Let’s Track Some Unicorns and Fall in Love With Girls In Unicorn Tracks

Before I start this review: yes it is I, Michelle, having returned from the pit of darkness that is a blogging slump for… well at least for this post lmao. I have finished everything on my to do list and now have to wait for a friend to finish her to do list before we can work on our assignment, and I realised I could actually blog? And I wanted to? I was shook (still am). Anyway, let’s finally review this book that I’ve been meaning to review for weeks.


Genre: YA | Fantasy | F/F romance
Goodreads rating: 3.84
My rating: ★★★

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a savage attack drives her from her home, sixteen-year-old Mnemba finds a place in her cousin Tumelo’s successful safari business, where she quickly excels as a guide. Surrounding herself with nature and the mystical animals inhabiting the savannah not only allows Mnemba’s tracking skills to shine, it helps her to hide from the terrible memories that haunt her.

Mnemba is employed to guide Mr. Harving and his daughter, Kara, through the wilderness as they study unicorns. The young women are drawn to each other, despite that fact that Kara is betrothed. During their research, they discover a conspiracy by a group of poachers to capture the Unicorns and exploit their supernatural strength to build a railway. Together, they must find a way to protect the creatures Kara adores while resisting the love they know they can never indulge.

DISCLAIMER: I was given a copy of the book by the author. This doesn’t affect my review

(honestly when the author reached out she had me at YA fantasy with a lesbian romance)

THIS BOOK WAS SO CUTE. Though I do feel that the relationship was a bit insta-lovey, it was adorable and I loved these two girls kicking ass together and falling in love while doing it. They’re both such cool ladies. I loved how while Mnemba often runs into dangerous creatures, she still has her moments where’s she’s scared, making her very human. Though I did like Kara, she did feel a little underdeveloped.

I also loved the worldbuilding of this book. It took place in a fictional country ( inspired from southern African countries), so going in you don’t know anything about the country, its culture, customs etc. Going out? I could’ve written an essay on it, it was so well done (and no info dumps!). And the way all the mythical creatures are described? You’d think the author had seen them for herself. Though I do wish it had been a little bit clearer when the story took place. It definitely distracted me since a lot of the times I was trying to figure that out. But still, amazing world building (and in such a short book?? Some authors can definitely learn from Julia Ember).

OH AND UNICORNS! The book is about UNICORNS. Do you know how excited that made me? I mean, unicorns are well known creatures, but I feel like they’re actually hardly ever in any fantasy books? Same with fantasy tv shows and movies. For such well known creatures they’re actually quite underrated (of course I might have just been reading and watching the wrong stuff).

I did feel like the conflict didn’t take up enough pages, and that it felt resolved a bit too easily. All in all I’d definitely recommend this book!

TRIGGER WARNINGS IN WHITE BECAUSE THEY INCLUDE SPOILERS
Mnemba is raped before the story starts 
Kara is almost raped during the story
Animal cruelty 

Have you read Unicorn Tracks yet? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments!

‘Underrated’ Book Tropes I’m Sick Of

 

You might think: Michelle, if the trope is underrated why are you sick of it? But that’s not what I meant by underrated. What I meant is, that when us bookworms talk about book tropes we’re sick of, we usually talk about love triangles and insta-love (Guilty – I too am very sick of these, especially insta-love. When it comes to love triangles I’m just sick of ‘girl must choose between two boys! WHO WILL SHE CHOOSE’ (just give me other types of love triangles guys. Hell, give me a love octagon) especially when it takes over the entire plot). So what tropes am I talking about? Glad you asked (yes I’m the one who askes shush)

THE LOVE INTEREST’S GIRLFRIEND IS A BITCH

Lately this trope started to irritate me a lot, and I don’t exactly know why? I haven’t read a book or seen a movie/tv show that had this trope, but boy do I hate it. The female lead has a crush on the male love interest, but oh no! He already has a girlfriend! And that girlfriend is a flat, one-dimensional bitch. She has no personality besides being bitchy, jealous and possessive, has no story of her own and is only there to be an obstacle in the two main leads’ love story. Can we please stop tearing other women down to build up the female lead? Please? Also, if the girlfriend is a bitch, and the love interest is in an abusive relationship, focus on the abuse! Show how unhealthy the relationship is instead of having the ‘evil’ girlfriend just being an obstacle. And give her more personality than that, please.

GIRL HATE

When girls hate each other for no reason?? Why?? Like Clary and Izzy hating each other in the TMI books, because?? Izzy is used to being the only girl?? Now she has to share attention or something?? I don’t know?? It’s just super annoying. Bless Shadowhunters for fixing this mistake (guys I’m super behind on Shadowhunters please don’t spoil me I have no idea what is going on right now I’ve only seen episode 1 because I have no time or energy to review the episodes).

EVERYBODY IS SUPER PRETTY LIKE IT’S YA’S NEXT TOP MODEL

Looking at you Throne of Glass.

Seriously where are the regular people at

MISCOMMUNICATION

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD IF YOUR ‘CONFLICT’ CAN BE SOLVED WITH ONE FRICKIN’ SENTENCE IT’S NOT A CONFLICT AND YOU NEED TO THINK OF A BETTER PLOT

Can you tell this trope annoys me a lot

ROMANTICISING ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS

I initially wasn’t going to include this one, since I wrote an entire post on it, but seriously. Stop it.

What are some tropes you’re sick of? Rant away in the comments!

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A – Z About Me

Thank you Ugnė for tagging me and sorry that it took me like a year to do this! Let’s get to know me better through the alphabet

A – Age: 19, for now. I’ll be twenty in June and I’m not ready #foreverkidatheartthough #peterpanseriouslydudewhereareyou #youdidn’tcomethroughtwoyearsago #nowsyourchance

B – Book I’m currently reading: Since I’m scheduling this I’m not sure what I’ll be reading by the time this goes up, but right now as I’m writing this I’m reading Les Miserables and Unicorn Tracks by Julia Ember

C – Chore you hate: Hmm making my grandfathers bed. His sheets are too small for his mattress so it’s super annoying how does my mom do it

D – Desert you love: 

E –  Essential start your day item: tea. Other people need coffee to function, I need tea

F – Favourite author/book: Harry Potter and The Perks of Being a Wallflower (this sounds like a Harry Potter book haha). Favourite author is probably Rick Riordan (his books come close to being my favourite books as well)

G – Gold or silver: Silver

H – Height: uuuh I have no idea around 1.70 meters

I – Instruments you play: keyboard

of my laptop lmao I’m not musically talented AT ALL

J – Job title: student and Blikopener (I work at the Stedelijk Museum here in Amsterdam as a ‘Blikopener’. Blikopeners are a group of teens between 15 and 19 who try to get other youth interested in art and help with workshops, events etc.)

K – Kids: me, myself and I

L – Living Arrangements: with my mom

M – Most overused word/phrase in your vocabulary: ooooh. Oh there you go there’s my answer. Just realised that ooooh is one I use a lot. Also awww

N – Nicknames: Mies, Michel, Robin, Mochelle, Michellama, Michellebean, Mimi

If you’re wondering about Robin, it’s because my friend is Batman

O – Overnight Hospital stay other than birth: hmm I don’t think so? I broke my wrist when I was five or something, but I don’t think I stayed overnight at the hospital back then

P – Pet peeve: hahahaha so many I’m a bitter old lady

Q – Quotes I like: so many! I’m a sucker for quotes. Today I’ll be going with:

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” ― Oscar Wilde

R – Right or left-handed: Right

S – Siblings: a halfbrother

T – Time you woke up today: around nine I think

U – Unique thing about you: um I dunno? We’re all individuals so we’re all unique *nods* *my attempt at being wise and deep*

V – Vegetable you love: umm I dunno brocolli?

X – X-Rays you’ve had: I don’t know how many they took but I assume I had X-Rays when I broke my wrist

Y – Yummy food you make: uuuuh cookies?

Z – Zodiac sign: Gemini

So that was the A – Z About Me Tag! I shall tag: Marie | Eve | Evi

Don’t feel obligated to do this!

So tell me something about you guys. What are your nicknames? What makes you unique? Do you play an instrument? Let me know in the comments!

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My Dream Author Panel

A while ago I was inspired by Eventbrite to create my own dream author panel. But where do you start when you plan a panel? I have so many authors I’d love to see at a panel, but obviously not all of them could come, even if it is a dream panel. So I decided to go for a theme: authors who deserve more recognition. I decided to keep it small and pick three authors, so that all three of them hopefully would get enough speaking time (after all they deserve more recognition, so it would suck if they still didn’t get that much recognition at the panel itself!).

So who have I chosen? I’m glad you asked! (ssh I know I was the one who asked no need to point it out)

THE AUTHORS

Calista Lynne

While I didn’t give this book a five-star rating, it’s been on my mind ever since I finished it. It was just so cute and the way it represented asexuality was really beautiful. I would love to hear more about how Calista wrote We Awaken and her future writing plans. Plus I’ve read some of her blogposts and she seems like such a fun person.

Julia Ember

Confession: I haven’t finished Unicorn Tracks but I’m already really enjoying it. I can’t tell you that much yet since I’m only 40 pages in, but when Julia emailed me whether I wanted to review it or not she had me at YA Fantasy novel with a lesbian romance. I haven’t finished it yet, but I know I want to know more about Julia and her writing process.

Tara Sim

Tara is probably the most famous one out of the three, as I’ve seen Timekeeper around quite a lot, but not as much as say Throne of Glass or other famous YA books, and boy does Timekeeper deserve all the attention and praise. I won’t go into any details since I’ve already reviewed it, but if you haven’t read it yet please do (I will never stop telling you guys to please read it okay I will shout my love for this book from the rooftops). I woud love to hear more about Timekeeper and Tara herself seems like a really nice and interesting person.

And that’s my panel! Thank you so much to Eventbrite for coming up with this fun idea. If you want to organise and register for conferences in your local area, check out their website.

Would you come to my panel? Who would you invite to a bookish panel? Let me know in the comments! (also please gush with me over these books)

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Review One: Why Don’t You Just Rip My Heart Out Won’t Ya

one

Genre: YA | Contemporary |
Goodreads rating: 4.17
My rating:  ★★★★★

 

 

 

 

 

 

summary

Tippi and Grace share everything—clothes, friends . . . even their body. Writing in free verse, Sarah Crossan tells the sensitive and moving story of conjoined twin sisters, which will find fans in readers of Gayle Forman, Jodi Picoult, and Jandy Nelson.

Tippi and Grace. Grace and Tippi. For them, it’s normal to step into the same skirt. To hook their arms around each other for balance. To fall asleep listening to the other breathing. To share. And to keep some things private. The two sixteen-year-old girls have two heads, two hearts, and each has two arms, but at the belly, they join. And they are happy, never wanting to risk the dangerous separation surgery.

But the girls’ body is beginning to fight against them. And soon they will have to face the impossible choice they have avoided for their entire lives (Goodreads).

review

This book you guys. This book. I should’ve reviewed this sooner, because my memory is getting fuzzy, but I really need to review this anyway because I loved it and it deserves more attention.

One is written in poems. Going in I had no idea what to expect, but damn was this a good move. It worked really well with the story, made me feel like I knew the characters better and made it so much more emotional (which it already was). The story itself was beautiful, but I don’t know if it would’ve made the same impact if it hadn’t been written in verse.

Now, since my memory is a bit fuzzy and because I love making them, I’ll be summing up why I loved this book in a list

  • It’s about sisters!!
  • The rest of the family plays a huge part as well, and so do their new friends, but initially it’s still about the relationship between Grace and Tippi
  • Though they’re still clearly individuals
  • But the bond between them is so beautiful
  • I didn’t know much about siamese twins before reading this book, but it really sounds like the author did a lot of research and I think a lot of people will understand (and treat) siamese twins better by reading this book
  • The cute friendships that are formed during the book
  • The way it was written made me feel more involved in the twins’ life
  • Slightly predictable, but it doesn’t matter because it’s just so beautifully written and it’s so easy to get into
  • You just can’t stop reading

It’s just very beautiful and you should read it okay

I’m very sorry for that not so very helpful review, but I tried. I tried to get you all to read this beautiful book if you haven’t yet. I hope I convinced you all.

Have you read this yet? What did you think? Or do you know another book that is written in verse that you’d recommend? Let me know in the comments!

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The School Book Tag

Thank you Eve for tagging me! If you’re not familiar with Eve’s awesome blog go check it out now. I haven’t done a tag in ages, but since I’m trying to get back into scheduling posts, what better way to start than with tags? SO LET’S DO THIS.

MATHS

a book that has two characters who equal perfection

© Viria

© Viria

Hmm what (bro)tp to go with today? You know, I haven’t gushed about Percabeth in a long time and they remain one of my favourite book couples. They have a healthy, cute relationship and the build-up was A+

BIOLOGY

a book I would like to dissect

I dunno Les Mis maybe? GUYS DID I MENTION I FINALLY, AFTER FOUR YEARS OR SO OF IT BEING ON MY SHELF, STARTED LES MIS? Cause I did. I’m only like ten pages in but liking it so far. Since I’m not that far in yet I don’t know if I would like to dissect it, but since it’s huge and has a lot of characters I think it would be a great choice to dissect *nods*

PHYSICS

a book with a lot of potential

I’m going with a book I haven’t read yet. There are SO many though, but I recently bought Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley and it sounds amazing. Definitely has a lot of potential so I hope it won’t let me down.

CHEMISTRY

a book I really bonded to

The Perks of Being a Wallflower hands down. I definitely bonded to Harry Potter as well, but I felt that was a bit of a cliché answer haha. I relate so much to Charlie and I love this book so much. Damn, I need a reread.

ENGLISH

a book that should be a modern classic

Aaaah okay I don’t like giving the same answer twice but… The Perks of Being a Wallflower. It is so well-written and such an important book. It definitely should be a modern classic.

P.E.

a book that I raced to the finish with

While I didn’t finish it within a day or anything (because school yay) the last book that I raced to finish was Magnus Chase and the Hammer of Thor (which I really need to review).

MUSIC

a book that reminds me of a song

Hmm I’m not sure? I do have songs that reminds me of books, but not really the other way around. So I’m going to be boring and not choose an answer here

I’ll be tagging: Lia | Kwante | Hannah

Don’t feel obligated to do this!

What book reminds YOU of a song? And what’s your favourite subject and why? Let me know in the comments!

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Blogsterdam: KITTY EDITION 2.0

Blogsterdam is supposed to be a monthly thing but alas, the blogger behind this blog is very forgetful. Anyway, Blogsterdam is a blogging series in which this forgetful blogger talks about her hometown Amsterdam, as the city is so much more than drugs, cheese and the Red Light District.

Yes it’s true, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. It’s truly time for another Blogsterdam! KITTY EDITION (if your wondering why it’s 2.0, check out my post on the Cat Boat!). I mentioned going to a cat cafe last month, and I finally got around to writing about it.

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The cat cafe is called ‘Kopjes’, which is both the Dutch word for ‘cups’ and a cat rubbing its head against you (I couldn’t find a translation for this word). When you walk in you get to the register where you need to wash your hands and can buy some cat merchandise.

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Behind the register you go through the door to the cafe area where the cats live. The cafe is very cozy and full with cat related stuff. Like the menu has a cat on it of course

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Of course I don’t remember everything that was on the menu, but I’d really recommend the red velvet cake.

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Basically, if you like foods and cats this is the place for you. Now, time for what I’m sure you’re all waiting for: CAT PICTURES

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Meet the cats (unfortunately you can’t really read their names in the picture sorry about that)

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Look at that cheeky leg

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Story time: I was petting the first cat, but all of a sudden it moved like it was going to bite me. So I took the hint and left it alone. I sat back down in my chair next to my friend and all of a sudden the cat charged me. I thought it was going to attack me (we both did), then it jumped on my lap, jumped to my friend’s lap and sat down. IT WAS SO RUDE. I WAS GIVING YOU LOVE AND ATTENTION EARLIER WHY DID YOU CHOOSE HER.

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Look at her face lmao

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LOOK AT THE TINY AMSTERDAM HOUSE THEY HAVE

I don’t wanna play favourites but… Tiny (the one in the house) is my favourite

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CAN YOU BLAME ME THOUGH I MEAN LOOK AT IT

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Seriously recommend this cafe if you’re a cat lover. I had never been to a cat cafe before this one, so I don’t have anything to compare it with, but I really loved it.

Important information:
Address: Marco Polostraat 211
Opening hours: Wednesday through sunday 10.00 – 19.00
It’s best to make a reservation! You get two hours at the cafe
Also you need to pay three euros entrance (do it for the kitties)
You can only pay with a debit or credit card

Have you ever been to a cat cafe? Or something similar? How was it? Let me know in the comments! Also if you have a cat please share some cat stories with me I love cats

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