Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Most anticipated releases of Winter 2019 | Grabby Hands

Hello, beautiful people!

Phew, can you believe this? It's already time to get all excited about 2019 book releases and I find this astonishing. Didn't 2018 start, like, yesterday? It was a really good year in terms of new releases, and I'm sure 2019 will be just like that as well. So, like I did in 2018, I'll be talking about my most anticipated releases every three months so I don't overwhelm you all at once! Anyhoo, it's time to talk about the Winter 2019 releases I'm most anticipating (from January to March).

The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2), by Holly Black
Published: January 8th 2019, by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genres: young adult, fantasy

I am so excited to see how The Folk of the Air trilogy will continue in this second book. I adored The Cruel Prince so much, it was so addicting and the world-building was fascinating, so I cannot wait to read about Black's cruel faeries once again. She proved once again that she was the queen of faeries and can we also scream at how stunning that cover is? Give it to me.

The Gilded Wolves, by Roshani Chokshi
Published: January 15th 2019, by Wednesday Books
Genres: young adult, fantasy, historical fiction

Roshani Chokshi weren't off to a good start, because I did not finish The Star-Touched Queen a few years ago, but I've heard such good things about her writing that I am determined to try again and this one sounds really good! From what I've gathered, this book is set in 1889 Paris, at the time of the Exposition Universelle (the one the Eiffel Tower was built for!) and it's about finding a mysterious artifact for an all-powerful organization, I am so intrigued! My standards are pretty hard for books set in Paris as I'm French and live there, so I hope I'll love it! *hides*

The Kingdom of Copper (The Daevabad Trilogy, #2), by S.A. Chakraborty
Published: January 22nd 2019, by Harper Voyager
Genre: fantasy

The City of Brass was one of my favourite books of 2018 and one of the two books that caused my fantasy slump for most of the year, so of course I'm SO anticipating its sequel. If you haven't read the first book yet, I'll strongly urge you to, because it's an amazing fantasy novel set in 18th century Cairo, the main character, Nahri, is a con woman and she accidentally summons a dark and mysterious djinn (!!). Honestly talking about sequels makes me want to reread so many first books in series, oops.

King of Scars, by Leigh Bardugo
Published: January 29th 2019, by Imprint
Genres: young adult, fantasy

Can we talk about how long we've been waiting for the Nikolai book? Can we? Okay so you might not know that, but I met Leigh Bardugo in Rotterdam in 2015 and she said that everyone was pressuring her to write a Nikolai Lantsov book and now we're actually having a duology? We have so been blessed. I can't really say much about this one because that would be spoilers for the Grisha trilogy, but I cannot wait to have Nikolai, my favourite character of the trilogy, back. I've waited long enough.

Courting Darkness, by Robin LaFevers
Published: February 5th 2019, by HMH Books for Young Readers
Genres: young adult, fantasy, historical fiction

I discovered the awesomeness that is the His Fair Assassin trilogy two years ago and I couldn't get enough of it, so I was over the moon when I heard there would be a follow-up duology. The first series followed the path of three girls trained as assassins in a convent in 15th century Brittany and it was spectacular, the world was interesting, the plot full of court politics and action, the characters so fleshed-out that I still remember all of them... Those are definitely my kind of books. Courting Darkness will follow Sybella (whom we met in Dark Triumph) and a new character called Genevieve. I am beyond excited for that and it makes me want to reread the entire trilogy first, I mean, I do have an excuse now, right?

Bloodwitch (The Witchlands, #3) by Susan Dennard
Published: February 12th 2019, by Tor Teen
Genres: young adult, fantasy

Everyone can tell I'm over my fantasy slump because I'm excited for so many fantasy novels and it makes me so happy! I've loved Susan Dennard's works even since I've started reading them (please read Something Strange and Deadly, it's amazing!) and The Witchlands series is no exception. It's a very complex fantasy world, full of elemental magic, but it's really worth it once that you get everything and the characters have always intrigued me. Truly, this series has everything I love about fantasy. I really need to reread Truthwitch and Windwitch before this one though, as well as to read Sightwitch (a shorter prequel novel) to be all caught up, but I cannot wait to go back to this world, I had missed it!

The Familiars, by Stacey Halls
Published: February 19th, by Mira Books
Genres: historical fiction, paranormal

I was browsing through Netgalley (as one does) when I discovered The Familiars, which sounds like a spectacular debut! This novel is set during the Pendle Hill Witch Trials in the 17th century and it sounds so intriguing (and it's probably gonna break my heart as it's set during that time period). It follows a noblewoman who has been through several failed pregnancies, but as she's with child again, she discovers that according to the doctor, she won't survive another childbirth. By chance, she meets a midwife named Alice Grey, who promises to help her deliver a healthy baby. But Alice soon stands accused of witchcraft. It explores the rights of women in that time period, as well as the fact that witch-hunting mostly was women-hunting. I truly cannot wait to read that one and I'm super excited to have an early copy of it!

The Priory of the Orange Tree, by Samantha Shannon
Published: February 26th 2019, by Bloomsbury Publishing
Genre: fantasy

THIS. This. As I was writing this, I stumbled upon Samantha Shannon's tweet on how big this book was and now I need even more. Am I living for really long fantasy books? The answer is yes, absolutely. This fantasy novel seems to be full of amazing female characters, it is set in a queendom and there are dragons? It sounds absolutely amazing and out of all the fantasy novels I've listed there, it's the one I'm most excited about. I hope I'll adore this one and that it'll motivate me to pick up The Bone Season at long last!

Daisy Jones and the Six, by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Published: March 5th 2019, by Hutchinson
Genre: historical fiction

Now moving on, this one is my most anticipated winter 2019 release and that's about it. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is my favourite book of the year (along with another one because I can't choose *wink wink*), so I am eagerly awaiting Taylor Jenkins Reid's next book. This book is about a fictional iconic 1970s rock band, which split up in 1979. This will be made of interviews, emails, transcripts and lyrics, which I am absolutely living for. I've been screaming quietly about how much I need it for months now and it's getting closer every day. Taylor Jenkins Reid, I'm ready for anything you're throwing at me/writing about (or not, can't wait to sob again).

Published: March 5th 2019, by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Genres: young adult, fantasy

The other book that got me into my great 2018 fantasy slump was... Children of Blood and Bone. So obviously, I need Children of Virtue and Vengeance. I'm a bit worried because we still don't have a cover and it's supposed to come out next March? I hope it hasn't been pushed back? But anyway, I can't wait to see the gang again and to finally know how the book will continue (that cliffhangerrrrr). Also if you haven't read Children of Virtue and Vengeance, please do, it's one of the best YA fantasy out there!

Queen's Shadow by E.K. Johnston

Published: March 5th 2019 Disney Lucasfilm Press
Genres: science fiction

It's no secret that I am a huge Star Wars fan and this year, I've started reading the canon novels (I'm still new at it, though) and I watched the animated TV series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which was SO GOOD (I miss it, can't wait for the new episodes next year!!). So basically, I've started to realise that I actually love the Republic era, because I discovered so much about it. Now, they keep announcing Republic era novels and I need them all. This one follows Padmé when she becomes the Naboo's representative in the Galactic Senate and I am so ready for it. Give me all the books about female Star Wars characters, please and thank you.

The Bird King, by G. Willow Wilson
Published: March 12th 2019, by Grove Press
Genres: historical fiction, fantasy

I stumbled upon this one on Goodreads and the synopsis got me so intrigued. You *might* know G. Willow Wilson for the awesomeness that is Ms. Marvel (at least, that's how I know her) and I'm so curious to read one of her novels. The Bird King tells the story of Fatima, a concubine in the royal court of Granada, the last emirate of Muslim Spain, and her dearest friend Hassan, the palace mapmaker. Her friend has a secret, for he can draw maps of places he has never seen and bend the shape of reality. The two of them have to escape when Hassan's gift is seen as a threat to the newly formed Spanish monarchy, helped with a clever jinn. You had me at Muslim Spain (I studied it for an entire semester) and mapmaker. That's it. I need it.

What are your most anticipated releases for this winter? Do we share any?

Lots of love,

Friday, 21 December 2018

Christmas books recommendations

Hello, beautiful people!

Wow, December definitely flew by, we're three days away from Christmas Eve and four days away from Christmas, how did that happen? I am SO LATE for Christmas shopping, you have no idea, oops. But anyway, I thought that it would be fun to recommend you four books that I've read that are set during Christmas, whether you want to get in a Christmas mood or read them at Christmas.

Genres: classics, short stories

Of course, I had to start with this classic, you know how much I love Charles Dickens. We all know A Christmas Carol, the story of the awful Ebenezer Scrooge who is visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve, but it's always great to revisit it during Christmas. The Penguin Clothbound edition not only is stunning, but it includes some of his other Christmas writings, so I'd recommend you to check that out as well! I recently saw my friend Fatima talking about Neil Gaiman's reading of A Christmas Carol and I intend to listen to it this year, it must be amazing. You can find that there if you're interested.

Hercule Poirot's Christmas, by Agatha Christie

Genres: mystery

I got back into Agatha Christie's mystery novels last year and of course I had to read this one over Christmas. In Hercule Poirot's Christmas, it's Christmas Eve and the Lee family is having a reunion in their mansion for the occasion... Until it goes horribly wrong, because the tyrannical Simon Lee has been murdered and Hercule Poirot is called in to investigate. This one is a perfect cosy Christmas murder mystery (if I dare say so) and I loved that it was centered around family dynamics! As always, Agatha Christie's characterization is on point and I loved the resolution! I still have The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding to read this year and I'm excited!

The Afterlife of Holly Chase, by Cynthia Hand
Genres: young adult, paranormal, retelling

Cynthia Hand has been one of my favourite YA authors for a long time, so of course I was delighted to get to this one, for it is a retelling of A Christmas Carol. It's about Holly, who was visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve five years ago. They tried to convince her to mend her ways. Only, she didn't... and then she died. But it wasn't the end for her, because she's now stuck working for the top-secret company Project Scrooge, as the latest Ghost of Christmas Past. Every year, they save another miserly grouch, while Holly stays frozen at seventeen and her loved ones continue living without her. But this year, everything is about to change... I adored this novel, it has a wonderful message and it got me so much. I might even reread it this year!

Mr. Dickens and His Carol, by Samantha Silva
Genres: historical fiction

Last, but not least, I recently read this historical novel which is a reimagining of how Charles Dickens came up with A Christmas Carol. A lot of it is fictionalized of course, but reading about Charles Dickens and his struggles was wonderful to me, because I've always been curious about him and it motivated me even more to read a biography about him. It was a lovely and heartwarming read, reminding us of what's important in life and what the Christmas spirit is about. I would have loved to stay with Charles Dickens a bit longer and all the references to his works made me so happy!

So that's it for my books set during Christmas recommendations! I'd love to discover more books set during/about Christmas, so if you know any, please give me your recommendations! I also read Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien, which I liked, but didn't adore, so that's pretty much it.

Thank you for reading and I hope you'll have wonderful holidays if you have some,

Lots of love,

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Reading wrap-up + Favourites | November 2018

Hello, beautiful people!

November is finally over, which means that we have entered the very last month of 2018 and I cannot believe this. Where did this year go? I felt like November lasted forever, because as usual with each November, it was a very busy month at uni and as I have to find an internship on top of getting through uni, well... I didn't have time blog. I'm so sorry about that, I was consistent in October and so happy with my content, then I disappeared. Well, oops? Let's hope I'll do better in December and in the meantime, let's wrap up November!

W H A T  I  R E A D

Once again, I'm only managing to read my "usual" amount of books for two reasons: a) audiobooks and b) participating in a 24h readathon. Here are the books that I read:

  • Cranford, by Elizabeth Gaskell, 3/5 stars
  • Aime-moi, je te fuis, by Morgane Moncomble, 4/5 stars
  • Assassin's Apprentice, by Robin Hobb, 4.5/5 stars
  • Fantastic Beasts The Crimes of Grindelwald: The Original Screenplay, by J.K. Rowling
  • Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel, by Val Emmich, 3.5/5 stars
  • The ABC Murders, by Agatha Christie, 3/5 stars
  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, by Taylor Jenkins Reid, 5/5 stars (reread)
  • Royal Assassin, by Robin Hobb, 5/5 stars
  • Poirot's Early Cases, by Agatha Christie, 3/5 stars
  • Lady Midnight, by Cassandra Clare, 5/5 stars (reread)
  • A Deeper Love, by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson, 3/5 stars
  • The Wicked Ones, by Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman, 4.5/5 stars
  • The Land I Lost, by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan, 4.5/5 stars
  • Through Blood, Through Fire, by Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman, 3.5/5 stars
November was such a great reading month, I caught up with my Agatha Christie challenge (I was one book behind), as well as with the Ghosts of the Shadow Market novellas, so I could be ready for Queen of Air and Darkness (I am so not ready). I also finally started the Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb and I adore it so much, I cannot wait to finish it in December!

F A V O U R I T E S 
EVENT & MOVIE // Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

As I was mentioning in my October wrap-up, I attended the worldwide premiere of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald in November and it was probably the best night of my life. I won tickets last minute, after thinking for weeks that I wouldn't be able to attend and I had such a blast. Before the premiere, we went to the Harry Potter pop-up store so I could buy Newt's scarf, then we did the photocalls in the Galeries Lafayette and had so much fun! At the premiere, we saw the red carpet on the big screen, Eddie Redmayne spoke French and I almost fell off my seat, while my boyfriend, who had red carpet access, got my screenplay of the first Fantastic Beasts signed by J.K. Rowling and Katherine Waterston (Tina Goldstein)!

Now, when it comes to the movie, there are many things that I love about it: Newt Scamander still owns my whole heart, it was a wild ride and I loved seeing the French Wizarding World. Still, I know it's not perfect and I agree with everyone who has been calling out the problematic aspects of the movie, I truly do and those aspects make me so angry. I still love the franchise though, because the first movie means the world to me and watching the second one manages to calm me down, but I acknowledge those aspects.

BOOKS // The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb

Since the beginning of the year, I've been in a huge fantasy slump. I read some outstanding fantasy novels at the beginning of the year, such as City of Brass or Children of Blood and Bone, and then... I got disappointed by almost every fantasy sequel I was anticipating and I barely read any fantasy at all. However, a few months ago, my boyfriend started reading the Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb and he loved it. Between him and my parents, who have ben talking about it for YEARS, I decided to give it a go, and became really obsessed with it as well. I am fascinated by this world, I love how fleshed out the characters are and I always want to keep reading it. It's getting me out of my fantasy slump, which is amazing, because I have four other trilogies waiting for me in this world, so I won't have to leave it for a long time. I cannot wait to get back to Assassin's Quest once I'm done with The Dark Artifices trilogy!

MUSIC // Alison Sudol's Moon

Even if you don't know her name, you probably know Alison Sudol. She plays Queenie Goldstein in the Fantastic Beasts movies, but her acting skills aren't her only talents, for she also is a musician (you might know Almost Lover from a few years back, she recorded it under the name A Fine Frenzy). Anyway, she released her new EP in November and I so fell in love with it. Alison is such a talented, inspiring and kind woman, which shows in her songs. They make me feel good, they make me feel safe and they're pretty much all I've listened to in November. There are only five of them, so it's hard to pick favourites, but I think that mine are Escape the Blade and It's Really Raining.
STUDENT LIFE // Bullet journaling

Last, but not least, I started bullet journaling again at the end of September and it's been so helpful. I kept making lists everywhere on my phone (which was ridiculous), as I was stressed with everything I had to do for uni, while maintaining my regular life habits. I've kept with it since then, it calms down my anxiety to organize myself in such a way, it also helps me to feel more productive. I'm also a bit more creative than before with it now, my bujo was in earthy tones during the Fall. Now that Christmas is approaching, it's full of red, green and blue, and I can finally use the Christmas masking tape that my boyfriend offered me last year!

L O O K I N G  A H E A D

I couldn't be happier to be in December, I have been in a Christmas mood for a while and I can now express it at its fullest! When it comes to uni, I only have two weeks left before being on holidays (I'll still have projects to turn in during the holidays, but I'll be able to breathe), so the end is in sight for the semester and I'm so happy about that. Other than that, Queen of Air and Darkness is coming out in two days, and I have movies I'm excited to finally watch, such as Mary Poppins Returns, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (that's mainly why I read the Spider-Gwen comics this summer) and Aquaman. I also have all my favourites of the year posts to write for here and I cannot wait to do that!

Lots of love,