Friday, 29 December 2017

My favourite books of 2017

Hello, beautiful people!

With only two days left of 2017, I thought now would be the perfect time to talk to you about my favourite books of the year. It was actually quite easy to make the list for once and I can say that I truly adored them, because upon writing this post, I wanted to reread them all. This post is a bit long, that's for sure, so let's start it right away!

10. Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee

I don't read a lot of YA contemporary novels, but sometimes, I stumbled upon some that gets me. Tash Hearts Tolstoy was such a novel. This novel is about Tash, the creator of a webseries that's a modern take on Anna Karenina, who finds herself in the spotlight after a shoutout from a famous YouTuber. When her webseries is nominated for an award, the perspective that her flirt with a fellow award nominee might become something more IRL dawns on her, because she has to figure out how to tell her crush she's romantic asexual. It might not be the greatest novel, I do realise that, but before I met Tash (and Molly from The Upside of Unrequited), I had never met another character I could relate to that much, which is why this novel will always have a special place in my heart. 

9. The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
“I don’t entirely understand how anyone gets a boyfriend. Or a girlfriend. It just seems like the most impossible odds. You have to have a crush on the exact right person at the exact right moment. And they have to like you back. A perfect alignment of feelings and circumstances. It’s almost unfathomable that it happens as often as it does.” 

I read Simon vs. the Homosapiens Agenda when it came out two years ago and loved it, but not as much as everyone else. I went into The Upside of Unrequited without any expectations and ended up reading it in one sitting, because I found so much of myself in Molly. My sixteen years old self was so much like Molly, with a million crushes without doing anything, self-conscious, suffering from anxiety and weird around boys. Sometimes, I was reading her reactions, thinking: “Well, if this isn't me”. The Upside of Unrequited is the book I wish 16 yo me could have read, for it would have made her love herself more and stop caring about getting a boyfriend before the end of high school (I'd like to scream at myself that it was very stupid haha).

Me @ 16 yo me
(someone is way too obsessed with Kylo Ren, but I'm not even sorry)

8. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
“He read while he walked. He read while he ate. The other librarians suspected he somehow read while he slept, or perhaps didn't sleep at all.” 

I discovered Laini Taylor through her Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy a few years ago, and I had fallen in love with her writing style as well as her unique universe. Like so many readers, I anticipated Strange the Dreamer for two years, being a bit sad when its release date was pushed back at the end of 2016, and yet, it did not disappoint. Once again, I loved Taylor's writing style, the world-building of this new world, and most of all, Lazlo Strange, one of the most relatable characters for us bookworms out there. He read all the time and that was his strength. He even broke his nose because a big book fell on him once. Strange the Dreamer was quite an adventure and it swooped me in from the very first line. I haven't talked that much about it on social media, but this very poetic story is quite special to my heart and I cannot wait to get my hands on the sequel, The Muse of Nightmares.  

7. Making Faces by Amy Harmon
“Everybody is a main character to someone...” 

I am so happy I finally started reading Amy Harmon's books this year. Like I said, I don't read a lot of contemporary novels, and yet, this is the third one that won its place in this top. From the first moment I started reading this book, I fell in love with Harmon's writings, put way too many post-its because there were so many quotes I wanted to remember. Everything the author wanted to talk about was very important and done in the right way, I know this one left a lasting impression on me. The main characters were absolutely amazing, in their different ways. I can't tell you who I loved the most between Fern, Bailey or Ambrose. I went into Making Faces expecting another romance, got out of it having read one of the best contemporary novels I had ever read. I see myself rereading it years after years, falling in love with it every single time.

6. Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
“There is music in your soul. A wild and untamed sort of music that speaks to me. It defies all the rules and laws you humans set upon it. It grows from inside you, and I have a wish to set that music free.”

Wintersong has a lot of mixed reviews on Goodreads - some of them from fans of Labyrinth, because it's not really a retelling of it apparently, but I haven't watched the movie, so I don't really mind - but this is another book that spoke to my soulWintersong the story of Liesl, whose sister is taken underground by the goblins. Liesl goes there to rescue her and makes a pact with the Goblin King: a life for a life. She agrees to marry the Goblin King and the more time she spends underground, the more her life fades away and the more her musical talents grow.

It is set in 18th century Austria, the main character's full name is Elizabeth, the Mozart family is mentioned a few times, music plays an important part in it and it might have my favourite cover ever (go check what it looks like, please). One of the scenes gave me strong Evermore vibes, because I'm very obsessed with this song (a new song from Beauty and the Beast), but you know. Now, all of those elements seem very random, but they all mean something for me in different ways, and it's one of the reasons I adored this book so much.

5. Tess of the d'Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy
“Did it never strike your mind that what every woman says, some women may feel?”

Last year, I discovered Thomas Hardy with Far from the Madding Crowd and it was my favourite book of the year. In 2017, I read a lot more of Hardy's novels and he became one of my favourite authors, I'd trust him with anything. Tess of the d'Ubervilles was the second of his novels that I read and it left me speechless. Thomas Hardy, while being a Victorian era (aka from a totally different time) writer, stood up for women in his writings, showing how much men could be at fault and should be held accountable for their actions (we still have a long road to go, even though we're almost in 2018). In Tess of the d'Ubervilles, he portrays two men in a completely different way while showing all of their flaws, and makes us wonder what is right and what is wrong, in very specific situations. I cannot express how much I loved this book, but Thomas Hardy definitely is one of my favourite authors and I need to read all of his books.

4. The Loving Spirit by Daphne du Maurier
"High above the clustered houses and the grey harbour waters of Plyn, the loving spirit smiles and is free."

I first read Daphne du Maurier's novels this year and she quickly became one of my favourite authors. I had put My Cousin Rachel in this spot at first, but realised it wasn't right and almost didn't put anything by her in here, because I hadn't rated The Loving Spirit five stars, at least not at first. Then, I remember how much I loved this book. It was du Maurier's debut, it's a family saga on four generations and it is set in Cornwall. I could feel the sea whenever I was reading the book, it became an actual character in the novel and I loved it so much, since I'm obsessed with it. The characters were so interesting, complex and deeply flawed. Every time I finished reading about one of them, I became so sad, because I didn't want to say goodbye, and then I read about the next generation and felt for them. 

In a way, the Coombe family became mine, as I was along them in their hardships, their joys, their pains, their dreams. From the second I finished this book, I started missing it. I badly want to reread it, because it somehow feels like home. Du Maurier gets my feelings for the sea, as we have the same ones, and I'm so grateful I realised that while reading The Loving Spirit. 

3. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë
“My heart is too thoroughly dried to be broken in a hurry, and I mean to live as long as I can.” 

Anne Brontë is often seen as the forgotten Brontë sister, but she might be my favourite. I read Wuthering Heights by Emily and Jane Eyre by Charlotte a few years ago, but never got around to read anything by Anne, until this year. I didn't know what I expected, but I completely fell in love with this novel. I had only started getting back into classics, but it's definitely the book that made me realise I never wanted to stop reading them. Victorian England definitely wasn't ready for Anne Brontë and that's one of the reasons I admire her so much. I absolutely adored reading about Helen, the way Anne portrayed relationships and the darkness of the human soul. She was much more of a realist when you compare her to her sisters, and it might be why her books aren't as talked about as theirs. In any case, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is one of my favourite classics ever.

Actual footage of me with The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

2. Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices #2) by Cassandra Clare
“Everyone is afraid of something. We fear things because we value them. We fear losing people because we love them. We fear dying because we value being alive. Don't wish you didn't fear anything. All that would mean is that you didn't feel anything.”
You probably all know I adore Cassandra Clare's books and that they mean the world to me, as they made me read in English. Lady Midnight, the first book in The Dark Artifices trilogy, was the book I waited the most on in my life, and I completely fell in love with it. Lord of Shadows didn't disappoint me either: I absolutely loved how Clare talked about topical subjects, wrote amazing characters, plotlines and relationships once again. As I'm writing those words, I'm reading this book for the third time of the year, and there couldn't be any better way to end the year. I can't put into words how much I love this book and I still haven't been able to write my review. Nevertheless, it's absolutely amazing and the Shadowhunters books only get better and better with every single one of them.

Lord of Shadows was actually my favourite book of the year for a long time, until I read...

1. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
“The power of a glance has been so much abused in love stories, that it has come to be disbelieved in. Few people dare now to say that two beings have fallen in love because they have looked at each other. Yet it is in this way that love begins, and in this way only.” 
I'm sure most of you won't be surprised, considering I've been talking about this one a lot and told everyone it was my favourite book of the year anyway. *Ahem* Les Misérables and I actually have a lot of history and you can read about that here. It's one of the best books I have read in my entire life, I read it in three days. I put way too many post-its in it, loved the characters and all the historical details, 'accidentally' fell in love with Marius Pontmercy (which makes absolutely no sense, but anyway), laughed, cried, gasped. I own a 1662 page long edition and yet I want to reread it again and again. It's nothing to say that it is a masterpiece, but it is a masterpiece and it changed my life.

So there you have it, here are my favourite books of 2017. I hope you had an amazing year reading-wise. I'd love to know what your favourite books of the year were!

Lots of love,

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

My most anticipated releases of 2018 (part 1) // Grabby Hands #9

Hello, beautiful people!

Once upon a time, when I hadn't lived the worst blogging slump of ever, I had this feature on my blog called Grabby Hands, where I talked to you about all the exciting releases I couldn't wait to get my hands on for the next month. Now that I've been back for a while, I realised how much I missed writing those posts, which means that Grabby Hands is back! I'll only do one every three months or so, this way I'll talk about the books I'm the most excited about and that I'll actually read at some point. When I saw that today's topic for Top Ten Tuesday (which was created by The Broke and The Bookish) was Top Ten Books I'm Looking Forward To in 2018, I decided to use that prompt to talk about the ten books I'm most excited about for the first three months of 2018.

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black - January 2nd 2018

Genres: young adult, fantasy

As it's Holly Black, you won't be surprised that this book is about... *drum rolls* faeries. I've been anticipating this one since 2016, when it was first announced, so you can imagine how excited I am, considering it comes out in a week. Holly Black's faeries quite intrigue me, because they're apparently wicked, violent, and that's what I want from a good faerie book... DARKNESS (and nothing else, if you know what I mean --> the shade). I had the chance to attend Cassandra Clare and Holly Black's event in London back in August, so hearing them talk about The Cruel Prince made me even more excited and Holly was such a nice person. She was so happy when I made her sign my copy of The Spiderwick Chronicles and I was emotional, because I was so young when I read them. Anyhow, I'm going to scream that I'm excited way too many times in this post, be prepared.

The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar - January 25th 2018
Genres: historical, fantasy

This book has been screaming my name for months, and I'm not even kidding. I once saw someone unbox an ARC of it on Instagram and instantaneously became jealous, considering how pretty the cover is. Then I read the summary and my envy got worse (haha). The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock is a historical fiction novel set in 1785 near the sea and this is the story of Mr Hancock who found a mermaid. Can you hear me screaming? I'm obsessed with the 18th century AND the sea. This book will take place near the docks, this is everything I want out of a book. It might be my most anticipated read at the moment.

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert - January 30th 2018

Genres: young adult, fantasy

Once again, the cover of this book is absolutely stunning. The Hazel Wood is the story of a young girl whose grandmother, the author of a 'cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales' passed away. When her mother is apparently stolen away to the Hinterland, the dark world where her grandmother's stories took place, she has no choice but to venture in the dangerous Hazel Wood, then in the Hinterland, to understand what happened and save her mother. It sounds absolutely amazing, a bit dark (I'm really into that right now) and I can't wait to get my hands on it.

Immortal Reign (Falling Kingdoms #6) by Morgan Rhodes - February 6th 2018
Genres: young adult, fantasy

This book was first supposed to come out in December (like every year), and then it got pushed back to February. *weeps* I understand though, because it is the last book in the Falling Kingdoms trilogy and it has to be perfect, but I still think about the ending of Crystal Storm once a week - or more - because I so need to know what happens next and whether or not my favourite characters will be okay (I'm sincerely scared). Anyway, Falling Kingdoms is a fantasy series that I absolutely love - I really fell head over heels for it in Frozen Tides, but I enjoyed it before! - and I'm so looking forward to knowing how it will end. I'm not ready to say goodbye to my favourite characters after several years together, but I want to know how their stories will wrap up (please Morgan Rhodes, don't kill everyone).

Shadowsong (Wintersong #2) by S. Jae-Jones - February 6th 2018
Genres: young adult, historical, fantasy

I read Wintersong earlier this year and absolutely loved it. It is the story of Liesl, who has a talent for music, but always had to stay in the shadows of his brother, a musical prodigy. When her sister is taken away by the Goblin King, she has to go Underground to try to save her. *dum dum dum* It was set in 18th century Austria, the Mozart family was mentioned several times and Liesl is such a Nannerl, which is why I couldn't help but fall in love with it. I can't say much about Shadowsong, considering it's a sequel, but I really want to know what will happen to Liesl next.

The Wicked Cometh by Laura Carlin - February 8th 2018
Genres: historical

The Wicked Cometh is a historical novel set in 1831, at a time where London was a dark and unsafe place, where many people disappear from the street. Our main character is determined to get out of the slums and is thrown into the aristocratic world, where she's under the tutelage of a mysterious woman. Soon, whispers about her past start to poison her new life, and the two women get involved in a sinister investigation. I have to say that this book isn't set in the Victorian era, for once, are you proud? Okay, the Victorian era starts in 1837, but I'm trying here. Anyhow, The Wicked Cometh intrigues me so much and I cannot wait to dive into it and to figure everything out.

Sightwitch (The Witchlands #0.5) by Susan Dennard - February 13th 2018

Genres: young adult, fantasy

Sightwitch is a prequel novella to the Witchlands series by Susan Dennard - the first two books are Truthwitch and Windwitch - and it follows the last Sightwitch sister, who is trying to rescue her best friend by going underground. It is told in an original way, through journal entries, sketches, history sketchbooks and so on, I am so intrigued. It's no secret that Susan Dennard is one of my favourite YA authors and she had written a novella for her debut series, which was absolutely excellent (by the way: read the Something Strange and Deadly trilogy). Because of all of this, I cannot wait to read Sightwitch, it'll make the wait until the release Bloodwitch a little more bearable.

Bygone Badass Broads: 52 Forgotten Women Who Changed the World by Mackenzi Lee - March 6th 2018
Genres: non-fiction, history

Mackenzi Lee is another of my favourite YA authors and I will read anything this woman writes. Some time ago (I'd say last year, but I'm not sure?), she developed a feature on Twitter where she wrote a thread about an amazing and badass woman every Friday. It made me learn about so many amazing historical figures that are now forgotten. This book is the result of this feature and will tell the stories of these amazing women wrongly forgotten. I already know it will be empowering and full of potential new role models for me. I cannot wait to read their stories.

The Radical Element (A Tyranny of Petticoats #2) edited by Jessica Spotswood and written by awesome authors - March 13th 2018

Genres: young adult, historical, fantasy

Last year came out my favourite YA anthology, A Tyranny of Petticoats, which focused on historical fiction and fantasy, featuring a diverse array of heroines. When it was announced that a second anthology, in the same vibe, would be made, I was over the moon. The Radical Element features stories "of the girls of all colors and creeds standing up for themselves and their beliefs" by amazing authors, among whom Mackenzi Lee (yes, again), Erin Bowman, and I loved their historical fiction novels. It also involves many authors I want to read something by (like Anne-Marie McLemore), so I'm quite excited!

The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton - March 13th 2018
Genres: young adult, fantasy

Once upon a time, in 2014, a masterpiece called The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender came out, and after that... Leslye Walton only wrote a novella in A Tyranny of Petticoats. I was so scared we'd never get another book by her ever again, but the time has finally come. The Price Guide to the Occult tells the story of Nor Blackburn, an unexceptional witch whose family has been cursed many centuries ago. All she wants is an ordinary life, until she comes across a mysterious book which promises to cast any spells for the right price. Nor then knows that a storm is coming straight for her, on the island where she lives. I cannot wait to get drown in Leslye Walton's words again and to discover her through another story.

If you hadn't noticed, the key words in this post were darkness, historical fiction and fantasy. I'm excited for other books coming out this winter, but these ones win the cake and just by writing this post, I want to go and pre-order them all... If only money grew on trees. I'll post a new Grabby Hands post at the end of February to talk to you about the books I'm most excited about for March, April and May, but until then...

What are your most anticipated releases of January, February and March 2018? Anything I missed? Are you excited to read any of the books I mentioned?

Lots of love,

Friday, 22 December 2017

How my reading life changed in 2017

Hello, beautiful people!

The end of the year is coming upon us and while, like every year, I'm planning to make a list of the best books that I read, I've come to realise that many things have changed in my reading life this year. When I came back to blogging a few months ago, I realised I couldn't be the blogger I used to be, posting book reviews most of the time, because that wasn't necessarily the way I wanted to focus on books anymore, as I wasn't even reading the same books as I used to. That's how I came up with this blog post, which is basically a reflection about what changed for me this year and who I became as a reader.

I joined bookstagram

Now, you'll tell me that it didn't exactly impact on my reading life, but it actually did. Trying to work on a bookstagram account was one of my goals for this year, and while I was, at first, dreadful at it, I have to say that I improved over the past few months and I'm somehow proud of myself (now, if I could live in places with lighting, it'd make my life easier). Bookstagram made me discover so many new books, especially beyond the young adult genre (but more on that later), and it was way easier to share about books for me this way (that's also why I've been blogging differently). I'm now talking with so many people who share my tastes in books so easily, I don't regret this decision for an instant, because this community brought me so much. However, I have to confess that because of bookstagram, I bought way too many books this year, mostly because I wanted to take pictures with all the books... But I shall come back to my e-reader in 2018. That was my bad, haha. 

I don't think about the number of books per month/year anymore

Maybe it won't be a big revelation for some of you, but I used to challenge myself when I was reading and that's how I ended up reading more than 200 books in 2015. I've certainly calmed down since then, even though I still do read a lot. Trying to read more and more made me feel guilty to read books I wouldn't get through as quickly as others, and I don't want that anymore. As it's the end of the year, I keep seeing people being worried about not reaching their Goodreads challenge, when I haven't really looked at mine for the last six months. Yes, it's easy for me to say, considering I completed it a long time ago, but still. When I write my wrap-ups, I don't even count how many books I read anymore, I just make the list. I have noticed that I haven't read as much as usual in December and I... don't mind? WUT. I don't like to think of reading as a competition – even with myself, because that's what it was – and that's why I'm not even going to set a proper Goodreads challenge for next year: I want to see how much I will read without it.

I stopped being scared of books because of their length

This statement is directly linked to the previous one, because while I started to read longer books in 2016 (aka the Outlander books and a German classic), 2017 was definitely the year I stopped being scared of them. It goes with not really looking at how many books I read every month: I'm not scared because of a challenge, and I read the books I want to read, even though they might be longer than what I'd normally read. I read a couple of bigger classics such as Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell, and then... 

I read Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. 

It probably is the longest book I have ever read, but it's also one of the books I have loved the most in my life. I read it so quickly, because I couldn't stop, and it still is on my mind, a month and a half after. A few months ago, I had told myself: 'hey, maybe I'll read this someday', but I wasn't sure. One day, when I was way too obsessed with the musical, I went to the bookstore, picked it up, started it the next day and finished it in three days. Afterwards, I was so proud of myself and felt so accomplished. I also realised that no book could stop me, if I had managed to read this one. Ever since then, I've added a lot of lengthy books to my wishlist, and I cannot wait to get to them, War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy being the first on the list.

I discovered buddy-reading

This isn't completely true, because I started buddy-readings in 2015, but it didn't always work out, to say the least. I'm a fast reader and always ended up finishing the book we were reading way before my buddy (it actually still happens, oops). The truth is, we don't all have the same amount of time to read, we don't all read at the same pace and because of that, buddy-reading can be hard

But sometimes, you find the right buddy, someone who reads at the same pace than you, who will love the same books than you, and it somehow becomes natural, after some time. That's how I ended up buddy-reading so many books with my friend Clara this past year: we started by buddy-reading Tess of the d'Ubervilles at the end of March because we wanted to read more English classics*, and nine months later, we have read fifteen books together**, we're in the middle of Anna Karenina that we're reading with a friend, and we'll buddy-read Lord of Shadows around Christmas time (the ultimate non-Christmas read, but anyway). I discovered how fun and motivating buddy-reading could be and I'm already looking forward to doing it again next year!

* spoiler alert: we read way more classics than we had anticipated and got addicted, so that was a success.
**according to my calculations, but keeping track of how many times we read Lady Midnight can prove tricky.

I opened up myself to more genres

I kept the most important thing for last, so here is a not-so-shocking confession: I don't read a lot of YA anymore, when it was all I used to read. At the beginning of the year, I wanted to challenge myself by reading different genres, and while at the beginning, I was actually trying, by the end of the year... It felt natural. Over the past few months, I rediscovered my love for classics and historical fiction. I hadn't realised how much I was talking about that until I was asked for recommendations, which surprised me and made me so happy that someone would trust me with such things. I also read more crime fiction/mystery (I had missed it) and got into non-fiction. I discovered that switching genres all the time prevented me from getting bored, getting reading slumps, and I felt way more fulfilled in my reading life, because everything was different. I have become quite a picky reader for YA, because I read so many of them in my entire life (like, really), but I still enjoy it and I'm definitely not looking down on YA. However, I grew so much as a reader and now need so many genres for my brain to be happy.

Overall, I couldn't be happier with my reading year: it wasn't the year I read the most, but it was the year I (re)discovered some genres and shared more and more with fellow readers. Here's to hoping that 2018 will be equally as good or even better!

What has this reading year brought upon you? Have you noticed a lot of changes in your reading tastes in the past few years, like I did?

Lots of love,

Friday, 15 December 2017

My favourite TV shows of 2017

Hello, beautiful people!

As the end of the year is coming to a close, it is time for many of us to write a lot of blog posts about all of our favourite things of the year. I am personally planning on making a list of my favourite books, TV shows and movies of 2017. Why am I starting with TV shows two weeks before the end of the year? you will ask. Well, I've already watched a lot of TV shows this year and while I'll probably catch up on some shows for the two remaining weeks of the year (read: Brooklyn 99 and Doctor Who), I really need to focus on watching all the movies I still haven't watched. Which is why you're getting this one quite early!

10. Harlots (2017)

This period drama is set in 1763 London, where one in five women makes a living by selling sex. This show follows Margaret Wells, a brothel owner, as well as her two daughters, Charlotte and Lucy, all of them trying to get better lives for themselves. Margaret Wells decides to move her brothel in a new street to thrive, which makes her in conflict with Lydia Quigley, the owner of a high class brothel.  

Now, from this summary, you might be unsure about this show. I know I was. Yes, there are sex scenes, but it is to be expected. However, it is an amazing and very addictive period drama that slays everything, even one of my favourite authors says so:
The first season aired this year and the second one will come out next year, I cannot wait.

9. Friends (1994-2004)

It might be shocking to most people that I started watching Friends in December 2016, but well... I did. It's the whole reason I got a Netflix subscription in the first place, because I really wanted to know what the hype was all about and to understand all of the references. To say the least, I wasn't disappointed. I watched it in ten months, because I needed it to last. It was the show I turned to when I needed to feel better or to laugh, and it never failed me. Friends truly deserve all the hype, the entire world was right about it. My favourite character was Chandler for sure, but I have a little bit of each character's personality within me, like everyone. I already know that when I feel down, I will rewatch it, because it truly helped me to go through 2017.

8. The Crown (2016)

The second season of The Crown was released last week on Netflix and yes, I already binge-watched it. The Crown already was one my favourite TV shows of last year and this second season did not disappoint. I loved that we got to focus a bit more on Elizabeth's family, with entire arcs on Margaret, Philip, the duke of Windsor or even Charles. Once again, it was very informative, while never being boring. The cinematography was stunning and once again, the actors did an amazing job. I really hope it'll get six seasons like they planned, and while I'm a bit sad to say goodbye to Claire Foy and Matt Smith as Elizabeth and Philip – they have planned to replace the actors every two seasons, so they actually have the same age that the characters they portray – I cannot wait to see how season 3 will be.   

7. Poldark (2015)

Poldark is based on Winston Graham's novels and follows the story of Ross Poldark, a man who returns from the American War of Independence to Cornwall to discover that his father is dead, his estate in ruins and the woman he loves is engaged to his cousin. He decides to take control over his own mines again while helping the people of the village. I absolutely love Poldark because it is set in the 18th century in Cornwall, which means the scenery is absolutely gorgeous and I listen to the soundtrack all the time. I have to confess that while I loved the first season, I disliked the second one so much (Ross was the worst and it felt repetitive), to the point that I didn't want to continue. I decided to watch the third season for Dwight Enys because I adore him* and it was so worth it. The third season had new characters such as Morwenna and Drake and it was absolutely amazing once again. I spent most of it suffering (because some awul things happened, but it was so good) and binge-watched it in three days, as I couldn't stop. So yes, it's back on my favourite shows list, and I have great expectations for season 4.

*What do you mean, it might be because I think that he looks like Matthew Crawley? I have no idea wha you're talking about.

6. Victoria (2016)

When I watched the first season of Victoria last year, I completely fell in love with it and it became my favourite show of the year. I was a bit scared the second season wouldn't live up to it, but it still was amazing! This show follows the reign of Queen Victoria, as well as some secondary storylines about people close to her and the servants of the palace (did they try to make it a little like Downton Abbey? I guess so). I'll always have a weakness for Prince Albert (especially portrayed by Tom Hugues), because he truly was amazing and it is shown in every episode. Everything was absolutely stunning, we even got an episode set in Scotland! I'm still waiting on the Christmas special episode that will be released in a few days, but I already know it'll be amazing. 

5. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (2015)

Another show that completely took me by surprise. It follows Rebecca Bunch, a top-notch lawyer living in New York city, who panics when she's offered a partnership. When she bumps into Josh Chan, her first love from summer camp, she decides to move to West Covina, California where he lives, in search for happiness and to become his girlfriend. This show is a comedy-drama series with amazing musical numbers and the more episodes I watch, the more I love it. Rachel Bloom, who created it and plays Rebecca, is an absolute genius and I have nothing but respect for her. This show is hilarious, sad, serious and unexpected. It is hands-down the best TV show on the CW right now, in my opinion.  

4. Stranger Things (2016)

I'm pretty sure that Stranger Things needs no introduction, considering that every time a season is released, it's all over the Internet – and with reason. The first season is set in Hawkins, Indiana, in 1983, where Will Byers, a 12 y.o. boy mysteriously disappears. His family and friends never give up on trying to find him, which might lead to strange discoveries... And it only gets strangers (#original). I absolutely love the retro vibes from this show and I think that the cast and their characters are fantastic! I binge-watched both seasons, because it's quite an addictive and quality show, which made it into my favourite shows very quickly. It's just perfect. 

3. One Day at a Time (2017)

One Day at a Time is a Netflix sitcom loosely based on the 1975-1984 show of the same name. It only has one season so far, but a second one is coming and it couldn't make me happier. Sadly, this show is very underrated but it is everything. It follows the Alvarez family, Penelope, a single mom who used to be in the army, her two children Elena and Alex, and her mother Lydia, a faithful Cuban. It's absolutely hilarious as well as clever, feminist and diverse. It only has thirteen episodes and they last about thirty minutes, so you'll probably end up binge-watching the whole thing. Please, watch it.

2. Gilmore Girls (2000-2007)

Another show I only watched in 2017... I know, I'm late to the party. * hides in a corner * My best friend made me watch the first few episodes at the end of September, but I accidentally got way too addicted and binge-watched the whole thing (revival included) in a little less than three months. I've loved a lot of shows, but Gilmore Girls now has a special place in my heart. Before watching it and meeting Rory Gilmore, I had never related to a show that muchThere were so many similarities between my life and Rory's that it sometimes hurt me... But also did me some good, I guess. If I hadn't watched the show that's number one in this list, Gilmore Girls would have been my favourite show of the year. It certainly is in my top 3 favourite shows of all times anyway. Also, can someone tell me we'll someday get a second season to the revival? PLEASE.

1. Legion (2017)

Last but not least, my favourite show of 2017 is Legion. *shocked gasps from the audience* I already talked about it way too many times and even wrote an entire blog post about it, so you might want to read it if you haven't yet. It's better not to know much going into Legion, but it's somehow a spin-off of X-Men. If you don't understand what's happening most of the time, it's normal. To sum it up, this show is brilliant, has amazing actors, gorgeous cinematography, you will never know what to expect, and Dan Stevens is portraying the main character (you know how much I love Dan Stevens). Oh and it is seriously underrated, so... GO WATCH IT, OKAY? I'll leave you with Leigh Bardugo's tweet:

So there you have it: my top 10 favourite shows of 2017! Do let me know if you've watched any of them, or what your favourite shows of the year were.

Lots of love,

Friday, 1 December 2017

Reading wrap-up + Favourites // November 2017

Hello, beautiful people!

This is it, we're in December and I couldn't be happier. I'm not a huge fan of the month of November and while this year, it was draining because of my anxiety, I still managed to enjoy as much as I could. I went on a three day trip with my family in Burgundy, attended the first ever Teen Book Club at Shakespeare & Co where we discussed Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and skyped with Becky Albertalli, and saw my friends a lot. The biggest part of the month has been full of deadlines and Netflix, but December promises to be a lot more exciting!


  • Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie 4/5 stars
  • Mansfield Park by Jane Austen 3/5 stars
  • Manderley Forever by Tatiana de Rosnay 3.5/5 stars
  • Les Misérables by Victor Hugo 5/5 stars
  • Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens 4/5 stars
  • Persuasion by Jane Austen 3.5/5 stars
  • Girlhood by Cat Clarke 4/5 stars
  • The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory 2/5 stars
  • The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy 5/5 stars
  • Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer 4/5 stars
  • The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier 3/5 stars
  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (reread) 5/5 stars 

Once again, I had an amazing reading month! I am really happy with what I read in November, because it reflects who I am becoming as a reader. I only read two young adult novels and one of them was a reread, which would have seemed impossible, a year ago. I'm slowly moving towards new genres and it couldn't make me happier, because I have so much more to discover. Also, switching genres help with reading slumps. I read two non-fiction books this month, one was a biography, the other about the meat industry and it makes me want to pick up more books in this genre, to learn more on every topic I'm interested in (you should see my Goodreads shelves, I keep adding more and more). I also read so many classics, I barely have any on my TBR now (but my TBR has almost been destroyed, so).

I love Marius and Cosette a little too much. I also love Eddie Redmayne a little too much but that's another story.


Les Misérables

I know, I know. I already published a blog post about it on Sunday. Nevertheless, Les Misérables made my November and that's why I had to include it anyway. I read this 1662 pages long beast in three days and I couldn't be prouder of myself. I fell in love with it even harder than when I read the abridged version all those years ago, I rewatched the musical and listened to the songs yet again. I even went on Les Misérables themed walks: to the house where Marius and Cosette lived, in front of Victor Hugo's house that I'll visit with my friend Clara later, but in the meantime, we went to the Panthéon to "visit" him and it was so much fun (as fun as visiting deceased authors can be, that is).

TV SHOW // Gilmore Girls

At the end of September, I finally started watching this show and it quickly became an addiction (I watched ten episodes in 24 hours because I was on holidays, oops). Ever since then, it has become a routine and I watched an episode during every meal (as I live on my own), when I was in the subway or in the train... You get the idea. I had never related that much to a show before, so I know it will always have a special place in my heart and I'll rewatch it at some point. There were so many similarities between Rory's life and mine, it was a little scary sometimes, but made me love the show even more. I also finished watching the revival yesterday and I really enjoyed it as well! I kinda want a second season, but I got so much more closure already, I wouldn't mind if it wasn't happening.

TEA // Jasmine Organic Tea (Marks & Spencer)

Because of Gilmore Girls, I've been drinking a lot of coffee lately (thanks, Lorelai and Rory), but tea still is my one true love and I started drinking it on a regular basis again in November. I've been drinking jasmine tea all the time, because it's an herbal tea, it's very sweet and makes me feel cosy and relaxed. My anxiety has been at its worst lately, but drinking this tea actually helped a little, it makes me feel lighter. I'm running out of it as you're reading this, so I better go to the nearest Marks and Spencer to buy some.

TV SHOW // Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

I started watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend at the beginning of the year and it totally took me by surprise. It's funny, has interesting characters, has amazing songs (because yes, they're acting, singing, dancing) and so much more. I binge-watched most of the episodes of season 3 this month and I have to say that this TV show keeps getting better and better. They did a parody of Empty Chairs at Empty Tables, which means it's officially one of my favourite TV shows now. *whispers* Les Misérables is everywhere.

Fantastic Beasts

I know, I know. I'm a predictable human being and you can scream 'AGAIN' if you want. I'm obsessed with Fantastic Beasts  every two seconds anyway and even wrote a blog post about that. But, November was a Fantastic Beasts month, no one can deny this. In November, it was a year since the first movie came out and I watched it, it was a year until the next movie will be released and most of all, it was the month they revealed the title for the second movie!! Which is Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, if you missed the announcement. I rewatched the movie yet again in November, screamed a lot about it on social media, stared a lot at the illustrated version in a bookstore (it'll be mine at some point, though) and even bought Fantastic Beasts themed candles. I'm helpless.

I hope November was an amazing month for you!

Lots of love,