Books I Loved But?? Memory?? ERROR CANNOT BE FOUND

Do you ever look at your highest rated books on Goodreads and marvel at the fact that you don’t remember like,, half of them? ME TOO. So I figured I’d talk about them, see if I can remember if I loved them, whether you should read them and if should reread them. Oh and possibly freak out because sequels were published without me even realising it help

Rise of the Darklings 

The book that inspired this post. The other day i noticed it on my goodreads shelves and saw the five star rating but?? I had forgotten this even existed?? I remember two things about this book: 1) at some point Merlin showed up and my inner BBC Merlin fangirl freaked and 2) for some reason I imagined the piskie (a fairy creature) to look like the Pokemon Sneasel 


what fairy creature looks like this why does my brain work this way

I don’t think it was described to look anything like this. I remember not getting why I pictured it that way back then too lmao Since I read this before I started blogging there is no review so I guess I’ll never find out why I loved this one so much that I gave it five stars  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I Am Princess X

I raved SO MUCH about this one when I read it back in 2015 and even included it in my top 10 reads of that year but now? When someone asks me for my favourite book, I Am Princess X definitely does not pop up into my head. Granted, I’ve read a lot of books since then that do surpass it, but still. It makes me sad that I didn’t even remember this book, considering how much I loved it back then. If you’re not familiar with I Am Princess X (which is likely because I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone mention this book??) it’s about two best friends who created the comic I Am Princess X together, but then one of them goes missing. The other stops working on the comic, but then suddenly I Am Princess X resurfaces, and she begins to wonder if maybe her best friend is behind it and that the new comics are actually clues about what happened to her. It focuses a lot on friendship (no romance!!), I found it to be a page turner and I loved that the comic pages were included. Okay now I want to reread this

The School For Good and Evil Series

THERE’S A FOURTH BOOK AND I HAVEN’T READ IT YET??? I EVEN KIND OF FORGOT ABOUT IT? EVEN THOUGH THIS IS LIKE ONE OF MY FAVOURITE SERIES?

Very, very underrated which is SUCH a shame because it’s so good? It’s about two girls who get taken to The School For Good and Evil, where they have to prepare for their own fairytales. The books play a lot with tropes, references so many fairytales, has great worldbuilding, is actually quite dark?? But also has great messages and the friendship between the two girls is central to the plot. Look at that more books I want to reread.

Made You Up

I didn’t exactly forget about this one, especially with Eliza and Her Monsters, written by the same author, coming out last year, but I still feel like I kind of forgotten about it, especially on the blog! It was one of my favourite reads of 2015 but I never mention it? I remember Made You Up getting me out of a slump as I just couldn’t put it down. Also the author reposted my photo on her insta #nobigdeal #ifreakedout 

Magonia

To be fair I don’t think I’d enjoy this one if I were to read this one now haha. Looking back I’m actually surprised I enjoyed it this much and gave it four stars? There are a lot of mixed feelings about this one (at least back when it came out) and I’d probably be more on the negative side if I were to (re)read it now. I don’t even remember what I liked??? I just realised I reviewed it thank you past me for being helpful. Looking at my list of things I disliked though…I can just tell that that would outweigh the good for me if I were to reread it now haha. Apparently Ava quickly adjusted to her new life after just dying and then suddenly finding herself on a ship with magical bird people*, there’s a love triangle which included a jerk and apparently the concept is a bit vague and not really explained?? Past me was a mysterious being for giving this 4.5 stars

* This is not a spoiler btw

The Parasol Protectorate

Look! It’s one of my favourite series from when I was 15. I’ve seen The Finishing School series, its YA prequel series (though written after The Parasol Protectorate), around a bit in the blogging community, but The Parasol Protectorate? My bisexual* parasol-wielding badass heroine Alexia Tarabotti? NOWHERE TO BE FOUND. The series takes place in the Victorian era* but the supernatural is living out in the open. Vampires are THE fashionistas, while werewolves serve in the army. Alexia on the other hand is Soulless, which doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a heart, but she can be a bit cold if I remember correctly which is so refreshing to see. There are also other multiple queer characters and it’s just so wonderful? Definitely want to reread this now. Hopefully I remember this correctly and I won’t find anything problematic during my reread *cue nervous laughter* ***

* It’s been years since I read this but I remember her clearly being interested in another woman? She didn’t act on it though as she was in a relationship with a man. I don’t think it was ever stated that she was bisexual, that’s just how I read it back then and you will have to pry this headcanon from my cold dead bi hands
** Don’t quote me on this this entire post is written around the fact I have bad memory lol
*** 15-year old me was clueless as heck y’all how are 15-year olds and younger nowaday so wise and aware I didn’t know anything

Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress


I accidentally took this picture but I really like it? Plus it gives of a fantasy vibe which is perfect

Think Percy Jackson except it’s about an Indian boy, Indian mythology and I don’t think he’s a demigod? I have no memory of this except it being a really fun read and siblings!! And that it was a real page turner. If you love Percy Jackson or any of Rick Riordan’s mythology series I’d definitely recommend this one. There are two more books that I never ended up reading, because I just,, like any other book on this list,, forgot about it?? Which is such a shame. I blame new shiny books coming out every day and taking my attention away.

The Invisible Library


Uhhh I accidentally used the sequel but I didn’t want to redo the picture with the first book because the red looks so pretty??

Look!! Another series that I just remembered has a new book out and I haven’t read it yet even though I really enjoyed the first two books. The main character is a spy for the Invisible Library, having to retrieve books from all these different kind of worlds, which is just so much fun. I loved the detective atmosphere and travelling through other worlds.*

* Just went to check because I had a feeling a fourth book may be out already AND YEP I’M TWO BOOKS BEHIND SOON THREE BECAUSE BOOK 5 IS COMING OUT THIS YEAR RIP ME

I might actually do a part 2 if I come across more books I loved but forgotten about. Considering my memory that’s very likely! So if you liked this post and want to see a second part let me know.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? Do you forget awesome books regularly as well? Let me know in the comments!

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Over Raging Tides // Female Pirates Kicking Ass

Author: Jennifer Ellision
Genre: Fantasy // Pirates!! //  YA
Series: Lady Pirates #1
Goodreads rating: 3.66
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐

 

 

 

 

The pirate crew of the Lady Luck lives by many rules, but chief among them is this: they do not allow men on board.

That’s a rule that quartermaster Grace Porter is willing to break when a shipwrecked young nobleman offers her information of an omniscient map, stolen from his warship by an enemy vessel. Until now, the map was only the stuff of legend… but with its help, Grace may finally be able to hunt down the Mordgris, the sea monsters who stole her mother away from her.

Unfortunately, some members of her crew have other plans…

To find the map and face the Mordgris, Grace will have to confront her past, put the Luck between warring nations, and uncover treachery aboard the ship. And ultimately, her revenge and the destruction of the Mordgris will come at a hefty price: the betrayal of her crew.

Grace promised them they wouldn’t regret this.

She just isn’t sure that she won’t.Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book by the author (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review

This one was certainly fun! I mean an all-girls pirate crew? Yes please! If this had been developed a bit more it would have been a new favourite. Let’s break this down in some✨ lists ✨

What I liked

💛 Female pirates who are pirates in every sense of the word! They are ruthless, they steal, they murder, they are crude, they love their rum… They were nothing different from their male counterparts, except they also had to fight against sexism

”It is a fool who underestimates a woman because of her sex, Mr. Wesson,” I say, hearing a slight tremble in my rage. ”And an ungrateful one who forgets who just saved his life.”

💛 The relationships between the pirates – they were very much a family, even if not all of them got along. I wish we had seen more of this to be honest

💛 Gracie was a delightful protagonist, although I do feel like she was a bit flat. But we’ll get to that! She’s set on avenging her mom (though hopeful that she’d find her alive), but she’s still loyal to her crew and would never want to hurt her. While she’s a pirate in every way, she’d never kill someone purely out of bloodlust.

💛 The relationship between Gracie and Captain Ilene: Ilene is her stepmother/second mother, as she and Gracie’s mom fell in love (!!) years ago when Ilene infiltrated Gracie’s father’s ship. Ilene didn’t just teach her the way of a pirate, but also made sure she was very educated in other aspects (like knowing an ancient language). It was clear that they loved and cared for each other, which was great to see

💛 The friendship between Gracie and Sam. While it wasn’t said that they were best friends, it did seem that way as they would do anything for each other. I can’t wait to see more of their friendship in the sequel

💛 The fact that not all of the pirates are straight! I don’t know about Gracie (seems straight so far, but I might have missed something?) but Gracie says that some of her crew were off to ‘find themselves a man or woman for a few hours’ when they were on land, and Sam definitely is bi.

What I didn’t like

💛 I’m confused about the worldbuilding? There are countries at war, but we don’t know anything about these countries or why they’re at war. Outside of that war, it was hard to picture the world this was set in. There are apparently Eleven Seas and a few port towns are mentioned, but it was very vague.

💛 The plot was a bit rushed, which also left us with characters and relationships that felt a bit underdeveloped. Like I said, Gracie felt a bit flat to me, even though I loved her, and so did the other characters. The relationship between Gracie and Ilene is the only one that I felt was truly developed. The romance was… Okay? I felt very neutral about it, but I think I could’ve liked it if it wasn’t rushed and underdeveloped. It’s not that the relationship itself was rushed per se, but because the plot is, the relationship just went with it. There wasn’t really a gradual change in their relationship for me, all of a sudden they were on friendly terms and at some point he even takes huge risks that would not only endanger him, but would leave his little brother all by himself. I just missed the build up to this, which made this feel a bit unrealistic. I wouldn’t call this insta-love though.

💛 I wish we learned more about the Mordgris, but that may be something left for book 2? I hope so, because they were fascinating but I didn’t really fear them? Even though they were clearly creepy

All in all Over Raging Tide was a fun read about female pirates who’d die for each other (and for treasure and glory and all that – they want to be Pirate Queens lads!), but I just wish it had been developed a bit more. I have high hopes for the sequel!

And it had turned out my father was right. Women are terrible luck. At least, for anyone who crosses us.

Have you read Over Raging Tides? Or another (female) pirates book? Any recommendations? Let me know in the comments!

The Weekly Hufflepuff #67 // Uhhhhhhh *insert witty title*

Yes a weekly wrap up on a Monday but it’s okay

It’s been over a MONTH since my last weekly wrap up and?? I don’t know how that happened?? I did talk about some personal stuff in April’s wrap up (IT’S ALMOST TIME TO WRAP UP MAY HOWWWW) but I didn’t share any blog posts that I read?? Be prepared to get lots of great posts thrown in your facesMy memory is failing me and I have no clue what I’ve read since my last wrap up (both weekly and monthly) so I’ll just talk about what I’m reading right now which is okay because it’s SO GOOD. I was hooked from the first page and I immediately knew Anger Is A Gift would be a new fave. It’s coming out tomorrow so I should have finished it by now so I could have my review up but… I requested it not that long ago thinking I wouldn’t get accepted anyway, but then I DID and now I’m kinda screwed. But I’m halfway there so my review should be up next week at the latest*

* That’s what I thought when it came to Starfish and that took me a MONTH hahahaSo last wrap up I didn’t talk about what classes I’m following this term, which surprises me because I remember being prepared to RANT but then I just forgot because school is eating my brain. Oh well

Anyway, in either your third or fourth year you need to choose a specialisation. I chose culture, which means I’m taking fine arts, film, literature and philosophy of culture. Fine arts and film are a lot of fun, philosophy of culture is okay – it’s not a lot of philosophy, mostly it’s history and a lot of it I already knew? And then there’s literature

Now I know what you’re thinking: ‘Michelle, you’re a book blog! Are you saying you don’t like your literature class?’ hahahaha

That’s exactly what I’m saying

Okay but hear me out. My entire class is focusing on ONE book. ONE. A book of course written by a white, abled straight cis man, who also!! Is incredibly islamophobic, sexist and homophobic!! So the book we’re reading?? A MESS. My teacher? LOVES IT. My anxious ass? QUIET. I really wish I could speak up but,,, ugghh. Anxiety. The teacher doesn’t seem to have a problem with the book at all. She even went out of her way to say that she doesn’t think it’s islamophobic. Oh and the sexism?? ‘so absurd that it’s unrealistic’ yeah the main character thinking women shouldn’t vote is so unrealistic hahahahaha and the objectifying of women? Doesn’t happen!!! Never!! But to make matters worse there was this:

”Do you guys think there’s any humour in this? I do”*proceeds to read aloud a quote that I personally found homophobic/lesbophobic but apparently she thinks it’s funny!!*

And of course a few people laughed

Meanwhile I felt like I had been slapped in the face and was about to cry

So yeah. FUN

But my other classes are a lot more inclusive! Not as much as I’d like, but still. Plus at least they’re not this woman :) We have to fill out surveys for each class each term, so I’m definitely going to say something about her and her class. Maybe I’ll find the courage to speak up in tomorrow’s class now that I’ve finished the book but that woman makes me really anxious (speaking up itself already does sdjgh)

Anyway what else happened?

💛 EUROVISION. Eurovision was once again a blast, though there was not enough weird Eurovision stuff, glitter and gay. Also I don’t like the winner. I had SO many faves why did my two least favourite ones end up first and second. Countries were robbed. Not enough meme material. But it’s Eurovision and I will always love it

💛 MY OTP GOT MARRIED AND IT WAS BEAUTIFUL AND PERFECT AND GINA RODRIGUEZ FINALLY APPEARED ON B99 AND IT WAS PERFECT AND ROSA’S REACTION WAS ICONIC AND RELATABLE AND SUCH A MOOD (don’t want to spoil anyone so I’m being vague lol)

💛 Two weeks ago I had to take care of the neighbours cat and she was the CUTEST thing #blessed

💛 Uhhhhhhh

💛 I seriously need a PensieveSince my monthly wrap up I wrote four posts wow so much many posts much impressed

💛 I reviewed My Name is Victoria which was,,, okay? But the plot twist at the end ruined it for me
💛 I also reviewed Starfish which was INCREDIBLE and my favourite book of the year nothing will surpass it
💛 I shared my reactions to the Hogwarts Mystery game
💛 I shared another playlist for Monthly Mixtape

I can’t wait for summer break to get here and I swear if I don’t pass my exams and have to redo them my school is going to catch these hands💛 Emma @ The Book Crunch shares her favourite YA books that feature mental health issues
💛 LaRonda @ Flying Paperbacks recommends some contemporaries that deal with mental health as well
💛 Julianna @ Paper Blots reviews My So-Called Bollywood Life which sounds like a great book so check out her amazing review
💛 Ilsa @ A Whisper of Ink talks about her writing in the Rising Author Tag and shares some amazing snippets
💛 Annemieke @ A Dance With Books celebrated her blog’s third birthday
💛 She also wonders if these days 3-star ratings are bad ratings
💛 Eri and Alexis @ Lacy Literacy talk about their day at YALLWEST
💛 Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books shouts about 10 books she rarely screams about but feels like she should
💛 She also wonders if you have to review books to be a book blogger
💛 Oh and of course she once again made me even more excited about her WIP by doing my Your WIP in Gifs Tag
💛 Amber @ The Literary Phoenix talks about the worst movies adapted from books
💛 Sarah @ Written Word Worlds talks about stereotypical YA characters and created a quiz to figure out which one you are
💛 Kat @ Life and Other Disasters wonders if you fight for your tv show
💛 She also created another great writing tag called The Milestones Write Tag
💛 May @ Forever and Every recommends YA Asian books 
💛 She also reviewed Furyborn and rants about the messy and vague bi rep which you should really read
💛 Ever wondered how to write a shipable OTP? Elizabeth @ Redgal Musings has a guide for you
💛 Holly @ Nut Free Nerd talks about book blogging as a feminist space
💛 Lu @ It’s Lu Again started a new blogging series called ‘Coming Out Series’ and I can’t choose which one to share so: Part 1 about LGBT+ Rep // Part 2 about 2018’s LGBT+ themed books // Part 3 in which she reviews Autoboyography
💛 Aimee @ Aimee, Always shares 5 things Children of Blood and Bone made her do 
💛 Vivian @ Writing With Style talks about how she avoids inconsistencies in her writing
💛 Amena @ Nerd in New York talks about how blogging changes the way she reads
💛 Inside My Library Mind shares all you need to know to start using Edelweiss
💛 Chiara @ Delicate Eternity gives 5 reasons why she enjoyed Ace of Shades
💛 Cristina @ Girl in the Pages talks about YA books set in college
💛 Fadwa @ Word Wonders shares how she manages to not drown under blogging and reading
💛 And last but definitely not least, Cait @ Paper Fury announced her second (!!) novel

I have four more weeks to go until summer break* but it feels sooo much longer. Probably because I never even got to properly rest from last school year dskngjhd I have so many blog post ideas and I’m so excited about blogging again, but it’s hard to find the time and energy to be honest. Even though I don’t want school to dominate my life (which I’m kind of succeeding in?) I just can’t bring myself to blog as much as I’d want to. I also really, really want to change things about my design** and technically I could make time, but I’d rather use that time to write posts and blog hop. It’s starting to bug me though, I really want to change things haha

* If I pass everything please I’m begging you
** You may have noticed I changed my ‘summary’ and ‘review’ banners in my review

So yeah after I scheduled this post I got reaaaally annoyed with my old design and realised that the new posts I’ve got planned (emphasis on planned I haven’t written anything lmao) wouldn’t be done justice soooo LOOK NEW DESIGN. And a few new graphics. It’s not done yet, as I need to replace a bunch of other graphics and I want to clean up my categories more (you may have noticed that my menu is a lot smaller, but I want to come up with more categories and just order everything better) So if you only see one post from me this week blame the new design lol 
Are you almost done with school? (please don’t tell me if you’re done this week I will cry out of envy) How are you hanging in there? Read any amazing books? Did you cry at the Peraltiago wedding? Let me know in the comments!

Monthly Mixtape // Mellifluous: Sweet and Cute Songs

musical hufflepuff

Monthly Mixtape is a music feature created by Eve @ Twist in the Taile and Evi @ Adventuring Through Pages (check out their blogs!!). Each month they come up with a one-word prompt as inspiration for a playlist.

mellifluous

mellifluous, adjective: 1 : having a smooth rich flow 2 : filled with something (such as honey) that sweetens

Unfortunately I missed last month’s mixtape, but when I saw this month’s theme I was DETERMINED not to miss it. It’s just so sweet and cute?? That’s also what I went with when picking out songs. So I ended up with a lot of love songs lol.

SEND AN OWL

What kind of songs or music do you think of when you hear ‘mellifluous’? Any songs on my playlist that you like? Let me know in the comments!

signature-2

Starfish // The Best Anxiety Rep I’ve Ever Read


Author: Akemi Dawn Bowman
Genre: Contemporary //  YA
Goodreads rating: 4.12
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Kiko Himura has always had a hard time saying exactly what she’s thinking. With a mother who makes her feel unremarkable and a half-Japanese heritage she doesn’t quite understand, Kiko prefers to keep her head down, certain that once she makes it into her dream art school, Prism, her real life will begin.

But then Kiko doesn’t get into Prism, at the same time as her abusive uncle moves back in with her family. So when she receives an invitation from her childhood friend to leave her small town and tour art schools on the West Coast, Kiko jumps at the opportunity in spite of the anxieties and fears that attempt to hold her back. And now that she is finally free to be her own person outside the constricting walls of her home life, Kiko learns transformative truths about herself, her past, and how to be brave.

A luminous, heartbreaking story of identity, family, and the beauty that emerges when we embrace our true selves.Disclaimer: I was given an copy of this book by Netgalley and the publisher (thank you!) in return for an honest review

Where do I even start? Starfish has been one of my most anticipated reads for a while now, and boy it did not disappoint in the slightest. In fact I think it went beyond my expectations.

I’ve been having trouble writing this post for weeks now, because putting my love for this book into words?

It’s been a while since I read a book that I loved this much, plus a lot of it hit me personally, making it even harder to write this review. While I haven’t gone through exactly the same thing as Kiko, her relationship with her mother really reminded me of mine with my father, something I haven’t really talked about on here. While of course there are differences between Kiko’s mom and my father, there were a lot of similarities and I’m just so happy to see this represented to well in ya fiction. Because I’m lucky to know that things weren’t okay, so I know that it’s okay to choose to not have a relationship with my father now, but there are so many kids and teens out there that don’t, that think they just have to accept the way it is because they’re family. 

She can’t be the villain if she’s the victim.

Starfish shows us that it’s not okay, not in the slightest, and never tries to normalise her mom’s behaviour or get us to symphatise with her.

One quote that hit me really hard, because I’ve heard pretty much the exact words (except in Dutch of course) were: ”I’m not some evil dictator.” Her mom constantly played the victim, made it all about herself, constantly looked down on Kiko, and meanwhile Kiko badly tries to be perfect as to please her mom. I still have issues trying to do everything perfectly because of my father, so I related to Kiko so much.

Kiko’s anxiety definitely stems from her mother’s abuse, but it also stems from (TRIGGER WARNING: sexual abuse. Yes, this is a spoiler, but I want to mention this so that people know what to expect going in) her uncle sexually abusing her when she was a kid. This only made her mother’s abuse worse, as she doesn’t believe her. Thankfully I haven’t experienced any sexual abuse, but I definitely got my anxiety from my father’s abuse, making me feel a lot more represented in this book than others that deal with anxiety.

That’s not to say that other books I’ve read don’t have great anxiety rep! One of the reasons I loved Queens of Geek and The Upside of Unrequited so much is because of their great anxiety rep, but Starfish? Starfish is so on point. It touched upon things that I haven’t seen before in YA (that’s not to say it isn’t there! I just personally haven’t read it or my memory is failing me once again) and it made me think about my own WIP, as these things Kiko felt and experienced are just so normal to me that I didn’t even think about including them in my own WIP that also deals with anxiety.

I loved the inclusions of what Kiko actually wanted to say, and what she really ended up saying, because same? Not being good at talking to people, hating parties and loud music*, not being able to have fun when there are people you don’t feel comfortable around**, needing someone to hide behind/to talk for you/just be there with you in new situations, quickly worrying that you said the wrong thing and upset someone just because they’re not immediately responding… and just so much more. Starfish captured anxiety so well – anxiety is different for everyone, so there were differences between me and Taylor (Queens of Geek) and Molly (The Upside of Unrequited), but Starfish is the first book that when it came to my anxiety I just felt fully represented in.

Normal people don’t need to prepare for social interactions. Normal people don’t panic at the sight of strangers. Normal people don’t want to cry because the plan they’ve processed in their head is suddenly not the plan that’s going to happen.

* Fun fact: when I was still in my mother’s womb and my mother would go somewhere with loud music I would protest by moving around and kicking until she left lmao sorry mom so yeah that’s something I probably wouldn’t like even if I didn’t end up with anxiety, but now it can be really hard for me to handle?
** Like it didn’t matter I had my friends at school parties I did NOT feel comfortable at all with all the other people around. During our senior trip in Barcelona our teachers surprised us by going to a club hahahaha thanks mates couldn’t you have warned a girl I had a panic attack :) bless the club for having wifi though so I could talk to my mom all evening

I loved how at the end of each chapter Kiko would describe what she drew or painted that day, which always reflected something she went through, felt or experienced during that chapter, and to see how she’d turn that into art. Sometimes it was heartbreaking, sometimes heartwarming, but it was always beautiful. The way Kiko’s written as an artist is something I aspire to write as one of my character is an artist as well. Plus as an art lover it was just fun to read about an artist!

I draw a woman wearing an elaborate dress, twirling like she’s made of light and sun. And then I draw a shriveled girl trapped within her shadow. She doesn’t want the light – she just wants her mom.

One of my favourite things in this book is her relationship with the artist Hiroshi, who doesn’t just take her under his wings as an apprentice, but welcomes her into his family. He gives her so much wisdom, love and kindess, and so did the rest of his family. I also loved that this way Kiko could reconnect to her Japanese roots, which is something she was missing. Speaking of the Japanese rep, I’m not Japanese, so I can’t speak for it, nor can I speak for her experience of looking Asian in a white society, as while I’m part Indonesian I’m very whitepassing. So far I have only seen positive reviews from Asian bloggers, but if there’s anything incorrect about the rep that you’ve mentioned in your review, please let me know so I can link to it!

Kiko’s development is incredible. In the beginning she can barely go out by herself (same girl), but in the end she does things outside of her comfort zone, despite her anxiety. She isn’t magically cured, she still suffers from her anxiety, but she learns how to live with it. And that my friends? Is the message I really needed right now as my anxiety has been pretty bad lately.

Starfish is an incredible read, and definitely my favourite of 2018. Of course it’s only May, but I just don’t see anything surpassing it. It has a great balance between heavy and light, but never downplaying the heavy elements. It tackles racism, abuse, family, belonging and so much more.

If you haven’t picked this up yet, I highly recommend it.

Have you read Starfish yet? What did you think? Any other great anxiety YA books you’d recommend? What’s your favourite read of 2018 so far? Let me know in the comments!

Finally Attending Hogwarts // My Hogwarts Mystery Reactions

Anyone else mildly obsessed with Hogwarts Mystery? I sure am, though it has toned out a bit since it first came out, but still. I GET TO GO TO HOGWARTS. I could review the game, but a post with gifs and memes showing my feelings and thoughts instead is a lot more fun. So let’s dive in!

Warning: minor spoilers ahead!

Me when my Prefect complains that I’m ruining Hufflepuff’s chance of winning the House Cup yet I’m carrying the entire House with hundreds of points

When you finally get to attend Hogwarts but everybody hates you because apparently you have a brother who did some dumb shit and to make things even worse Merula a.k.a. 80s Draco shows up 🙃

Merula be like

When you do well in class and you and the teacher* smile at each other

* Well not Snape he glares

When you run out of energy while fighting the Devil’s Snare

Me whenever someone calls me ‘Michele’ because ‘Michelle’ was for some reason not allowed

Me meeting Rowan, Penny and Ben

Me when I see my friends and favourite characters from the books (LET ME BEFRIEND TONKS ALREADY. AND VISIT HAGRID???)

Me when I see Merula

JUST 👏🏻 LET 👏🏻 ME 👏🏻 LIVE 👏🏻 MY 👏🏻 HOGWARTS 👏🏻 LIFE 👏🏻 IN 👏🏻 PEACE

Me when I see baby!!! Fang!!!

Me every time Madame Hooche says YOU’LL DIE flying gee I wonder why Ben’s afraid to fly 🤔

Me knowing I’m in the same year AND HOUSE as Tonks but won’t meet her until year 3????

Me when on the rare occassions Snape actually gives me points instead of taking them away??

Prefect: stop losing us points!! Also let me teach you how to duel against Merula even though that’s against the rules oh and let’s take revenge against the Slytherins* which will probably lose us some points too!!** You don’t want to do it??? WHY ARE YOU EVEN IN THIS HOUSE***

Me:

 

* WHAT EVEN FOR. I DON’T GET IT. WHY DOES THIS GAME HATE MY LIL SNEK FRENDS SO MUCH. WHAT HAVE SLYTHERINS DONE TO YOU JANE?? (also this is a sidequest for Hufflepuffs I have no idea what the other Houses get up to instead)
** I’ve just started this sidequest so I don’t know how it will end yet but I DREAD losing the points I worked so hard for because of you Jane
*** Thankfully I had enough courage points and I knew this would happen if I didn’t choose the ‘it should be me’ option but STILL. What’s your problem Jane??? Who’s the fake Puff here huh? HUH?****
**** Can you tell I don’t really like Jane

Are you playing Hogwarts Mystery? Can you relate to these gifs and memes? Any things I forgot about? Let me know in the comments!

My Name Is Victoria // Two Victoria’s, One Queen, An Alternative History

Author: Lucy Worsley
Genre: Historical //  YA
Goodreads rating: 3.85
My rating: ⭐⭐

 

 

 

 

 

Miss V. Conroy is good at keeping secrets. She likes to sit as quiet as a mouse, neat and discreet. But when her father sends her to Kensington Palace to become the companion to Princess Victoria, Miss V soon finds that she can no longer remain in the shadows. Her father is Sir John Conroy, confidant and financial advisor to Victoria’s mother, and he has devised a strict set of rules for the young princess that he calls the Kensington System. It governs Princess Victoria’s behavior and keeps her locked away from the world. Sir John says it’s for the princess’s safety, but Victoria herself is convinced that it’s to keep her lonely and unhappy. Torn between loyalty to her father and her growing friendship with the willful and passionate princess, Miss V has a decision to make: continue in silence or speak out.Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book by Netgalley and the publisher (thank you!) in return for an honest review

This one was a bit disappointing to me. Last month I read a similar book from Worsley, but about Queen Mary, which I had (mostly) the same problems with as this one, so I guess Worsley’s books are just not for me? Because I love lists* let’s sum up these problems

* And I’m too exhausted to write a full review lmao stayed up too long because I was on a Eurovision high and then found out that B99 is cancelled hahahaha everything is garbage 🙃

💛 Not much happens?? This is the biggest problem with both this one and Lady Mary: there isn’t much of a plot. I mean, there technically is, but it doesn’t feel like it because barely anything happens. There’s just,, a lot of talking?

💛 Because of this it’s just,, a bit boring? I feel like this book could’ve been so much more interesting given the concept and the historical people it focues on. I mean there’s so much political intrigue, but because we see everything through the eyes Miss V. we barely know anything about it

💛 That plot twist was,,, not to my liking. This is a very personal thing which led to my two star rating instead of three, and shouldn’t keep you from not reading this book. The plot twist itself was well-written as there were enough hints for it to not be entirely out of the blue, but not that many that it was predictable (though I did see it coming) and Worsley explains that this is an alternative history, just her exploring a ‘what if’, it’s not some conspiracy theory haha, I just personally didn’t like it?

💛 I feel like the characters were just not that interesting either? Worsley knows her stuff, especially when it comes to Queen Victoria, so it’s not a lack of research, but the characters were kinda flat and while we follow both girls through childhood to their teenage years, I just don’t feel they changed much? Also Miss V.’s voice was just,,, so lack-luster?

But!! There were definitely things I liked. Like I said, if it weren’t for the plot twist I would’ve given this three stars*

💛 The friendship between the girls!! They were probably not such great friends in reality, but Worsley wanted to explore this what if and honestly it was lovely. At first they didn’t really know what to make of each other of course, but in the end they love and support each other, want what’s best for the other, would risk anything and everything, know each other like the back of their hand, were willing to give up their own happiness for the other’s… It was so great to see, even though Queen Victoria probably hated Miss V. in reality lmao

💛 Despite not much happening and the characters feeling a bit flat, it’s clear that Worsley knows what she’s talking about. It really does feel like you’re transferred to the 1800s

💛 While Miss. V didn’t change that much, I do like how she eventually stood up to her father

💛 Queen Victoria’s support system! Of course she was isolated, but she still had a small group (including Miss V.) that would do anything for her and loved her with all their heart

💛 Not much is known about Miss V. Conroy, so it’s nice to see more about her

💛 Dash!!

* Honestly me not liking the plot twist probably has to do with the tv show and maaaybe with my crush on Jenna Coleman but,,

Gently, but inescapably, she pulled me nearer until our foreheads touched. ”You are my sister now,” she said quietly and and solemnly. ”Never forget it. I love you like my sister, and you are my only friend in all the world.”

I don’t think Worsley’s books are for me, but if you love historical fiction than I do recommend checking them out. There’s a good chance you won’t have these problems after all!

Have you read My Name is Victoria, or one of Worsley’s other books? What did you think? Do you like historical fiction? What’s your favourite? And do you watch Victoria? (if so I haven’t seen season 2 yet please don’t spoil!) Let me know in the comments!