February is my birthday month and Black History Month so I feel very happy, content and excited right now! I hope February treats you kindly and that you manage to reach your goals, whatever they may be!
This is the customary “how is it December 31st already??” but…I still can’t believe how quickly time flies. This year was very weird, special, exciting and overwhelming but the best part is that I connected with so many people within the book community and I will always be grateful for that. So to anyone who has ever liked, commented or visited my little corner of the internet, thank you so much! I really appreciate you ❤️.
I’m finally uploading my September Wrap-up! Yes, you all know what I’m going to say: “how is it October already??” but I can’t help it. September went by quickly and the days almost blurred together. I have never been as busy as I was in September and I discovered I have poor management skills which led me to take an unplanned hiatus from my social medial because I couldn’t keep up. Here’s hoping that October is kinder to me.
It’s here! My favorite tag of the year is finally here! 🥳 I love watching videos, posts, pictures, etc. of the Mid-year Book Freak Out tag and I finally sat down and wrote mine!
Here are a few stats:
I have read 53 books out of my goal of 70, which means that I am 15 days ahead of schedule.
Last year I managed to read 57 books in the year. I am such a slow reader and these 53 books are really a huge achievement for me! 🥳
In 2020, I didn't really have all-time favourite books or books I was obsessed with, whereas in 2021, I have discovered so many new authors and so many amazing books which pleasantly surprised me (but let's not get ahead of ourselves).
The 53 books make a total of 18 432 pages, which is mind-blowing if you think about it 🤯.
So, without further ado, let's dive into my 2021 mid-year book freak out tag! 🥰
Can you believe that in six months we’re in 2022? Not to alarm you but time is moving FAST!! Can you feel me panicking? I’m so thankful for books providing me the much-needed escapism from the passage of time. (Yes I’m losing it).
June has been my best reading month so far because I read so many books I gave 5 stars to and I discovered a few favourites!
ATouch of Darkness by Scarlett St. Clair. If you've followed me for a while, you know that I have a rating system inspired by Greek mythology. The highest rating ever is a "Persephone" which is 5 stars. A Touch of Darkness is the Hades and Persephone retelling of my dreams. Steam, angst, drama, love; yes please!
The Duchess Dealby Tessa Dare. One word: yes. The marriage of convenience trope was done beautifully and I couldn't get the story out of my head. This book was simply perfection. Also it's a Beauty and the Beast retelling?? Even more perfect
The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta. I read this beautiful and poetic book in one sitting and it moved me to tears. It's such an important story about finding yourself and trying to belong when you're different.
Xeni by Rebekah Weatherspoon. This is a contestant for one of my favourite books of the year. This was amazing. Once again, the was the marriage of convenience trope, with amazing bi rep (both the hero and heroine) with great steam and a convincing plot. What more does a girl need?
Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas. The most wholesome book ever. This had (as far as I know), great trans rep, an amazing insight into latinx culture, a great magic system and a cute romance. I cannot recommend this book enough!
Hani and Ishu's Guide to Fake Dating by Adiba Jaigirdar. Okay, the fake dating trope is one of my favourite tropes ever and in this book it was carried out perfectly. I loved it so much. The book also had muslim rep which I think was very accurate and touching, as well as two South Asian (from Bangladesh!!) main characters and great bi rep too. The book tackled so many subjects in a sensible and simple way and I enjoyed reading this tremendously.
Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler. This book was the perfect read for Pride month. It was a very quick read (especially on audiobook)!! The bi representation was PERFECT and I loved so many aspects of the story (my review will be up soon). It was heartwarming, fun and cute with a little bit of angst and drama; Just how I like 'em.
Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé. One of my favourite books ever. EVER. EVER. (My full review will be up soon!)
One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston. This book was everything I dreamed of and it did not disappoint one bit. I absolutely love McQuiston's writing style and the way they write their characters. I'm forever going to miss the characters from this book! (My review will also be up soon for this one too!)
4 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟
An Offer From A Gentleman by Julia Quinn. I am still obsessed with Bridgerton and I am determined to finish every single book in the series. This one was a little disappointing because it was a Cinderella retelling and I didn't expect that but Quinn's writing style was still as cute, funny and witty as ever and I still had a great time reading this one!
Lying with Lions by Annabel Fielding. This book was an ARC kindly provided by the author and it was a very nice surprise! This isn't the type of book I usually go for, but it was a pleasant read and I can only recommend it. Here's my full review.
I gave in to peer pressure (it works!) and finally read this very strange but entertaining book. I think I’m going to dedicate a post to this book because i have many *thoughts*.
Aside from my existential crisis in the introduction of this post, June has treated me amazingly! I have finished my first year of my master’s degree and even started working here and there so it was a nice change to sleep without that academic guilt.
I also felt like rebranding and commissioned a book blogger to make the design of my blog but unfortunately the artist had some personal problems and the project was cancelled. I completely understand, of course, but I am still sad the revamp didn’t happen. If any of you know an artist or a book blogger that designs blogs and whose commissions are open, please let me know!
I also want my various bookish platforms to grow (especially my Instagram account) so I decided I was going to start making reels and even joining Tiktok and creating bookish content. I am the most awkward person ever, and I can’t stand to hear my voice or see my face on camera so that should be a fun experience 😂. But I also want to challenge myself and recommend books; make funny videos and connect with more people. Since I have the time, I also want to put more time and effort into my blog, by posting more regularly and post content I’m proud of. let’s see where this new adventure takes me (and wish me luck please!).
How has June treated you? What are some of your goals for July?
This post was supposed to go up yesterday so here’s a joke for you:
"I was reading a great book about an immortal dog the other day.
It was impossible to put down."
Hope it made you smile. Welcome to my Wrap-Up! I had an okay-ish reading month and I blame my reading slump and my poor choice of books this month but I still enjoyed some of the books I picked up so here we go!
I only read six books this month and one was particularly awful but I did enjoy a few of them and even found new favourites!
You Should See Me In A Crown by Leah Johnson ★★★★★. This book is exactly the type of book 16-year old Karla would have LOVED. I loved how it dealt with all types of topics but the most beautiful part was seeing a Black girl getting her fairytale-like happily ever after. The author also wrote a lovely paragraph at the end of the acknowledgements about Black sisterhood and it made me cry. I will have a full review up soon!
Damaged Goods by Talia Hibbert ★★★★★. This book was so good that I got a book hangover after reading it. It was the softest, fluffiest, loveliest romance ever; It actually deals with domestic violence and the way a woman learns to love herself after this hardship. It was so so so beautiful.
The Shadows Between Usby Tricia Levenseller ★★★★. This is how you write a Fantasy standalone. This book was enjoyable, had a nice entertaining plot, cunning characters and a passionate romance. What more could I want? I loved the main character in this a lot because she’s ruthless and unapologetic about it and I love that.
A Touch of Death by Rebecca Crunden ★★★★. The author approached me to review this dystopian novel and I really enjoyed it! I have a fuller review and author interview for this book; so stay tuned!
I read two taboo books this month and I don’t know what to say. I don’t have a valid answer for why I read this. I don’t know what came over me. I did like reading Forbidden more than Genesis (which I do NOT recommend, even for a taboo novel). Both of these books have so many problematic aspects which I actually don’t condone but it is fiction and I’m slowly making my way into dark and taboo romances so it was an interesting place to start.
Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore. I have the audiobook but haven’t been able to listen to it so I’m starting a craft project and I can’t wait to listen to the story as I work on my project.
Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas. I picked up this book in November but never got around to continue this; I am going to hopefully change that it in April!!
A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I am buddy reading this with two friends and I AM LOVING IT SO SO SO MUCH.
Nothing can top my birthday month so I knew it was only downhill from there but March was rough. I had kind of an existential crisis because I just don’t know what I want to do with my life. I am presented with so many options (which I’m grateful for) but the fact that I have to make a choice is terrifying and I’m paralyzed. I also had a reading slump and since I read books for escapism I was a little…lost and sad. Also all the context with the rise of hate crimes against the Asian community was really triggering as it reminded me of what happened this summer and it was also very eye-opening. I feel like minorities are endlessly suffering and that we never win. I’m just tired. I’m kind of back on track but it was very challenging for my mental health. But you know what really helped me? Watching SCANDAL. Shoutout to Shonda Rhimes for writing and producing this show. I owe you one. I really hope April is better!
“Work on my WIP everyday. Now this is something I really struggled with this in February and I really hope I make a dent or even finish a first draft this month!” ✅ Result: I did work on it everyday!! I made it halway through my WIP so I’m happy;
“Not purchasing any book (except Act Your Age, Eve Brown)”❌. Result: I bought one book!! I failed!! But it was a second-hand book and it was only 1€ so did I really fail?
“Read at least 8 books this month” ❌. Result: I sadly only read 6 books in March but I’m hopeful for April!
“Finish Empire of Storms which I have been reading since December.” ❌ Result: I didn’t finish EoS but I am once again hopeful for April!
I am completely giving up setting goals for April. I will just try to do my best; day by day.
How was your March? I wish you all a great (reading) month and I hope you’re all well! 🥰
I hope that you’re all well. My sweet, dear February is behind us and it was the best month ever. I had a great quiet birthday and I read 8 books which I gave 4 or 5 stars to! So only amazing books! I also have three all-time favourites and read some of my most anticipated releases of the year so it was an overall success! I hope March continues to treat me well and I wish all of you a great (reading) month!
I have managed to read 8 books this month which is great for my reading goal; I’m now 14/70 with three books ahead of schedule. My favourite books were Legendborn, A Court of Silver Flames and Act Your Age, Eve Brown! All of these books made me ugly cry in a good an dbad way and I love them so much!
Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert ★★★★★. This book holds a dear place in my heart for everything it represents in terms of representation. I have never been more drawn to a romance couple; Eve and Jacob, were *clenches fist* SO CUTE. I cried when I received an ARC for this book. I’m so so so happy.
A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas ★★★★★. I had neevr read this before can you believe it? I didn’t have time to reread the whole ACOTAR series so this book was a nice transition into ACOSF and a great way of remembering the dynamic between the Inner Circle.
A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J Maas ★★★★★ This book. This book. This book. Character development? Perfect. Female empowerment? Sublime. Love interest? To die for. I loved this.
Legendbornby Tracy Deonn. ★★★★★ I have never enjoyed reading a book this much in my entire life. Never. This is what dreams are my of. I can die happily, my dreams have been answered.
The Princess Trap by Talia Hibbert. ★★★★ .WOW a fun, cute and sexy romance! Talia Hibbert knows the way to my heart.
The Traitor Queen by Danielle L. Jensen ★★★★. This was a satisfying and great conclusion to the story and i had a great time reading it!
Finding Yvonne by Brandy Colbert ★★★★★. How refreshing this story was! A coming of age with a Black main character? Yes, please!
Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas ★★★★★. I read a dark! Kylo Ren fanfic once and my life has never been the same. Douglas is known for writing dark romances and I wanted to see what the hype was about. Worth it!
So this is my birthday haul! I received many gift cards and of course I decided to spend that money in books! Since I’m going on a book buying ban, I’m hoping to read most of these in the following weeks!
Any book I should read first? Let me know!!
As I said, I had an amazing month! It wasn’t easy everyday and I started school again, but it was my birthday month and Black History month and Valentine’s Day (aka people celebrating romance novels) and I just felt so much love!! My (twin) sister and I both bought nice dresses to wear at home, we ate a delicious cake and we sang 22 by Taylor Swift the whole day! It was perfect. If you’re wondering what the white thing that’s under my dress, it’s a bad that is meant to cover my second degree burn! I tried curling my hair and this happened; I’m the clumsiest person ever. Bella Swan, who?
Work on my WIP everyday. Now this is something I really struggled with this in February and I really hope I make a dent or even finish a first draft this month!
Not purchasing any book (except Act Your Age, Eve Brown)
Read at least 8 books this month
Finish Empire of Storms which I have been reading since december.
What did you do last month? What did you enjoy reading? Let me know in the comments!
February is my favourite month of the year because it’s my birthday month (February 13th) and also because everyone tries to read more diverse books and it makes me really happy!
I had a good reading month in January even if I didn’t read as much as I had hoped; I feel in a little bit of a slump and I started watching a lot of TV instead of reading but by the end of the month I found my mojo again and I’m actually very excited for all of the books I plan on reading this month
Finale by Stephanie Garber ★★★★ I started the year by finishing Finale, the last book in the Caraval series. I think the series wrapped-up nicely and I really liked to see all of the character's arc coming to an end. I preferred the second book but still a nice ending to an enjoyable series! The author announced a few months ago that she would release a book on Jacks and i really loved it so I'm excited for that!
The Bridge Kingdom by Danielle L. Jensen ★★★★ I really enjoyed this book! It had been recommended to me on Instagram and it was so unique and captivating! You can see my full review here.
Fable by Adrienne Young ★★★★ I didn't like this book as much as I had hoped but it remained an enjoyable book nonetheless. I really like the ship's crew and their whole dynamic but I especially loved Fable who was an inspiring and resilient strong character. I can't wait to read the second book and see how it all ends.
The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn ★★★★★ My favourite book of the month! I wrote a full review where I gushed about this here. Basically this book contains a lot of my favourite trope and made me believe in love.
From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout ★★★★I buddy read this book with a friend and it was such a nice experience! It was fun, action-packed and full of feels and steamy moments! I'm going to upload my review soon!
Paper Princess by Erin Watt. No rating. Call this book the "reading slump slayer"; It is so problematic, unrealistic and trashy BUT it is so addicting and I couldn't put it down. I read this in a day. I didn't expect this to be a series and I might pick up the next book when I have my next reading slump.
This month’s “hopefuls”
I know that realistically I won’t read all of these but I’m going to try my best!
Do I really need to talk about this show?? I loved the diverse cast, all of the tropes and the quality of the cast and crew. I might upload a post dedicated to the series and what to read after binge-watching the TV show.
Nicola Coughlan is a real star and particularly stood out to me in Bridgerton and people recommended the Derry Girls and it was HILARIOUS. The episodes only watch 20 minutes and tell the story od girls from Londenderry in Ireland in the 90s and it was such a good time; can’t wait for season 3!
This is my sister’s favourite show, with reason and I’m into season 3 and it’s phenomenal. The whole series is magnificient.
Listen. I love love love these characters to death. I am waiting for my own personal Nick Miller. The last seasons were so wholesome and warmed my heart, I wish I could see the series again. And I almost cried with laughter too. Such a great show.
Books coming out this month I’m excited about
There are so many great releases this month! I also received an ARC in December for my Dearest Josephine by Caroline George and I highly recommend it to all of you! And of course A Court of Silver Flames! Any new SJM book is an event in and of itself! There are so many great diverse and books written by BIPOC coming out but these are the ones I’m the most interested about.
What have you been up to last month and what are your plans for this month?
I sincerely wish you all the best for 2021! I am so grateful that I got to connect with so many people here, over this platform, and Instagram and Twitter. You have all made my 2020 better!
Last year has been challenging in so many aspects globally and personally. I have to say that I was still blessed in 2020 and many amazing things happened to me! But I do remember the pain, loss and helplessness we felt at times and I’m happy these dark days are behind us. I always struggle at New Years Eve and my heart is always heavy so I decided to challenge myself and I wanted to see if I could read Crescent City under three to two days to take my mind off things and I did! It was such a wonderful experience and reading throughout the day made it easier for me. I kind of missed out on all the “lasts” but I’m happy to focus on all the “firsts” 2021 has to bring!
December reading Wrap-Up!
So this month I read 8 books for a total of 2926 pages!
(ARC) Afterlove by Tanya Byrne: ★★★. See my review here.
(ARC) Dearest Josephine by Caroline George ★★★ See my review here.
How the King of Elfhame learned to Hate Stories ★★★★
Faking Under the Mistletoe ★★★★★ See my review here.
(ARC) The Pilots (no rating and upcoming review).
House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1) ★★★★★
I discovered new all-time favourite books in December: Faking Under the mistletoe and Crescent City and I highly recommend both of them! The first is a feel-good book perfect for this holiday season and the second is the best book ever written. It’s as simple as that.
I also took part in blogmas and I actually liked taking the time to sit down and write my posts; it reminded me of why I liked blogging so much and I hope I will be more consistent this year.
I had a great reading year! I read more books than I’ve ever read with a total of 58 books which is a little more than one book a week! I’m so proud of myself for achieving that. I finished the year with a bang when I finished reading Crescent City yesterday! Let me tell you it is my favourite Sarah J. Maas Book ever!
I stepped out of my comfort zone and read some non-fiction books and a few classics that I actually enjoyed; I finished series that I had started years ago (The Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout as well as the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer) and began some others which I was always curious of (The Raven Boys series and the Shatter Me series). I really can’t wait to see what 2021 has in store for me in terms of books and as well as my personal growth.
Pictured below are my favourite books of 2020! I love these books so much and highly recommend them! I would like to add Born A Crime by Trevor Noah which I don’t own a physical copy of.
My average rating is very high because I haven’t read any terrible book this year and I did a lot of research of what I wanted to read and discovered that I have a genre (Romance Fantasy) and tropes (Enemies to lovers, fake dating) that I really liked and stuck to that. There have been a few books that stood out (Anything by Sarah J, Maas) but a lot of the books I read were very enjoyable but I didn’t fall in love with them as I did previous years (the Folk of the Air series, A Court of Thorns and Roses, Gayle Forman books…). Really hoping to fall in love with many books this year!
Here are some of the goals I’m hoping to achieve in 2021:
Read 70 books.
Read more books by people of color.
Read more diverse books in general (disability rep).
Read more non-fiction books.
Participate in a few readathons and reading challenges.
Reread some books.
Be more active on my Bookstagram and my book blog.
That’s it lovelies! What are some of your favourite books for 2020 and what are your reading goals for 2021?
Today officially marks my first month in Paris and it wasn’t as glamourous as Emily in Paris, but it was still okay. I have been in my biggest reading slump of the year; first because school started and also due to the fact that I unexpectedly had to look for a new apartment. Everything was very stressful and I was constantly on the verge of crying. When not even books provided me comfort, I understood that I needed to take time off. So I did.
I owned the fact that I was in a reading slump and I took time to take care of myself.. Instead I just lied in bed and I watched Gilmore Girls. These girls were my temporary lifeline, until I found my way back to books. When I started feeling better, I picked up Vampire Academy which I had meant to read for a while and I was pleasantly surprised. I’m definitely picking up the next books in the series. I sincerely hope I will manage to read more books this month and pick up the various hobbies I abandoned.
There was also the stress of meeting new people, getting along with said people, navigating living in a new city (Paris at that) and… a circulating ruthless pandemic. I have never wished for escapism more in my life. I am happy to say that I have been sightseeing as safely and has often as I can, and that I am planning a bookstore/ library tour because Paris has so many to offer. At first I kept taking pictures of everything I saw and then I calmed down and reminded myself that I live here now; which is still surreal to me. I also got close with two incredible girls in my class and I’m so grateful I met them. I also had an apartment breakthrough which has allowed me to breathe for the first time in weeks and I have to say that I’m loving my new classes and my teachers. Things are looking up! So there are not a lot of bookish stats for September so I’m turning this into a Paris diary for you.
This is one of the universities I get to go to (This is the University of Paris 2 Panthéon-Assas ) and it is breathtaking; I’m still in awe whenever I go there. The other is la Sorbonne.
Then this is me sightseeing; I live a few minutes away from the Louvre, and due to the coronavirus and the lack of tourists and it feels as though the place is privatized just for me.
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
This is exactly the type of books about vampire that I love to read about! It was so fun to dive into this new world and its own dynamics. I have heard that the the series only gets better! I love Rose; she’s unapologetic and caring and it was so refreshing to read about a confident sixteen-year-old in YA. Stay tuned for a review.
My TBR for October
Most anticipated release of October:
The Invisible Life Of Addie Larue – V.E Schwab
Synopsis:A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.
France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.
Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.
But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.
Did I only watch this movie for Henry Cavill as Sherlock? Yes, yes I did.
HOWEVER I have to say that the whole cast and production were amazing. I had a really good time watching the movie and it was nice to have a young female protagonist for once. Millie Bobby Brown is phenomenal and she has a big acting career ahead of her. I also liked the diversity and the talk about intersectional feminism. Kudos Netflix!
That’s it! I hope you all had a wonderful September and I wish you all a happy October! Happy reading 🥰