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

Hi everyone!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Burn, Rewrite, Reread Tag

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

The Rules:

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

Round 1

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

Round 2

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

Round 3

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

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

#T5W: Top SFF books on my TBR

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

This week’s topic:

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

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

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

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

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

The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima

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

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

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

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

The School of Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

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

Every single book by Victoria/V.E. Schwab

Because Shades of Magic was amazing and I need more.

March Wrap-up

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

BOOKS

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

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

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

Overall it was a very good reading month!

ANIME

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

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

MUSIC


 

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

The Sunshine Blogger Awards

I was tagged by Alessandra @thebookishmind more than a month ago and I failed at posting this sooner 😦 Thank you so much Ale for tagging me ♥
I love this tag because the questions change all the time: you just answer the eleven questions you were tagged with, and then come up with eleven different questions and tag a bunch of people that will have to reply to them. Also make sure to tag and thank the person who tagged you so they can see your answers

 

1. Describe yourself with three characters.
Renee Walker, Wylan Van Eck, Adam Parrish.
2. Three books releasing this year that you are most excited for.
The Love Interest, ACOWAR, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue
3. What is the last book that you DNF?
Our Own Private Universe
4. One of your 2017 book goal.
I just want to read things that I enjoy, and I won’t put up with books that I honestly feel aren’t going to be enjoyable for me (for example I don’t think I’m going to read Caraval) or that aren’t working for me, even if I’m in the middle of them. So this is probably going to be the year of DNF for me :’D
5. What is the exact number on your TBR? (Not ebook)
Hah. This is a awkward, because most of my TBR is actually in the form of ebooks, so counting those, I have about 100 unread ebooks on my Kindle/iPad.
6. Are you a paperback or an hardback reader?
Neither – I’m an ebook reader all the way! If I’m forced to read physical copies I prefer hardbacks.
7. Who is your last author discovered?
Austin Chant, I loved Peter Darling and I’m definitely curious to read whatever he comes up with next. In the meantime I’m going to have to check out his previous works.
8. Who is your book boyfriend? Why?
Rhysand because he’s the embodiment of how a man should treat the woman he’s in a relationship with; Matt Boyd because he’s not afraid of strong women; Kell Maresh because HOT; Alucard Emery and Nicolai Lantsov because PIRATES,… uh, was I supposed to only choose one?…
9. What is your last bookish-obsession?
I fell in love with graphic novels and mangas! I’d never read many before this year but now I can’t seem to go a week without starting at least one!
10.The Doctor invites you on his Tardis. Where are you going?
This is going to sound really lame, and there are probably smarter answers I could give, but honestly I’d want to meet W.A. Mozart…so around 1780-1790 Austria (but I’m bringing antibiotics and disinfectant).
11.What are your latest TV shows obsession? TOP 3.
They’re not really latest obsessions because, except YOI, I haven’t watched the other two recently, but anyway: Yuri!!! On IceOutlander, Game of Thrones.


My questions are:

1. What is the last book you read until the end but wish you’d DNF?

2. What is one lesson a book taught you?

3. If you could meet any author from the past, who would you meet?

4. What’s your favorite reading spot?

5. What’s your #1 bookish pet peeve?

6. What’s one book you think would work better in a different format (TV show, manga, video game, you name it!)?

7. Name a trope you’ll never get tired of reading.

8. What’s one book you wish you’d written yourself?

9. What’s your favorite person/tense to read (first person present, third person past…)?

10. Multiple point of views or unique point of view?

11. Have you ever changed your mind about a book/author/genre because of a review or discussion you’ve read on a blog or Goodreads? If you did, explain a bit 🙂

 

I tag:

Jess @beaucoupbooks

Leah @unearthingwords

Stephanie @teacherofya

May @sunsetsandbookfests

Liam @heyashers

Emma @adreamerslibrary

I hope you all haven’t done this tag already (I mean, the questions would be different anyway, but I understand if you don’t want to do the tag a hundred times!).
If I haven’t tagged you please feel free to do this tag as well, just tag me so I can read your answers (since I came up with them I’m super curious to read the answers!)

 

February Wrap-Up

Hello everyone!

BOOKS

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

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

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

I’ve also read two mangas:

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

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

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

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

 

MUSIC

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

Plus a few new things:

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

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

 

GAMES 

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

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

January Wrap-Up

I’m so late with this post! I should have timed everything better but I somehow always end up forgetting that the month is coming to an end.

BOOKS:

I’ve already read a total of 20 books that count towards my reading challenge, but as you can see below (I had to screenshot this because I’m lazy) a lot of these are either mangas or short stories.

I also DNF’d three books, which is an awful lot if you ask me:

  • Saga, vol.1: I didn’t exactly find it bad, but I just wasn’t interested in reading it at all. I chose not to rate it because I didn’t read enough of it.
  • Gilded cage: I’m so sad. This was a book I was so looking forward to, and I had even managed to snatch an ARC of it, but I just couldn’t do it. What I mean is, I could have finished it, but I’ve decided to adopt a policy of if I feel like it’s not worth it,  I’m not going to stick to it because life is really too short. You can read my review on GR to have a better idea why this wasn’t for me.
  • Our Own Private Universe: TFW you want to read a sweet, lighthearted LGBT contemporary romance but it quite honestly sucks is not a pleasant one.

But let’s come to the books I’ve actually finished.

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I reviewed some of these on the blog already and I’ve reviewed all of them (or I’m in the process of reviewing) on goodreads. I can’t talk about all of them, but here’s a short list of my favorite:

  • Illuminae: I wanted this book to be my first read of 2017 and I couldn’t have made a better choice. I have a written a GR review that doesn’t make much sense and I’m still too emotionally unstable to make a proper review that would suit this blog.
  • The Summer Palace: This is a short story/epilogue to the Captive Prince trilogy and it’s probably the best thing that happened to this fandom. I’m kind of proud of my review for being among the top ones, and I want to reread this short story right now. If you’ve read the entire Captive Prince trilogy you definitely have to read this one.
  • How to Repair a Mechanical Heart
  • The Darkest Part of the Forest
  • Blood Bank: I’ve been thinking about it and I think this might be the first full manga (okay, it’s a manhwa, but still) I’ve read in my life, and it probably completely ruined my future experience with any other manga I’ll read from now on because it’s too beautiful and pure for this world and I don’t know if anything will ever come close to it. Due to its content, it’s definitely not suited for everybody, and I have to admit some of it makes me slightly uncomfortable, but if you’re not new to the genre I absolutely recommend checking it out!
  • The Song of Achilles: I haven’t been able to write a proper review for this yet. I’m getting tears just thinking about this beautiful book. It’s a story that means so much to me and it’s one of the most painful books I’ve ever read. I wasn’t able to stop crying and I couldn’t even see the words on my Kindle anymore because of it. I ugly-sobbed for hours and still do whenever I think about it.
  • The Foxhole Court: this is a re-read (I’m currently re-reading the next two books in the series) because the best books are the ones that hurt you. I have an extremely messy review on gr and a slightly better blog series review here, so do what you want with those.

Besides all of these, I’ve read so much Yuri!!! On Ice fanfiction it’s ridiculous. I’ve probably read more than one book worth of fanfic this month alone and since it’s a relatively new world for me I was positively impressed with the quality of many works.
All in all I can say this has been an excellent reading month for me!

I usually have a section here for shows/anime and music but I’ve been an extremely boring person and I haven’t watched or listened to anything new this past month! I’ve only tried watching Haikyuu and after the first two episodes I haven’t felt like continuing, but it’s not its fault. In fact, I liked the first two eps, but I think I’m just not in the mood for watching anything lately and I’d just rather read than watch anything, you know? Are you ever in such a mood?

Also, I’ve done a lot of buddy-reads and they’re honestly the best! I didn’t think I was cut out for BRs because I’m such a mood reader that I wasn’t sure it was something that would work for me, but it was just a matter of finding the right people to read with!

Now this is where I get slightly political so I don’t blame you if you just skip this part.

I want to keep this a book blog obviously and I don’t feel like I’m qualified to speak about much else, but there’s so much awful stuff going on in the world that I feel like I should say something about it, but at the same time I don’t even know where to start.
In case it’s not clear, yes, I’m talking about Tr*mp, who is a literal piece of shit. I’m obviously not in the US, and quite frankly I’ve lost interest in even visiting it as a tourist long ago, but for what it’s worth I can honestly say a lot of people here overseas are feeling scared. It’s only been a couple of weeks and it already seems like everything is going to hell.
I don’t know what I can do as an European citizen, except retweet every piece of useful info I can find and restate my support to every minority – although, given that countless minority groups plus every single woman are being targeted…we’re not really a minority anymore, are we?
If you live in the US, please think of your safety and well-being first. If you’re feeling anxious and overwhelmed, reread that book that made you smile like an idiot. Take a hot bath. Marathon that anime. Recharge. You will have more energy to fight tomorrow.