Sunday, 21 October 2018

My favourite characters in Victorian literature | A Victober series


Hello, beautiful people!

Today, I'm here for my third post in my Victober series, which is a weekly feature during the month of October that's all about sharing my love for Victorian literature.  I wasn't quite sure about what I wanted to write about this week, until last night, when I finished my third read for Victober. I realized how often we discuss our favourite books, but discussing our favourite characters is equally as important and I really wanted to do so, especially to introduce you Victorian heroines that made a lasting impression on me, because they were so ahead of their times. There is only one male character that makes the list, actually, because most Victorian male characters are dreadful, but anyway. Without further ado, let's discuss my favourite Victorian characters, and I hope that sharing my love for them will make you want to read the novels they're in!


♡ Bathsheba Everdene, from Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

Far from the Madding Crowd is one of my top 3 favourite novels ever, so of course I have to talk about it! Its main character, Bathsheba Everdene, is at the head of a farm, defying expectations from Victorian society, because she is a woman. I admire her, because she's ambitious, independent, headstrong, determined, and free-spirited. She makes it clear, time and time again, that she doesn't want to become a man's property and that she will manage her farm by herself. How can you not love her, when it's 1874 and Thomas Hardy makes her say things such as:
“Well what I mean is that I shouldn’t mind being a bride at a wedding, if I could be one without having a husband. But since a woman can’t show off in that way by herself, I shan’t marry-at least yet.”

It's true that she makes mistakes, and sometimes acts in a very stupid way. But she is a feminist heroine, even though she's often forgotten. She knows she will have to work twice as hard as any man, to earn respect from her employees, and she does it. She is ahead of her time and isn't scared to defy expectations, which she does amazingly. Many people are mad at her for some of her romantic entanglements, but she does her best in a society dominated by men and she stays true to herself. I adore her so much.



♡ Helen Graham, from The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë

Anne Brontë is my favourite Brontë sister because of this novel and because of Helen, who is such a strong heroine. She is a fierce, loyal, caring and brave character, who puts her safety and her son's first, even if it means being criticized by all. She aims to be financially independent and not to depend on men (in any case, she'll fight it as hard as she can). Most of all and that's a very famous scene in the book... she slams the door on her husband's face, protecting herself and not giving in to his abusive behaviour. She argues with him, she resists him, even though this wasn't discussed as a possibility at the time. I didn't know what to expect when I read The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, so reading about Helen couldn't help but amaze me, for she's one of the strongest 19th century heroines I've ever read about.

♡ Gabriel Oak, from Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

Yes, I know, another character from Far from the Madding Crowd, but it shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. Gabriel Oak is the only male character in Victorian literature that ever makes it to my favourite characters post, because he's such a kind, caring and selfless man and unlike every single Victorian male character, I don't have anything to be mad at him about. I love Gabriel Oak, because he can take no for an answer, he isn't frustrated that a woman is above him in a hierarchy, he will always try to help people, even if it hurts his feelings and he is nothing, but kindness. 

♡ Lady Audley, from Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon

I read Lady Audley's Secret during Victober last year and adored it, especially Lady Audley herself, who was one of the most interesting characters I've ever come across in literature. She is a brilliant and ambitious woman, who defied all social conventions, had questionable morals and the reader has doubts about her for the whole novel. I am completely in awe of her character, because while she doesn't always make the right choices, she did everything to get what she wanted in life and I can't entirely blame her for that. Besides, I love morally ambiguous characters and she's a perfect anti-heroine!



♡ Maggie Tulliver, from The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot

Last but not least, Maggie Tulliver actually gave me the idea for today's post and it's also all thanks to this amazing article on Literary Hub, defending Maggie, as she's often considered to be George Eliot's most underrated heroine. Maggie makes so many mistakes in her life, that's true, but many of them are due to the men around her, as well as society in general. She is the type of heroine who is too much for her time, she is considered too clever, too passionate, too impetuous and commits a grave crime in Victorian society : she occupies space that has been denied to her. I knew I'd get along splendidly with her from the moment she was reading books people would advise her not to read! I have issues with The Mill on the Floss, that's true, but Maggie was such a great character.

That's it for me today! I hope that you had a wonderful week and that everyone participating in Victober is having a great time. 

Thanks for reading,
Lots of love,
Lucie

Sunday, 14 October 2018

My journey with Victorian literature | A Victober series



Hello beautiful people!


Today, I'm here for my second post of my Victober series, which is a weekly feature during the month of October that's about sharing my love for Victorian literature. This week, I wanted to talk about my journey with Victorian literature, which is linked to my journey with classics in general. If you don't know about Victober, it's a month-long readathon I'm participating in and I talked about it more here.



Getting introduced to Victorian literature...


When I was younger, I used to devour classics, I always became curious when literature professors talked about them with us in class, which led me to discover so many books I wanted to read. I was discussing this my mom just this week: I had always been so excited to learn how to read, then to read all the books people older than me talked about. As I am French, I started my journey with classics with French literature, especially falling for 19th century literature... As I told you last year, my obsession with Les Misérables started at a young age, and then there was Emile Zola, whose works I adore so. As I loved 19th century French literature so much, reading Victorian literature was a logical path, in a way.

I only heard about English literature years after, and when I was a teenager (I was about fourteen or fifteen), there was a summer where I decided to read some of the Brontë sisters' works, which were my first introduction to Victorian literature. I remember having a whole schedule to make sure I read a certain amount of pages each day, but I just ended up devouring Wuthering Heights very quickly, because I couldn't get enough out of it. Right after that, I jumped right into Jane Eyre, which I also loved, even though not quite as much as Wuthering Heights. I was so obsessed and even got a box set with an adaptation of some British classics that Christmas, eagerly watching the 2009 ITV adaptation of Wuthering Heights. I didn't read many Victorian novels in the following years, even though The Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare made me want to read a lot of Victorian literature and I got introduced to Charles Dickens through Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities, which are my favourite novels by him so far.



Falling in love with Victorian literature...

I've talked about it a lot since last year, but I've been trying to figure out what my reading tastes truly are for the past two years and trying to understand that... Led me to fall in love with Victorian literature. In September 2016, I was participating in an online book club and the theme of the month was "Victorian literature"; we had to vote for which novel we wanted to read, and... 

Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy won. 

It wasn't even my first pick*, but I read it out of curiosity. Needless to say, as it's now one of my top 3 favourite books of all time, this book changed my life, I deeply fell in love with it (and Gabriel Oak), watched the movie adaptation right after and it was all I could talk about for months. I was listening to the soundtrack of the movie and was singing along Let No Man Steal Your Thyme all the time, I couldn't stop thinking about it. Finally, at long last, this book made me want to explore Victorian literature, because I didn't know that many Victorian authors. At that time, I was also introduced to the Penguin English Library editions and that was the beginning of another obsession, as many Victorian novels are edited in those (two birds, one stone).

*North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell was, I read it two months after and adore it so much.

While Far from the Madding Crowd reignited the love I had started to feel for Victorian literature through the Brontës, falling in love with Victorian literature wasn't quite over, I was still a baby in that matter. Many things changed in my life in 2017, one of those being that I started buddy-reading way more. My friend Clara and I started buddy reading Thomas Hardy's and Charles Dickens' works together, which was so motivating, and the more time passed, the more I was reading Victorian literature on my own. I focused so much on Victorian literature last year and the 2017 edition of Victober really helped me as well. I kept discovering authors whose writing style I adored, which led me to read and want to read more and more books. All bookworms know that it's quite an endless circle, which is quite exciting!  

And now what?

That's pretty much the story of how I came to read as much Victorian literature as I do today, it really changed my life. Discovering that part of literature also introduced me to a part of the bookish community I didn't know too well and I adore talking with people who love classics in general as much as I do. Reading Victorian literature makes me really happy, I'm quite proud of my journey and on my little scale, I get  asked for recommendations often, and I've been called the PEL Queen as a joke (I totally claim that title, though). 

I still consider that I've barely scratched the surface, because while I know most of the famous authors for sure, there are still so many I want/have to discover and I know so little... But I do try to document myself as much as possible on topics that interest me (that's the Ravenclaw in me)! So far, I've mainly read Victorian novels and some short stories, but thanks to this edition of Victober, I have finally dived into plays and I'm hoping to read poetry in the future as well, I'm probably missing out a lot on that topic! 

In any case, I'm really just getting started and I'm glad I have time to explore that part of literature.


Thanks for reading,
Lots of love,
Lucie

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Recommending my favourite Victorian novels | A Victober Series


Hello beautiful people!

As you might have seen in some of my previous posts, I am once again participating in Victober this month and I couldn't be more excited to dedicate a lot of my time to Victorian literature again. I also wanted to focus a bit more on Victorian literature on the blog as well, so I thought I would try* to post once a week about it in October... So it's the beginning of a month-long Victober series! For this first week, I wanted to talk about my favourite Victorian novels, so without further ado, let's do this!

*we'll see how this goes, as I'm quite busy with uni, reading and everything else, haha.


Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy (1874)


Far from the Madding Crowd is the novel that started it all, reignited my love for classics and made me fall in love with Hardy's writing, it also is one of my top 3 favourite novels. It follows Bathsheba Everdene, an independent and proud working woman whose life is complicated by three different men, making her the object of scandal and betrayal. I adore how it discusses the place of women in a world dominated by men and how strong Bathsheba is (even though she can be quite annoying at times), the way Hardy describes rural communities and most of all, I adore Gabriel Oak so much. I'd also totally recommend the 2015 movie adaptation with Carey Mulligan and Matthias Schoenaerts, it's one of my favourite movies and I listen to the soundtrack all the time.


The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë (1848)


If you don't know Anne Brontë is my favourite Brontë sister, even though I love them all. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall impressed me so much, it was so ahead of its time and Victorian society wasn't really ready for it, which only makes me love it more. This novel is about a mysterious woman who lives at Wildfell Hall, running away from her past (I don't want to say too much, so I shall stay quite mysterious in my summary)... It deals with so many important themes, such as gender roles, abuse and alcoholism, and is considered a feminist novel. Helen is one of the strongest female heroines I have come across in the 19th century and I can't help but to adore her. If you still haven't read Anne's works, please give her a chance, she deserves it so much.


Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (1847)


Wuthering Heights is the first Victorian novel I read as a teenager, because I was curious about English literature and it sure didn't disappoint. This novel starts when Lockwood has to seek shelter at Wuthering Heights, the home of his landlord. There he discovers the tempestuous story of Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw, and how it influenced the lives of their descendants. I adored Emily's dark and twisted characters, the story and her writing style as well as the chilling atmosphere on the moors. It's been so long since I first read this one, so I'm hoping to reread it before the end of the year or at the beginning of the next one, we'll see.


Tess of the d'Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy (1891)


I know it's not very original to mention one of Hardy's novels for the second time in this post, but he's one of my favourite writers and I rated so many of his novels 5/5 stars. This one is about Tess Durbeyfield who has to claim kinship with the wealthy d'Ubervilles family, but meeting her 'cousin' Alec proves to be her downfall. Later on, Tess meets Angel Clare, who seems to offer her love and salvation, but she has to decide whether to reveal her past or remain silent in the hope of a peaceful future. Once again, I adored the themes Hardy addressed in this one, with the theme of the 'fallen woman' in a very patriarchal society, as well as the criticism of social conventions and the thin line that exist between what society considers right or wrong. It's a very heartbreaking read, but a stellar novel. I also adored the 2007 BBC adaptation, which starred Gemma Arterton as Tess and Eddie Redmayne as Angel (okay, I first wanted to read this novel because of Eddie, I'll confess it).


Ruth by Elizabeth Gaskell (1853)


Another Victorian author I adore is Elizabeth Gaskell and my favourite of her works is Ruth, which isn't very well-known. This novel is about Ruth, who works in a sweatshop and is selected to attend a ball to repair torn dresses, which leads her to meet aristocrat Henry Bellingham. They form a secret friendship which goes horribly wrong for Ruth when she discovers she is pregnant. It centers around the 'fallen woman' theme again, which might seem a bit weird, but a lot of my favourite classic novels deals with that topic. I find it really interesting when authors take a stand and criticize how women who had children out of wedlock were judged and treated by society, even though it's quite revolting and heartbreaking. I love how compassionate Gaskell's take was, especially considering it was the first half of the 19th century. I also adore North and South, her most famous novel, but this one definitely took me by surprise!


So there you have it, here are my favourite Victorian novels! You can quite tell who my favourite Victorian authors are thanks to this post for sure. I have so many Victorian novels I am eager to read, though, so I hope this list will grow bigger and bigger as time goes on.


Lots of love,
Lucie

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Reading wrap-up + Favourites | September 2018


Hello, beautiful people! 

September was such a long and busy month. I moved back to Paris, started my new master's degree and have been loving my classes, started talking to new people, fangirled too much, watched Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone on the big screen for the first time in my life (!!), visited museums, enjoyed the beginning of Fall and saw my friends again. Of course it was exhausting at times and I need to remember to keep time for myself, but it was so worth it, I feel like my life is going in the right direction and it couldn't make me happier.


W H A T   I  R E A D

September has been a great reading month, I overall enjoyed every single book I read and also developed a thing for Greek mythology retellings: I so need them all! Well, I've been reading less and less because of uni (I read a book per week these days), but I don't really mind, it makes me happier when I finally have time to read! 

Here are the books that I read:
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke, 4.5/5 stars
  • Hans Andersen's Fairy Tales: a Selection, 3/5 stars
  • The Silence of the Girls, by Pat Barker, 4/5 stars
  • The Children of Jocasta, by Natalie Haynes, 3.5/5 stars
  • Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray, 4/5 stars (reread)
  • If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio, 4/5 stars 
  • The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie, 3.5/5 stars
  • Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor, 5/5 stars (reread)

If we don't count rereads, my favourite book of the month was Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. I had been looking forward to reading it for so long and it didn't let me down, it was such a complex novel, with amazing historical details and fleshed-out characters. I cannot wait to watch the adaptation at some point! I was also full in my autumnal reading in September, it was perfect!

F A V O U R I T E S



DRINK // Pumpkin Spice Latte

I'm not a very original person on that one, for everyone raves about Pumpkin Spice Lattes every year, but I adore it so much and it's the perfect Fall drink. Unfortunately, I couldn't drink too much of it because the weather was very warm for most of September, but now that it's colder, that's the only Starbucks drink I'll get until they stop making it. I still need to try to make my own, that shall be the plan for October.

MOVIE // Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Until this month, there was this one thing that had bothered me for almost my entire life: I had never watched Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in theaters. I was five when it came out and while I did read the book, my parents didn't want me to see the movie on the big screen, because I would have been too scared (now that I think about it, most Disney movies scared me BUT ANYWAY). However, I did watch the rest of them in theaters and it always made me so sad to have missed out on the first one. Then, this month, they aired the movies on the big screen again (thank you, France) and I was able to finally, after seventeen years, watch it there. I cried most of the time, because I was so overwhelmed and the wheel had finally come full circle. Like so many people, Harry Potter is what I grew up with and it means the world to me, so that was the best feeling in the world.


MISC. // French press coffee maker

For some time now, I really wanted to get a French press, not only for the aesthetic (#shallow), but because I really needed a coffee maker of some sort for when I moved back to Paris. My mom first got me a big one so we could use it at home and I adore the whole process and the taste, it's my favourite thing for sure. She then got me a smaller one (for one person) and I've been using it everyday, now that I've moved back to Paris. I obviously named the big one Lorelai Gilmore and the small one Rory Gilmore, I HAD TO.

TV SHOW // Gilmore Girls

Speaking of which, my best friend and I started our Gilmore Girls rewatch at the end of August and have continued in earnest throughout September. We even watch it at distance now, as we're living in different cities. Gilmore Girls truly is one of my favourite TV shows, it makes me feel good, motivates me to study as hard as I can and makes me want to drink coffee all the time. I had so missed my favourite character, Paris Geller. I also have a Gilmore Girls moodboard on my desk and that's the perfect study motivation.


(I love her so much and now 
I'm reaaaaally emotional)

FASHION // Scratch sneakers

I had to throw away my good old sneakers in August and it made me so sad, I had them for more than a year and a half and they were so comfortable, I travelled everywhere with them! With that came the need to get new sneakers and... I gave in to a cheaper brand that made cute scratch sneakers. I even put a golden star on one of my shoes and it made me love them even more, they're all the more unique. I used to not like scratch sneakers very much, but they're so handy, comfortable and I like the concept of them! It seems like they're trendy again because I keep seeing people wearing them and I so approve.

FASHION // Grey plaid dress

As I'm typing these lines, I'm actually wearing said dress. If I could wear it everyday, I would? Grey is one of my favourite colors (with purple and yellow), I adore dressing in it so much. While I was looking at clothes online and in stores, I saw that there were lots of grey plaid dresses in the autumnal collections, so I gave it and got myself one. Mine is super comfortable and has both blue and green lines as details on the sleeves, which is perfect for the Slytherclaw that I am! It also looks very cute with the scratch sneakers, so it helps its case!

L O O K I N G  A H E A D


October seems to be shaping itself like quite a challenging month, but I'm ready for it. Now that uni truly has started, I have lots of projects due, which is stressful, but also exciting, I am eager to study, study and study again. When it comes to reading, October means Victober and I am beyond happy to get back to Victorian literature as much as possible! I also have so many movies I want to see on the big screen (... five?!) and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society will get released as a DVD in France! I cannot wait to get my hands on it and to rewatch it over and over again. Oh and of course, October is the best Fall month, it's time to do everything on my Fall bucket list now, right?


How was September? What did you read? Any new favourite things?

Lots of love,
Lucie

Friday, 28 September 2018

#Victober 2018 TBR


Hello, beautiful people!


October is almost there, and with that, Victober is well on its way. I first participated in this amazing event last year and I was so excited for it, I've been making lists of books I really wanted to get to for months. If you don't know what Victober is, it's a month-long readathon hosted by Katie (Books and Things), Ange (Beyond the Pages), Kate (Kate Howe) and Lucy (Lucythereader), where the goal is to read Victorian literature. While you don't have to read a certain number of books for this readathon (read one book? You did it!), there are challenges for those interested and that's what I based my TBR off. Still, the whole point is to have fun and to share our love for literature of the period. 

Here are the challenges for this year:

  • Read a book by one of the hosts' favourite Victorian authors (Charlotte Brontë, Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell or Thomas Hardy).
  • Read a Victorian book with a proper noun (i.e. a place name or person's name) in the title.
  • Read a book from the first ten years of the Victorian period and/or a book from the last ten years of the Victorian period 'i.e. 19837-1847 or 1891-1901).
  • Read a Victorian book written by a woman anonymously or under a pseudonym.
  • Read a Victorian book and watch a screen adaptation of it.



1. The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy (1887) 

It won't come as a surprise to you that Thomas Hardy is my favourite Victorian author, I've said it enough, so I'm beyond happy I had an excuse to pick up some more of his works. This time, I really wanted to read The Woodlanders and will do so with my friend Clara @ The Bookworm of Notre-Dame. This novel narrates the rivalry for the hand of Grace Melbury between a loyal woodlander and a sophisticated outsider. According to the Penguin Classics edition, The Woodlanders, with its thematic portrayal of the role of social class, gender, and evolutionary survival, as well as its insights into the capacities and limitations of language, exhibits Hardy's acute awareness of his era's most troubling dilemmas. It sounds amazing, as all of the works of Thomas Hardy that I've read so far, I cannot wait to read it.



2. Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell (1853) 

I am so happy I still have some of Gaskell's works to read, because the last two novels I have left both have a proper noun in the title; I picked up Cranford, which title's comes from the name of the town the story is set in. It was first published in several instalments in the Household Words magazine (edited by Charles Dickens!), before being published in book form two years later. Cranford is considered to be an affectionate and moving portrait of genteel poverty, as well intertwined lives in a nineteenth-century village. It also is a very short book, so I'll be able to read it very quickly and I'm so curious as it's one of Gaskell's best-known works.


3. The Importance of Being Earnest and Other Plays by Oscar Wilde (1891-1895) 

I am beyond excited to finally get to Oscar Wilde's plays, this edition featuring The Importance of Being Earnest, Lady Windermere's Fan, A Woman of No Importance, Salome, An Ideal Husband, which have all been published between 1891 and 1895 (during the end of the Victorian period!). I've been meaning to read more plays for a while and as I adore Oscar Wilde (I still haven't recovered from the exhibition about him in Paris two years ago), I thought it would be a great place to continue with his works. I'm particularly excited about The Importance of Being Earnest, as it's so famous, but also about Salomé, as it was written in French (and I'll read it in my language, of course <3). I'm really curious about other readers' picks for this challenge, and if I still have enough time to read more books, I'll try to pick up a book from the early Victorian period!



4. The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot (1860) 

I've been meaning to try to read George Eliot's works for ages and this year... I finally read Middlemarch and adored it! George Eliot was the pen name of Mary Ann Evans, so the fourth challenge is giving me an excuse to continue reading more of Eliot's works, starting with The Mill on the FlossI have heard from several readers that The Mill on the Floss was more approachable than Middlemarch, but I got through that one, so I'm confident I'll enjoy it as well. This one follows Maggie Tulliver, who is always trying to win the approval of her parents, but her personality often brings her into conflict with her family. It is said to have an interesting portrayal of sibling relationships, which is something I adore in literature and that it's considered George Eliot's most autobiographical novel. Moreover, I've heard such amazing things about the heroine of this novel and I cannot wait to meet her. 


5. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray (1848)

Vanity Fair is quite an intimidating novel because of its length and how famous it is, but I've been meaning to get to it for so long. There is an adaptation of it currently airing in the UK, and as the last challenge is to read a Victorian novel and watch its adaptation, I thought it would be the perfect time to motivate myself to read it. I'll be buddy reading this one with my friend Anna, I'm sure we can do this! Vanity Fair follows the lives of two women: Becky Sharp, an alluring and ruthless woman from an impoverished background, who wants to clamber up the class ladder, and Amelia Sedley, who comes from a wealthy family and longs for a soldier. We'll see how it goes!



Are you participating in Victober?



Lots of love,
Lucie

Friday, 21 September 2018

My most anticipated releases of the year (part 4) | Grabby Hands


Hello, beautiful people!

Today, I'm back with another of my Grabby Hands posts, where I talk about all of my most anticipated book releases. I am doing those every three months, so today I'm here to present to you my Fall 2018 edition, aka October to December* releases. Of course, it doesn't include every single new release for those months or anything, those are, of course, the books I need to get my hands on like... RIGHT NOW.

(This list is really interesting, because it's full of YA novels... And I haven't read many of those in a while, but they're all from authors I adore, it will be fine. I'm also finally more aware of adult fiction releases, so I'll include more and more as time passes.)

*it feels weird to write that, but as winter only starts on December 21st in the Northern hemisphere and not at the beginning of the month like my brain might think... it's how it's supposed to be.


Muse of Nightmares (Strange the Dreamer #2) by Laini Taylor
Published: October 2nd 2018 by Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Genres: young adult, fantasy

A few years ago, I fell in love with Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, with her astonishing worlds and her beautiful writing. So of course, when Strange the Dreamer came out last year, I devoured it and it became one of my favourite books of the year. This duology follows Lazlo Strange, a librarian who has been dreaming of the mysterious and mythical city of Weep for his entire life and gets a chance to join an expedition that could answer all of his questions. It is such an excellent high fantasy so much - and I've become quite picky with those -, I cannot wait to see what will be in store for these characters and how their story will wrap up.

The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy (Montague Silblings #2) by Mackenzi Lee

Published: October 2nd 2018 by Katherine Tegen Books
Genres: young adult, historical fiction

Mackenzi Lee is one of my favourite writers out there and I admire her so much, because I share her love for history and studied it as well, and she's one of my biggest writing inspirations. I really loved The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue (even though not as much as This Monstrous Thing that you should read if you still haven't!!) when I read it last year, especially Felicity, Monty's sister, because she was so much fun. This historical novel, which is set in the first half of the 18th century, will follow Felicity, who wants to avoid a marriage proposal and enroll in medical school, she seems to get an opportunity, but also takes part in a perilous journey. 

The Corset by Laura Purcell 
Published: October 4th 2018 by Raven Books
Genres: historical fiction, mystery

I recently read The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell and it left me craving for more of her words. The Corset, a Victorian thriller follows Dorothea, a young lady whose charity work leads to a prison, where she will have the chance to explore her fascination with phrenology and test her hypothesis that the shape of a person's skull can cast a light on their darkest crimes. But when she meets teenage seamstress Ruth, she is faced with another theory: that it is possible to kill with a needle and thread. For Ruth attributes her crimes to a supernatural power inherent in her stitches. Dorothea's belief in rationality and the power of redemption, as she wonders whether Ruth is mad or a murderer, a victim or a villain.


What If It's Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera
Published: October 9th 2018 by HarperTeen
Genres: young adult, contemporary, romance

I am beyond excited about this one, because two amazing YA contemporary authors, namely Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera, are teaming up! I've loved every single one of Becky's novels in the past and I really want to read Adam's (I read More Happy Than Not, but didn't like it, I hope this one will encourage me to try again  don't be mad at me for this). It follows Arthur, a Broadway fan who is only in New York for the summer, and Ben, who recently broke up with his boyfriend. The two of them meet at the post office, then get reunited... But what if they can't nail the first date? Or second? Or third? But what if it works out between them? I am beyond excited about this one! ALSO. The title is reminiscent of a Dear Evan Hansen song, so how do I not read this, I'm asking you?

Published: October 9th 2018 by Poppy
Genres: young adult, contemporary

Speaking of Broadway fans... A novel inspired by the amazing musical Dear Evan Hansen is coming out! If you don't know this musical... Well first, please go listen to it, because what have you been doing all this time? Just kidding, but please listen to it. Then, second, it's about Evan Hansen, a high school senior who is drawn into a family's grief over the loss of their son and is believed to be his best friend, because of a letter that was never supposed to be seen. This is an amazing story about grief, mental health, authenticity and the struggle to belong anywhere. I have NO IDEA how it'll be like, but considering how much I adore this musical, I have high hopes!

Archenemies (Renegades #2) by Marissa Meyer
Published: November 6th 2018 by Feiwel & Friends
Genres: young adult, fantasy

I adored Renegades so much, so I'm definitely anticipating its sequel! This trilogy is set in a world where some people have extraordinary abilities, which led society to go astray. Out of the ruins of that society emerged the Renegades, a syndicate of prodigies which established peace and order... But the villains they overthrew are still underground. It follows Nova, who hates the Renegades and wants revenge. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice and in her. Renegades was the best YA book I had read in quite a while, so I'm definitely hoping the sequel will live up to it!


Pulp by Robin Talley
Published: November 13th 2018 by Harlequin Teen
Genres: young adult, historical fiction

After reading Lies We Tell Ourselves this summer, I needed more YA historical fiction with a f/f romance. I was beyond excited when I heard about Pulp, which is about Janet, who lives in 1955 Washington, D.C. and keeps the love she shares with her best friend a success. As she discovers novels telling the story of women falling in love with each other, she decides to write and publish her own story, even though she might risk her entire life. Sixty-two years later, Abby can't stop thinking about her senior subject, which is about classic 1950s lesbian pulp fiction. She feels especially connected to an author who write under a pseudonym and becomes determined to track her down and discover her true identity. I feel like this one might become a favourite and certainly hope so, I cannot wait for November!

The Dark Days Deceit (Lady Helen #3) by Alison Goodman
Published: November 20th 2018 by Viking Books for Young Readers
Genres: young adult, historical fiction, fantasy

The number of sequels I've included is astonishing, considering how few of them I have read this year, but maybe it might motivate me? I hope so. I cannot wait to get my hands on The Dark Days Deceit, which is the final book in the Lady Helen trilogy. This trilogy is about Lady Helen, who is swept away in demon-hunting adventures in the first book and it is set during the Regency era (!!). In a way, it reminds me a little of The Infernal Devices and I adore this type of stories (*cough* Something Strange and Deadly *cough*). I'm so curious to see how Helen's story will come to a close and it's such a perfect Fall read!

Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices #3) by Cassandra Clare
Published: December 4th 2018 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genres: young adult, fantasy

Last, but certainly not least... The last book in The Dark Artifices is finally coming. I don't really need to present this one to you now, don't I? I'm so happy it's the very last book I'm excited about this year, because it means so much more, in a way. I have missed these characters so much and considering how it ended and how Cassie left us waiting for that long? I NEED IT ON RELEASE DAY. I hope I'll be able to drop everything to just read it like for the previous two and if someone spoils me... Oh just don't even try. (Yeah, I haven't bothered with a summary, but you know... SHADOWHUNTERS).

What are your most anticipated releases from October to December? 
Are you excited for any of those?

Lots of love,
Lucie

Friday, 14 September 2018

Books I really want to get to this Fall | Top 5



Hello, beautiful people!


As you may know by now, Fall is my favourite season and there are so many books I always want to get to during that time of the year, that I add on Goodreads specifically for that purpose. It'd be great if I could read twenty books per month to get to them all, but well, that's not going to happen. Today, I wanted to share with you the top 5 books* I want to get to this Fall**.

*it started as a top 10, but as I don't know how much I'll be able to read in the next few months, I kept only half of that list, I don't want to be too ambitious and to limit myself to the books I picked. I also have a TBR coming up for Victober very soon, as well, so that also explains it.
**fun fact: I started writing this post in July, because I am that excited.


The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Last year, I discovered Shirley Jackson's writing with We Have Always Lived in the Castle and I adored it so much. Since then, I've been quite interested to read more of her works and thought they would be great for Fall, especially The Haunting of Hill House, which is a supernatural thriller. This novel, considered a modern classic, was published in 1959 and tells the story of four characters who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a "haunting", his assistant, a young woman well acquainted with poltergeists, as well as the future heir of Hill House. Their stay first seems to be a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena, but the house is simply gathering its powers... and soon it will choose one of them to make its own. This seems like such a Halloween read and as I haven't read a lot of American classic literature, it'll be good for my literary culture as well!


Before the Devil Breaks You (The Diviners #3) by Libba Bray

The Diviners series is absolutely perfect for Halloween as well, I actually recommended it around this time last year. The third book came out in 2017, but I have yet to read it, considering that I did reread The Diviners last year, but have oly started my reread of Lair of Dreams this week. Anyhow, this series is set in 1920s New York and follows several characters, most of them being Diviners, aka they have different types of powers. This time, the Diviners have to fight against ghosts, while cases of possession and murder are everywhere in New York City. This series is so much fun to read, because it's beautifully complex, has a chilling but glamorous atmosphere and the characters are so much fun. I cannot wait to finally know what happens next.


If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio

During the Fall, I also love to reach for mystery thriller novels and If We Were Villains fall in that category. It's about a man who spent ten years in jail and after all that time, he's finally ready to tell the truth about what happened ten years ago. At that time, Oliver was one of the seven young Shakespearean actors at Dellecher Classical Conservatory. On and off-stage, they played the same roles over and over, until the balance of power shifted in their fourth year and real violence happened on opening night. In the morning, the students have to convince the police, each other and themselves that they are innocent. Apparently, it's been compared to The Secret History by Donna Tartt (!!) and I really want to read more of Shakespeare, so maybe this one will motivate me in a way, we shall see.


The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman 

Fall also is the perfect season to read about witches, it's a known fact. I am particularly excited to get to The Rules of Magic, because I saw many people raving about it a few months ago on Instagram. For the Owen family, on which the book focuses, love is a curse that began in 1620, when an ancestor was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man. Centuries later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, Susanna Owens knows that her three children, Franny, Jet and Vincent, are dangerously unique, so she sets down rules for them: no walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse. Apparently, it's a prequel to Practical Magic - that I haven't read yet, but will give a try after it - and it sounds right up my alley!


The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

The Thirteenth Tale keeps intriguing me, it follows an enigmatic writer who spent decades creating outlandish life histories for herself, which brought her fame and fortune, but have kept her past a secret. As she gets older and is ailing, Vida Winter wants to at least tell the truth about her extraordinary life. She summons biographer Margaret Lea, a young woman struck by a curious parallel between Miss Winter's story and her own, and who takes the commission (okay, it has nothing to do with it, but THAT kind of reminds me of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, even though they sound like completely different books). It turns out that the story of Vida is a tale of gothic strangeness featuring the Angelfield family, including the beautiful and willful Isabelle, the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline, a ghost, a governess, a topiary garden and a devastating fire, but Margaret remains suspicious of the author's sincerity, which will lead to the real story. This novel is also said to be a love letter to reading, with amazing storytelling and as it has gothic elements, it sounds perfect for Fall (there is a trend in this TBR now, isn't it?).

Et voilà, those are the books I am the most excited to get to this Fall, but there are so many more I'd love to read: we shall see how it goes! I'm also planning on doing a Halloween 24h readathon at some point and to have a TBR focused on that, then of course there is Victober happening in October.


Have you read any of these books? 
Which books are you most excited to read this Fall?



Lots of love,
Lucie