July 2019 Wrap-Up

Welcome to another wrap-up and greetings from (currently not so sunny) Italy.

I’m back home for the rest of summer because I deserve some beach time after the past few months. I’ve officially passed my lab πŸŽ‰ and more exams will wait for me in late September but for now I can relax a bit and enjoy time with my family and my friends and most importantly my cat 🐱 oh and books, I do some of my best and most-focused reading at the beach and on the commute there.

But let’s see how this past month went for me.

books

jul

I had some more free time in July than I had in the past months so I managed to read a lot.

My numbers this month:

β—‹ 15 books total

β—‹ 4 novels

β—‹ 7 ARCs

β—‹ 10 graphic novels/webcomics/manga (5 of which were different volumes of the same manga)

β—‹ 1 radio dramatization (shhhhh, I decided it counts)

highlights

πŸ“– Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson |Β β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜….5✩ | review to come

πŸ“–Β The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill |Β β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

πŸ“–Β Given (volumes #1β€”#5) by Natsuki Kizu | avg rating for the five volumes β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜….2✩

πŸ“–Β Good OmensΒ (BBC 4 Radio Dramatization) | β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… | available to listen listen to for free here for a few more days (if you’re a Good Omens fan you shouldn’t miss it)

πŸ“–Β If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio | β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜….5✩ | review to come maybe

current

πŸ”–Β Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett – I’m rereading it after listening to the audiobook (and watching the show twice, and listening to the radio adaptation, yes I know) and I’m kind of skipping stuff to read the AzCrowley scenes lmao but I love it so much and the more I read it the more I like it.

πŸ”–Β The Quite Nice and Fairly Accurate Good Omens Script Book by Neil Gaiman – yes I know but this is my hyperfixation lately and I find it so cool to have so many different sources (book, show, script, radio adaptation) because it makes me feel immersed in this world. Also there are a couple of deleted scenes in the script and stuff that got moved around, but the highlight of it are Neil Gaiman’s comments, for example: “Crowley glares at him, glarefully.” AFHKAHGSD Neil pls. Also this is the first script I read and I kind of wanna read more.

πŸ”–Β Here There Are Monsters by Amelinda BΓ©rubΓ© – this is an ARC I’m actually enjoying quite a bit. It’s YA horror and I would pitch it as Sadie meets Never-Contented Things. I’m almost finished and I don’t know what to expect from the ending.

(There are more books on my Currently Reading shelf but I haven’t touched them in months ghslkhg)

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πŸ“œ A discussion about what authors put in fiction and breaking harmful traditions

πŸ“œΒ My most anticipated releases until September

πŸ“œΒ REVIEWS:

πŸ“ŒΒ A Little Light Mischief by Cat Sebastian

πŸ“ŒΒ Never-Contented Things by Sarah Porter

πŸ“ŒΒ The Tea Dragon Festival by Katie O’Neill

πŸ“Œ Failed Future by Elise Kova

 

watched

66ee4e9a4aa619b9cc27a924c26af9d8πŸ“ΊΒ Spiderman Homecoming

I’ve been wanting to watch it for ages and finally it became available on Netflix Italia just in time before FFH came out. It was amazingly fun and I love Tom Holland, I’m not a big Marvel fan but I believe his Spiderman is the real one.

πŸ“ΊΒ Spiderman Far From HomeΒ 

So after watching Homecoming I immediately bought a ticket to go see FFH. I was never bored and even if the movie referenced a lot of the stuff that happened in Infinity War and Endgame (which I haven’t seen but know all about ghskl) it wasn’t hard to follow. I love Peter and MJ so much and this movie really made me happy and even if I don’t care about the rest of MCU I want to know what’s next for Spiderman (that ending + after credit scene………….scream).

πŸ“ΊΒ Blown Away

This is a Netflix show about glas blowing and it’s kind of fascinating to watch. It’s in the form of a contest so every episode one contestant gets eliminated and there are different creative challenges. I love seeing what everyone comes up with and the different glas blowing techniques that are being used. It looks so difficult and my heart always skips a beat whenever something breaks or I feel like it’s about to break and it doesn’t.

πŸ“ΊΒ Queer Eye (season 4)

It’s QE season again and as always I have to watch. I don’t have much to add to what I’ve said before but almost every episode always makes me cry at some point. It’s not a perfect show but I feel like with every season and with every new person they meet, the Fab 5 really are learning a lot and doing better.

given-5d28531d8ec4bπŸ“ΊΒ GivenΒ 

The anime started being aired (it’s available on Crunchyroll with English subtitles) and after two episodes I decided to read the manga too. I like the anime, it adds some more stuff to the manga (at least so far) and I like actually being able to hear the music they’re playing. If you don’t know what it is, it’s about a band and a guy, Satō, who wants to learn to play the guitar he always brings everywhere and asks Uenoyama, the guitarist of the band, to teach him. There’s only three episodes out so far but the manga features multiple m/m relationships (everyone in the band is queer). I’m looking forward to continuing to watch it and see the differences/similarities with the manga.

33777_hdπŸ“Ί La Gabbianella e il Gatto

This was one of my childhood’s favorite movies to watch and the first time I ever watched it (I was…6? maybe) I literally couldn’t stop crying and my mom had to pause the VHS before I could continue aghshd anyway I don’t know why I felt like rewatching it when I was talking about something on twitter with my mutuals and since it’s on Netflix Italia I went with it (and yes I cried). This is one of the best Italian animated movies and yes it’s for kids but it’s still enjoyable and emotional. It’s about a tiny seagull who was hatched by a cat after the cat, Zorba, promised her dying mom to take care of the egg she laid. The seagull, Fortunata, is raised by Zorba and his group of cat friends and they all have to defeat evil rats and eventually teach Fortunata how to fly. I don’t know if it’s available everywhere but it’s also translated in English on Netflix Italia so I think it might be worth a search if you want to try it or want to show it to your kid/sibling/cousin/etc.

the-lion-king-2019-box-office-trackingπŸ“ΊΒ The Lion King (2019)

The Lion King was my favorite Disney movie when I was a kid so I had to go see this remake. I don’t agree with all the criticism, especially about how the lions are expressionless. Of course their face isn’t human-like but if you think they’re expressionless you’re quite simply wrong and that’s a hill I will gladly die on. I also think debating on remaking famous animated movies is in a way valid but it erases the fact that so many people got to work on them and are given a huge opportunity they otherwise maybe wouldn’t have had (thinking of all the Black voice actors in the Lion King and of the Asian actors cast in the upcoming Mulan). Anyway, like everyone I have remakes I’m absolutely not interested in (like the flop that was Dumbo) but that’s literally how it works with movies lmao, if you’re not interested don’t go watch it and don’t give them money and yes, sometimes it actually is as simple as that.

are-you-the-one-16πŸ“ΊΒ Are You the One (season 8)

Okay listen I’m actually a little ashamed of this because I never watch reality TV. But what’s a girl supposed to do when she learns that everyone on this season is MGA and everyone could potentially end up with everyone?? The sheer power that that has gives me +8 Queer Strength. Also I dislike about half of the people in this show but I can’t stop watching it because they might be messy kids but they’re MY messy kids.

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Have you read or watched something mentioned in this post? Did you like it? How are you spending your summer (or your winter depending on where you are)? Let me know 🌈

 

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May and June Wrap-Up

*awkward wave* oh hey!

For life (read: uni) reasons I didn’t really have time to blog much at all during most of May, the whole of June and the beginning of July. So I’m just now trying to write a wrap up that includes some highlights, because it’s a type of post I love doing, and I will try to keep it short for everyone’s sake.

books

So, overall I did manage to read quite a bit although my life was a complete mess, but there’s a trick I used?? I realized I couldn’t get to my ARCs unless I tried something, and I’m glad it worked, because for basically two whole months I never had the time to like, actually sit down with a book. So I saw on twitter that there are reader apps that can read to you and I downloaded one (PocketBook, which is free for Android and iOS and didn’t sponsor me – I could only wish) and basically have let it read my ARCs to me ever since. The voice is just you usual google voice without much emotion in it so it’s not the same as an audiobook experience, but extreme time calls for extreme measures, and with it I read 6 ARCs total (plus two in July, which will be in my July’s wrap-up). Other stuff I read was actual audiobooks or short stuff like comics and poetry.

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highlights

πŸ“–Β King of Fools by Amanda FoodyΒ |Β β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…Β | review

πŸ“–Β The Perfect Assassin by K.A. Doore | β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜….5✩

πŸ“–Β The Past and Other Things that Should Stay Buried by Shaun David Hutchinson | β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

πŸ“–Β Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins | β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜….5✩ | review

πŸ“–Β Never-Contented Things by Sarah Porter | β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜….5✩ | review

πŸ“–Β The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite | β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… | review

πŸ“–Β Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett | β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…βœ© (rating for the first read, I’m rereading and it will probably be a five stars this time)*
* trust me, we are NOT done talking about Good Omens, but we’re keeping this post short (still, see end of the post for some more rambling)

blog

πŸ“œΒ Bookish things I’ve changed my mind about

πŸ“œΒ Favorite friends in Sci-fi and Fantasy

πŸ“œΒ Queer books that don’t feature allocis m/m relationships, part 2

watched

πŸ“ΊΒ Detective Pikachu (Movie Theater)

This was the last thing I allowed myself to go see at the cinema before my two-months-lab started and it was SO. MUCH. FUN!!!!

πŸ“ΊΒ Our Planet (Netflix) – Status: complete

My friends introduced me to this series of documentaries and they were amazing. The amount of emotion I got from simply watching nature do its course, and then see how we are ruining what took geology and evolution millennia and even longer to build… I would say don’t go into these documentaries hoping for escapism, quite the contrary, but they’re so important and so, so breathtaking.

πŸ“ΊΒ Always Be My Maybe (Netflix)

AHHH!! All-Asian main cast, Keanu Reeves, laugh-out-loud fun, I had the best time watching it.

πŸ“ΊΒ Good Omens (Amazon Prime) – Status: complete, watched x2

Listen. If you have me on twitter (you probably shouldn’t, but if you want to: @/verelaurent) you know how much I loved Good Omens given the amount of fanart + headcanons I retweet every day. Being in this fandom even just from the sidelines has been a complete joy for the almost two months that the show has been out and I hadn’t felt that way since…well, since Yuri on Ice, really.

πŸ“ΊΒ Lucifer (Netflix) – Status: currently just started season 4

I don’t know what to say, I just love Lucifer (the character and the show) so much and everyone is so beautiful and I’m extremely bisexual.

πŸ“ΊΒ Bonding (Netflix) – Status: complete

This was not something I thought I’d like but after two episodes I was hooked and I binged it in one afternoon (they’re 15-minutes-long eps). It’s kind of uncomfortable to watch but there’s something that just makes it so watchable, it’s worth checking out.

πŸ“ΊΒ Please Like Me (Netflix) – Status: DNF’d after a few episodes

I usually don’t make a conscious decision to drop watching something, more like I leave it there and never go back to it, but this time I decided it was just not worth my time. I found the acting weird, the plot and the characters weird, and the humour was just not my thing.

πŸ“ΊΒ Tales of the City (Netflix) – Status: currently “watching” but more like on hold for now

A friend (hi Lia) recommended it to me and I totally see why. It’s such an inclusive show, it’s basically about a house for queer people in San Francisco and i’ts great to see all different identities represented. And it talks about some very real issues that queer people face, and I’m not talking just about homophobia but specifically intra-community issues. Which is why I also find it a little heavy to watch and I’ve been postponing it for a bit now, just because I have other stuff to watch that fits more my definition of escapism. But I do plan to get back to it whenever I’m in the right mood for it.

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Have you read/watched anything I mentioned in this post? Let me know!Β 

April 2019 Wrap Up + have you seen my GIVEAWAY??

apr

Hey friends! I know it’s clichΓ© to say “omg where did the month GO” but like, WHERE did April go??? Between the start of the new semester, being finally free from my two months-long lab that sucked the life out of me, and then going to Italy for Easter, I really feel like April went by in a heartbeat.

Cool things I did: watched Panic! At the Disco live (IT WAS AMAZING), walked a lot around a park near where I live and caught a lot of PokΓ©mons, took pictures of a lot of flowers and plants and DUCKS!!, spent time with my family and my cat when I was in Italy, went to the cinema by myself, went to Cologne and had the best French fries with sour cream of my life, started choir again.

books

Reading-wise, I feel like I kind of slacked off. For the first two weeks of the month I literally didn’t finish any single book, thanks to a mini reading slump + how massive my current audiobook (Priory) was. I ended up reading a total of five books, which I know it’s not little but at the same time it’s so much less than I usually manage, especially considering I haven’t finished any ARC (I’m so behind on all my ARCs and I feel so bad about it). Anyway, I pretty much loved all of them so let’s get into it!

april

πŸ“–Β The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon (audiobook) – this was just as great as everyone said, and I’m still working on writing some sort of post about it, if not a full review. At the same time, the world is so massive and the book so long that I feel like I only got about 70% (or less) of all the details that make this world and these characters so unique. What I mean is that with fantasy I love to remember every little bit of foreshadowing, every detail mentioned in the first half of the book that will be useful to understanding certain events of the second half, and so on. And I know I will be able to do that with a second read, this time not in audio format anymore, and I will catch so many more little things and I can’t wait! So this is still a five stars for me, it’s just that because of how I read it I didn’t get the full fantasy experience the way I personally like to have it, but I know I will when I reread it. β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

πŸ“–Β Elysium by Nora Sakavic (ebook) – leave it to Nora Sakavic to drop a book without even announcing it lmfao Nora what the fuck. Anyway this was different from both The Foxhole Court and from anything else I’ve read. It’s an adult urban fantasy and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t confused at the worldbuilding and how certain (most?) things work here, but at the end of the day the core concept is so damn interesting (and gay!!!!) and the characters managed to steal my heart once again. Because of how confused I was at times and because I suffered from a little bit of a reading slump while reading it I can’t give it a full four stars, but I’m looking forward to its sequel (although I believe this can stand on its own, so if you’re interested you should definitely read it without waiting for the next one). β˜…β˜…β˜….5✩✩

πŸ“–Β A Duke By Default by Alyssa Cole (ebook) – this was cute and I loved Portia, especially I could relate so much to her discovering she has ADHD. I think the tropes used were fun to read about, but ultimately it dragged a bit for my tastes (which is something I had a problem with in the first book in the series too). β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…βœ©

πŸ“–Β Can’t Escape Love by Alyssa Cole (ebook) – I started this right after finishing A Duke by Default and I found it so fucking lovely, from the tropes used to how badass Reggie was, and it’s so amazing to see an unapologetic disabled character getting their own beautiful cover and a fun romance that had me glued to the page until the end. I really believe that Alyssa Cole’s romances work bestΒ  when they are in novella format, and I think this story proved it.Β β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

πŸ“–Β Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody (reread) – I wasn’t sure I was going to actually do it, but when I realized that I couldn’t possibly start King of Fools without being 100% aware of what happened in book one (see my comments about Priory and how I enjoy fantasy), I decided that I deserved to reread one of my favorite books of 2018. And I’m so glad I did! There was so much I forgot but one thing stayed the same: my love for these characters and this world. Read my review here!Β β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

current

πŸ”–Β Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay (audiobook) – I’m enjoying this collection of essays and it’s the first work I read by Roxane Gay. I can’t say I love them all, and some of them have so much to do with American culture and the American way of life that I can’t find a common point between hers and my experiences, but ultimately I went into it knowing that would happen, and it’s still interesting to learn about those experiences. I’m not very far into it and since it’s non-fiction I’m not in a hurry to finish it, just whenever I need to listen to something and for some reason I don’t want to continue my fiction audiobook.

πŸ”–Β The Perfect Assassin by K.A. Doore (audiobook) – I was so eager to start this and when I did I immediately felt like this was going to be a new favorite. I’m also not that far into it but the world is so interesting and I love the MC’s internal voice (as well as the audiobook narrator!). I’m so here for soft ace gays who know how to kill you in a thousand different ways.

πŸ”–Β King of Fools by Amanda Foody (e-ARC) – I’m almost done with this (there’s a chance I might have finished it by the time this post is up) and damn. Literally the last scene I read before writing this wrap-up is one of the most terrifying scenes I’ve ever read and I kept forgetting to breathe (forgetting! to! breathe!) throughout it. It’s very different from Ace of Shades, as it should (I am convinced that if the second book in a trilogy feels the same as the first one, it’s not very good because it means the characters haven’t developed), and I’m so here for Everything that’s happening in it. Except like, the bad stuff because I don’t want my favorite characters to suffer, but oh they do!

blog

πŸ“œΒ It’s the start of a new trimester so I shared my most anticipated books until the end of June!

πŸ“œΒ I forgot to do a haul in February so I ended up having a massive book haul of all the books I got in February + March… it’s a lot.

πŸ“œΒ I finally did another Top Five Wednesday and shared my top 5 rainy reads (whatever that means).

Alas, no reviews this month, because I didn’t finish any ARCs. But I did change my blog header, which is something I wanted to do for a while, and I like how it turned out!

Something even more exciting that happened is that I reached 500 blog followers!!!! That’s something amazing that I never thought would happen when I started blogging. I am so humbled and I wanted to do something to give back to you all, so I made a giveaway on twitter (just because it’s the fastest way I know, and because I wanted it to also be a 1000 twitter followers giveaway…). If you’re my blog follower and you win, you can request the more expensive books out of these (The Weight of the Stars, The Afterward, The Priory of the Orange Tree and Red, White & Royal Blue). That’s the fastest way I found to make sure it was a giveaway that would reward who follows my blog too and not just my twitter. So if you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the tweet you have to retweet to enter (plus you must follow me, @verelaurent).

The tweet says until May 5th, but since me and my last brain cell forgot to post it on my actual blog until today, I am extending it to RTs+Follows until May 6th.

I know not everyone has a twitter account and I’m so sorry about those who won’t be able to enter, but next time I will try to do a blog-only giveaway (if you know ways to do that please let me know!)

watched

I read much less stuff than usual, but I feel like I made up for it with how many things I watched? At the very least many more than I usually do.

πŸ“ΊΒ I finished my rewatch of season 2 of The Dragon PrinceΒ on Netflix and it was just as good as the first time.

shazam-005-1-maxw-654πŸ“ΊΒ I went to the cinema to see Shazam because I’d wanted to do it since I first watched the trailer months ago, and it was so much fun!!! I managed to catch the only English screening they did here in my city and the cinema was so full (and the guys next to me were eating disgusting smelling food the whole time, I was uncomfortable!!) but it was so worth it, I totally recommend watching it if it’s still running in your local cinemas.

πŸ“ΊΒ I watched a German show on YouTube called Krasse Klassenfahrt. It was mostly a way for me to get into watching stuff in German where they use slang and stuff because that’s what the people around me use and I’m still confused by it. It made me uncomfortable a couple of times but ultimately it was fun and I have to say I couldn’t stop watching it until I reached the last episode.

p16651669_b_v8_aaπŸ“ΊΒ Then I remembered that Special was coming out on Netflix so I watched it the day it was available (the episodes are very short and it’s super bingeable). It’s about the life of a gay man with cerebral palsy and it follows him in a very delicate moment of his life, getting a new job and trying to gain independence from his mother. I found it had a perfect balance of sad/bitter and fun, hopeful moments and I really hope to see a second season come out soon because I think shows like these deserve to be continued so they can be appreciated by more people. The best thing is that the actor and creator is actually a gay man with cerebral palsy, just like the main character (and one of the producers is Jim Parson, also a gay man!).

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πŸ“ΊΒ Like every person I know, I am in (gay) love with Brie Larson, so I watched her film Unicorn Store and it was super cute, albeit rather forgettable. I guess with all the unicorns and rainbows I hoped it would be gayer and it just wasn’t, but that’s okay because sometimes you’re the gay character the movie lacked. (what? i don’t know, don’t ask)

 

πŸ“ΊΒ Speaking of gay,Β She-ra season 2 came out and it was so gay. Like, capital letter Gay. I’m working the courage to write an actual review so I won’t say too much here, but damn, where were these actually queer kids’ shows when we were little? Season 2 really takes the subtly gay vibes of season 1 and brings them to a whole new level and makes it clear to even the naivest of souls that yes, this show is g a y. Please watch it!

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What was your favorite thing you read or watched this month? What’s your favorite flower? Mine is broom (in Italian ginestra), a plant that grows in the Mediterranean and that’s also subject of my favorite poem by Giacomo Leopardi.

ginestra
a picture of broom that I tookΒ  when I was in Italy

March 2019 Wrap-Up

march

Hello friends! March has gone by so quickly between me being in the lab most of the day and then having to do homework until it was time to sleep. But I did manage to read a few things and they made for an overall great reading month, so let’s get right into it.

books

wu march

Total: 9 books

β—‹Β  3 audiobooks

β—‹Β  4 ARCs

β—‹Β  1 anthology

β—‹Β  2 shorts/novellas

β—‹Β  1 comic

β—‹Β  1 reread

β—‹ 2 buddy reads

highlights

πŸ“–Β Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston (ARC, buddy read) – to assign any adjective to this book would be reductive. Awesome? Amazing? Incredible? They don’t even begin to cover it. I’m still trying to write my full review but rest assured that this was one of the best, if not the best, romance I’ve ever read. β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

πŸ“–Β The Afterward by E.K. Johnston (audiobook) – I read this for the sheer sapphic energy that radiated from the cover and the description, and I was not disappointed in any sense. This had one of the best f/f relationship I’ve ever read, it was set in an interesting and inclusive world, and the audiobook was great. β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

πŸ“–Β Proud edited by Juno Dawson (ARC) – I’ve talked about it more in my review, but this was such a pleasure to read from start to finish. It was the positive queer anthology that I needed to read, although I wish that aro and ace characters would have gotten a spotlight too. β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜….5✩

πŸ“–Β The Weight of the Stars by K. Ancrum (ARC) – this made me feel so many things and confirmed K. Ancrum as one of the most interesting authors of YA out there. Seriously, her books might turn out not to be for you, but I 100% recommend checking them out for yourself because if they resonate with you you’ll be hooked. For more thoughts please read my full review. β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

πŸ“–Β The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley (audiobook) – this is one of those “out of my comfort zone” books that I’m so glad I decided to check out (also because audiobooks are a thing, thanks @ technology). It’s definitely not a favorite book but it’s a book that gave me a glimpse in a genre that while it doesn’t cater to my personal tastes is still very valid and I can see myself reaching for again when I feel adventurous. Read my full review for more thoughts and trigger/content warnings (seriously, don’t go into it blind; key word: gore). β˜…β˜…β˜….5✩✩

πŸ“–Β Mrs. Martin’s Incomparable Adventure by Courtney Milan (ebook) – sapphic historical novella! about older sapphics!!! destroying evil men!!!!! β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…βœ©

πŸ“–Β Peter Darling by Austin Chant (ebook, reread, buddy read) – you know that feeling of wanting to reread a favorite book for months or years and when you finally decide to do it you’re actually scared because what if it’s not as good as you remember it? Well, this book was even better than the first time around. It’s a Peter Pan retelling with Peter as a trans man and it has a stunning hate/obsession-to-lovers romance between him and Captain Hook and yes, it’s just as good as it sounds. Read my review from two years ago (please don’t cringe I was baby). β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

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πŸ”–Β Never-Contented Things by Sarah Porter (ARC) – I actually wasn’t sure whether to include this here because I feel like I’m going to get hate from all sides once I finish and actually form my own opinion about it. But a friend I trust has made very good points about it and since I have the ARC I want to see for myself. I’m not very far but for now I can say that I love the writing style, the atmosphere and the narration. All I will say is that people seem to be getting enraged by a topic being in the book without analyzing why or in which context the topic is there and how it’s handled. But as I said, I am barely 10% in so I will wait to speak one way or another.

πŸ”–Β A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole (ebook) – I’m finally reading this and it’s very enjoyable! I think there’s always something in this series by Alyssa Cole that prevents me from giving the books five stars, but for now (I’m around 45% maybe) it’s a very solid 4 stars romance. I’m also enjoying the portrayal of Portia figuring out her ADHD and how it has affected her life so far. I’m looking forward to seeing the romance develop more.

πŸ”–Β Elysium by Nora Sakavic (ebook) – so the author of one of my two all time favorite series has released a new book without telling anyone for like a week. RUDE. Anyway I obviously had to get it asap and I have just reached 50%. It’s very different from the All for the Game series, and I don’t just mean that it’s paranormal/urban fantasy but I also mean that it almost doesn’t feel like it’s written by the same person (but then again a few lines of dialogue totally makes me go, Ah, there she is). I’m just having trouble loving the first person POV in present tense, it’s not a voice I love unless it’s in a light contemporary and while I never had any problems with Nora’s writing in AFTG I definitely don’t love how this is written. The story is interesting even though I’m having issues staying focused on it, but I’m going to try to force myself to read more in one go because that’s how I manage to get invested more.

πŸ”–Β The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon (audiobook) – yeah, I’m doing this and it’s just as incredible as everyone said it is. Audiobooking such a huge book was my only option at this time, but I will say that it’s not easy to keep track of all the names and lore, especially at the beginning. I think in the future I would love to get myself a physical or digital copy and actually read how everyone’s name is spelled. The story is so incredible and it warms my heart to have such huge fantasy books, a genre that’s been dominated by white, cis, straight dudes and that almost always includes such needless violence against women, written by a woman who know what she’s doing. It makes it accessible without shying away from difficult topics, violence, and everything you’d expect from an adult fantasy. It’s just that there’s no violence against women because they’re women but because of politics and power.

 

blog

πŸ“œΒ I wrote a guest post on Ben’s blog in which I talk about what being bi means to me, and I would love it if you’d check it out πŸ’–πŸ’œπŸ’™

πŸ“œΒ I had the honor and the pleasure to interview some of the characters from Graham’s Delicacies by Em Ali

πŸ“œΒ I shared the cover reveal for Chosen Champion by Elise Kova

πŸ“œΒ I was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award and had a lot of fun replying to Acqua’s questions and writing my own

πŸ“œΒ REVIEWS:

πŸ“ŒΒ  The Stars are Legion

πŸ“ŒΒ The Princess and the Fangirl

πŸ“ŒΒ The Weight of the Stars

πŸ“ŒΒ Proud

watched

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This month I was in the mood to watch a genre I don’t usually go for, so I started The Rain. I read about it and the only reason I actually decided to try it out was because I’ve never seen a post-apocalyptic show set in Europe. So far the only difference with American shows is that guns aren’t actually available to everyone but only members of the army have easy access to them. But it’s still interesting to see an European setting for once and while I get annoyed at some unnecessary romance (why, why is it always there), I actually think it’s a good show and I will continue it when I’m in the mood and have more time.

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I also watched the new season of Queer Eye and it was everything I needed in my life. Inevitably there are episodes that I liked more and others that I found a little boring, but all of them were important and I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t tear up or straight-up cried a few times. I just…….. love the Fab 5 so much.

 

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Did I take myself to see Captain Marvel although the only other Marvel movie I’ve seen is Black Panther? You can bet I did. The movie doesn’t have much to do with the rest of them anyway as it’s set many years before. I totally recommend watching it because it gives such a realistic portrayal of the female experience, it literally confused the fuck out of men, who are now saying this movie is shit and they didn’t get it and whatnot, outing themselves for the ignorant, misogynistic bigots they are. You can not like this movie, but if you don’t understand how it reflects how most of the cis women or the people who are perceived as women have to navigate our society every day, you’re not paying one ounce of attention.

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How was your month? Has spring finally come where you live? Or fall, if you live south of the Equator, I guess. What was the best book you’ve read this year so far? Let me know and I hope you are having a great April β€οΈπŸ§‘πŸ’›πŸ’šπŸ’™πŸ’œ

February 2019 Wrap Up

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Hey everyone! I’m going to keep this post as brief as possible for my sake because March is killing me. In fact, I am using this post to announce a little sort-of-hiatus until the first week of April because I just can’t keep up with everything that uni is putting me through. The occasional review might come out if I manage to actually read something and/or write something I’m satisfied with, but I just don’t want to feel pressured to have to post something where I quite literally can’t even find the time and mental energy to sit down with a book.

books

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In February I read considerably less than any of the past months (I actually can’t remember when I last read so few books).

β—‹Β  3 audiobooks (making it a complete YA series!)

β—‹Β  1 manga

β—‹Β  3 ARCs

highlights

πŸ“–Β The Timekeeper Trilogy by Tara Sim (audiobook) – I’d been wanting to read this since I first heard about it, but I kept putting it off because it be like that. And I’m glad I did, because binging it all once book three was out was e v e r y t h i n g . Plus the audiobook was amazing and I highly recommend it. I will maybe try to write a series review in the future but I doubt that will happen before I actually reread it. But I gave β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… to all three books so yeah, this is now one of my favorite YA fantasy series.

πŸ“–Β Graham’s Delicacies by Em Ali (ARC) – I talked about this in my review and I also posted a character interview so make sure you check out both of those!Β β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…βœ©

πŸ“–Β My Brother’s HusbandΒ (Volume #1) by Gengoroh Tagame (physical copy, German translation) – I impulse-bought this at my local bookstore because I had heard so much about it on GR but I wasn’t expecting to see it at the comics/manga section and I also didn’t know it had been translated in German. This is volume 1 in this edition but it’s about only half of the English edition, if that makes sense? So there will be 4 books total in German as opposed to the English one. Anyway, this is a really heartwarming and heartbreaking story that WILL make you cry, but it’s so, so good. β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

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πŸ”–Β The Afterward by E.K. Johnston (audiobook) – I might have finished this by the time this post comes out, but I’m anticipating giving it a full five stars. I fell in love with it immediately. You know who else fell in love? The two MCs of this book, Olsa and Kalanthe, and they’re giving me the BEST second chance f/f romance I’ve ever read about.

πŸ”–Β Proud edited by Juno Dawson (ARC) – I’ve only read one story so far (maybe more when this post comes out) but it was everything I love in a queer short story. Also, gay penguins. I really hope to love the rest of the stories as well.

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πŸ“œΒ I finally shared my second recommendation post for lgbtqiap+ webcomics and you should definitely check it out if you want to read quality comics for absolutely no money all.

πŸ“œΒ REVIEWS:

πŸ“ŒΒ Vortex Visions by Elise Kova

πŸ“ŒΒ The Fever King by Victoria Lee

πŸ“ŒΒ Graham’s Delicacies by Em Ali

πŸ“ŒΒ The Time Traveler’s Guide to Modern Romance by Madeline J. Reynolds

watched

mv5bndazntk0nju2ml5bml5banbnxkftztgwodkymta0ntm40._v1_I’ve started watching Pose and I still have two episodes to go but it’s so, so incredible. It’s set in the Eighties in peak AIDS crisis in America and it follows a cast of trans women and gay men who are part of ball culture, which was something I previously hadn’t known about because I don’t think we had anything similar here in Europe (or at least nobody ever talked about it to me). You should definitely look up reviews coming from the trans community rather than myself but I can only recommend it (main TWs: transphobia, homophobia, racism, several characters diagnosed with AIDS)

 

tdp_callum_ezran_bait_zym.0Then, finally, finally!!! The Dragon Prince season 2 came out and it was everything I wanted. I need to rewatch it because it’s just that good and there are so many details that I want to take in that I’m sure I’ve missed the first time around. The creators also lived up on their promise to keep the world diverse and it’s incredibile, I cried more than once.

odaat_307_unit_00341rThe last thing I watched is One Day at the Time season 3 and y’all, y’all. As always this show keeps talking about important and heavy themes like anxiety, sexual assault, alcoholism, toxic masculinity and much more while keeping the overall tone lighthearted. And it’s living proof that you can make a show that will make you laugh to the point of tears without insulting anyone and without being politically incorrect. Also, you should all watch it RIGHT NOW because it’s still at risk of not being renewed for a season 4, but if more people stream it then their chances will be higher. So if you have a Netflix account please consider watching season 3 (or start from the beginning if you haven’t watched the first two).

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Have you read any of these books or watched any of these shows? What are you looking forward to in the rest of March? Have you already found a book that will make your top 5 favorite books of 2019? Let me know!

January Wrap-Up

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Hey everyone!

Did your January also last 98 days like mine did? Why is time so weird?

I’ve been busy with uni stuff and choir rehearsals and concerts (we already had…three?? this month and the Big One is tomorrow!), plus I was sick for a full week (why do I always get sick after being on a plane??) and I basically couldn’t do anything but sleep or sit on my couch and watch Netflix.

We also got quite a bit of snow here in Germany which is nice because even though I’m not new to snow I can never enjoy it in Italy because everything sort of stops working in my town. But here the trains, trams and everything kept working without problem and it was just so pretty to look at. We also had a whole week of always being under 0Β°C and that was definitely a new experience to me. Can’t say I’m a fan, but with proper clothing it wasn’t as horrible as I would’ve imagined.

Anyway, I’ll stop talking about the weather because that’s too clichΓ© and get right into our favorite topic.

books

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So that’s kind of…a lot. It counts as 20 in my GR challenge but half of it is short stuff!!! Only 10 were actually Proper Long Books. Anyway here’s my numbers:

β—‹Β  7 audiobooks

β—‹Β  3 graphic novels/comics

β—‹ 4 novellas

β—‹ 3 short stories

β—‹Β  5 ARCs

highlights

πŸ“–Β Sadie by Courtney Summers (audiobook) – it would be at the very least weird to say that I enjoyed this. It’s not exactly a book and a theme you can enjoy, all you can do is read (or listen, in my case) and try not to stifle your emotions but let the book take you on this fictional and metaphorical journey (which you’ll at times hate) and let that hurt and that sense of powerlessness be the only thing you feel for a few hours or days. And then remember. β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

πŸ“–Β Accepting the Fall by Meg Harding (ARC) – full review β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

πŸ“–Β Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant (audiobook) – this definitely classifies as my favorite book of the month and of the year so far |Β read my post about it β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

πŸ“–Β The Disasters M.K. England (audiobook) – this book was so fun and listening to it made it ten times better! The narrator was awesome, the story was more fast paced than I usually like but it was all made up for with the humor and the characters. Plus I love a disaster bisexual as the MC, I’m always here for that.Β Β β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…βœ©

πŸ“–Β The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi (audiobook) –Β full review β˜…β˜…β˜…βœ©βœ©

πŸ“–Β Stake Sauce by RoAnna Sylver – I finally read this! I had no idea what to expect but I got both scary AND soft vampires, disabled trans boys with PTSD, asexual characters, polyam characters so there’s nothing I can complain about. β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…βœ©

πŸ“–Β The Murderbot Diaries #1 & #2 by Martha Wells (audiobook) – I had heard a lot about this series of novellas and I waited for the audios of the first two to be on sale to start it. It’s about a self-aware Security Unit who hacked its own system so it can watch hundreds of hours of TV shows and then of course shit goes down and it has to save everyone. First of all, what a mood. Second, Murderbot is so lovable and I especially liked that it makes an annoying friend, ART, in the second novella. Reading their interactions was so fun and I had to laugh out loud many times. I’m waiting for another sale to get the rest of the series!Β β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…βœ© &Β β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜….5✩

πŸ“–Β King Of Scars by Leigh Bardugo – this was THE most anticipated release of 2019 (and probably of the past two years). So it was very easy for me to have too high expectations, and…well, it didn’t fully live up to them. I finished it yesterday so I’m still thinking about it, trying to separate my expectations from what the book actually was, but there’s no way I can give it a full five stars, no matter how badly I want to. I still really, really liked it though | full review to come β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…βœ©

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πŸ”– Definitely, Maybe, Yours by Lissa Reed – I got this as an ARC together with its sequels (which are all going to be released as a digital box set on February 12th) and I’m enjoying it so far! I’m not very far into it but I plan to finish it soon.

πŸ”– No Man of Woman Born by Ana Mardoll – this is also an ARC and I started it in December and haven’t really made any progress. That’s not because it’s bad, it’s just that it’s an anthology and I can’t read anthologies very fast because I don’t want the stories to bleed into one another and I need to let them sit for a while. I actually only read one story so far and I gave it 3 stars.

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πŸ“œ I shared my most anticipated releases from January until March! As it always happens, by now I’ve discovered a few more releases that I’m excited about and I didn’t know when I wrote the post but it be like that sometimes.

πŸ“œ I wrote a super helpful guide to audiobooks that you most definitely need to check out whether you’re already an audiobook reader or not!

πŸ“œ I gave you six reasons to read Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant (plus a really pretty header that I’m proud of)

πŸ“œ Reviews:

πŸ“ŒΒ Squared Away by Annabeth Albert

πŸ“ŒΒ Cretaceous by Tadd Galusha

πŸ“ŒΒ On the Fly by P.J. Trebelhorn

πŸ“ŒΒ Accepting the Fall by Meg Harding

πŸ“ŒΒ My Fake Canadian Wife by M. Hollis

πŸ“ŒΒ The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

watched

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I watched a lot of stuff this month! Everyone was talking about it so I had to watch Tidying Up with Marie Kondo and folks, I loved it. I found it both useful and reassuring because even though I don’t tidy up that often, when I do I’ve always followed a lot of Marie Kondo’s advice, even before knowing anything about her method! But I also learned more things about how to store things etc. Another thing I loved, other than Marie herself, is the fact that all the family she visited were different and diverse.

se_104_unit_00259_finalAnother thing everyone was talking about was Sex Education and it ended up being my favorite thing I watched this month (and possibly my favorite non-animated thing I watched in a long time). Folks, this show is so good and yeah, it’s really cringy at times but it’s supposed to be. Definitely don’t watch it with your parents and be prepared for a lot of second-hand embarrassment. I might rewatch it soon and possibly try to write a full review on it, but for now all I can say is go watch it.

mv5bmja5mjewodu1mv5bml5banbnxkftztgwnzk0mza5ntm-_v1_uy268_cr90182268_al_Speaking of rewatches, I sort of…………………..watched The Dragon Prince. Again. For the third time. LISTEN, I was sick for a whole week so I had to find something soothing to watch. PLUS, season two is coming out February 15th and I can’t wait! I needed a refresher and now I’m even more excited for what’s coming next (please can Runaan’s husband get screen time and a name and can the theory that [redacted] is actually [redacted] be confirmed!!! thank u)

 

 

lucifer_poster_season_2I also finally finished season 1 of Lucifer after months of watching is slowly. I enjoyed it a lot even though I do think that it suffers from some of the most common flaws of mainstream series, or at least it has some of the things I don’t like. But Lucifer’s character is great and a bisexual icon, and I think it’s worth to keep watching it even just for him.

 

 

 

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What was your favorite book you read in January? Have you watched any interesting TV shows you’d recommend me?

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.

β—‹ 3 audiobooks

β—‹ 1 rereads

β—‹Β  9 graphic novels/webcomics

β—‹Β  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

πŸ“–Β 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. β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜….5✩/5Β 

πŸ“–Β 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.Β β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…/5

πŸ“–Β 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.Β β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜….5✩/5

πŸ“–Β 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. β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…/5

πŸ“–Β 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. β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜….5✩/5

πŸ“–Β 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 reviewΒ and then go read the book for yourself.Β β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜….5✩/5

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πŸ“‘Β 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!