I have been thinking about writing this post for a while for several reasons but mostly because I keep scrolling through Instagram and seeing a certain transphobic author’s books on my timeline and it made me think about all of the people/ readers still promoting them and many other “problematic” authors while I made the choice not to so. This choice doesn’t mean that I think that I’m better than anyone , this post isn’t about cancel culture because it only works for marginlized people and I’m also not saying that just because an author said something problematic that we should stop supporting them altogether, because no one is perfect or 100% “unproblematic”. I am talking about repetitive harmful behaviour that is too big to ignore, or where there are no apologies and why I cannot, in good conscience, support those authors.
I haven’t done a post like this for a while and I thought it would be fun to do one! I’m also excited to check in at the end of the year (or as soon as I finish these) and see if they lived up to my expectations. I have to say that my slow reading pace leads me to do a lot of research before I pick up a book and this leads me to giving a lot of 5 star reviews. The pandemic has also helped me figure out the type of stories I really enjoy reading, as well as my favourite tropes. I have scoured the universe for the following books and judging from the plot, characters or authors, I think I’m going to give these books five stars!
May, 8th 2021 was one of the best days of my life. Yes I’m being dramatic but yes this is very true.
It all started on the beautiful day the website for Shadow and Bone on Netflix went up and there was a form for a little while where you could RSVP for a chance to be in the same Zoom meeting as the Shadow and Bone cast. Since I spend most of my days on twitter and that I have a “grishaverse list” I knew about the opportunity as soon as the website went up. I almost didn’t sign up because I have social anxiety and I was scared of what would happen but I decided to still sign up and I’m so happy I did!!
Then came the emails where my heart really stopped beating; I still couldn’t believe this was happening and I’m pessimistic so I thought that if i started sharing my excitement it just wouldn’t happen.
The event lasted two hours and each group had 20 minutes with the cast and crew where we could ash questions and interact with them!
When we received our time slots I found people on twitter and we bonded over the cast and had a nice Zoom meeting just for us where we fangirled and had a little euphoric high over the fact that the zoom was under 20 mins. We were all anxiously waiting for the link for the zoom and I was STRESSED about my wifi connection but then the link dropped and then the wait began.
I was in the first time slot so the host had to figure out how to add the people in the group as well as the cast and crew so I think my group didn’t have as much time with the guests than the later groups but I am extremely grateful for this opportunity.
I honestly don’t remember a single thing, and I mean it, a single thing that happened in the meeting and if there were no pictures I would have thought that I had dreamed it. It was surreal. I took screenshots and pictures of the meeting and you can see my little window on the corner.
Here are a few pictures of the cast and me:
Even the cast posted a few stories on instagram and twitter and I still couldn’t believe it happened.
I rewatched a few videos and snippets andI found a lot of recordings on Youtube from the other groups but here’s one video from my Zoom if you’re interested!!
Haha that’s it! I still can’t believe it happened and I am so fortunate that I lived this moment. One of the moments I nearly cried was when Leigh Bardugo appeared because I have been a fan since 2016 and I couldn’t believe that I was actually seeing her. We owe it all to her and I love this cast so much and it was just incredible to see them interact and acknowledge the fans and being happy to see us in return.
I have finally gathered my thoughts and emotions to write a proper review of the Shadow and Bone tv show! I have been here since they announced the cast and I also fangirled at the teaser trailer. And finally the day was here!!
I had a reread of the book on thursday and then I stayed up until 1am to follow the Premiere online on Facebook and woke up early to kind of finish my cross stitch and take a picture for my Instagram account:
and then I started watching when the show came out at 9am on Netflix. Here’s my twitter thread if you want to see my slightly delirious and giddy live reactions (with spoilers!!)
And miracle of miracles I posted a picture on my IG story that I was about to watch the show when one of my friends in LA, Redgie told me she was watching it at the same time so we decided to watch the show together. It made my watching experience 1000x better because we LAUGHED, CRIED AND FANGIRLED TOGETHER. We pressed pause and replayed the same moments together and teared up at the same time; It was amazing:
She was heaven sent! I could share my excitement and impressions live with someone who understood how much the series meant to me and how surreal it all felt to see my favourite character on screen.
But since Redgie was in LA, we watched the first 4 episodes together and then she went to bed because she had to work the following day and I went and ate lunch and then I resumed and binged the 4 last episodes with popcorn and a 30min nap between episode 7 and 8!
It all feels like a fever dream and this is what I wrote when I finished each episode:
Episode 1: AMAZING. A bit confusing with the back and forth but can’t wait to see what’s next. MALINA STAN RISE
Episode 2 was slower but beautiful Darkling moment + The Cut and Malina
Episode 3: NINA, HELNIK 19:50, Jesper and the goat, Alina and Mal as her true north
Episode 4: MALINA NAITON RISE, HEIST PREPARATION, MILO THE GOAT
Episode 5:DARKLINA MAKEOUT, BIG REVEAL
Episode 6: The dregs and ALINA TOGETHER, MALINA TOGETHER, HELNIK
Episode 7: STAG STAG STAG, NO MOURNERS NO FUNERALS
And I was too overwhelmed to write something after episode 8 haha.
I have no major complaints because I am blinded by my love for the series but I just feel uncomfortable with the added racism in the series; when they cast Jessie Mei Ali, I thought it was going to be a case of blind casting which is the process of casting a role without considering the actor’s ethnecity, but that was not the case at all. I wish it were! It would have been refreshing. It’s not my place to talk about AAPI racism but from the reviews I have seen, this seems to be a widespread sentiment and they really could have handled things better. That’s really the only issue, but still worth mentionning.
Other than that, I think the cast was perfect. As in perfection. I loved every scene. It was nice seeing The Little Palace, the keftas, the Stag or the Cut on screen! I enjoyed every single moment.
They ARE their characters!! They all portrayed the characters so well and my soft heart died with the helnik scenes which were almost as identical as the books.
Look at the dialogue here and then watch episode 5 and 6 and thank me later. Did I mention that it was my favourite ship? I even think this is where my love for the enemies to lovers trope comes from.
Now this is me after watching the show, I have barely been able to read or focus on anything else.
So I’m going to rewatch it again with Redgie on Saturday! If you are craving for more content; head over to twitter where most of us are losing it and sharing interviews, edits and stills form the tv show! And if you haven’t watched the show yet, I hope you enjoy!!
Even though we should celebrate women all year round; it’s nice to have a day dedicated to women (so basically like birthdays?). This is not particularly a bookish post, but just a way to emphasize my appreciation for all the ways one can be a woman. I love how I slowly unlearned our internalized sexism. It’s okay to fit the idea of feminity and it’s okay not to. It’s appreciation for trans women who are fighting for their lives, and being who they are; it’s appreciation for the women fighting for their rights, fighting for what they know is owed and that won’t settle for less. It’s appreciation for those who fit the beauty standards and those who fight for their own bodies to be recognized as beautiful. It’s for the women who have endured trauma, those who are still struggling in their path and those who are further in their journeys. Those with hidden struggles and those with visible ones. Those who embrace motherhood and those who don’t; those who are content by their own company and those who are happily accompanied. It’s for all of us, no matter who we are, what we look like and what we do.
Maybe there were people who lived those lives. Maybe this girl was one of them. But what about the rest of us? What about the nobodies and the nothings, the invisible girls? We learn to hold our heads as if we wear crowns. We learn to wring magic from the ordinary. That was how you survived when you weren’t chosen, when there was no royal blood in your veins. When the world owed you nothing, you demanded something of it anyway.
A few weeks ago, I went on an ARC frenzy and requested many eARCS through various medias and reviewed quite a few. There were some good ones and there were some pretty bad ones and I found myself in quite a conundrum: how was I supposed to review bad ARCs without deterring others to pick up the book? I thought I would share my thoughts on the question with a discussion post.
I don’t really think there’s a miracle solution to the question. The thing is that I want to be honest and not trick anyone into picking up a book that I, myself didn’t enjoy. There’s also the issue that a lot of us have different tastes and different expectations when we pick up a book. The diversity is actually wonderful and my guilty pleasure is reading bad reviews of my favourite books. It’s sometimes eye-opening. Now that’s completely fine when the book is published and no one expects anything from you. But for ARCS? Boy, that’s a problem.
I read an ARC and while there were many interesting and enjoyable elements, the writing style and the way the story carried out was just…not good. At all. I knew the author would read the review and I didn’t want to be that person who criticized their work. I know how much effort people put into writing a book and I know the struggle of getting a book published; it’s tough out there. I don’t think anyone needs someone picking thire book apart and ruining chances of persuading readers to give it a try. I say this because I am very easily influenced and swayed by reviews; I have a few reviewers who I trust with my life and I almost feel exactly the same way about a book that they do. Reviews are crucial. So what to do when there’s just a book that you didn’t like?
what I do, is that I try to balance it out. When I can feel myself strongly disliking a book, I still try to find good things about it: why did I request it? What interested me? Is there a character that makes things better? I try to find something enjoyable; It makes me feel less guilty about then saying what’s wrong. I try to phrase the sentence as to emphasize that it is my opinion and that there are issues that botheredme. When there’s something truly bad about a book I still think it’s important to mention it. I don’t mean problematic elements (that’s a talk for another day), but just elements that don’t work in terms of the story or the writing style. Criticism doesn’t have to be negative as long as it’s constructive. I try to pinpoint where it went wrong whether it be the pace, the writing style or the characters. I think we owe it to each other to be honest. The fact that I try to find good elements doesn’t mean I sugarcoat it but I still remember that there’s a human behind the author and that harsh reviews are not necessarily helpful (for ARCS I mean). Now back to the ARC I didn’t like, I sent all of my criticism to the author. I know I wasn’t harsh but I wasn’t praising them either. I was so stressed to hear back from the author but they actually told me the feedback was helpful and that they will focus on a few things I pointed out for future projects. I cannot tell you how relieved I felt to read that. I felt incredibly bad when I submitted it and I like that the author was understanding; When a book is out there, it is no longer your baby and people will love it or hate it; it’s fine, that means people care enough to feel something. So in conclusion my answer is: be kindly honest about how you feel.
What did you think? What do you do when an ARC you’re reading is bad? Or you have to review a bad book? Let me know in the comments!
Welcome to Day #21 of blogmas! Christmas is only three days away! So exciting! 🎶 It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…🎶
Happy Winter solstice everyone! We’re in winter, also known as for my favourite season! I can’t wait to feel the cold wind on my face, wear heavy and comfy coats and snuggle in my bed with a cup of hot cocoa. Fate decided that I would be born in winter so I always felt a closeness to the season.
The winter solstice also means that it is Feyre darling’s birthday! Feyre Archeron is one of my all-time favourite characters. She is resilient, strong, loving and clever. I love the way she cares for her loved ones and how she watches out for them. I love how she puts people first but still takes care of herself. She is wonderful and inspiring because she went through traumatic events and still thrived. She deserves all the love and support and I wish her a very happy birthday. You can see Feyre’s magnificence in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series written by the wonderful Sarah J. Maas. I would like to thank the author for writing characters like Feyre who inspire me. My favourite book of the series is A Court of Mist and Fury where you can see Feyre’s growth and maturity.
“I was not a pet, not a doll, not an animal. I was a survivor, and I was strong. I would not be weak, or helpless again I would not, could not be broken. Tamed.”
“You are my salvation, Feyre.”
“No one was my master— but I might be master of everything, if I wished. If I dared.”
— Sarah J. Maas
Have you read the series? Let me know in the comments!
The greatest thing happened today. We, the Grishaverse fans, finally got a teaser for the Shadow and Bone TV show and a date!! It will be available on Netflix in April 2021.
Beware, this post is basically me fangirling over the teaser.
This was my reaction when the trailer was released:
I audibly SCREAMED when I saw Morozova’s stag!! It’s so beautiful!! I can’t believe it’s finally happening!! And then the stag becomes light with Alina’s powers I-. I started chanting “sankta Alina, sankta sankta Alina” like a madwoman. This is too much. My poor heart can’t take it. And also can we mention Ben Barnes’ voice when he says “You and I are going to change the world”??? I died, I’m dead. We are going to see the Darkling, Alina, Zoya, Mal, Nikolai, Genya and all the others on our screen!! This is what dreams are made of. We don’t deserve this but I will gladly take it.
But most importantly we are going to see the DREGS!!! I cannot wait to see all of my chaotic babies together. I won’t be able to handle it. This is one of my favourite duologies (soon trilogy?) ever and I will die. I think the cast was wonderfully chosen and I have no doubt they will live up to all of our expectations!! I personally can’t wait to see the big heist. I saw it as a movie in my head while i was reading and getting to actually see it will feel surreal.
But above all I will hear so many of my favourite quotes (or rather moments that hint at them) played on screen like:
“What about the nobodies and the nothings, the invisible girls? We learn to hold our heads as if we wear crowns. We learn to wring magic from the ordinary. That was how you survived when you weren’t chosen, when there was no royal blood in your veins. When the world owed you nothing, you demanded something of it anyway.” –
Inej Ghafa, Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo.
And most importantly:
“No mourners, no funerals. Another way of saying good luck. But it was something more. A dark wink to the fact that there would be no expensive burials for people like them, no marble markers to remember their names, no wreaths of myrtle and rose.”
My sister and I actually wanted to get matching tattoos of “No Mourners, No Funerals.” because we used to part of the phone with these words. This series is so dear to my heart and I can’t wait to finally see everything come together
What did you think of the trailer?? Are you as excited as I am?? Let me know in the comments!
I have so many series I need to finish especially since I have the luxury of not waiting for them to be published! So I’m hoping to finish Allemagne of these books as soon as I can! There is also something about bingereading a series and the satisfaction that ensues…It also allows me to remember characters and previous events rather than confusingly staring at the page and wondering “wait, who is this?.
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
The first book was so different from what I expected but I liked how it took its time to introduce the characters and the whole plot. This makes me excited to see how the whole group dynamic will evolve.
Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas
I am so hopeful I will finish this by the end of the year but I still have Tower of Dawn and Kingdom of Ash and these books are beasts.
Caraval series by Stephanie Garber
Currently reading Finale via audiobook so I might finish this in 2020! Fingers crossed!!
The Poppy War trilogy by R.F Kuang
I’m hoping to start the first book this month and hopefully bingeread the series as quickly as I can; who knows?
King of Scars duology by Leigh Bardugo
I read the whole Shadow and Bone trilogy just for Nikolai haha so I can’t wait to read this series especially since the last book comes out next year.
The Illuminae files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
I have read Illuminae at least three years ago and loved it but I was extremely disappointed by Gemina so I don’t know if I should reread the first two books or just read Obsidio and get it over with. Dilemma, dilemma.
What series are you hoping to finish soon? Let me know in the comments!
There are so many wonderful books out there and some of them just speak to me. I think the following books are going to be 5 stars reads either because of the plot, the characters or based on reviewers I trust.
These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong
I am Shakespeare trash. I read his work for fun and learn lines to impress my friends. So when I heard that there was going to be a Romeo and Juliet retelling with Asian rep??? I just knew that I would love this. It has also been very popular in the book community and that doesn’t always mean that it’s good but I trust the communtiy for this one.
House of Fire and Blood (Crescent city #1) by Sarah J, Maas
I love every word this woman writes; I would gladly read her groceries’ list at this point. I don’t really know what the plot for Crescent city is to be honest but I read so many raving reviews and seen so much fan art that I know it’s going to be fantastic.
The Poppy War by R.F Kuang
I got a book twitter in the summer and this series has been everywhere – I really mean everywhere. I don’t now why but I just have this feeling that this book is going to destroy me…and I can’t wait.
Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
A trans person on twitter I’m following (can’t remember their name sorry!) actually said that one of their family members was misgendering them and after reading the book that same member started using their pronouns. Imagine the power this book hasi
Legendbornby Tracy Deonn
RAVING reviews, beautiful cover, POC rep and a retelling?? What more could I need?
Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi
This is my sister’s favourite series and apparently there’s going to be the famous “lift your hips for me love” which I’ve also seen everywhere so there’s that.
Ties that tether by Jane Ighara
First of all I am here for the representation. As a Black woman living in a predominantly white are , I can relate to the challenge between marrying a Black partner and “preserving my culture” or marrying someone from a different skin colour and how it can be perceived. The plot just hits close to home. I’m curious to see how the author handles the subject and I bet it’s going to be amazing.