of searching, wrote the person, saw the place, and I was approved to rent it), which is rare in the city where I live because the search for an apartment can sometimes take >6 months (I’m not kidding). So in the last week of September I was busy with all kinds of bureaucratic stuff (and not just about the apartment thing), which is always great (read: not great) for my anxiety. But, I did it and I moved and now I can finally write this post (which, if you don’t know, wrap-ups are usually the posts that take me the longest to write).

(why do I always use so many parentheses)

Side note, I guess this intro is ultimately not relevant to the purpose of this book blog but it’s uhh, my blog and I do what I want?? Okay cool glad we agree.

As I write this I’m realizing I’m one month behind on replying to blog comments, and for that I apologize to anyone who left a lovely comment, especially in my August Wrap-Up. I get a bit overwhelmed when the post/comments are a bit more personal so I kept postponing replying until I forgot and was too busy to think about blogging. I’m setting it as a goal to reply to all unreplied (?) comments by the end of this week.

books

Intros aside, I know you’re all here for books so let’s get right into it with one of my amazing Paint jobs (directly taken from the Goodreads yearly challenge page thingy, so read chronologically from bottom to top).

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📚 12 books read total

○ 2 graphic novel issues + one (ongoing) webcomic

○ 1 audiobook

○ 1 reread

○ 4 ARCs

This ain’t too bad, but considering that in July and August I’d read >25 books each month, it feels a little underwhelming. I guess that’s just what happens when you’re not on holiday anymore and start taking care of your IRL stuff, ahah ah..ah………ah.

I’m still proud of reading 4 ARCs and managing to balance reading “because I have to” with reading for pleasure. Also, just looking at the image above I get so nostalgic of the beginning of September, when I was still in Italy and I was doing a lot of reading at the beach. Is it just me or do books you read at the beach gain like, 0.5-1 extra enjoyment stars once you rate them?

As for the actual average quality of books, I’d say it’s pretty high although maybe not the best I’ve had in a month.

highlights

📖 Counterpoint by Anna Zabo (ARC) – I loved this book so much, it was literally everything I was hoping it would be. ★★★★★/5 | my review

📖 Darkling by Brooklyn Ray – I’ve read this novella too fast to be able to properly review it but it’s basically about a queer group of witches and it features a MM romance between a trans guy and one of the witches in his circle and it’s just?? so well-written and I enjoyed it a lot. ★★★★★/5

📖 The Pursuit of… by Courtney Milan – it’s been more than a month and I’m still recovering from how fucking cute this was okay??? It’s about a Black American soldier and a British officer in the war of independence travelling together and falling in love and I just loved this so so so so much I can’t even describe it. I wouldn’t even classify this as enemies to lovers because Henry is too much of a puppy to be anyone’s enemy and omg please I want to reread it right now. ★★★★★/5

📖 Fence #10 by C.S. Pacat and Johanna the Mad – OKAY BUT THAT ENDING. It’s hard to say whether this is my favorite issue so far but it’s certainly one in which the fandom was fed so good. Finally some Seijicholas development and I’m here for it. ★★★★★/5

📖 Vicious by V.E. Schwab (reread) – I reread in preparation for Vengeful and it was even better than the first time. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to explain why that is, but sometimes when a book is perfect I need to read it a second time just to be able to really process it more than its perfection (or at least what for me makes it a perfect book), if that makes sense? ★★★★★/5

current

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I’m currently only actively reading L’Ascesa dei Re (Captive Prince #3) which is the Italian translation of Kings Rising by C.S. Pacat, which in case you’re new around here is my favorite book trilogy. I decided to read this because I still needed to finish my Italian re-read before I can read it all again (maybe skipping book #1) in English, and because I love rereading my most favorite books when I’m too busy to even talk much to my friends and mutuals. Reading this in a time where a lot is changing for me personally (new house, new life plan, etc) keeps me grounded and gives me something familiar to cling to when I feel like my anxiety is trying to take over. Needless to say reading it in my first language makes me feel even More Things than in English and I’m basically crying every few pages but like, in a good way.

blog

I didn’t think I would manage to blog much but although I didn’t really follow a regular schedule I did write some posts.

📜 I participated in two fun T5W topics: favorite friend groups and books for my younger self

📜 I wrote my Counterpoint review

📜 I shared my list of books with bisexual protagonists in honor of Bi Visibility Day, a post that was probably overdue but I’m still proud of.

As for this month, I have some time-sensitive stuff that’s scheduled to go live at various points of the month, and I hope that in the meantime I can also work on more posts but I’m not going to pressure myself one way or another because this month is A Lot for me IRL.

watched

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The only movie I’ve watched was The Feels (2017) which I would totally recommend for a more adult audience since it does talk a lot about sex. I really enjoyed it and it was very very gay and it’s basically about this weekend-long (or was it week? idk anymore but you get it) party before two girls’ wedding (!!) with their friends and like, all sort of stuff comes up and I realize this is very vague but I’m trying to keep it PG. Anyway, even though it’s about sapphic girls it has a happy ending (!!!!!!!!!) and I really enjoyed the humor but also the more serious stuff. I also thought the acting was very natural and that’s something I like too.

 

lucifer_poster_season_2I briefly started watching Lucifer and I must say it’s really good and although I haven’t continued it in a few weeks I’m looking forward to watching more. It’s not the most bingeable thing after a few episodes because they kind of follow the same scheme every time (sort of like a police investigation thing but with Lucifer being Lucifer) but I think the main character really makes it worth it to watch at whatever pace you may choose. Admittedly I started it because I knew Lucifer is bi (and he is!) and I stayed because everyone (and I mean e v e r y o n e ) is just so beautiful. If you’re bisexual you’re going to drool suffer a lot watching this lmao.

 

mv5bmja5mjewodu1mv5bml5banbnxkftztgwnzk0mza5ntm-_v1_uy268_cr90182268_al_By far the highlight of the month was The Dragon Prince which I’ve binge-watched… twice. And I would’ve watched it even more times if it wasn’t that my month has been so busy. If you don’t know about it, it’s by the creators of A:TLA and the first season is on Netflix and they just announced the second season which is coming out in 2019. It has magic, dragons (obviously), adorable children that will have you whip out those adoption papers faster than you can say “dragon big”, amazing and funny dialogues and a lot of diversity. My favorite characters are ALL OF THEM and I particularly have a soft spot for Runaan who is like the exact type of character that’s designed to cater to my feelings personally and there’s also HEAVY suspicions that he is not a heterosexual (nothing heterosexual about a elf assassin if you ask me) but nothing is confirmed yet so don’t take my word for it. Also whether you’ve watched this show or not you must follow the official twitter account because it’s like the best thing to ever happen on twitter (and if you follow it you’ll 100% feel like watching it).

260px-avatar_logoThe last thing I (started to) watch is Avatar: The Last Airbender and by now (second week of October) I’m almost done with it and I can say it’s really That good. I’m probably the last person on earth to watch it but I just can’t believe how great it is. I really wish I had watched it when I was a kid because it would have been so formative, but it’s still an amazing experience now as an adult. Also, it uses so many tropes I love and I didn’t even know I loved until now. I’m really glad I was able to sort of binge it this past week (yeah this is a September wrap-up but I can’t pretend I’m not almost over with it).

music

Hozier (thank you oh mighty king of the forest) | Survive Said the Prophet (they did the first Banana Fish OP so I started listening to them and wow they’re really good) | Arctic Monkeys (someone help me this album is like 98% of all the music I’ve listened to this month and I can’t seem to get sick of it no matter how many times I listen to it) | Panic! (they’re coming to my town in the spring and I got tickets!!) | Bloom (nicely gay)

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How was your September? Do you prefer summer or fall? Can you believe we’re less than three months away from the end of the year?

 

August Wrap Up

monthly wrap up - aug18

Wow, hello friends.

I feel like August has been simultaneously the longest and the shortest month ever. I’ve been in Italy all month, enjoying being with my family, my friends and my cat and going to the beach. I was able to spend such a long time home because I was waiting for an important result that would only come at the end of the month, on which depended a lot of my future, and since it was possibly the last time I would be able to chill like this without having to do anything I decided to just go for it and take this time off.

And a few days ago I got the result of my exam, and… I got the best grade in all parts of the exam. I’m so fucking proud of myself and excited for what this means for my future, something I’m not ready to talk about here yet but I hopefully will soon once everything is sorted out. For now, just passing the exam and especially passing it with the best possible result I could hope for has made me feel like I can really do this and I can keep living in a foreign country and be okay. I’ll be okay. I’ll be okay.

My month hasn’t been all positive though. You all will probably have heard about the bridge collapse in Italy a couple of weeks ago. Not just in Italy but in my hometown. Being here while that happened made it all more real and scary. Everyone who lives here has been on that bridge so many times because it’s, well, was, part of one of the most important highways in Northern Italy. I was on it with my mom literally one week before it collapsed. When that happened I was really… not okay for a few days. Events like this one are just so unfathomable and everyone deals with them their own way, but for me these sudden, “unforeseeable” tragic events trigger my anxiety and PTSD, on top of the pain and sadness at seeing how many people lost their lives, so I was really not in a good place. I’m better now and I’m finding acceptance that this happened, and I don’t want to make it look like I’m making this tragic event about me because I’ve lost virtually nothing in it, but I still needed to talk about this because I can’t pretend that it didn’t affect me.

So yeah, anyway I don’t know how to transition from this to books again so let’s just pretended I did it smoothly and let’s move on to talking about books because there’s a lot to talk about!

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📚 26 books total read [I forgot to screenshot the 26th one from my reading challenge page but anyway it’s only another Banana Fish volume]:

○ 13 graphic novels, of which 12 were Banana Fish volumes and one Fence issue;

○ 5 audiobooks;

○ 1 poetry collection;

○ 6 rereads;

○ 3 ARCs;

○ 2 anticipated releases.

I haven’t been this happy about a reading month in quite a while. The thing I’m most proud of are my rereads: I’d been in the mood to reread stuff and also after reading so many contemporary novels I had started to feel like reading fantasy again, so I combined the two moods and reread two series I had wanted to reread since I first read them: Six of Crows and Shades of Magic.

There’s not one book I disliked and the lowest rating I gave this month was a three stars and now I’m scared because it can only go down from here ahahahahahah (I mean hopefully not but who knows).

highlights

(this section is going to be so long because I had to add almost every book I read this month! but folks, I really had an incredible reading month!

📖 Banana Fish (#10-#19) by Akimi Yoshida: it’s kind of hard to talk about this whole series. Nineteen volumes of 200 pages each is just A Lot and a lot that is a bunch of tragic shit happening and if you’re following me on twitter you might know how well I handled it (as in, I didn’t). Like, guys, this is really fucking sad. I can’t in good conscience recommend it to everyone because it has so many trigger warnings (it’s probably easier to list the ones it doesn’t have) and not everyone likes to read sad stuff. That said, I know some of you (like me) live for dramatic shit so, you know, it’s there if you want to read it. Overall rating ★★★★★/5

📖 Carry On by Rainbow Rowell (reread): I reread this on a whim because I couldn’t stop thinking about Wayward Son and I’m glad I did. That said, I love Simon and Baz with all my heart and I really think the way their relationship is written is masterful, but some of my feelings regarding the plot and especially the queer rep in it are different from the first time I read it and you can read more in my review. It used to be a 5 stars but because of that now it’s ★★★★✩/5

📖 The Ship of The Dead by Rick Riordan (reread – audiobook): amazing beautiful talented  brilliant spectacular ★★★★★/5

📖 Calling Calling Calling Me by Natasha Washington (ARC): this was just a joy to read. Read my full review here★★★★★/5

📖 Heretic Anonymous by Katie Henry: this was one of my most anticipated August releases and it did not disappoint! Atheist rep was what drew me to it and both the rep and the book was really really good. And funny! And eye-opening. ★★★★.5✩/5

📖 Six of Crows & Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo (reread – audiobook): have appropriate words even been invented to talk about how much I love these books and these characters? I listened to the audiobooks which were really good but I’m picky and I wish some things were different and that all the narrators actually pronounced the same words the same way. But anyway it was great and even better than the first I read them. Both ★★★★★/5

📖 The Raging Ones by Krista & Becca Ritchie: this was my second (in order of release date) most anticipated release this month and I was so happy that I was actually in the mood to read it the day it came out. Right away I fell in love with the characters, which is already a great thing when you have a book like this where the premise sounds great. It had a lot of things I love: great characters, complex relationships, romance, subversion of romantic tropes, sort of a school setting, great conflict. And yet it couldn’t quite reach that fifth star, but I still think it’s great and that ending left me needing the next book. No full review yet but hopefully soon. ★★★★✩/5

📖 Fence #9 by C.S. Pacat and Johanna the Mad: as always I love this comic, but this issue was probably in the best 3 ones so far, at least in my opinion. The tension was amazing and the glimpse into last year’s fencing team life made me so emotional for some reason. ★★★★★/5

📖 Pisces Hooks Taurus by Anyta Sunday (ARC): this series is so much fun, and this one was just a delight to read. The tropes used and subverted here were amazing and I had so, so much fun. It releases sometime in October so make sure to have it on your radar (and in the meantime definitely check out the first three books in the series!) ★★★★★/5

📖 A Darker Shade of Magic & A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab (reread – audiobook): I love rereading and I love rereading as audiobooks. The audiobook for ADSOM was kind of bad though, but fortunately they changed things in AGOS (and ACOL too) and the last two audiobooks are amazing. As for the book themselves, well they’re just as great (if not better) as the first time I read them. Schwab’s writing style is one of my absolute favorites and she makes her characters feel so alive. ADSOM ★★★★.5✩/5; AGOS ★★★★★/5

📖 I Was Born for This by Alice Oseman: I liked a lot about this but at the same time I couldn’t help feeling a little disappointed. I found the discussions around fandoms very accurate even though I’ve never been in a real-life fandom like Angel is. But at the same time I think something about the plot just didn’t click with me by the end, even though I love the characters. I can’t explain my feelings really well but it’s a ★★★★✩/5

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By the time this post is posting I’ll probably have started something else too and/or finished either ACOL or Vicious, anyway this is what I’m actively reading now. Both ACOL and Vicious are rereads, Vicious because Vengeful is coming out soon (!!!!) and I wanted to remember all the details, and ACOL because I’m continuing my SoM reread lol. Herr der Diebe is really good and I’ve been reading it slowly since July which is a little fucked up but while I was in Italy I almost never felt like reading in German lmao but I hope I’ll manage to finish it somewhat soon.

blog

Since my time in Italy was all about relaxing and enjoying myself, I didn’t spend too much time blogging.

📜 I mainly scheduled and wrote some ARC reviews;

📜 I wrote another post for my lgbTBR+ series: F/F fantasy & historical books on my TBR

📜 I wrote a review for the Violet Hill series by Chelsea M. Cameron. I love writing series reviews, I find them so useful and they’re so much fun to write!

📜 I did the Dreamy Book Covers Tag in which I finally got to fangirl about some of the covers I love most.

I fear the rest of September is going to be chaotic and hectic for me, so as much as I really want to get back to blogging more regularly and with a somewhat stricter schedule, I think that probably won’t be possible yet. October will probably be even worse but we’ll talk about that when the time comes.

watched

93074I’m continuing to watch the Banana Fish anime as it comes out and it’s ripping my heart out. Especially since I’ve finished the manga and now I can see all the foreshadowing and tiny hidden heartbreaking pieces… Also, the anime is still almost exactly like the manga and I’m so impressed by it but also *breaks in a cold sweat* please @ Mappa change certain Things. I also am so very confused as to how they plan to fit everything in 24 episodes since we’re 10 episodes in and those were barely 6 manga volumes. I hope they have a season 2 planned because they’d have to remove too many plot lines in order for everything to fit and then things wouldn’t make sense anymore.

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me memeing out my feelings

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I also watched To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before on Netflix and it was so so so good!!! I haven’t read the books and I don’t know if I will but the movie was so adorable and what’s amazing is that I’ve actually watched it all from start to finish without pausing and getting distracted on twitter and stuff. Do you know what an accomplishment that is for me?? Me, who watches a 1.5 hours movie in a total of 4 hours on average. Go me!

 

 

 

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I was almost forgetting but I’ve also watched season 7 of Voltron: Legendary Defender and uhhh you didn’t hear this from me but I actually really like it. That’s all you’re getting out of me because I don’t want to get into discourse with anyone about it and I’m enjoying my fandom-free VLD experience a lot thank you very much.

 

 

 

 

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How was your August? Which was the best book you’ve read this month or this summer? Also, help me out a little: what would you like to see on my lgbTBR+ series? For example, books with M/M relationships, books with bi representation, books with non-binary characters…? Let me know!

July Wrap Up

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Hey friends!

July was a really good reading month for me. I had a lot of free time after my exam in the second half of the month, so after I was done studying I just gave in and read a lot of things that I’d been wanting to read for ages and generally read for pleasure instead of out of some sense of obligation that I’m sure most readers who eventually start blogging can relate to.

I want to continue reading with this mentality in August and that’s why I sort of made myself a TBR that includes some rereads I’ve been postponing for a while (except I’m not sharing my TBR here because then it would feel like an obligation again).

Anyway, my numbers in July were:

25 books read total (this also means I completed my reading challenge of 100 books this year! Yay!)

• of these, 3 were short stories/novellas

• 10 were graphic novels: 1 issue of Fence (24 pages) and 9 volumes of Banana Fish (200 pages each)

• 2 were audiobooks

I’m really proud of myself 🙂

highlights

In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan: this HAS to be one of my favorite books of all times, no joke. Look, I know I’m generous with my stars and especially with my five stars at the point where it’s no fun because I don’t seem to be able to convey the nuance that every five-star has for me, and this is one of those books I wish I could give it a five stars plus because it’s so special to me. It has everything I look for in a book for it to become one of my favorites: character-driven, humor, and an unique writing style. The last element is especially what made it so fun for me to read, and it’s not just how wittily it was narrated but also the fact that throughout the novel I never saw the hand of the author. It was Elliot who was narrating the book, not Sarah Rees Brennan, and it was he who seamlessly matured from a 13-year-old to a 17-year-old. That’s not something every author manages and wow, I’m so impressed by SRB’s skills. ★★★★★/5

Sweet on the Greek by Talia Hibbert: The secret to making me love M/F romance? Make it queer! This is a M/F romance where the male MC is bisexual and the female MC is black and fat (bless Talia Hibbert) and I freaking loved it. Seriously, I can’t wait to read more books by her! ★★★★★/5

The Wicker King by K. Ancrum: I’d been wanting to read this for so long and it was my first read after being done with my exam. It was one of those books you read in one afternoon and then you kind of need to breathe and let it sit before you can form coherent thoughts about it. Except I still don’t have coherent thoughts about it! Just. I loved it. And this is mainly about the relationship between two boys but it also sets the ground for the poly relationship they have with a friend of theirs and apparently the author’s next book will be in the future and one of the protagonists will be their child. Um yes please. ★★★★★/5

Banana Fish (#1-#9) by Akimi Yoshida: if you’re unlucky enough to follow my twitter, you’ll know that I’ve been obsessing over this manga since I watched the first few episodes of the anime adaptation (which is coming out on Amazon Prime Video with a new episode every Thursday). After watching three episodes I really needed to know how it continued so I started reading the manga which consists of 19 volumes. The story is truly beautiful and intriguing but also really heartbreaking. There’s also a TON of trigger warnings to be careful about so I definitely can’t recommend it to everyone. I myself don’t know all of them because I still have 10 volumes to go, but if you need a list you can leave me a comment or DM me on twitter and I’ll try to list most of the ones I’ve encountered so far. Average rating so far: 4.75★/5 

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard by Rick Riordan (reread): I’m rereading this series as audiobook (the first two aren’t great, there’s also three different narrators but at least the third one is REALLY good). All I have to say is that it’s even better upon rereading and after having read everything else by RR. ★★★★★/5

Begging Ben by Anyta Sunday: this cute M/M romance was just so much fun to read! Friends to lovers and fake relationship are some of my favorite tropes, plus the two MCs are chemistry nerds and speak in science puns (but it’s not overdone) and it was just a delightful read. ★★★★★/5

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The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani: I’m audiobooking this. I heard really good things about it but I must say I’m not really loving it. It’s not bad at all but there are a few things that bother me and I never feel like continuing it. The narrator is really good though so if you wanted to try this I’d recommend it in this format.

Herr der Diebe by Cornelia Funke: I started this before my German exam and I’m reading it slowly but I really like it! It’s my first Cornelia Funke book but I can see why so many people love her.

Because You Love to Hate Me (anthology): I’m only reading this half-assedly tbh, I found it at the library and there were stories from a few authors that I wanted to read but we’ll see if I’ll read the others. I also hate that it’s written so fucking small (at least in the edition I found), it’s truly a pain to read.

The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan: as I said, I’m rereading the series and I’m on the last book now. Love it love it love it.

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I took a small blog hiatus so I could focus on studying for my exam, but I also wrote a few posts I liked:

• I shared my favorite reads so far this year (even though now the list would probably be slightly different)

• I talked about my most anticipated releases for the months of July through September.

• I started a new series called lgbTBR+ (I’m proud of the name ghskh) in which I share books on my TBR for a given category, in this case contemporary F/F romances. Next up will be fantasy F/F romances so make sure to check my blog again soon.

That said I’m going to spend August at home in Italy and I plan on going to the beach as much as I can, enjoy being with my family and enjoy my birthday and most importantly my birthday cake, so I will try to keep a relaxing 2-post-a-week schedule for my blog throughout August (there may be exceptions!)

watched

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I haven’t really watched much besides the few episodes of Banana Fish that are out. So far it’s basically the same as the manga, I’m glad they didn’t change much except they set it in modern times (the manga takes place in the early 80’s). I kind of like Ash’s design better in the manga because I think it makes him look more like he’s 17, but then some of my friends think the exact opposite so I guess it’s just a matter of perception.

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How was your month? What was your favorite read? Is it also super hot where you are? Europe is currently under a massive heatwave and it’s been really bad for my productivity, which meant I was happy to lie in bed reading all day with my precious companion (a fan).

 

June Wrap-Up

So. June happened. It really………happened, didn’t it. I’m not going to pretend that it was a good month for me: it wasn’t. One good thing is that I worked all month (I did a paid internship) and that led me to take some important and drastic decisions that I hope are the right ones for me. I also met nice people and got close with my flatmates. Everything else was shit and I feel awful and angry and disrespected. I have to deal with an incompetent person who can’t do his job (landlord) and thinks he can get away with it because I’m always so sweet and I’m in a country where I don’t speak my first language. And what infuriates me the most is that he’s right, because without my flatmates helping me I wouldn’t know how to do shit. Anyway, we’ll see where this goes, sorry for the off topic I guess?

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highlights

• Autoboyography by Christina Lauren: this was so, so, so good. It deals heavily with religious themes and homophobia but I think everything is handled really, really well. The writing was also really good and the best thing is, well I can’t say what the best thing is because it’s kind of a spoiler! But I want to protect Tanner and Sebastian. ★★★★★/5

We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson: I’ve said it before but SDH is a genius. That’s it, thanks for coming to my TED talk. ★★★★★/5

The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan: this book didn’t happen. ★★★★★/5

The Princess Trap by Talia Hibbert: I! love! tropes! This was really tropey and it normally wouldn’t be my exact cup of tea, BUT I knew while going into this that it was very diverse and the tropes just appealed to me. What I didn’t expect was how GOOD the writing was. Also, I love bisexual princes, they’re my favorite trope ever. ★★★★★/5

Far From the Tree by Robin Benway: sometimes you don’t write reviews because you’re lazy or because too much times has passed and you kind of forgot about the book entirely. Sometimes you don’t write reviews because you know your words won’t do the book justice, so you just slap the book in the faces of everyone until they (hopefully) read it. This is one of those. ★★★★★/5

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Unwritten by Tara Gilboy: this is a middle grade novel that’ll come out later this year. I don’t usually request middle grade ARCs but this sounded too interesting to pass on and I’m glad I did request it. I would say that I’m a little surprised at how dark it is, given the target audience, but I’m not a kids expert and I’m sure 12yo me would have loved this.

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson: I’ve started listening to this months ago and now I’m actually continuing it. I love it but it’s certainly not something you can listen to while doing chores or something. Anyway, it’s really not that long and it’s not too difficult either, it only requires a little extra focus, but I would 100% recommend it if you’re into science and the universe!

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Because of everything I wrote at the beginning, I didn’t manage to blog as much as I wanted to, especially since it was pride month and I wanted to do something nice, but I didn’t organize anything on time and then June was really Not Good. During the little free time I had I just wanted to read or watch some shows, and I decided to actually do that instead of stressing myself out. I even *gasps* gave up twitter for a couple of weeks. YES, it was that bad.

Usually I manage to write a few goodreads reviews even if I’m not blogging much, but this month I really only reviewed my ARCs and that’s it. In any case, there’s still two posts I wrote that I liked and I think you should check them out!

🏳️‍🌈 Favorite LGBTQIAP+ Books that Don’t Feature AlloCis M/M Relationships: this was inspired by a recent T5W theme, but I didn’t manage to make it on an actual Wednesday and I also didn’t like how the original title was exclusive of ace and/or aro people. Anyway, there’s some great diverse queer reps there, if I do say so myself, so you should definitely read it and add them all to your TBR. And maybe write me a nice comment!

🌈 Pride Flag Book Tag: I love doing tags and this was basically the only proper pride month post I managed to write. I mentioned 6 queer books that mean a lot to me and that you probably should read too.

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Queer Eyes season 2: 

queer-eye-1520005316I’m actually still watching this but I love it even if I think it’s not perfect. Like it could be WAY more inclusive and it just goes to show that being queer doesn’t make you an expert on all queer matters. Like how Tan says he’s never met a trans person and he just states it as a fact. No, he’s met trans people, he just doesn’t know it. But I do appreciate that he wanted to do better and learn. I know there’s also an issue of cis people asking for emotional labor of trans folks, but I think in a show like this that’s still probably necessary to kind of educate the audience in any way.

voltron-exclusive-featured-061318Voltron: Legendary Defender season 6:

No the picture on the side here is NOT fanart lmao it was just the best and funniest episode ever. BUT this season left me with a lot of heartbreak and I wasn’t ready for it at all. That said, I’m happy to keep ignoring the VLD fandom! I learned after season 5 to not go look for fanart or anything and I gotta say the show without its fandom is amazing, 10/10 would recommend watching it.

 

Yuri On Ice:

Official_movie_posterYES I’m rewatching YOI. No I haven’t watched it again since my 12 complete rewatches back in late 2016/early 2017 so I deserve a break, DON’T CALL ME OUT OK.

I also had a perfectly good reason to start rewatching it because two days ago (July 1st) they streamed Yuri on Concert worldwide (IT WAS AMAZING!!!!) AND they announced the title and release year of the movie, something I’ve been anticipating since they first confirmed there would be a movie. And it looks like it will feature Victor’s past (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) so I’M HYPED. I can’t wait for Ice Adolescence (2019)!!!!!!

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How was Pride Month for you? Have you read any amazing books? Also, if you could rec me some good and diverse show on Netflix that would be really cool because I never know what to watch!