Friday, 20 October 2017

Historical fantasy novels you should read for Halloween

Hello, beautiful people!

We are now more than halfway through October, which means that Halloween is right around the corner. I know that a lot of readers like to read specific books for that time of the year and well, that's also my case. Personally, I absolutely love to read historical fantasy novels in the Fall (but it's my favourite genre, so it actually happens all year) and that's why I wanted to recommend you some in this post. Basically, if you love The Infernal Devices trilogy... All of these books are right up your alley!

I had no choice but to start this book recommendations post with my second favourite YA trilogy (that I really need to reread and to get physical copies of), Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard. I have to admit I was put off by this book for a very long time, because I knew it involved zombies and they freak me out. Now that I've said this, let me go back. This book is actually more about necromancy, which means someone is raising the Dead and it's causing all sorts of mayhem.

Something Strange and Deadly is set in 1876 Philadelphia and follows Eleanor Fitt, who has to associate with the Spirit-Hunters to try to find her brother, who might have been taken by the person raising the Dead. Something Strange and Deadly is a trilogy and every single book is set in a different place, has amazing historical details and characters, as well as steampunk elements. It talks to my very soul. I'm completely in love with it and I need more people to read this trilogy! Susan Dennard is best-known for her best-selling fantasy her Witchlands series and while I adore that one, Something Strange and Deadly has a very special spot in my heart.

To know more about these books:

This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee

A lot of readers have already read The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by the same author that came out earlier this year, and it makes me very happy that Mackenzi Lee is getting the recognition she deserves, but did you know that I LOVED her debut novel that came out in 2015? It's a steampunk novel set in 1818 Geneva and wait for it... It's a reimagining of Frankenstein (just writing this, I'm sold and I've already read it)!

This Monstrous Thing follows Alasdair, a young man who lost everything two years prior the beginning of the novel, his brother and his sweetheart. In a city where men built with clockwork parts are a reality and illegal, he brings his brother back from the dead, who returns more monster than man. Then, Frankenstein comes out and the city is doing its best to find the real doctor and its monster.

To know more about this book:

The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters

Cat Winters is quite an amazing author, because out of the three books I've read by her... I have never been disappointed. She writes historical fiction set at the beginning of the 20th century with supernatural elements. I could recommend you In the Shadow of Blackbirds and The Steep and Thorny Way as well, but The Cure for Dreaming was the very first of her books that I read and it absolutely made me fall in love with her books.

The Cure for Dreaming is set in 1900 Oregon and follows Olivia, a headstrong girl that her father wishes to be docile. He hires a mysterious young man named Henri Reverie to hypnotize the rebellion out of her, but he gives her a terrible gift instead: she’s able to see people’s true natures, manifesting as visions of darkness and goodness, while also being unable to speak her true thoughts out loud. It only makes Olivia willing to speak up for women's rights even more, all the while starting to be attracted to Henri.

To know more about this book:

The Diviners by Libba Bray

I reread The Diviners recently and I remembered what a perfect Halloween read this one was. It's set in 1920s New York and follows Evie O'Neill, who has been expelled from her boring hometown to go live in New York with her uncle Will, who is obsessed with the occult. Evie has a secret of her own: she has trouble with a supernatural power and that's why her parents shipped her off to the city (they don't believe her, though). Soon, New York is trembling because of murders that might involve the occult. The Diviners follows several other characters who seem to either have powers or secrets of their own, and all the while... something dark and evil has awakened.

I adore this series so much, even though it takes ages for a book to be published (but the third one just came out, we're almost there!). However, it means that I can reread the books every time one is coming out. I find the 1920s and the occult absolutely fascinating, and Libba Bray is amazing at creating complex characters and gripping storylines. These books might seem a bit dense, but you won't be able to put them down, because you'll have to know what's happening.

Last but not least, let's talk about the book that actually inspired me to write this post, The Witches of New York by Ami McKay. This one is set in 1880 and follows three witches who practice their craft and work at their own tea shop. I had strong The Diviners vibes from this one, probably because it was set in New York in a society obsessed with the occult. 

This novel is a very atmospheric and engrossing read. I didn't want to get away from the book when I was reading it, because I wanted to know what would be next. I adored all the historical aspects that Ami McKay put into this book, because I'm a history nerd and loved remembering some cultural details through this book (I'll just say: tell the bees when I'm gone). It was one of those books that was perfect for me and it screams Halloween read. I'm so happy I got around that one.

To know more about this book:

So there you have it, here are the five historical fantasy novels (well, more than that because there are two book series in the list) that you could read near Halloween, if you're in the mood for that genre. If you have more recommendations of historical fantasy novels/books to read for Halloween, please let me know.

Lots of love,

Sunday, 15 October 2017

WATCH LEGION, or where I finally tell you why I'm obsessed with this show.

Hello, beautiful people!

If you follow me on social media, you might already know that I'm completely obsessed with a TV show called Legion, for which the first season aired earlier this year. This past week, I rewatched the whole thing and it made me the happiest girl in the world (this is already a twisted Legion reference, I'm lost to the world). If I only had one show to remember for this year, it would be this one. I've been fangirling a lot about Legion, but as I want the whole world to discover it... I needed to write a blog post on the subject, so I could try to convince you to watch it (please).  However, before I really start this post, I would like to warn you that I would put a trigger warning for suicide attempts for the first season of the show. Now that I've told you this, let's get right into it.

What is Legion about?

David Haller was diagnosed with schizophrenia at a young age and has been a patient in various psychiatric hospitals since. After he has an encounter with a fellow psychiatric patient, he is confronted with the possibility that there may be more to him than mental illness.

My thoughts on the show

Every time I watch an episode of Legion, I'm absolutely wonder-struck and my eyes are glued to the screen. For me, it means a lot, because I have trouble watching TV shows/movies and always end up doing something else on the side. When I watch Legion, I can't do anything else... Up to the next thirty minutes after finishing an episode. This is a show that stays with you while you're discovering it and even afterwards, because you can't stop thinking about it, nor can't stop trying to figure out what exactly is going on. 

The most important sentence of the whole show is “is this real?” and it makes so much sense, as during the eight episodes, you will always have doubts, just like the characters. I know that when Stranger Things came out, many viewers developed an addiction of sorts to it, by not being able to stop watching it. That's what happened to me when I started watching Legion. The show's creator, Noah Hawley (Fargo), managed to find the right pacing in order for the show not to be too obscure to the viewer, who has no clue what is going on, all the while intending to lead him astray.

Dan Stevens as David Haller and Rachel Keller as Sydney Barrett.

The cinematography of the show is magnificent, with futuristic and retro vibes at the same time. The scenery is stunning and I was gaping at quite a few scenes, because they were so unexpected and yet felt right. I love Marvel and DC Comics and watch a lot of their TV shows, but for me, Legion is stealing the show and I would trade them all for it (yet, I adore them).

Legion is set in the X-Men universe and follows a secondary character you probably never heard of, which gave so many possibilities to the show and is one of the reasons it is such an original and different TV show from others. The characters are far from being the superheroes we know, which makes them so relatable. They are flawed, they have complicated pasts, they mess up and nothing comes easy for them. Some scenes of the show can seem quite... Weird, but the plotlines definitely allow them and it makes the show all the more complex and interesting.

David Haller is an unreliable narrator, so the viewer will never know what's true and what isn't until the very end, which is why he will always want to watch more of the show. Legion talks a lot about superpowers and mental illnesses and while it's a complicated thing to do, the showrunners managed to do that splendidly. Now, some aspects of the show can be very triggering (I'm thinking in particular of suicide attempts scenes, take for example the beginning of the first episode), which is why I can't say that Legion is for everyone. Nevertheless, I think the team did an amazing job on those topics.

The plot is always moving forward and never has a dull moment, which means you won't see time passing by, until the end of the episode you're watching. It might be a shame that the first season is only eight episodes long considering how thrilling it all is (can you believe I have finished my rewatch, but still have to wait until February 2018 for eason 2?), but I might be saying that because I'm obsessed with this show and I really don't want to wait for so long. In the end, while I'm complaining, it can also be seen as a token of the show's qualityBesides, the last scene of the season, delivered after the end credits (it's Marvel, y'all!), is absolutely cruel and a huge cliffhanger.

The actors' performances are astonishing and I really wish they will get awards for them (they weren't nominated for the Emmys, I'm still upset). I adore Dan Stevens, you probably know that by now, and still, his work in Legion left me speechless. The role of David Haller probably is one of his best performances yet, because David never really knows what is true, because the show always go in unexpected directions. The show made him do everything and he did all of them brilliantly. The other shining star of the show is Aubrey Plaza, who has a mysterious and oh so interesting role. When she's on the screen, you can't keep her eyes off her, trying to understand what will be next and how she'll surprise you. She's so excellent, I really need to watch her in something else than Legion. The other characters are also very good in their roles and I absolutely loved the dynamics between their characters. 

Overall, I love Legion with all my heart and it definitely is my favourite on-going show. It is the best show I saw in 2017 and it means so much to me, which is why I have already rewatched it, when I almost never rewatch anything. It is such an addictive and breathtaking TV show, with very talented actors. I can't wait to see what's next for the show!

I really hope I managed to show you what an amazing show Legion is, and if you're planning to watch it or have already watched it, please let me know, I would love to know your thoughts.

Lots of love,

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Reading wrap-up + Favourites // September 2017

Hello beautiful people!

September 2017 was probably the longest month of my entire life, or it certainly felt that way. Like my dear Charles Dickens said, "it was the best of times, it was the worse of the times." and it sums up my entire month. I had some of the best days in my life when I went to London for a three day long week-end (the day of 19 years later and then I saw Les Misérables on West End)(I still can't realise that I crossed two things off my bucket list in two days), then had a very important oral presentation for uni and I didn't know if I could register for uni... Until five days before classes started. I am in a very weird mood. Because of that, I've watched way more TV shows than I have read, even though I still read nine books.


  • Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo ☆☆☆.5
  • The Witches of New York by Ami McKay ☆☆☆☆.5
  • And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie ☆☆☆☆☆ (reread)
  • Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell ☆☆☆☆
  • The Steep and Thorny Way by Cat Winters ☆☆☆☆.5
  • Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë ☆☆☆☆☆
  • Viens, on s'aime by Morgane Moncomble ☆☆☆☆
  • Retribution Rails by Erin Bowman ☆☆☆☆☆
  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson ☆☆☆☆

I finally reread And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie and let me tell you: if you ever want to listen to an audiobook, do yourself a favor and listen to Dan Stevens' interpretation of this novel. I know that I'm always singing his praise, but I'm still mind-blown. Now that I've read and loved Agnes Grey, I can say that Anne Brontë might be my favourite Brontë sister, but I don't know for sure. I still need to read her poetry/her juvenilia writings and a biography about her, but I really feel close to Anne, for some reason. Last but not least, I got an e-ARC of Retribution Rails and I loved it even more than Vengeance Road (!!!). You definitely need to read it when it'll release in November.


MUSICAL // Les Misérables

Les Misérables is very important to me and I'll talk about it more in an upcoming post (but I first need to reread the beast book entirely), but I finally saw the musical on West End. I've always wanted to do it and I cried the entire time. I was so overwhelmed, how do you feel that many emotions at the same time? Anyhow, I've since then rewatched the movie and Eddie Redmayne will always be my Marius (he is my favourite actor, after all) and have been listening to the soundtrack (and nothing else!) for the last week. I just love Les Misérables so much, sometimes it hurts, haha.

TV SHOW // Gilmore Girls

Like I said, I watched a lot of TV shows in September and a lot of them could have made this list, but then I discovered Gilmore Girls and that's the entire reason why I haven't been reading. I've watched twenty-eight episodes in a week and a half and I already know that it'll be one of my favourite TV shows ever. I'm drinking a lot of coffee once again and I'm going to blame it on Lorelai and Rory. I'm curious to see more of Paris Geller, because I already adore her, oops. 

APPLICATION // Pedometer

During the second half of August, I downloaded a pedometer app and it changed my life. Now that we're in October, I've been using it for a while and guess what? I walked 204 km in September! As someone who never exercises, it really encourages me to walk more, since I wouldn't have walked as much otherwise. I know that it'll slow down as the cold is coming, but that's a huge victory over myself!

I hope you had a great month and read amazing books!

Lots of love,