Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Reading wrap-up + Favourites | July 2018


Hello, beautiful people!


I don't know about you, but July flew by for me. It was my month of holidays, as I was done with uni for the year and am only working in August. At the beginning of the month, I decided to challenge myself to read 31 books in 31 days, as I had time because I was on holidays, but also because I don't know how much time I'll have to read when uni starts again (I always say that, though). On top of that, I went to the beach many times, binge-watched The Clone Wars and spent time with my loved ones. Overall, July was a very happy month.

W H A T  I  R E A D

As I was saying, I challenged myself to read 31 books in 31 days in July (aka one per day) and I did it! Now, while I'm a fast reader, I don't normally read that much, I had done something similar three years ago and I wanted to know if I could still do it. As my reading wrap-up is pretty long, I broke it down between novels, novellas, comics/graphic novels and non-fiction books and put pictures of the books I recommend the most at the end of this section, to try keep it a bit more interesting (I'm really sorry considering the length, but there are pictures in the second part of the post *hides)!


Here are all the books that I read:


Novels:
  • Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon, 2.5/5 stars
  • The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw, 3.75/5 stars
  • Frenchman's Creek by Daphne du Maurier 5/5 stars
  • L'Œuvre by Emile Zola, 3.5/5 stars
  • To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo, 3.5/5 stars
  • A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews, 4/5 stars
  • Into the Bright Unknown by Rae Carson, 4/5 stars
  • The Lake House by Kate Morton, 4/5 stars
  • Dreamer's Pool by Juliet Marillier, 3.5/5 stars
  • Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie, 2.5/5 stars
  • The Visit of the Royal Physician by Per Olov Enquist, 4.5/5 stars
  • The Surface Breaks by Louise O'Neill, 3/5 stars
  • The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, 4/5 stars
  • Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley, 3.5/5 stars
  • The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell, 4/5 stars
  • La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman, 2/5 stars

Novellas:
  • Son of the Dawn by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan, 3/5 stars
  • Cast Long Shadows by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan, 4.5/5 stars 
  • Every Exquisite Thing by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson, 5/5 stars
  • Learn about Loss by Cassandra Clare and Kelly Link, 3.5/5 stars

Comics/Graphic Novels:
  • The Unstoppable Wasp, vol. 1: Unstoppable!, 3.5/5 stars
  • The Unstoppable Wasp, vol. 2: Agent of G.I.R.L., 4.5/5 stars
  • Spider-Gwen, vol. 0: Most Wanted?, 3/5 stars
  • Spider-Gwen, vol. 1: Greater Power, 3.5/5 stars
  • Spider-Gwen, vol. 2: Weapon of Choice, 3.5/5 stars
  • Spider-Gwen, vol. 3: Long-Distance, 3/5 stars
  • Spider-Gwen, vol. 4: Predators, 4/5 stars
  • Spider-Gwen, vol. 5: Gwenom, 4/5 stars
  • Spider-Gwen, vol. 6, 3/5 stars

Non-fiction:
  • Saint-Exupéry: l'archange et l'écrivain by Nathalie des Vallières (for work)
  • The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well by Meik Wiking, 4/5 stars

Phew, it was quite a long list to make this time around. I will *try* to write a blog post all about this challenge, so I could explain the whole experience to you. Anyhow, out of all of them, here are the books I think are absolutely amazing and that you should read (I didn't include the novellas but they were fantastic):


As you can see, I'm really into historical fiction these days 
and I'm quite obsessed with Denmark, so.


F A V O U R I T E  B L O G  P O S T S

Lucy @ Queen of Contemporary (you might also know her as lucythereader on YouTube) introduced her debut novel, The Paper & Hearts Society, which will be published in June 2019 (I am beyond happy for her and excited to read it).
Cait @ Paper Fury wonders if there has been a rise in 4.5 stars ratings.
Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books talked about how to gain followers and interactions on your blog.
Ashleigh @ A Frolic Through Fiction picked her holiday TBR by reading the first chapter of each books, I'm quite interested in the books she picked up and it's such a good idea!
Aimee @ Aimee, Always talked about her blogging schedule.




F A V O U R I T E S

EVENT // Football World Cup

From mid-June to mid-July was held the 2018 FIFA World Cup, an international football tournament contested by the men's national teams of the member associations of FIFA once every four years, which took place in Russia. Not many people know this about me, but watching football was actually a big part of my childhood, because I watched it with my dad from time to time, my brother used to play football, my dad took us to many games, my brother and I. I remember eating too much French fries, being all caught up in the excitement when our team scored. Of course, I also follow our national team games, so this one was no exception. I watched many games with my family, my boyfriend and my best friend, and it was so much fun! Moreover, France won, the atmosphere was so unique everywhere and it made me so proud to be French and to see how united we could be. I also developed a crush on Hugo Lloris, our team captain, but we'll not mention that. AHEM.



PLACE // Le Touquet-Paris-Plage

Le Touquet-Paris-Plage, a town set near the sea in the north of France, is my second childhood home. My grandparents and most of my mom's family live there, we also are lucky enough to have a small flat there, which means that we always go on holidays over there, as it's only about an hour from where we normally live. It is such a lovely town, that really comes alive during the summer, I have so many memories there. I'm definitely a sea kind of girl and I'm never happier than when I'm there. I love smelling the sea in the air, to have the wind messing with my hair, to walk near the sea for hours on end. I went there for an entire week with my best friend, also a few days with my boyfriend, and I couldn't have asked for better holidays. I usually forget about all life problems and responsibilities when I'm there, I truly needed it.

DRINK // Tourtel Twist


Because of the heat, my parents started buying a fruit-flavoured non-alcoholic beer and we've been obsessed with it, we tried out every taste. I also converted my best friend to it and we couldn't do without our Tourtel Twist when we were at the beach. It was the perfect drink for when we were watching football games and it so makes me feel on holidays. 

FOOD // Reese's

I also got quite obsessed with Reese's during my week of holidays with Caroline, as she made me try them, it became one of our main reasons to go to the supermarket (let's not mention reason #1, which is the fact that they had pictures of the French football team), as we don't have them everywhere in France. If you don't know it, it's a chocolate sweet with peanut better and I could eat those all day (I shouldn't though).




TV SHOW // The Clone Wars

In July, I decided to binge-watch Star Wars: The Clone Wars that I had started in March, so I could move on to Star Wars: Rebels in August, to be ready for Star Wars: Resistance in the Fall (being a Star Wars fan is great, between the movies, the animated series and the books, there is always something to get through). Like with the previous seasons I watched, I adored this animated series so much, Ahsoka Tano and Obi-Wan Kenobi are still my favourite characters in it. I also had a soft spot for Asajj Ventress, though. Moreover, the show was celebrating its ten years and it was quite a big thing at Comic-Con, then they announced... That it would be coming back for more episodes! I was the happiest about that, because it had been cancelled and they never really had the closure they wanted. Oh, and it makes me want to rewatch the prequel trilogy, even though it's not really my favourite?!

MOVIE // Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

Before Ant-Man and the Wasp was released, I got around to rewatching the first Ant-Man movie and I had forgotten how much I loved it and how fun it was! It actually made me want to read more of the comics, especially those around the Wasp, which is why I read The Unstoppable Wasp (it was so adorable) this month. Then came out Ant-Man and the Wasp, which definitely lived up to the first one and I adored how Hope had a more important role in this one! The storyline was so interesting and I loved the antagonist they introduced in it, because said antagonist was so human. I also have a soft spot for the father/daughter dynamic between Scott and Cassie. 

MOVIE // Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018)


Last, but certainly not least, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again came out in July. As I've been typing this article, I was listening to the soundtrack for the millionth time. I definitely fell in love with this movie, I cannot wait to rewatch it again and again. I loved learning about Donna's story, I laughed really hard (especially when it was about Harry), cried as well, and was overwhelmed the entire time. The cast did such an amazing job and it was so nice to see them all together again (I'm also talking about the press tour, because mY HEART). It's no secret that I love Lily James and she was amazing in this movie, I started crying when she sang the first time, and fangirled a lot... You know how I am. I also need all of Donna's wardrobe. That is all.



L O O K I N G  A H E A D

The month of August is going to be so interesting: I'll be at my summer job full time, working on a private archival fonds and I'm quite looking forward to that. August is also a month filled with birthdays and anniversaries, as it has my best friend's and my boyfriend's birthdays, as well as our anniversary with my boyfriend. I'm also quite excited to go to the movies in August, because Christopher Robin, BlacKkKlansman, Mary Shelley and The Darkest Minds will be released in France! There are also several books coming out, such as The Rebel Waves, Dance of Thieves, City of Ghosts and the Toil & Trouble anthology! August, I am ready for you.

How did July treat you? Any new favourite things?

Lots of love,
Lucie

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Mr Selfridge | Currently Watching


Hello, beautiful people!


Yesterday, I finished a period drama that I have been loving for the past year, Mr Selfridge. I've come to realise that I really wanted to talk more about period dramas or TV shows in general on here and I've said that several times, but I haven't done so that much. So, I decided to start to fix that, which is why I wanted to talk about this show specifically today!

To be completely honest,  I started Mr Selfridge because it was set more or less in the same time period that Downton Abbey, which is my favourite period drama. I did put it on the back burner for a little why because I was actually rewatching Downton Abbey last summer, but the more I watched it, the more I adored it.

WHAT IS MR SELFRIDGE ABOUT?

Mr Selfridge is a TV show made of four seasons (each of ten episodes) that tells the story of Harry Gordon Selfridge, the founder of the Selfridges department store, starting in 1908, when the store was open. Each season follows a different time period and the fourth and final one finishes twenty years later. It follows Harry Selfridge's story, as well as his family and his employees.

To get a better idea of what to expect, here's the trailer of the first season:



MY THOUGHTS ON THE SHOW

As I've said, one of the reasons I started this TV show was because it was set more or less in the same time period than Downton Abbey, as it runs from 1908 to 1928. Not only that, but as the show followed the insides of a store, it follows the Selfridges, the family of the infamous owner, as well as the employees, which is a little reminiscent of the upstairs/downstairs dynamics in Downton Abbey. Throughout the whole show, I've loved learning about the store, how revolutionary it was at times, about the way it was handled, the employees treated, about the different departments and how they grew. Of course, I imagine that a lot of it is fictional, but I found that a show set around a specific place, a store that was in the middle of London, was really interesting.

The Selfridge family in season 3

One of the perks of having a TV show set on twenty years was the possibility to make its characters grow, to introduce new characters and to give importance to characters that were younger at the beginning of the show. Even if a character I loved was leaving the show, I would always end up adoring another one that didn't use to be there/that I didn't use to love, which always kept me invested in the different storylines. For example, the Selfridge children used to be mentioned here and there, because they were quite young, but they became such a huge part of the show, especially in seasons three and four. They were some of my favourite characters, because they were the new generation and brought some perspective their father didn't necessarily have, they also were so different from one another, yet I loved them all. 


Agnes, Kitty and Dorice, who worked in the fashion department, in season 1

Seeing the development of characters that were there for the course of the four seasons was so interesting and it made me look up to them, because I could see how much they had achieved in twenty years and how much their career meant to them, the best example of that being Kitty, whom I didn't like very much at first. As the show has such a big cast of characters, it also helps you to be invested in some storylines more than others, especially if there are characters that you don't like that much, as you'll always have the others (let's face it, Harry was quite irritating and that's part of his character, but still).

Moreover, I found that this period drama tackled down so many important subjects, whether it was self-made fortunes, drinking, racism, sexual assault, PTSD and many others. I particularly loved the way it portrayed women, talking about how married women, then mothers were supposed to leave their jobs at the time, but also showing women putting their careers first, not letting anyone bullying them into being wives and mothers, as well as women who did both. I thought it did a great job at showing all the possibilities, never saying that one possibility was better than another.

An example of costumes in Mr SelfridgeAlso look!!
 Daisy Ridley guest starred in that episode and I screamed when I saw her, I had no idea.

This period drama was also so visually pleasing to watch. As it was set in Selfridges, it focused a lot on exhibiting the products of the store in the best way, for fashion or grand-themed displays. The costumes were absolutely stunning, whether it was those from the beginning of the century or those from the Roaring Twenties, that's something I always love about period dramas. Seeing the window displays was always such a delight as well, because Harry Selfridge always wanted to do spectacular things, so his customers would remember that, he was quite the showman and the show showed that in the best way. It also guest-starred several historical figures and it was so much fun to see them from time to time, take for example Elizabeth Arden, Anna Pavlova or even A.A. Milne.

Overall, I would definitely recommend you this period drama, whether you have seen many of them or not, it's so easy to get invested in the different storylines and to pick it back up after not watching it for a while, as there are time jumps for each season. My favourite season was the third one for sure, I have to admit that I have a soft spot for the Roaring Twenties and I loved Violette Selfridge so much, but I loved every single episode of it! I'm in such a mood for period dramas right now, so I'll make sure to watch more before the summer ends.


Do you watch period dramas? If so, which ones are your favourites? 
Have you watched this one?


Lots of love,
Lucie


Saturday, 14 July 2018

French classics recommendations | Celebrating Bastille Day


Hello, beautiful people!


Today is Bastille Day, the French National Day! It celebrates the anniversary of the Storming of the Bastille on July 14th 1789, as well as la Fête de la Fédération (Federation's Party I guess?) celebrated on July 14th 1790, which celebrated the unity of the French people. 


Happy Bastille Day!



While I'm French, I mostly read in English, because there are so many books I want to discover that were written in that language and that's also why I'm always speaking in English on social media. However, I have many French classics that I adore and I thought today would be the perfect excuse to share that with you all!

Side note: all the Goodreads links are of course, for the translations in English! I'm not completely sure whether the Marcel Pagnol books I recommended were translated, but they can be a good place to start if you want to try to read in French. *wink* The first three recommendations are my ultimate favourites, then I put the books in publication order!


Les Misérables by Victor Hugo (1862)


I couldn't start this post with any other book, because Les Misérables is my favourite book ever. It is set through different time periods and places, but mainly follows the fortunes of Jean Valjean, an escaped convict who tries to put his past behind him. His path crosses many times with memorable characters, such as Fantine, Javert, the Thénardiers, Cosette, Gavroche or Marius. It is such a masterpiece, depicting history so closely (a lot of it is set in 1832 during the barricades), crafting such fleshed-out characters, with a gripping plot, even though it's more than a thousand pages long. I won't even get started on Marius and Cosette, but I adore them so much. I dedicated an entire blog post to Les Misérables last year, as it's both my favourite book and my favourite musical, so if you're interested in that, it's here. Please, whether it's the abridged version or the musical, give it a chance, it's so worth it.


The Charterhouse of Parma by Stendhal (1839)

Many readers know Stendhal thanks to his novel The Red and the Black (Le Rouge et le Noir), but my personal favourite is The Charterhouse of Parma (La Chartreuse de Parme), set in Italy during the Napoleonic Wars. It follows the young aristocrat Fabrizio del Dongo, who wants to go to war to fight for Napoléon. He stumbles on the Battle of Waterloo, ill-prepared, yet filled with enthusiasm for war and glory. He goes back to Milan and is entangled in a series of amorous exploits, fuelled by his impetuous nature and the political chicanery of his aunt Gina and her lover. According to Balzac, it is the most important French novel of its time, a compelling novel of extravagance and daring, blending the intrigues of the Italian court with the romance and excitement of youth. I read this one for a literature class four years ago and I absolutely fell in love with it. Fabrizio and Clélia are my ridiculous babies and I love them so much.


The Ladies' Paradise by Emile Zola (1883)

Ever since we had to read The Ladies' Paradise at the end of middle school, I've been obsessed with Emile Zola and one of my life goals is to read his entire Rougon-Macquart series, which follows the fates of an entire family during the Second Empire in France (from 1851 to 1870) and is made of twenty novels. The Ladies' Paradise is by far my favourite novel by Zola and the first I have ever read. The novel recounts the rise of the modern department store in late nineteenth-century Paris. Its main character, Denise Baudu, is particularly interesting, because she's such an independent and hard-working woman, very different from Zola's usual female characters. She wasn't even supposed to be the heroine of this novel at first, as it also follows Octave Mouret, founder and owner of the store, and I love her even more knowing that. The store itself is a character, it's a symbol of capitalism, of the modern city, and of the bourgeois family: it is emblematic of changes in consumer culture, in sexual attitudes and in class relations taking place at the end of the century. 



Interesting fact: The BBC period drama series The Paradise was inspired by this novel. I haven't watched it yet, but I'm planning to, at some point!

Salammbô by Gustave Flaubert (1862)

Gustave Flaubert's most famous works are Madame Bovary and Sentimental Education, but plot twist, I haven't read any of them just yet, but fell in love with this historical novel, Salammbô. This one is an epic story of lust, cruelty, and sensuality set in Carthage in the days following the First Punic War with Rome, with such historical details that there aren't many French historical novels that can compare to it. I'm fascinated by this novel, because I studied history and adore understanding what people knew of history during their time, how they viewed it, how they studied it and Salammbô is a great example of that. 


A Love Story by Emile Zola (1879)

My second favourite novel by Emile Zola is A Love Story (Une Page d'Amour), it's also translated as A Love Episode sometimes. It follows Helene, a young widow who lives a secluded life with her only child, Jeanne, a delicate and nervous girl who jealously guards her mother's affections. When Jeanne falls ill, she is attended by a doctor, who falls in love with Helene. Jeanne realizes she has a rival for Helene's devotion in the doctor, and begins to exercise a tyrannous hold over her mother. This novel is an intense psychological and nuanced portrayal of love's different forms. Zola's study extends most notably to the city of Paris itself, whose shifting moods reflect Helene's emotional turmoil in passages of extraordinary lyrical description.



Bel-Ami by Guy de Maupassant (1885)

Bel-Ami is fairly well-known outside of France, especially since there was a movie adaptation with Robert Pattinson a few years ago (I don't think I ever watched it, though). This book is the scandalous tale of an opportunistic young man corrupted by the allure of power. George Duroy, the main character, is offered a job as a journalist in La Vie Française and soon makes a great success of his new career. He learns to become an arch-seducer, blackmailer and social climber in a world where love is only a means to an end. It also describes very accurately the life of Paris in the Belle Epoque very accurately and I've read it several times, I really love this one.

Swann's Way (1913) and In the Shadow of Young 
Girls in Flowers (1919) by Marcel Proust

Swann's Way (Du Côté de Chez Swann) and In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flowers (A l'ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs) are the first two books in Marcel Proust's In Search for Lost Time (A la Recherche du Temps Perdu) series, which is set at the beginning of the 20th century in France. I love reading about society at that time and the author portrayed it so well. In this seven book series,  Proust attempted the perfect rendering of life in art, of the past recreated through memory. It is both a portrait of the artist and a discovery of the aesthetic by which the portrait is painted, and it was to have an immense influence on the literature of the twentieth century. The first two books follow the narrator as a child and as a young man, there are a bit hard to read at times because they don't have many chapters, but I enjoyed them so much. I'm so glad I got motivated to read them three years ago, thanks to one of my literature professors, and I'm finally going to continue with Guermantes' Way soon enough, as I want to have read the entire series by the time I turn twenty-five!


Marius (1929), Fanny (1931) and César (1936) by Marcel Pagnol

Marcel Proust is a French author I adore, I've read most of his plays when I was a teenager and I have such a fond memory of it. My favourites are a trilogy set in Marseilles in the 1920s, namely MariusFanny and César (the names of the three main characters). To sum it up, it follows Marius - the son of César, owner of the local bar on the port - who is torn between his love for Fanny, who sells shells for a living, and his desire to travel the world. I adore these characters and relate so much to them, to the point that reading the plays made me cry, when I still haven't seen them on stage (it's going to be so much worse). Anyway, it's my dream to see them on stage one day. Marcel Pagnol usually writes about the south of France and I really enjoy that, because I don't know that part of my country very well.

Antigone by Jean Anouilh (1946)

I read this play for a class when I was younger and adored it. This play in one act is a tragedy inspired by Greek mythology and Sophocles' own play about Antigone. She is the daughter of Oedipus and his mother Jocasta and the main character in this story, in which she attempts to secure a respectable burial for her brother Polynices. Oedipus' sons, Eteocles and Polynices, had shared the rule jointly until they quarrelled and Eteocles expelled his brother. When Polynices came back, he attacked the city of Thebes with his army and both brothers were killed in battle; Polynices is considered a traitor and can't get a proper burial, but his sister Antigone defies this rule. This play was originally produced in Paris during the Occupation and was published after the Second World War. What's interesting about it is that it depicts an authoritarian regime and the play's central character, the young Antigone, mirrored the predicament of the French people in the grips of tyranny. I'm fascinated by Greek mythology, so of course I'm always interested to learn more about it, but seeing it reflected in French history is so clever and what makes this play great to read and see.


There are still so many French classics I want to get to and writing this blog post motivated me even more to finally get to them. Who knows? I might have more recommendations next year!

French classics I want to get to as soon as possible:



If English isn't your first language, what are your favourite books in your language?  Can you read in another language? Have you ever read French classics? If so, which ones?


Lots of love,
Lucie

Friday, 6 July 2018

Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag


Hello, beautiful people!

June is over, which means that we're officially halfway through the year.



To celebrate that and reflect on the books I've already read since the beginning of the year, I decided to be very original and to do the mid-year freak out book tag, because I love this one so much! Did I really wait until July to post it? Why, yes.

Best book you've read so far in 2018

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Oh, how happy I am to have read this book in June, because even when I wasn't quite done with it yet, I knew it would be my answer. If you want to know how obsessed I am with this one, I wanted to reread it when I was a hundred pages in. It was such a thrilling and emotional novel, it broke my heart many times, introduced me to one of the most memorable characters ever with Evelyn Hugo and it made my little bisexual heart so happy. 



Best sequel you've read so far in 2018

I haven't had the best of luck with series since the beginning of the year. I did read first books in several series (the sequels aren't out yet anyway), but picking up sequels has been hard, it might be because I'm in the mood for standalones, or sequels can often be disappointing (it depends, of course, but lately, I've been more disappointed than pleased). However, there are some exceptions to this rule, one of them being Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones. This duology is so close to my heart, as so many elements of it are my absolute favourites (can you believe poppies are on the cover when they're my favourite flowers?) and it was such an excellent and satisfying conclusion. I've been missing Liesl since January and I will never stop. I already want to reread these books so much.

New release you haven't read yet, but want to.


There aren't so many, actually, because I either got to my most anticipated releases already or they aren't out yet. The three I can think of at the moment are A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews, Circe by Madeline Miller, Sightwitch by Susan Dennard and To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo.



Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.

While I haven't read many sequels since the beginning of the year, I'm excited for quite a few sequels for the second half of the year, as my most anticipated releases are Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare and Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor. There are so many others of course, but those are the ones I'm the most excited for!

(Me on the day I'll get my hands on those books)

Biggest disappointment.

Unfortunately, Villette by Charlotte Brontë. I have many reasons for not liking it and I know other readers or critiques have the same reasons for liking it, I guess it just wasn't my cup of tea. I had really enjoyed the beginning, so I didn't expect to dislike it so much, but it happens sometimes. However, I read Shirley by Charlotte Brontë and loved it, so I'll just erase Villette from my memory.

Biggest surprise

I know this one was really hyped, but, Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. I still can't get over how much I adored this novel, need the sequel RIGHT NOW or how many things happened in just one book. I still can't believe it's a debut novel either. It's one of the best fantasy novels I've read in the past few years. If you still haven't read it, don't think too much on it and go for it!



Favourite new author

Without any hesitation, Alice Oseman. I've read all of her books within a week, when I never do that. I can't even binge-read book series anymore and yet, I needed more of her writing. I adore every single character she writes, her pop culture references (when I read that Frances from Radio Silence watched Parks and Recreation, I so screamed), seeing her characters making cameos in her other works (for Radio Silence). I'm so impressed by her, as she's only two years older than me (!!) and she's so talented. Moreover, I adore her YouTube channel where she talks about writing.


Newest fictional crush

PETER QUIIIIILL. I am pretty sure that everyone will give me a side-eye for that, thinking I'm only talking about MCU!Peter Quill. But I am so not. I love both comics!Peter Quill and MCU!Peter Quill and they have different backstories and storylines for some things! So as I've been reading the Guardians of the Galaxy comics for the past few months, I can legitimately say that he can technically be my newest book boyfriend. I'm pretty insufferable when I read them, though, because I scream a lot because of Peter. Oops. 



Newest favourite character

Juliet Ashton from The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, without any hesitation. When I reread my review of this book, I realised how obvious my answer would be, I seem so passionate about her:

      "Juliet was such a great main character, especially when you consider that this book is set right after WW2, she speaks her own mind, is smart, sunny (if you've read the book you'll appreciate that reference), independent, had great taste in books. I would have read another book about her and I'm even more excited to see her come to life on the big screen."

I adore her so much and I knew I would from the second I read that she had written a biography about Anne Brontë, who is, incidentally, my favourite Brontë. Now that I've watched the movie, I love Juliet even more and it isn't only due to the fact that she is portrayed by Lily James. I still have tears in my eyes from when they talked about Anne Brontë, I can't.

Book that made you cry

Y'all, I cry in front of almost every movie I watch, I usually feel things too loudly, so I have probably cried while reading most of the books I've read so far this year. If I had to pick one, I'd say All of This Is True by Lygia Day Peñaflor. I adored this book so much and a part of it made me sob really hard, because it echoed my personal life perfectly. I cried for an hour after finishing it, that's how it affected me. I'm so glad I read it, I so needed it.



Book that made you happy

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo. This book made me the happiest because it meant travelling back into the Grishaverse, which I'm always missing a little. Moreover, collection of short stories can sometimes be uneven, but it wasn't the case with this one, I adored all of the stories. It was also made of fairy tales/folk tales and it gave me such a warm feeling while reading it, like I was a little child again, listening to a bedtime story.
Favourite book to film adaptation you saw this year

I've seen several book adaptations, now that I'm thinking about it, but my favourite was Love, Simon. I had loved the book and was so excited to finally see the characters on the big screen and I wasn't disappointed in that. It is such an amazing and adorable story and it's been meaning more and more to me lately, on a personal level. I also adored The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, but I'd say that Love Simon follows its novel more closely!


Favourite review/post you've written this year


I found two versions of this question, so I'll answer to both. My favourite review I wrote was for All of This is True by Lygia Day Peñaflor, it was such a thought-provoking book and I had so much to say about it. My favourite post I wrote would be the one about The Greatest Showman, where I explained why I couldn't like this movie like so many people did. It was such a great post to write, because I had to do some historical research (can you tell I used to be a history major?) and I stood by everything I said, every single time (I had an argument about it at uni once, and I so won both the argument and a friend at the end of it).
Most beautiful book you've bought so far this year (or received)


It was a bit hard to pick, but while I tend to prefer paperbacks for reading, I have a weakness for what's under hardbacks' jackets. So, without hesitation, the most beautiful book I got since the beginning of the year is The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar. Honestly, look at how stunning it is:



It was really hard to pick just one and I've rarely cheated to those questions since the beginning of the tag, so I'll show you my second favourite, because I can't get over the naked hardback. Ladies and gentlemen, please feast your eyes upon The Cruel Prince by Holly Black:


What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

Monday, 2 July 2018

Reading wrap-up + Favourites | June 2018



Hello, beautiful people!


I am beyond happy that June has come to a close, because it felt as long as January was. It's not really surprising, considering how busy I've been this month. I finished my second master's thesis, visited family in the south of France, had two interviews for master's degrees and got accepted into the one I wanted the most (yeah, I'm really going to do two masters lmao), had my presentation for my thesis and did well, which means that I'm officially on holidays and graduating from my current uni. Overall, it's been a really stressful month, but it was all for the better so I'm really happy! Now, I need to sleep.


W H A T  I  R E A D

When I was really good at picking up books in very different genres for the past year or so, in June, I mainly focused on YA literature, more specifically on books with LGBTQIA+ characters. As June was Pride month, I just needed to focus on those, which is why I pretty much "forgot" about classics and basically only read books with LGBTQIA+ characters. Yes Please and The Big Four* are the only ones without any, because I read them during a readathon and one was a buddy read, but that's it. Anyhow, here are the books that I read:


  • Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley, 4/5 stars
  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid, 5/5 stars
  • The Big Four by Agatha Christie, 3/5 stars
  • I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman, 5/5 stars
  • Yes Please by Amy Poehler, 4/5 stars
  • Solitaire by Alice Oseman, 3.5/5 stars
  • Radio Silence by Alice Oseman, 5/5 stars
  • Nick and Charlie by Alice Oseman, 4/5 stars
  • All Out: The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens Throughout the Ages, anthology edited by Saundra Mitchell, 3.88/5 stars
  • The Ship of the Dead (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #3) by Rick Riordan, 3.5/5 stars
  • Autoboyography by Christina Lauren, 4/5 stars
  • Heartstopper by Alice Oseman, 5/5 stars

My favourite read of the month was, of course, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I didn't know what to expect when I started reading it, but I wasn't a hundred pages into it that I knew I would need to reread it. It was such an amazing novel and my favourite read of 2018, and I still can't get over it. I also finally read Alice Oseman's works and found new favourites, namely Radio SilenceI Was Born For This and Heartstopper, her on-going webcomic series. This month was full of the representation I needed in terms of books and it made me the happiest.

*I am convinced there is something going on between Hercule Poirot and Arthur Hastings, though.


F A V O U R I T E  B L O G  P O S T S

Iris @ Tea With Darcy went to Dublin and posted amazing pictures of her trip (it includes bookstores, OF COURSE).
Cait @ Paper Fury enlightened us on her publishing journey, how she got an agent and a book deal!
Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books shared her tips to avoid reading slumps.
Resh @ The Book Satchel talked about what she learnt from challenging herself to read 30 books in 30 days.
Holly @ Nut Free Nerd made a comparison between The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, because that classic inspired the contemporary novel and it was so interesting!




F A V O U R I T E S

TV SHOW // Parks and Recreation (NBC)

You might think: "Oh no, not again". But I can't help it, y'all. In June, I finished Parks and Recreation. I haven't watched any episode since June 14th and I miss it so much that it hurts. It truly is one of my favourite TV shows ever and in total, it only took me a month and two days to watch its seven seasons. I miss these characters, but I am so happy with the ending they got, it truly was what they deserved. My favourite character out of them all definitely was April Ludgate, I saw myself in her for so many things and her relationship with Andy Dwyer was the best thing ever. I still listen to the Mouse Rat songs every day, there is always one to fine my mood the best and they always make me smile. I'm mentioning this first in my favourites because I haven't watched a lot of TV shows this month (*cue intense crying*), as I couldn't really get over this one.



(Helpless from Hamilton playing in the background)


Chris Pratt


Okay, it feels very embarrassing in a way, but this was a long time coming... Between my rewatch of the MCU movies and my binge-watch of Parks and Recreation, I think that everyone had figured out I had a (celebrity) crush on Chris Pratt. Except for me, apparently, because I denied it so many times. Then... I apparently exploded. I watched Jurassic World, even though I criticised the movie many times and I still do, I even watched Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom in theaters twice (but it's quite good in my opinion). I watched too many YouTube videos, too many Instagram stories, I even watched a western (but he was really good in it so it was worth it). I don't know, I like him a lot, he makes me laugh a lot and I can't believe I tried to deny it when there are receipts on my very blog (look at the date, it really is hilarious). AHEM, anyway, fangirling over Chris Pratt really helped me get through this month and I nail everything when I listen to him singing the Mouse Rat's songs, so what can I say... *hides in a corner*

Alice Oseman's novels and YouTube channel


As you've noticed, I got really obsessed with Alice Oseman's writing in June. I don't read a lot of contemporary novels, but I fell in love with hers. The themes she talks about resonates with me, I relate to her characters a lot because they feel so real (Frances must be my favourite) and I always get too addicted and can't put her books down. I got physical copies of her novels once I was done, then started binge-watching her YouTube channel, where she talks about writing. I also love that she's drawing, because I get to picture her characters even more and her online webcomic, Heartstopper, is the cutest thing ever; it follows Charlie and Nick, characters introduced in Solitaire (they also have their own novella). Alice Oseman is such a talented person, I look up to her a lot, because she has already accomplished so much and she's only two years older than me!

MUSIC // Guardians of the Galaxy 70s Mixtape


You know me, I usually listen to the same songs over and over again, this month it was mostly Mouse Rat's songs from Parks and Recreation as well as the 70s mixtape from the Guardians of the Galaxy movies. I love listening to the mixtape so much, it makes me in such a good mood and makes me want to dance. On the downside, I can't listen to Come and Get Your Love without stopping everything I'm doing to dance like Star-Lord in the movie, but there are worse things I guess, haha.

MUSIC // Pray for the Wicked - Panic! at the Disco


Look, I actually listened to something else! The newest Panic! at the Disco album was released at the end of this month and I've been listening to it over and over again. I was so excited about it, as I've been listening to (Fuck a) Silver Lining and Say Amen (Saturday Night) ever since they were released as singled in March! Anyway, it's absolutely amazing and I love it a lot. I also introduced my boyfriend to this album and he really liked it as well.



Now, let's move on to the movies part!



MOVIE // Love, Simon


Love, Simon only came out on June 27th in France (yes, this is the worst), but I managed to go to an early screening of it at the beginning of the month. There are no words to explain how much I loved it, how much it meant to me considering where I'm at in my life. In a way, I'm not even mad anymore that I watched it for the first time in June, when the entire world had already watched it. I watched it for the first time during Pride month and it made the entire experience even better. I'm so looking forward to watching it yet again and again (spoiler alert: I already did on July 1st).

MOVIE // The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society

While this movie came out in the UK in April, we had to wait until June to have it in France. I was so eager to finally watch it, because I adored the novel so much (I made my best friend and my mom read it, haha). I was curious to see how they would adapt it, considering it is an epistolary novel. They did change quite a few elements of the original story, but they kept the spirit of the book and that's what mattered the most to me. My favourite quote was still in there and it made me the happiest. The cast was fantastic, it made me so happy to have a mini Downton Abbey reunion with Lily James, Jessica Brown Findlay, Matthew Goode and Penelope Wilton. Overall, it was a very good movie and I think they did a good job, but I know some readers have been a bit disappointed because of some changes (which I totally understand). Now I have another reason to visit Guernsey as soon as possible (after all, Victor Hugo lived there at some point and wrote Les Misérables there, it's meant to be) and I need to reread the novel!

MOVIE // Incredibles 2

Last but certainly not least, Incredibles 2 has started being released all around the world. I got lucky enough to go to an early screening with my best friend and my boyfriend and it was absolutely amazing, the wait was all worth it. We also got superheroes masks and took pictures with people who attended, there were fans with T-shirts, oh that was so much fun. I adored the movie so much, I had missed those characters, I really liked the plot and I laughed so hard. I want Jack-Jack to be my little brother, he was so precious and my favourite character for sure! I won't say a lot more considering it's technically not out everywhere yet, but go watch it, it'll make you so nostalgic and happy.


Beware when watching Incredibles 2 though, 
there is an epilepsy warning due to some of the scenes.



L O O K I N G  A H E A D

I am so excited for July, because it's the month of my holidays (I'll be working full time in August). I am planning on reading and blogging a lot, seeing my best friend and my boyfriend a lot, to rest and to have fun overall. So far, I'm also planning on going to the beach with my best friend for about a week, I miss my second hometown so much and it's truly not that far from where we live anyway. There are also so many movies I'm looking forward to watching, such as Adrift, Ant-Man and the Wasp, as well as Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! For TV shows, the second season of Harlots will start airing, I'll probably start watching it when there are several episodes out, but I had missed it so much! I also can't believe Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik and Sea Witch by Sarah Henning are coming out. July, you better be amazing. 


How was your month? Any new favourites in books, TV shows, movies?


Lots of love,
Lucie