End of the Year Recap: new life favorites, favorites of the year, most fun, most disappointing

Hi friends! I feel like this post grants a long time no see, given how absent I’ve been lately here on the blog, aside from a few reviews that I’ve posted. The truth is I’ve been reading more mdzs fanfiction than books lately so I didn’t feel like writing monthly wrap-ups and things like that because I just feel like I haven’t been reading enough books.

And the thing is, I am perfectly fine with that! I am having a lot of fun consuming all the mdzs adaptations several times and not feeling (too) guilty about reading a little bit less. If you’re wondering what the hell I’m even talking about, I wrote a guide to mdzs.

Despite all this, I still finished my 100-books reading challenge! I am writing this post on December 24th and I am currently at exactly 100 books, but I know I will finish a couple more by the end of the year. It’s the first time since I started reviewing books that I got so close to not finishing my challenge but I’m fine. This is fine. Even before this (which I refuse to call a reading slump because of its negative connotations), I was very busy with uni for several months and it makes sense that I’ve read less this year overall. I still read a ton and I will feel proud about it.

I was looking at all the books I’ve read and I decided to do a quick recap for posterity and because it’s always fun to look back. I divided things into a few categories that I named according to how the books made me feel. I will have a separate post with all the books I’ve DNF’d this year and I will post it later on, but for this post I wanted to keep things (mostly) positive, so let’s get into it! I won’t be talking about the single books in this post but I will post summaries and links to my reviews. Each list follows a chronological order (when I read the books).

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NEW FAVORITES FOR LIFE

Every year, I always feel like there are favorites and Favorites. The ones that will stay with you no matter what. The ones that would make the list Favorites of the decade. I felt like it was only fair to place these in their own category, and it’s the second and third book by the author Moxiang Tongxiu.

👑 魔道祖师 (Módào zǔshī – The Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation)

As the grandmaster who founded the Demonic Sect, Wei WuXian roamed the world in his wanton ways, hated by millions for the chaos he created. In the end, he was backstabbed by his dearest shidi and killed by powerful clans that combined to overpower him. He incarnates into the body of a lunatic who was abandoned by his clan and is later, unwillingly, taken away by a famous cultivator among the clans—Lan WangJi, his archenemy. This marks the start of a thrilling yet hilarious journey of attacking monsters, solving mysteries, and raising children. From the mutual flirtation along the way, Wei WuXian slowly realizes that Lan WangJi, a seemingly haughty and indifferent poker-face, holds more feelings for Wei WuXian than he is letting on.

👑 天官赐福 (Tiān guān cì fú – Heaven Official’s Blessing)

For you, I’ll become invincible!

“Have you heard? The rubbish Heaven Official is having an affair with the ghost realm’s number one bigshot!”

Eight hundred years ago, Xie Lian was the Crown Prince of the Xian Le kingdom; one who was beloved by his citizens and the darling of the world. Unsurprisingly, he ascended to the Heavens at a very young age. Now, eight hundred years later, Xie Lian ascends to the Heavens for the third time as the laughing stock of all three realms. On his first task as a god, he meets a mysterious demon who rules the ghosts and terrifies the Heavens……yet unbeknownst to Xie Lian, this demon king has been paying attention to him for a very, very long time.

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TOP 5

 

I feel like this year was the year of good books that didn’t quite feel like favorites. I wish I could say I had a hard time narrowing them down to 5 but no, they just happened to be a nice number for a list lol.

A small observation: four out of five of these are books with an f/f romance in them and that makes me so happy. Despite this, this list is rather white, although the books themselves are very diverse.

What surprised me more was the mix of genres: deep-sea horror, two romances (I love romances but they usually don’t end up in my favorites, also one of them is a historical romance, a genre I almost never read), and two fantasy books (not surprised about these, usually fantasy books end up in my favorites). Of these, only one of them is YA. Could it be that I’m getting over YA?

🎉 Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant 

my review

Seven years ago, the Atargatis set off on a voyage to the Mariana Trench to film a “mockumentary” bringing to life ancient sea creatures of legend. It was lost at sea with all hands. Some have called it a hoax; others have called it a maritime tragedy.

Now, a new crew has been assembled. But this time they’re not out to entertain. Some seek to validate their life’s work. Some seek the greatest hunt of all. Some seek the truth. But for the ambitious young scientist Victoria Stewart this is a voyage to uncover the fate of the sister she lost.

Whatever the truth may be, it will only be found below the waves. But the secrets of the deep come with a price.

🎉 Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

my review

What happens when America’s First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales?

When his mother became President, Alex Claremont-Diaz was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, genius—his image is pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House. There’s only one problem: Alex has a beef with the actual prince, Henry, across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse.

Heads of family, state, and other handlers devise a plan for damage control: staging a truce between the two rivals. What at first begins as a fake, Instragramable friendship grows deeper, and more dangerous, than either Alex or Henry could have imagined. Soon Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret romance with a surprisingly unstuffy Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations and begs the question: Can love save the world after all? Where do we find the courage, and the power, to be the people we are meant to be? And how can we learn to let our true colors shine through?

Casey McQuiston’s Red, White & Royal Blue proves: true love isn’t always diplomatic.

🎉 The Afterward by E.K. Johnston

It has been a year since the mysterious godsgem cured Cadrium’s king and ushered in what promised to be a new golden age. The heroes who brought the gem home are renowned in story and song, but for two fellows on the quest, peace and prosperity do not come easily.

Apprentice Knight Kalanthe Ironheart wasn’t meant for heroism this early in life, and while she has no intention of giving up the notoriety she has earned, her reputation does not pay her bills. With time running out, Kalanthe may be forced to betray not her kingdom or her friends, but her own heart as she seeks a stable future for herself and those she loves.

Olsa Rhetsdaughter was never meant for heroism at all. Beggar, pick pocket, thief, she lived hand to mouth on the city streets until fortune–or fate–pulled her into Kalanthe’s orbit. And now she’s quite reluctant to leave it. Even more alarmingly, her fame has made her recognizable, which makes her profession difficult, and a choice between poverty and the noose isn’t much of a choice at all.

Both girls think their paths are laid out, but the godsgem isn’t quite done with them and that new golden age isn’t a sure thing yet.

In a tale both sweepingly epic and intensely personal, Kalanthe and Olsa fight to maintain their newfound independence and to find their way back to each other.

🎉 The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

A world divided.
A queendom without an heir.
An ancient enemy awakens.

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction—but assassins are getting closer to her door.

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.

🎉 The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite

my review

As Lucy Muchelney watches her ex-lover’s sham of a wedding, she wishes herself anywhere else. It isn’t until she finds a letter from the Countess of Moth, looking for someone to translate a groundbreaking French astronomy text, that she knows where to go. Showing up at the Countess’ London home, she hoped to find a challenge, not a woman who takes her breath away.

Catherine St Day looks forward to a quiet widowhood once her late husband’s scientific legacy is fulfilled. She expected to hand off the translation and wash her hands of the project—instead, she is intrigued by the young woman who turns up at her door, begging to be allowed to do the work, and she agrees to let Lucy stay. But as Catherine finds herself longing for Lucy, everything she believes about herself and her life is tested.

While Lucy spends her days interpreting the complicated French text, she spends her nights falling in love with the alluring Catherine. But sabotage and old wounds threaten to sever the threads that bind them. Can Lucy and Catherine find the strength to stay together or are they doomed to be star-crossed lovers?

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HONORABLE MENTIONS

 

I adored all of these and I had so much fun with some of them, they just don’t totally qualify for favorites.  This list is a little bit more diverse (I mean, they’re still all queer like the previous list, but at least it’s not all white authors).

🎊 The Weight of the Stars by K. Ancrum

my review

Ryann Bird dreams of traveling across the stars. But a career in space isn’t an option for a girl who lives in a trailer park on the wrong side of town. So Ryann becomes her circumstances and settles for acting out and skipping school to hang out with her delinquent friends.

One day she meets Alexandria: a furious loner who spurns Ryann’s offer of friendship. After a horrific accident leaves Alexandria with a broken arm, the two misfits are brought together despite themselves—and Ryann learns her secret: Alexandria’s mother is an astronaut who volunteered for a one-way trip to the edge of the solar system.

Every night without fail, Alexandria waits to catch radio signals from her mother. And its up to Ryann to lift her onto the roof day after day until the silence between them grows into friendship, and eventually something more . . .

In K. Ancrum’s signature poetic style, this slow-burn romance will have you savoring every page.

🎊 Treasure by Rebekah Weatherspoon

my review

Her sister’s bachelorette party is the highlight of a miserable year for Alexis Chambers, but once her bridesmaid’s dress is packed away, she’s back to coping with her life as a once popular athlete and violinist turned loner and the focus of her parents’ disappointment. She isn’t expecting much from her freshman year of college until she finds herself sharing a class with Treasure, the gorgeous stripper from her sister’s party.

Trisha Hamilton has finally gotten the credits and the money together to transfer to a four-year university. Between classes, studying, and her job as a stripper, she has little time for a social life, until she runs into the adorably shy baby butch from the club. Trisha can’t seem to hide her feelings for Alexis, even when Trisha discovers what she has been through, but will Alexis have the strength to be just as fearless about their new love?

🎊 Out on Good Behavior by Dahlia Adler

Frankie Bellisario knows she can get anyone she sets her sights on, but just because she can doesn’t mean she should—not when the person she’s eyeing is Samara Kazarian, the daughter of a southern Republican mayor. No matter how badly Frankie wants to test her powers of persuasion, even she recognizes some lines aren’t meant to be crossed.

But when Frankie learns she’s been on Samara’s mind too, the idea of hooking up with her grows too strong to resist. Only Sam’s not looking for a hookup; she wants—needs—the real thing, and she’s afraid she’ll never find it as long as Frankie’s in her head.

Forced to choose between her first relationship and losing the girl who’s been clawing her way under her skin, Frankie opts to try monogamy…under her own condition: 30 days of keeping things on the down low and remaining abstinent. If she fails as hard at girlfriending as she’s afraid she might, she doesn’t want to throw Samara’s life into upheaval for nothing. But when neither the month nor Frankie’s heart go according to plan, she may be the one stuck fighting for the happily ever after she never knew she wanted.

🎊 The Electric Heir by Victoria Lee

Six months after Noam Álvaro helped overthrow the despotic government of Carolinia, the Atlantians have gained citizenship, and Lehrer is chancellor. But despite Lehrer’s image as a progressive humanitarian leader, Noam has finally remembered the truth that Lehrer forced him to forget—that Lehrer is responsible for the deadly magic infection that ravaged Carolinia.

Now that Noam remembers the full extent of Lehrer’s crimes, he’s determined to use his influence with Lehrer to bring him down for good. If Lehrer realizes Noam has evaded his control—and that Noam is plotting against him—Noam’s dead. So he must keep playing the role of Lehrer’s protégé until he can steal enough vaccine to stop the virus.

Meanwhile Dara Shirazi returns to Carolinia, his magic stripped by the same vaccine that saved his life. But Dara’s attempts to ally himself with Noam prove that their methods for defeating Lehrer are violently misaligned. Dara fears Noam has only gotten himself more deeply entangled in Lehrer’s web. Sooner or later, playing double agent might cost Noam his life.

🎊 Human Enough by E.S. Yu

my review

When Noah Lau joined the Vampire Hunters Association, seeking justice for his parents’ deaths, he didn’t anticipate ending up imprisoned in the house of the vampire he was supposed to kill—and he definitely didn’t anticipate falling for that vampire’s lover.

Six months later, Noah’s life has gotten significantly more complicated. On top of being autistic in a world that doesn’t try to understand him, he still hunts vampires for a living…while dating a vampire himself. Awkward. Yet Jordan Cross is sweet and kind, and after braving their inner demons and Jordan’s vicious partner together, Noah wouldn’t trade him for the world.

But when one of Jordan’s vampire friends goes missing and Noah’s new boss at the VHA becomes suspicious about some of his recent cases, what starts off as a routine paperwork check soon leads Noah to a sinister conspiracy. As he investigates, he and Jordan get sucked into a deadly web of intrigue that will test the limits of their relationship—and possibly break them. After all, in a world where vampires feed on humans and humans fear vampires, can a vampire and a vampire hunter truly find a happy ending together?

🎊 The Deep by Rivers Solomon

my review

Yetu holds the memories for her people—water-dwelling descendants of pregnant African slave women thrown overboard by slave owners—who live idyllic lives in the deep. Their past, too traumatic to be remembered regularly, is forgotten by everyone, save one—the historian. This demanding role has been bestowed on Yetu.

Yetu remembers for everyone, and the memories, painful and wonderful, traumatic and terrible and miraculous, are destroying her. And so, she flees to the surface, escaping the memories, the expectations, and the responsibilities—and discovers a world her people left behind long ago.

Yetu will learn more than she ever expected to about her own past—and about the future of her people. If they are all to survive, they’ll need to reclaim the memories, reclaim their identity—and own who they really are.

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MOST FUN

 

Some of these could easily be in my honorable mentions but I decided that the feeling they gave me felt more right in this category. These are books that were really fun to read, whether the adventure itself was fun or the fandom experience of it was.

🥳 The Disasters by M.K. England

Hotshot pilot Nax Hall has a history of making poor life choices. So it’s not exactly a surprise when he’s kicked out of the elite Ellis Station Academy in less than twenty-four hours.

But Nax’s one-way trip back to Earth is cut short when a terrorist group attacks the Academy. Nax and three other washouts escape—barely—but they’re also the sole witnesses to the biggest crime in the history of space colonization. And the perfect scapegoats.

On the run and framed for atrocities they didn’t commit, Nax and his fellow failures execute a dangerous heist to spread the truth about what happened at the Academy.

They may not be “Academy material,” and they may not get along, but they’re the only ones left to step up and fight.

🥳 The Murderbot Diaries series by Martha Wells

In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.

But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern.

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid — a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it’s up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.

🥳 The Chronicles of Ghadid series by K.A. Doore

my review (of book 2)

A novice assassin is on the hunt for someone killing their own in K. A. Doore’s The Perfect Assassin, a breakout high fantasy beginning the Chronicles of Ghadid series.

Divine justice is written in blood.

Or so Amastan has been taught. As a new assassin in the Basbowen family, he’s already having second thoughts about taking a life. A scarcity of contracts ends up being just what he needs.

Until, unexpectedly, Amastan finds the body of a very important drum chief. Until, impossibly, Basbowen’s finest start showing up dead, with their murderous jaan running wild in the dusty streets of Ghadid. Until, inevitably, Amastan is ordered to solve these murders, before the family gets blamed.

Every life has its price, but when the tables are turned, Amastan must find this perfect assassin or be their next target.

🥳 Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins

my review

Millie Quint is devastated when she discovers that her sort-of-best friend/sort-of-girlfriend has been kissing someone else. And because Millie cannot stand the thought of confronting her ex every day, she decides to apply for scholarships to boarding schools . . . the farther from Houston the better.

Millie can’t believe her luck when she’s accepted into one of the world’s most exclusive schools, located in the rolling highlands of Scotland. Everything about Scotland is different: the country is misty and green; the school is gorgeous, and the students think Americans are cute.

The only problem: Mille’s roommate Flora is a total princess.

She’s also an actual princess. Of Scotland.

At first, the girls can barely stand each other–Flora is both high-class and high-key–but before Millie knows it, she has another sort-of-best-friend/sort-of-girlfriend. Even though Princess Flora could be a new chapter in her love life, Millie knows the chances of happily ever afters are slim . . . after all, real life isn’t a fairy tale . . . or is it?

🥳 The Scum Villain’s Self-Saving System by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu

Can’t I read stallion novels anymore?! [TN: genre with OP protag & harem]

Shen Yuan is reborn into a young man and scum villain destined to die, Shen Qingqiu.

But it must be known that the original Shen Qingqiu was sliced alive by his disciple, Luo Binghe, into a human stick! A human stick!

Shen Qingqiu’s heart is a full herd of grass mud horses running full tilt, yet:

“It’s not like I don’t want to hug this main character’s thighs, but who let this fucking man be so black. The revenge that needs to be taken is some thousands of deeds!

Why is all the romance that should be going to the women in the plot imposed on him?

Why as a scum villain, should he still have to block gun and knife for the protagonist and sacrifice himself?

Shen Qingqiu: “…… _(:□)∠)_I think I can still save him one more time.”

He wants to prove – even scum villains can live, and live coolly at that!

It’s also the story of a small white flower who later became a black flower attacking a scholarly, scum villain type.

This is the story of a master and disciple’s everyday unknowing, very strange, dog-blood process of falling in love.

It’s also a scum villain’s firsthand account of the male protagonist turning from a small white sheep into an overbearing black king, sort of story……

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WON’T EASILY FORGET

I think there are more books that deserve to be on this list but this is the main one. This category is for books that don’t quite qualify for the above categories but that made me think about a lot of things, mainly how I/we view books and how we jump to conclusions without knowing anything about the actual book at all.

39863312❗️ Never-Contented Things by Sarah Porter

my review

Seductive. Cruel. Bored.
Be wary of…

Prince and his fairy courtiers are staggeringly beautiful, unrelentingly cruel, and exhausted by the tedium of the centuries ― until they meet foster-siblings Josh and Ksenia. Drawn in by their vivid emotions, undying love for each other, and passion for life, Prince will stop at nothing to possess them.

First seduced and then entrapped by the fairies, Josh and Ksenia learn that the fairies’ otherworldly gifts come at a terrible price ― and they must risk everything in order to reclaim their freedom.

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FANDOM FUN

I decided to not have books in multiple categories, otherwise mdzs and tgcf would be on top of this list. But there’s still one book that made it here and now that I think about it it might actually be the show’s fault more than the book itself, but I decided to put this here anyway. Being in this fandom was/is a lot of fun and even though the fanart influx has died down it’s still lovely to see it on my timeline.

13418329🥰 Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

‘Armageddon only happens once, you know. They don’t let you go around again until you get it right.’

People have been predicting the end of the world almost from its very beginning, so it’s only natural to be sceptical when a new date is set for Judgement Day. But what if, for once, the predictions are right, and the apocalypse really is due to arrive next Saturday, just after tea?

You could spend the time left drowning your sorrows, giving away all your possessions in preparation for the rapture, or laughing it off as (hopefully) just another hoax. Or you could just try to do something about it.

It’s a predicament that Aziraphale, a somewhat fussy angel, and Crowley, a fast-living demon now finds themselves in. They’ve been living amongst Earth’s mortals since The Beginning and, truth be told, have grown rather fond of the lifestyle and, in all honesty, are not actually looking forward to the coming Apocalypse.

And then there’s the small matter that someone appears to have misplaced the Antichrist…

 

MOST DISAPPOINTING

I don’t feel like adding covers and summaries since these disappointed me lmao.

😔 King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

😔 Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff – my review

😔 The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern – my review

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And here it is. I always feel so satisfied after having done a wrap up of some sort and it was fun to look back at all the books I’ve read this year. If I were to give a rating to my reading year I think it would be a 4/5. I think I learned a few more things about myself in the process and hopefully this means I can make the next reading year even better than this one was.

I would love to hear what everyone has been up to while I was absent on the blog! If you have already written a wrap up post for the year please feel free to link to it and I will check it out, I love those kinds of posts! If not, tell me one book you read this year that you feel will stay with you forever.

Until the next post!

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 🎉 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:

○ 15 books total

○ 4 novels

○ 7 ARCs

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

○ 1 radio dramatization (shhhhh, I decided it counts)

highlights

📖 Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson | ★★★★.5✩ | review to come

📖 The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill | ★★★★

📖 Given (volumes #1—#5) by Natsuki Kizu | avg rating for the five volumes ★★★★.2✩

📖 Good Omens (BBC 4 Radio Dramatization) | ★★★★★ | 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)

📖 If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio | ★★★★.5✩ | review to come maybe

current

🔖 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.

🔖 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.

🔖 Here There Are Monsters by Amelinda Bérubé – 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)

blog

📜 A discussion about what authors put in fiction and breaking harmful traditions

📜 My most anticipated releases until September

📜 REVIEWS:

📌 A Little Light Mischief by Cat Sebastian

📌 Never-Contented Things by Sarah Porter

📌 The Tea Dragon Festival by Katie O’Neill

📌 Failed Future by Elise Kova

 

watched

66ee4e9a4aa619b9cc27a924c26af9d8📺 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.

📺 Spiderman Far From Home 

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).

📺 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.

📺 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-5d28531d8ec4b📺 Given 

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_hd📺 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-tracking📺 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-16📺 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 🌈

 

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.

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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

📖 King of Fools by Amanda Foody | ★★★★★ | review

📖 The Perfect Assassin by K.A. Doore | ★★★★.5✩

📖 The Past and Other Things that Should Stay Buried by Shaun David Hutchinson | ★★★★

📖 Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins | ★★★★.5✩ | review

📖 Never-Contented Things by Sarah Porter | ★★★★.5✩ | review

📖 The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite | ★★★★ | review

📖 Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett | ★★★★✩ (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)

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📜 Bookish things I’ve changed my mind about

📜 Favorite friends in Sci-fi and Fantasy

📜 Queer books that don’t feature allocis m/m relationships, part 2

watched

📺 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!!!!

📺 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.

📺 Always Be My Maybe (Netflix)

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

📺 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.

📺 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.

📺 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.

📺 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.

📺 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! 

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

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Hey friends! I know it’s cliché 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 Pokémons, 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.

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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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📖 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. ★★★★★

📖 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). ★★★.5✩✩

📖 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). ★★★★✩

📖 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 best  when they are in novella format, and I think this story proved it. ★★★★★

📖 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★★★★★

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🔖 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.

🔖 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.

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

📜 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.

📜 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.

📺 I finished my rewatch of season 2 of The Dragon Prince on Netflix and it was just as good as the first time.

shazam-005-1-maxw-654📺 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.

📺 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_aa📺 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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📺 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)

 

📺 Speaking of gay, 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 took  when I was in Italy

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

wu march

Total: 9 books

○  3 audiobooks

○  4 ARCs

○  1 anthology

○  2 shorts/novellas

○  1 comic

○  1 reread

○ 2 buddy reads

highlights

📖 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. ★★★★★

📖 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. ★★★★★

📖 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. ★★★★.5✩

📖 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. ★★★★★

📖 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). ★★★.5✩✩

📖 Mrs. Martin’s Incomparable Adventure by Courtney Milan (ebook) – sapphic historical novella! about older sapphics!!! destroying evil men!!!!! ★★★★✩

📖 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). ★★★★★

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🔖 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.

🔖 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.

🔖 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.

🔖 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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📜 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 💖💜💙

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

📜 I shared the cover reveal for Chosen Champion by Elise Kova

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

📜 REVIEWS:

📌  The Stars are Legion

📌 The Princess and the Fangirl

📌 The Weight of the Stars

📌 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 ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜

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).

○  3 audiobooks (making it a complete YA series!)

○  1 manga

○  3 ARCs

highlights

📖 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 ★★★★★ to all three books so yeah, this is now one of my favorite YA fantasy series.

📖 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! ★★★★✩

📖 My Brother’s Husband (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. ★★★★★

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🔖 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.

🔖 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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📜 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.

📜 REVIEWS:

📌 Vortex Visions by Elise Kova

📌 The Fever King by Victoria Lee

📌 Graham’s Delicacies by Em Ali

📌 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 0°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 cliché 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:

○  7 audiobooks

○  3 graphic novels/comics

○ 4 novellas

○ 3 short stories

○  5 ARCs

highlights

📖 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. ★★★★★

📖 Accepting the Fall by Meg Harding (ARC) – full review ★★★★★

📖 Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant (audiobook) – this definitely classifies as my favorite book of the month and of the year so far | read my post about it ★★★★★

📖 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.  ★★★★✩

📖 The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi (audiobook) – full review ★★★✩

📖 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. ★★★★✩

📖 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! ★★★★✩ ★★★★.5✩

📖 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 ★★★★✩

current

🔖 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.

🔖 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

📜 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.

📜 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!

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

📜 Reviews:

📌 Squared Away by Annabeth Albert

📌 Cretaceous by Tadd Galusha

📌 On the Fly by P.J. Trebelhorn

📌 Accepting the Fall by Meg Harding

📌 My Fake Canadian Wife by M. Hollis

📌 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?