Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag 2020

I have not done this tag regularly, but a lot of my friends are apparently way more devoted to (book) blogging than me and are blessing my timeline with their takes on the Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag every single year, which is a look at our reading so far! So, I wasn’t technically tagged this time around either, but I saw so many people do it, that I just decided to join in on the fun (as I tend to do bi-annually). I have seen the questions vary a bit, but simply went with the ones I used in my 2018 version of this.

BEST BOOK YOU’VE READ YET IN 2020

Normal PeopleI didn’t give Normal People the highest rating, but it sure is the one book that just sticks with me. I’ll just go about my day and be reminded about it in some way and then find myself thinking about the characters for hours again. It sure has made an impact. (Read my review here)

BEST SEQUEL YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2020

Ruthless Gods (Something Dark and Holy, #2)I haven’t read very many series this year so far, which thankfully makes answering all the easier. I read both the first book in the series, Wicked Saints, as well as the sequel, Ruthless Gods, in 2020 and I have no regrets. I don’t know what exactly it is about these books that fascinates me so much, but I am having the time of my life getting tortured by them.

NEW RELEASE YOU HAVEN’T READ YET BUT WANT TO

A Song Below WaterAlright, let’s not pretend that I am not always perpetually late to the party when it comes new releases. I almost want to call myself the queen of backlisted reads, but that would also not be entirely correct. I just don’t keep track of when things release, but just trust that I will find the right stuff eventually?
Anyway, I want to read A Song Below Water! I mean, yes please, set it in one of my homes away from home (Portland, Oregon) and fill it with sirens. I am so here for that!

MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR

Watch Over MeThere are a couple, but not a huge amount, of auto-buy authors out there for me. Nina LaCour is someone I’d read anything from. Give me a shopping list and I’d gladly take it. However, we are getting lucky and will have another emotionally charged and character driven release of hers coming up this year – Watch Over Me! I seriously cannot wait!!

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT

Again AgainIt wasn’t the worst thing on the planet, but I really expected more from Again Again by E. Lockhart. Having read several of her previous books, this was such a letdown in comparison. Something about it just didn’t connect. (Read my review here)

BIGGEST SURPRISE

Anna K: A Love Story (Anna K, #1)Describing why this was a surprise is a little difficult, but having neither watched or read Anna Karenina before and associating with an old-timey classic had me surprised how much I liked Anna K. But it was always obvious to be set in modern day and just be a fresh take in general, so I don’t know why I was a bit nervous? (Read my review here)

FAVOURITE NEW AUTHOR

Ben Philippe totally charmed me with his Field Guide to the North American Teenager and had me fall in love with his easy-flowing style of writing. He has another book scheduled to release later this year (Charming as a Verb) and yet another one for early 2021 (Sure, I’ll Be Your Black Friend) and I am just here for all of it. I am so glad I picked up his book!

Ben Philippe (Author of The Field Guide to the North American ...

NEWEST FICTIONAL CRUSH

Sorry to have to double down on an answer, but I kind of fell hard for Connell from Normal People. He was quiet and kind, genuinely just wanting people to like him and being afraid of what others might think of his choices. Sure, he had his flaws, but that just made him more real. The fact that they cast him perfectly in the TV adaptation with newcomer Paul Mescal was just the cherry on top.

NEWEST FAVOURITE CHARACTER

I don’t make character aesthetics (except for my own peeps) very often these days, but Darlington from Ninth House got one. That means A LOT in my book! I just like charming boys with the potential for darkness they don’t want.

There’s a lot of other characters I liked too, such as Serefin from Wicked Saints, Madison from The Field Guide to the North American Teenager, Pepper from Tweet Cute … I am bad at picking faves.

BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY

Tyler Johnson Was HereI don’t think I cried because of a book this year yet, but Tyler Johnson Was Here had me close to tears multiple times. The subject matter is bound to do that to you for sure. (Read my review here)

BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY

Tweet CuteTweet Cute made me so happy. I found it during my peak obsession with Bon Appetit videos, so, the food component, twitter feud and flirty banter was EVERYTHING to me. The characters were so funny and I just had a great time with that book. (Read my review here)

FAVOURITE BOOK TO FILM ADAPTATION

I watched Little Women this year and even if I haven’t read the book, it’s my favourite adaptation and film and overall story. I just love it with all my heart.

FAVOURITE POST YOU HAVE DONE THIS YEAR

I loved doing a series of posts where I talked about which book, movies and TV shows I made you watch and read. It reminds me that what I am doing here isn’t just shouting into the void, but actually talking to people and sharing interests. It warms my heart every single time.

MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK YOU’VE BOUGHT THIS YEAR

Aphrodite Made Me Do ItExcuse me while I lust over the cover for Aphrodite Made Me Do It. Poetry collections often have the prettiest designs! Obviously, this book is also great on the inside, but I find the cover to be a real eye catcher.

WHAT BOOKS DO YOU NEED TO READ BY THE END OF THE YEAR

If We Were VillainsDark Age (Red Rising Saga, #5)As always, I continue to work on the physical copies I have at home. There’s books that might remain unread on my shelves forever, but some I REALLY want to get to this year are If We Were Villains and Dark Age. Let’s hope that Dark Age doesn’t actually take me the entire year …

I TAG THEE

I tag whoever wants to do this as well! YOU!!!


What did you think of my answers and the general mid-year reading recap? Let’s chat!

Books That Inspire Wanderlust!

At lot of us have been stuck inside for extended periods of times lately and it can get stifling for sure. So, I decided to compile a list of books that have taken me to places all over this earth as a means of distraction and escapism. Therefore, even if we may not be able to go there in real life right now, maybe this will be a nice way of planning for when this will eventually be over.

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Amy & Roger's Epic DetourI wanted to start with something easy – a good, old-fashioned road trip through the USA. Morgan Matson is one of my favourite contemporary Young Adult authors and I really adore all her books. This one in particular is one of her earlier works though and just so much fun. While she always manages to have an emotional component and some depth to her characters, I definitely just wanted to get into a car with a potential love interest and drive around for a while after finishing the book …

Again, but Better by Christine Riccio

Again, but BetterThis is a read I finished only very recently. You’ll know that I had some points I didn’t absolutely love about this book, but if you want to imagine what it’s like to go explore Europe as an exchange student, this might just be something to look into regardless.

The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais

The One-Hundred Foot JourneyIt might not sound like a conventional travel book, and it’s not. The Hundred-Foot Journey focuses heavily on the culinary journey of a young man originally from India, however, you follow him around as you explore his life in his home country and later on in the UK and France. This is also one of my picks that is available as a movie, just in case you want to get really hungry from all the delicious food they are cooking on-screen.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie SocietyI have talked about this book a plenty, but it was just such a lovely read. Who says that every vacation or travel experience has to be packed full of excitement and rushes around every corner? If you maybe are longing for some calmness on the beautiful island of Guernsey, I wouldn’t fault you! (The book is set shortly after WWII and does explore the topic, just to be clear)

Memories of the Eagle and the Jaguar Series by Isabel Allende

From what I heard, Isabel Allende is really more known for her adult fiction, however, I was obsessed by this series as a kid/young teen. It follows teenagers Alex and Nadia through their adventures from the Amazon to the Himalaya and lastly to Kenya. It didn’t feel like it was written for very young readers, but it definitely was marketed as Young Adult. There are some really heavy themes explored and the books get more adult as the characters age. Still, I have very fond memories of it and therefore picked it as my only fantasy-inspired read.

City of the Beasts (Eagle and Jaguar, #1) Kingdom of the Golden Dragon (Eagle and Jaguar, #2) Forest of the Pygmies (Eagle and Jaguar, #3)

Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman

Call Me By Your Name (Call Me By Your Name, #1)Do I even have to explain myself? I know this book has flaws, but to me the writing was magic and I felt like I had just spent a summer in the countryside of Italy myself. What more could you possible want? Maybe it’s time for me to check out the movie as well?

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest TrailWe are now entering memoir territory! This was not an easy read but since Cheryl Strayed had gone through all of it herself, it was very hard to rate. When you decide to go on the Pacific Crest Trail (from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State) all on your lonesome self, you have a lot of time to think and work on past trauma. This book deals with all of that!

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Eat, Pray, LoveNow, we all know that this isn’t the most relatable journey for the majority of people. Very few of us can afford to just go travel all over the globe for a year, yet I found Elizabeth’s travels from Italy to India to Bali such a rewarding read. Depending on where you are in life, I think you might find yourself more interested in one specific part of Eat, Pray or Love in the book and that is totally valid. It will not connect with everyone, but I had some really enlightened moments during the whole affair.


These were all books I have read myself, but I am sure there are many I have missed. What are some books that have inspired wanderlust in you? I especially have taken care of mostly using real life settings, but are there some fantasy worlds you like to escape to? Let’s chat!

Movies and TV Shows for Book Lovers!

I know, I know! Not all of us, but a fair share of us, do have more time to read these days. But does that really mean we are always in the mood for it? I have compiled a list of movies and TV shows that, in my humble opinion, are perfect for book lovers and writers out there. Some are more obvious, others only have a small bookish aspect to it, but I still think they are all worth checking out!

Movies

THE WORDS

The Words is a story within a story within a story. It explores one man’s guilt as he uses another man’s very personal work, a tale that spans decades and is plastered with broken hearts and an amazing cast. Slowly told, but incredibly moving, if you want to dive into the lives of tortured writers, this is the movie for you!

NOT ANOTHER HAPPY ENDING

Everyone knows I am a huge Karen Gillan advocate, so it should come as little surprise that I featured a movie where she portrays a writer, especially a funny one who can only write good books when she is miserable. Is the movie corny and silly? Yes, absolutely! But who doesn’t need something a little lighter and ridiculous every now and then?

YOU’VE GOT MAIL

Two rival bookstore owners (one independently owned, one chain store) falling in love over the internet? It just doesn’t get old! Just think about it … that movie was released in the late 90s and is still pretty relevant today, barring the outdated technology used. And I simply cannot resist a Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks pairing. I just cannot!

SET IT UP

Glen Powell and Zoey Deutch were rumoured to be the new Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks pairing for romantic comedies in our day and age (and no, it is absolutely no conincidence that I mentioned this particular movie right after You’ve Got Mail). Now you may wonder, what is the bookish component to all of this? Well, Zoey Deutch’s character is a writer, but she just plain doesn’t have any time for it. She struggles but ultimately manages to produce some garbage, which is still better than never writing at all. Her journey (however small in this movie) is just so relatable.

TV Shows

YOUNGER

Younger is one of my absolute favourite TV shows ever and one that is sure to suck you in as well. Having worked in publishing but given up her career for her family, Liza now struggles to get back into the workforce. So, she pretends to be in her 20s even though she is in her 40s. Whether you consider that scenario realistic or not is none of my business, I just really love it. It’s fun, has a great female cast, amazing love interests and is ideal if you aren’t looking for anything too long-formatted (episodes are roughly 25 minutes, so sitcom-length).

BEING ERICA

Now, it’s pretty obvious I am Canadian at heart and Being Erica is pretty Canadian, so, I felt compelled to share it. This show, too, takes partially place in publishing. Saying that is really a stretch, because this show is about time travelling therapy. Yep, you heard right! I don’t want you to expect any sort of realistic depiction of the publishing world here, I just thought it would be nice to add something totally different to the list. And this sure is different. The first season is available for free on YouTube, so if you want to check it out, you can do so here.

FRIENDS FROM COLLEGE

Another big stretch for the topic, but one of the characters is a writer and they are poking some real fun at the Young Adult publishing game. Please don’t take it too seriously, it’s not their actual opinion, but rather their take on being funny. In general, it’s a fun show about how adults really don’t have it all together and how you can grow apart from your closest friends over time.

YOU

Again, I added this to give the list some flavor! It’s a reminder that even seemingly charming (although I never quite got the infatuation with Joe … he’s a creep) bookseller can be dangerous. The amount of books mentioned are worth a reading challenge of their own though, so that could be something fun to devise during this time of isolation. Maybe?


Of course, since I added You, I might as well could have added Gilmore Girls too, but this post was getting rather long already. Are you in the need for some new watching material? Have you seen any of the shows or movies mentioned? Let’s chat and stay safe and healthy!

My Top 10 Movies of 2019

Here we are! Today is the day that I finally finish all my 2019 rankings. As you should be able to guess from the title of the post, it’s about movies I have watched in 2019. I tried my best to mostly include releases from last year, but let me warn you, it’s not my best list ever. I only watched Parasite in 2020 for example. Also, a lot of movies haven’t been out in my territories yet and yeah … don’t judge me too harshly.

10. Instant Family

I need silly content sometimes and I have an absolute soft spot for adoption/foster home stories, especially the ones with a positive message and happy end. So yeah, this might not be everyone’s cup of tea and maybe you won’t find it funny, but I loved how heartwarming it was.

9. Pokémon: Detective Pikachu 

This movie was by no means perfect, but there was something interesting about it. I really enjoyed seeing the pokémon animated in a real life setting and Ryan Reynolds voicing one of them was just the cherry on top. I think I’d like it if there were sequels to this for sure.

8. The Goldfinch

This movie would have been better served as a limited series, giving every character the time and respect to slowly explore their story. This way it was rushed and confusing at times, but something about it still gripped me. Also, the cinematography was beautiful.

7. The King

When I think of Timothée, I think of a boy. I never expected to watch a scene where he plays a king talking to his men on a battlefield, giving a speech that carries through rows and rows of people and believe his performance, but I did. And it was brilliant! (Most of all, shout out to Joel Edgerton, who was involved in so many parts of the making of this movie though and carried big parts of it.)

6. Long Shot

Maybe not the most obvious choice, but I found this movie funny and poignant? I was really sad that it flopped almost everywhere, because I never like Seth Rogen films, but I liked this one a lot. He works so well with Charlize Theron and it’s a sort of romantic comedy without too much romance and really current jokes.

5. Klaus

If you add any new Christmas movie to your yearly watch list, please, let it be this one. I didn’t just like the animation style, but I absolutely, with all my heart, adored the storyline. I swear, by the end of it, I was in tears and had no regrets.

4. Yesterday

I know that we had Rocketman and Bohemian Rhapsody and whatnot last year, but … I haven’t actually seen them yet. There is just something that always makes me worry about these biopics not being what I want them to be. Yesterday had it far easier in that department, because while they really dug into the legacy of the Beatles, they made it a whole story of their own. I liked how creative that felt and I really, really liked the cast.

3. The Party’s Just Beginning

This movie is best enjoyed with a lot of trigger warnings concerning graphic scenes of a suicide and warnings about depression. I watched it while I was in a bad place and it didn’t exactly help, but this movie was really great nonetheless. I am so proud of Karen Gillan for pouring her heart into this project and having it set in Scotland none the less!

2. Someone, Somewhere

Yes, I put a French movie in this post! It’s a love story without being a love story at all. It’s about how hard it is for single people in this day and age, especially in a big city. It’s about how you have to have your life in order for you to be able to share it with anyone else. It basically spoke to everything my heart and brain thinks daily.

1. Brittany Runs a Marathon

It’s supposed to be funny, but I cried my way through a lot of parts of this movie. Don’t let the trailer fool you, it’s not about how you have to lose weight in order to become a “better person”. That’s not what happened to Brittany at all, she turned into a bitch as soon as she was skinny if you ask me, but just like the last movie, it’s a lot about how you have to find a way to live with yourself. Also, it’s really motivational. I hate running and I wanted to run for days afterwards.

Honorable Mentions

As you’ve seen these past couple of days, I like to give a shoutout to some movies that haven’t made it in the ranking. Here we go:

  • Shazam!
  • Avengers: Endgame
  • Captain Marvel
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home
  • Aladdin
  • Always Be My Maybe
  • Good Boys
  • Last Christmas
  • Someone Great
  • Love at Second Sight
  • Once Upon a Time in … Hollywood
  • Otherhood

Also, because I watched a lot of German content, I also want to specifically mention some movies worth checking out here:

  • Der Junge muss an die frische Luft/All About Me
  • Golden Twenties
  • Cleo
  • Traumfabrik
  • Nirgendwo
  • Trautmann/The Keeper
  • Rate Your Date
  • O Beautiful Night

That’s it! What did you think of that list? Any surprises on it? Let’s chat!

My Top 10 Continued TV Shows of 2019

I hope this post title isn’t too confusing, but I wasn’t quite sure what else to call it. Basically, yesterday was all about shows that were released in 2019 and this post is about my favourite shows that continued on with their x-amount of season. Hope you enjoy!

10. 9-1-1 (Season 3)

I don’t want to call this show a guilty pleasure, because that’s not really what it feels like to me. But compared to the other shows on this or yesterday’s list, the storytelling is definitely far less high-brow and more focused on drama, drama, drama and pour some over the top drama on that. But the tsunami episodes were absolutely heart shattering and I will remain a Buddie shipper forever, even if I strongly believe they are just queer baiting the viewers with that one.

9. Marvel’s Runaways (Season 3)

I already touched a little bit upon how much I enjoyed this last season. My favourite out of all the kids on the show is probably Gert, so I am grateful for how the show ended and even if it wasn’t a perfect season (or series as a whole), I am glad for what we got. I will miss all my superhero kiddos (Cloak and Dagger included).

8. Stranger Things (Season 3)

I do not like redemption through death storylines, but saying any more than that would be such a massive spoiler in case you haven’t watched it yet. For some reason this wasn’t my favourite season, but it’s cool to see everyone grow up and the addition of Robin was one of the smartest moves ever. Ice cream squad for the win!

7. Elite (Season 2)

I wasn’t entirely sure where this season would go, since the murder mystery, despite not being entirely solved, was more or less over. They somehow managed to incorporate a decently suspenseful supplicant story though and offered some more exposition on certain characters. I really dig where we left things and hope the wait for the new season won’t be too long.

6. Sorry for Your Loss (Season 2)

I don’t think anyone expected a Facebook Watch series on this list? But, in all honesty, I feel like Sorry for Your Loss is totally being slept on. It’s such an amazing story about grief and how everyone handles it differently and how earth shattering revelations can be about a person you thought you knew and who can’t give answers anymore. Also, if you want to support Kelly Marie Tran after they basically cut her out of Star Wars, this is your chance!

5. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Season 3)

Thinking back, I never thought I would enjoy this show and now I am always just eagerly awaiting the new season. While I would like to think that Midge is smarter than the poor judgment on material she has shown in the season finale, I believe she still has so much more ahead of her. Also, my heart breaks every time Lenny Bruce gets involved in an episode, so I definitely need them to continue covering several more years in that universe and maybe changing Lenny’s fate? Wouldn’t mind that at all. (And poor Benjamin. He was done dirty too.)

4. You (Season 2)

I LIKED the new season. I had my doubts about repeating the concept from season 1 etc., but it stayed original and it stayed suspenseful and creepy. Still in no way a fan of Joe (especially since he didn’t react a certain way I wanted him to after a revelation), but Penn is killing it in that particular role.

3. The OA (Season 2)

Similar to Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, I will never forgive Netflix for cancelling The OA before its time. The final episode had such a beautifully juicy twist and I will be forever sad we were denied the remainder of the story. I would seriously crowdfund the heck out of this if there was any way I could watch the rest, but alas, the world wasn’t ready for this show. Still, it’s 100% worth watching if you have the time and attention span. This one is not made for casual viewing.

2. Dark (Season 2)

Speaking of beautiful twists! I love Dark for a couple of reasons, but the end of Season 2 was a game changer and I cannot wait to see where they take us. Also, I lowkey appreciate that next season will be the last one, giving it a proper ending and all that jazz.

1. Fleabag (Season 2)

I don’t necessarily think that Fleabag is for everyone, but it sure is something! In my eyes, Phoebe Waller-Bridge is a genius and has created a character that is both, easy to judge and hard not to love, but she just up and went with adding the Hot Priest to the mix and things got wild. One day, I am going to buy the Fleabag scriptures and I am going to study the heck out of those scripts.

Honorable Mentions

As per usual, I am nowhere near at capacity with all the great things I have watched, so here are some more shows for your consideration:

  • Veronica Mars (Season 4)
  • Charmed (Season 2)
  • Lost in Space (Season 2)
  • Friends from College (Season 2)
  • Legacies (Season 2)
  • Glow (Season 3)
  • Derry Girls (Season 2)
  • The Rain (Season 2)
  • Plan Coeur (Season 2)
  • Baby (Season 2)
  • Good Trouble (Season 2)
  • The Bold Type (Season 3)
  • The Man in the High Castle (Season 4)
  • The Handmaid’s Tale (Season 3)

So, that’s all on TV shows! Have you watched some of these as well? Would you have ranked them similarly? Let’s chat before tomorrow’s final post on my top 10 movies.

My Top 10 New TV Shows of 2019

On we go with more lists. As most of you know, I am a TV person. I definitely watch more shows than movies per year, so narrowing it down was very hard. That is why I split my TV rankings into two separate posts! This post is about shows that had their first season in 2019 (or were released in my territory for the first time in 2019) and tomorrow I will talk some more about the shows that had continued seasons this past year. More on that later though, here are my 2019 faves:

10. The Umbrella Academy

I know we are all a little tired of the comic book/superhero adaptations, but I celebrate all the things that aren’t traditionally DC or Marvel and still manage to create a compelling world. I completely fell in love with this show and the characters and the found family trope on it. As per usual, it also helps when a character is called Klaus, which was probably part of the reason he was my favourite.

9. The Boys

I don’t get why people complained about this show not being for kids. Nowhere, literally at no place I saw ads on, did they advertise it as anything kid or teen friendly. So, The Boys is a really great adult comic book adaptation, as long as you are okay with violence. Some of the twists at the end were brilliant and I cannot wait for the next season.

8. Dollface

This one flew a little bit under the radar from what I saw, but celebrated female connections in the best and most beautiful of ways. I think we’ve all neglected our friendships for one reason or another at some point in our lives and I adored how this show portrayed that in such a surreal way.

7. The Rook

I talked about this show non stop and I probably will keep thinking about it until I get a definite confirmation of a second season. Based on a book that I did not enjoy at all (read more about that here), this show brought to me one of my now all time favourite new characters – Gestalt. A hive-mind being that shares thoughts and emotions across the bodies of three siblings and who is coincidentally the love interest of the main character.

6. The Society

Teens having to figure out how to live on their own and establish rules that will assure their survival is kind of my jam … for some weird reason? Most of the characters on it were beautifully morally gray and therefore complex and sometimes annoying, but that’s what makes for a great three dimensional persona. I want to say that I didn’t just hype this show for Grizz, but if anyone hurts a hair on his head, I will find them and I will hurt them.

5. The Witcher

Pretty last minute addition to this list, The Witcher was a great fantasy show. Now that Game of Thrones is over, I truly need something epic, but please stop comparing it at that. Except for maybe a lot of gore and nudity, there really is nothing that strikes me as similar between those two. I had a ton of fun watching the show, my only quarrel was the underdeveloped love story, because that just felt way too rushed.

4. Russian Doll

I think we all know those groundhog-day-inspired stories, but never ever did I expect such an original concept to come from that basic idea of repeating the same day over and over. This show was truly a thing of beauty and whenever that particular song comes on (which it does regularly, because it’s on my phone), I feel right back in it. I love that they didn’t just play with a time loop but gave it so many more layers. Now I only have to worry if they will mess it all up by giving it another season (which I usually never say).

3. The Politician

I was full on expecting this to be a trick and turn into a musical show, but despite the fact that there are a couple really nicely integrated songs, it’s just a satire-esque politics show that starts in high school but by no means confines itself to that setting. This show had me feel all the weirdest things, with one of my favourite characters being a dead person and giving me one of TV history’s favourite intros/theme songs. Sufjan Stevens is just really all that for me, I suppose …

2. Four Weddings and a Funeral

I don’t know if you’d expect this to be so high up on my list, but let’s be real. I have been denied good and reasonably cheesy romcom content (here with the added plus of representation in the shape of a POC cast and different religious beliefs featured) for way too long. Usually, I like my romcoms short and in movie-form, but they really did it with this show. By no means should you expect this to be like the movie, but you will laugh and you will cry if you just give it a chance. Which you obviously should, if you haven’t yet!

1. Reprisal

I am so in love with this show, words are failing me. It turns out you can really get me with smart editing and cinematography choices. Last year’s top of the list show was A Discovery of Witches, not just because it was about witches, but because it was stunningly beautiful to watch. Reprisal is very similar in that way. Of course, it’s a show about gangs, revenge with quite a bit of violence (but more tastefully done than in some other things I have watched), but still with a very clear aesthetic that is just so much fun to indulge in. Add to that the great cast, storyline and absolutely incredible world-building (imagine an era that is a mix of all sorts of different eras in one. Sixties style clothing, oldtimer cars, Sons of Anarchy-vibes gangs but with the added comfort of some people using cell phones. My forever favourites were the three River Phoenixes, but I can’t spoil you on what that means. You should really check it out for yourselves!

Honorable Mentions

You know me, I watch too much to confine myself to 10 shows. Here are some that I thought were great, but that just didn’t quite make the cut:

  • Roswell, New Mexico
  • The Order
  • Good Omens
  • Dead to Me
  • Sex Education
  • Carnival Row

That’s all the new shows I loved! Did you watch some of them? Were there surprises or did you expect to find these shows on here? Let’s chat!

My Top 10 Books of 2019

As promised, this is the first post in a series of rankings for my reading and viewing experiences during the year of 2019. I have to admit that I started with the books, because it seemed like the easiest list for me personally. I didn’t have the best of reading years, so there weren’t too many books to pick from. I also want to note that not all the books were released in 2019, that’s just the year I read them in. Enjoy!

**Click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads**

10. Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman

Noughts & Crosses (Noughts & Crosses #1)I mainly wanted to read this, because the BBC made it into a TV show that was supposed to premiere in 2019. In my typical review fashion, I wanted to make a comparison of the TV show and the book, but then they never released it, which was also partly the reason it took me forever to finish the read. However, Noughts and Crosses is a fascinating alternate history story, where dark-skinned people are the ruling class and “colourless” folks are the underclass, who were once slaves. It mirrors our own world’s racism and doesn’t shy away from showing terrifying consequences of not following the rules. I can definitely understand why these books are read in schools and people got invested in the series.

9. The Dire King (Jackaby #4) by William Ritter

The Dire King (Jackaby, #4)I mainly read the Jackaby series due to massive cover lust, but I am very happy about the fact that it was a great series overall. There were so many supernatural creatures included that don’t always make it into stories and it ended on a hopeful and happy note, while still fulfilling my expectations of where it was supposed to end.

8. Defy Me (Shatter Me #5) by Tahereh Mafi

Defy Me (Shatter Me, #5)I wasn’t the biggest fan of the 4th installment of the series and still believe that the new “trilogy” isn’t exactly on the same level as the OG books, but Tahereh got me back with Defy Me. It felt more introspective again and while I still think some actions and decisions were out of character, I enjoyed the slow pace and inner monologues.

7. The Wicker King by K. Ancrum

The Wicker KingThis book has so much to offer. I am glad I bought it as a hardcover, because it has a beautiful aesthetic. Also, whenever someone names their character August, they already have part of my heart. I don’t make the rules, that’s just the way it is. The book is both soft and sad, but there were a couple parts that I just wish I could have connected more with.

Check out my review here!

6. A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

A Very Large Expanse of SeaTahereh Mafi is one of my absolute favourite authors. To read her most personal book yet was an absolute joy. I could see why it meant so much to her and was surprised by how light and fast of a read it was, despite the sometimes quite serious topic. I think that lighthearted-ness was good in some parts, but it’s also why the ending didn’t impact me as much and I found myself not caring as much.

Check out my review here!

5. Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

Dumplin’I think I read the book after watching the Netflix movie and I really enjoyed it nonetheless. In fact, I think mixing the two together makes for the perfect story. It was super relatable and had a great message, it was heartbreaking and heartwarming and even though I was sort of late to the party, I am glad I picked it up.

4. Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich, Justin Paul, Steven Levenson, Benj Pasek

Dear Evan HansenI was not super familiar with the musical before picking up the book, but I had a lot of fun reading it. I want to point out again that the book was written AFTER the musical got popular, not the other way around. Still, it offers even more insight into the characters and I, personally, enjoyed that a lot.

Check out my review here!

3. Pan’s Labyrinth by Guillermo del Toro, Cornelia Funke

Pan's Labyrinth: The Labyrinth of the FaunThis, too, is a book adaption of a film and not the other way around. I feel I am coming across them more and more, but I love that the director of the movie was so thoroughly involved in the book as well. It’s a very whimsical and magical story with some parts being 1:1 what was said in the books and other parts being a great addition to make the memories of the film more impactful and give them more background.

Check out my review here!

2. Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer

Echo NorthI was in so many massive reading slumps this year, but Echo North was one of the real highlights for me. It reminded me of why I loved Fantasy novels and fairy tales. It’s not that it’s a flawless story, the love that turned very intense very quickly was (despite the explanation at the end) not 100% my cup of tea, but it still had such a great amalgamation of familiar stories while making it their own.

Check out my review here!

1.  The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth

The Light Between WorldsThis was my favourite story of the year! Hands down, I still think about it so much and I think I cried through about 100 pages straight at some point. It sounds similar to the Wayward children series or Narnia, but when I read it, I soon forgot about it all. I love how you can interpret the ending and I choose to interpret it in a hopeful way.

Check out my review here!


So, those were my top 10 books of the year! Did you read some of those books as well? What were some of your bookish highlights? 

Top 18 Reads of 2018

Happy New Year everyone! What better way to start 2019 by looking back at some of the best books/shows/movies of the previous year. This is also my 1000th post, so it’s somewhat of a double celebration. Anyway, today I want to talk about my top 18 reads of 2018. Since I “only” read 36 books, that list might include some reads I did not love to the moon and back, but that were still enjoyable. And so I hope you will now enjoy this list (All books were rated between 3.5-5 stars):

18. Final Fall (Lock & Mori #3) by Heather W. Petty

Final Fall (Lock & Mori, #3)The entire Lock and Mori trilogy is a really interesting villain origin story of Moriarty in a contemporary setting. I’ve heard complaints that the drama is too teenager-esque, but the characters are literally teens and it is a YA book, so I had no quarrels with that. It still goes quite dark at times and the end was satisfying to me. Definitely a recommendation for Sherlock fans!

17. The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo (The Epic Crush of Genie Lo #1)While I laughed a lot during my read of Genie Lo, I also read it pretty early on in the year and have forgotten quite a bit by now, which is probably the reason it’s not higher up on the list. It was fun for sure! I am also really happy that a lot of people saw themselves and their culture represented in the book because that is always a beautiful thing!

16. Beastly Bones (Jackaby #2) by William Ritter

Beastly Bones (Jackaby, #2)This series is going to show up a couple times over the course of this list, because … well, I love it. I had so much fun getting to know the characters and I hope I will finish the fourth book before leaving for Berlin again. Anyway, this book was great, but in terms of the series my least favourite so far. Maybe it’s the second book syndrome or something?

15. Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi

Restore Me (Shatter Me, #4)To be honest, there’s a lot I’ve forgotten about the Shatter Me series. I remember loving the style of writing and the characters that Tahereh created, but the details? Blurry at best. At lot of it came back to me while reading Restore Me, but a lot of it also felt very different to the original trilogy. I love Kenji though and am way too curious not to continue with the books, but I am not afire for it the same way I used to be.

14. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

The Song of AchillesEveryone loved this book when they read it and I totally understand why. Personally, it was a bit too slow for me at time and I struggled to really get involved, but by the end I was as emotionally distraught as the rest of TSOA’s readership. One day, when I am less confused about my TBR, I will read Circe too.

13. Save the Date by Morgan Matson

Save the DateSo far, there hasn’t been a Morgan Matson book I haven’t enjoyed! The family-focus of this one was especially endearing. I just like reading about siblings and parents and all of them together with only a tinsy bit of romance sprinkled in. Romantic love isn’t all, you know? And somehow Matson managed to balance the two perfectly in this one.

12. Jackaby by William Ritter

Jackaby (Jackaby, #1)As promised, here it is again! Jackaby is quirky and has a main character that feels a lot like the Doctor (from Doctor Who) paired with supernatural elements such as nixies and vampires and whatnot. Totally loved it! Also, who can resist those beautiful covers?

11. Ghostly Echoes (Jackaby #3) by William Ritter

Ghostly Echoes (Jackaby, #3)This was my favourite part of the Jackaby series so far! I already told you some about it, so I am going to spare you more rambling.

10. Heart of Gold (Act I) by Eli Baumgartner/Viv Tanner

Heart of Gold Act II am honestly a little surprised that there aren’t more graphic novels on the list, but at least the one that made it is absolutely worthy of it’s place in the ranking. Heart of Gold is one of the most beautiful art out there. It talks about crisis of faith, has LGBT+ representation and is just generally fascinating to divulge.

9. Obsidio (The Illuminae Files #3) by Amie Kaufman/Jay Kristoff

Obsidio (The Illuminae Files, #3)This series as a whole was really intense. I think they did great in how they tied all the loose ends together, made the books something special with the way they told it and kept the tension going throughout book #1 to #3. I was almost sad that it was over. (And to think I wasn’t even 100% on board when I first read Illuminae.)

8. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U GiveIf this book isn’t on everyone’s top list, then I don’t even know! I am sad that the movie wasn’t released yet where I live, because I really wanted to watch it (it’s the whole Love, Simon debacle again), but I will patiently wait anyway. THUG was some really powerful and necessary story telling. I am glad it got such a wide readership!

7. Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Dear MartinI have said it before and I will say it again, I am 100% in favour of books like Dear Martin being mandatory reading exercises in schools. Just like THUG, it’s tackling the hard topics in a great way. I am so here for more of Nic Stone’s writing!

6. Iron Gold (Red Rising Saga #4) by Pierce Brown

Iron Gold (Red Rising Saga, #4)You all know me, I was CRAZY into the Red Rising trilogy, which is now a saga. I am always fascinated by the world Pierce Brown has built, by the cruelty and darkness it inhabits, while it also creates some of the most amazing heroes I can imagine. I am worried where everything will go, because it will get worse before it all can get better again, but I still love every minute of it.

5. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1)I have absolutely no clue whatsoever why it took me so long to read this book! I will eventually also read the sequels (especially now that Netflix confirmed they will do another movie), but this is about To All the Boys. It was so much fun, I stayed up reading all night and I haven’t pulled an all-nighter for a book in a long time.

4. To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

To Kill a KingdomSIRENS! Super badass sirens! And wannabe pirates that are really princes and a complex Fantasy world, but packed in a standalone book. This was such a refreshing change of pace, because I don’t know if I can invest in more series at the moment. (And again, sirens!!!)

3. Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

Annihilation (Southern Reach #1)If you would have told me that a horror-sci-fi book would end up in the top 3 of my favourite books of 2018, I would have laughed at you … loud! But, what can you do? Annihilation was beyond amazing and scientific and creepy. I want to watch the movie but I also want to read the other books. It’s a struggle.

2. Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African ChildhoodLooking at this entire list, I am happy to see so many different genres and styles of books represented. Born a Crime, a non-fiction autobiography by Trevor Noah, was enlightening and funny and educational and intimate and so very smart. Trevor is an amazing guy and I am glad the world gets to find out more about him and his home through this book.

1. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer/Annie Barrows

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie SocietySometimes love doesn’t have to make sense. It’s the same with me and this book! Guernsey was neither the perfect read nor the most complex one. I am sure there were books on this list with a much more eloquent style of writing even, but this book touched me and I had a blast reading it. I put a gazillion sticky notes in, because there were so many quotes I wanted to remember and I absolutely fell in love with some of the characters. That’s most important, right?


Did any of my favourites make it onto your Top 2018 Reads list as well? Were there some surprises with the books I mentioned? Let’s chat!

Randomly Ranking Marvel TV Shows!

What is this? I am actually posting something other than the weekly trailer round-up? Yeah, I can barely believe it myself. I’ve thought about doing this post for a long time, but now it just felt like I should go for it – I am going to rank all the Marvel TV shows! To start with, I want to say that this list is 100% subjective and I won’t be surprised whatsoever if your own ranking varies in any shape or form. Secondly, I know that it’s not actually “all Marvel TV shows” as I will deliberately leave some out that I either haven’t watched at all, pretend they don’t exist or lost sight of too much to really put them in here namely Agent Carter and Inhumans as well as all animated shows. Let’s get started!

10. Iron Fist

(watched 1 out of 2 seasons)

I didn’t really think about having to explain my ranking and in hindsight I probably should have prepared this better, but I just find Danny Rand to be an extremely annoying character and didn’t enjoy his story very much so far. Nevermind the optics of the show, which are side-eye worthy at best. Colleen was the only redeeming character and the real hero on that show for me. All of that is probably why I still haven’t gotten around to watching more.

9. Luke Cage

(watched 1 out of 2 seasons)

While I thoroughly enjoyed Luke’s introduction in Jessica Jones, the show didn’t measure up to what I had hoped it would be about. I wasn’t too happy about his new love interest, even if they were super cute together, and ultimately the episodes were too slow for me. I literally fell asleep multiple times during the first third of the show and didn’t miss any crucial information whatsoever … that’s not exactly a good sign.

8. Agents of SHIELD

(watched 3 out of 5 seasons)

I used to be head over heels into this show, but it is one of the most inconsistent ones I know. Maybe it is due to their tall season orders or them splitting the seasons into parts, but it got more whacky with time and at some point I just checked out. I am happy for everyone who continues to enjoy the show, but for me there just came a time to step away from it. (FitzSimmons forever though!)

7. The Defenders

(watched 1 out of 1 season)

I loved some of the things they did in terms of visuals for this, giving each character their own colour and playing with that throughout the episodes was a real highlight. However, it doesn’t change the fact that the team met far too late for my own taste. Their banter is what I tuned in for and they wasted valuable episodes keeping them apart.

6. Jessica Jones

(watched 2 out of 2 seasons)

I am still mesmerized at the glory that was the first season of Jessica Jones. David Tennant delivered an amazing villain, there was copious amounts of tension and then it just fizzled out a little in the second season. I don’t think it was a bad one, but with such a strong focus on Trish, I didn’t connect with the story as much. Jessica is still badass though and I am gladly going to tune into whatever comes next.

5. The Gifted

(watched 2 out of 2 seasons – at least what’s out so far)

My beloved mutants! I wish I could put them higher on this list as this is the only show with mutants and they are my favourites, but it wouldn’t feel right. The Gifted has a wide array of characters, as it should, but I would be lying if I said I cared for all of them equally. Some episodes just had such a strong focus on people I don’t want to watch all that much, whereas the ones I could follow for hours were a bit neglected. It’s too bad when that happens as I get easily bored, but I figure maybe other people love exactly those characters? But generally, I adore the whole humans vs. mutants struggle, as I believe it can be applied to many real life societal issues.

4. Daredevil

(watched 3 out of 3 seasons)

Netflix did well with making this their first original Marvel show. They cast it perfectly and gave me Karen Page, whom I adore more than most people like to believe. (me= Elektra who?)While sometimes the blood and gore just bore me and I don’t even watch the intricately choreographed fight scenes, I like the interactions of the characters and the moral issues discussed. S2 is probably still my favourite for this show, but they are doing great overall!

3. The Punisher

(watched 1 out of 1 season)

The inner Frank and Karen fangirl in me just needed this show so much! Am I a fan of all the killing and dying as well? No, that’s just not me. But I am so freaking good at ignoring that and focusing on the parts I really like and I got a lot of them here. Also, Ben Barnes is always a nice treat to look at. You have to give me that!

2. Runaways

(watched 1 out of 1 season)

Just because these shows are higher up on the list, doesn’t mean they are flawless, just that I personally clicked a whole lot more with them. All these adults from the previous shows getting their powers and snark on is great to watch, but seeing teenagers realise that their parents are evil and being confronted by the tough reality of that situation and what to do next is so much better. Also, there is a freaking pet dinosaur in this show. How can you not be totally into that?

1. Cloak & Dagger

(watched 1 out of 1 season)

I was so ready to hate this show because Freeform did it and I am very distrusting of what they do, but I actually 100% love it. The first season was a great set up for the characters and called out privilege and police brutality. Overall it felt very current with great new faces as the leads. I understand that some people want the main characters to be together more and I know I criticised the same thing during the Defenders, but here it sort of felt different and necessary that they weren’t always together to really show the parallels in their lives. I cannot wait for the new season!

So, that’s it! Do you agree/disagree with me on some of them? Let’s discuss in the comments and let me know if you want me to do this for DC shows as well!

My Backlisted Books!

So, I’ve already talked about this to some of you, but I am currently on a book buying ban, until I’ve made a dent in my pile of backlisted books. I don’t know how I have amassed so many, but I am a huge mood reader and it has become a problem. This isn’t me announcing that I will officially take part in the Beat the Backlist Challenge, but … I guess unofficially it’s almost as if I am. Anyway, I just wanted to show you what I’ll be working with the next months. I have already been able to tick off 5 books from my list and I made a deal with myself to wait until I have read half of my list before I buy new books. Without further ado, here are my backlisted books!

If you want to know more about the books, click on their respective cover and you’ll be redirected to Goodreads!

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1)  King's Cage (Red Queen, #3)  The Ship Beyond Time (The Girl From Everywhere, #2)  Everything, Everything  Walk the Edge (Thunder Road, #2)  The Hamilton Affair  Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy  Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2)  Caraval (Caraval, #1)  Heartless  Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood   Scrappy Little Nobody  Why Not Me?  Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me  Norse Mythology  Before I Fall  S.  The Stone House (A Class Novel)  Joyride  What She Does Next Will Astound You

Have you read any of these? Which ones are you particularly excited for me to read? Which ones do you really hope I write a review for? Let’s chat!