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

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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!

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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˜…

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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!

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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.

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a picture of broom that I tookΒ  when I was in Italy
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March 2019 Wrap-Up

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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

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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.

 

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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©

current

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.

blog

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!

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 β™₯

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My month in numbers:

β—‹ 4 audiobooks

β—‹ 4 rereads

β—‹ 2 graphic novels

β—‹ 0 ARCs (???????????????????????????? wow this hasn’t happened in years)

highlights

πŸ“–Β 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. β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…/5

πŸ“–Β 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.Β β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…βœ©/5Β 

πŸ“–Β 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.Β β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…/5

πŸ“–Β 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. β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…/5

πŸ“–Β 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. β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…βœ©/5

current

πŸ”–Β 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.

πŸ”–Β 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.

πŸ”–Β Herr der Diebe [in EnglishΒ 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:

πŸ“œΒ 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.

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

πŸ“œΒ 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 @ DrumsOfAutumnΒ 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!

Β 

 

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 DrumsOfAutumnΒ from BookTube!

books

october

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.

β—‹ 2 audiobooks

β—‹ 6 rereads

β—‹ 3 comics or webcomics

β—‹ 4 ARCs

β—‹ 1 beta read

highlights

πŸ“–Β 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.Β β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…/5

πŸ“–Β 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.Β β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…/5

πŸ“–Β The Fever King by Victoria Lee (ARC) –Β  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 probablyΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…βœ©/5Β 

πŸ“–Β 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.Β β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜….5✩/5

πŸ“–Β 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.Β β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…/5

πŸ“–Β 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.Β β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…/5

πŸ“–Β Empire of Storms by SJMΒ (reread – audiobookΒ ) – 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.

πŸ“–Β The Foxhole Court by Nora SakavicΒ (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.)Β β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…βœ©/5Β 

current

πŸ”–Β 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

πŸ”–Β 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.

πŸ”–Β 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.

πŸ“œΒ I shared my most anticipated releases until the end of the yearΒ (spoiler: there’s a lot)

πŸ“œΒ In my only T5W post this month, I talked abut my favorite magic systems

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

πŸ“œΒ ARC Review: Age of Magic by Elise Kova and Lynn Larsh

πŸ“œΒ ARC Review: Thrall by Avon Gale and Roan Parrish

πŸ“œΒ ARC Review: Pisces Hooks Taurus by Anyta Sunday

πŸ“œΒ ARC Review: Mating the Huntress by Talia Hibbert

πŸ“œΒ 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.