May 2021 Wrap-Up

Time’s just flying by and I have lost all track of what’s happening. I did, however, read an astonishing amount of books this past month, which was only possible because some of those were no more than 40 pages and included a lot of poetry collections, but still … I read a bunch! I love that for me. Let’s check out what was on my list:

  • The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin (3 stars)
  • On the Shortness of Life by Seneca (3 stars)
    It is astonishing to me that, after 2,000 years, we still struggle with similar problems. This series of short essays wasn’t always something I agreed with, but it raised some very interesting points.
  • Love Looks Pretty on You by Lang Leav (4 stars)
    This poetry collection was so easy to get into. I found a lot of passages I could identify with, while others were so specific that it almost felt like intruding on someone’s personal life.
  • The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman (5 stars)
    This is “just” a printed version of the inaugural poem Amanda Gorman wrote, with a foreword by Oprah Winfrey. Nothing beats watching her perform it though.
  • Where Hope Comes From by Nikita Gill (5 stars)
    Another poetry collection, this one with a focus on the year 2020. I found it very emotional to read and do not recommend it if you don’t want to be reminded of the pain of the pandemic (which we’re still in).
  • Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid (4 stars)
  • Galatea by Madeline Miller (3 stars)
    Miller’s short story – Galatea – is bound to break your heart, like most of her writing will.

The Nature of Witches  On The Shortness Of Life: De Brevitate Vitae (A New Translation with Image Gallery and Seneca Biography) (Stoics In Their Own Words Book 4)  Love Looks Pretty on You  The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem  Where Hope Comes From: Poems of Resilience, Healing and Light  Malibu Rising  Galatea

As per usual, click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy! My own reviews (where there is one) you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above if there are posts for them.

So, what’s new? I have further reduced my time on social media (although it’s still easy to reach me via DMs if there’s ever something I need to know or you want to talk about) and it has been very freeing. I barely check my timeline, I tweet something every other day and then log off again and just enjoy not giving my opinion on all things? It’s not that I have nothing to say or talk about, but … does the whole world need to know? The answer is likely “no”, so I reduce my interactions mostly to brief reactions about what I’ve watched recently. It honestly works for me.

I haven’t drawn or done much creatively once more and I’m not sure June will be the month for that either. It’s going to hold a lot of changes for me and we shall see how that might also affect my blogging schedule (been going “strong” with at least 2 posts each week minimum). For now, it looks like the Canada thing needs to be buried, which saddens me but is something I’ll just have to deal with. I think a lot of lives have been interrupted/disrupted/changed during the past year and if letting go of that dream is what it means for me, then it could have been much worse I suppose.

During the past months, my blogging friend Stephanie @Adventures of a Bibliophile has really inspired me with her reading experiments. Be it about books she read based on her zodiac sign or letting Buzzfeed decide her next reads, it is always sure to be fun and a unique to her experience. Now, I’m not saying I’m going to copy her, but I have started my very own reading experiment. I wanted it to be something that felt very true to me and that you would all hopefully enjoy as well. I’m not ready to disclose what exactly my post will entail, but having written about it here will give me that accountability to go through with it! I’M SO EXCITED!

MY FAVORITE THINGS

Since I spent less time on social media apps, you might think I spent less time in front of screens, but that’s not entirely true. I still watched a whole lot, for example also the TV adaptation of Panic by Lauren Oliver. Fair warning, I forgot everything there was about the plot, except for random details, but I had a good time. The concept of the game within the story is pretty reckless and stupid, all of it is a very teen angst filled show, but I was entertained.

I’ve also started to delve into fan fiction a bit, just because I think it’s such an amazing outlet for all the creative people out there. I love reading my friends’ takes on Charmed (which are often better than canon) such as katasstropheee‘s or amandapanda425‘s works (to just name a few). But also all things Marvel related, where I’m especially excited to see the Why Me? fic continued once the Loki show will air. Reimagining already existing worlds can be so satisfying and I might try my own hand at it while my motivation for my original novels is lacking.

MY OTHER POSTS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

THURSDAY MOVIE PICKS

VARIOUS BOOKISH STUFF

TRAILER POSTS


What are some things that shaped your May? What are you looking forward to in June? Let’s chat a little bit and I hope you are all happy and healthy!

April 2021 Wrap-Up

I can’t believe April is over already. I’ve had all these plans and ideas for the year, but once again, little of that is going according to said plans. Anyway, I managed to read/listen to three books and that’s what we will start this post with. It’s not a huge amount of reads, but my motivation in the reading department is a continuous flow and ebb.

  • Hana Khan Carries On by Uzma Jalaluddin (4 stars)
  • The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas
    This book not having a rating has nothing to do with the quality of the writing, but simply with my decision not to rate and review books by friends and people I know. Elena is an old blogging buddy and I was so happy to see her dream of releasing her own romance novel come true. I HAD to support that and had a really good time reading The Spanish Love Deception. Romance isn’t my usual genre, so I don’t feel super qualified to comment on it anyway, but the banter between Lina and Aaron was so much fun.
  • The Sandman by Neil Gaiman/audiobook (3 stars)
    I still don’t know how people sit through audiobooks, because I’m apparently a very visual reader and completely space out after a while. The fact that The Sandman had a fantastic voice cast (with the likes of James McAvoy, Kat Dennings, Michael Sheen, Riz Ahmed and many more) and thus making it more of an audioplay than audiobook helped immensely. Still, I struggled with paying attention a lot … I keep trying this medium, but apparently it’s just not for me (as I’ve talked about before in this post)

Hana Khan Carries On The Spanish Love Deception The Sandman (Sandman Audible Original, #1)

As per usual, click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy! My own reviews (where there is one) you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above if there are posts for them.

At the end of April, I took a little social media break and I’m basically still on it and it feels quite nice. It’s not that anything in particular happened that drove me away, but I did not enjoy being constantly glued to my phone and putting my entire energy into that thing. After a while, it also spiked my anxiety to voice my opinions, despite no one ever coming for me and I just decided to dip out for a while. I’m not completely gone and if anyone needs me, it’s fairly easy to contact me, but I just thought I’d let you know why my timeline is a little bit more quiet. It definitely helped in eliminating one of the many excuses I had created for myself in order to not pursue any of my creative ideas (be that writing, drawing or something else entirely).

For those of you who are interested in the status of my Canada-move, it’s still very much looking grim. I have decided to apply for another extension of the visa once that is possible (you can only do so 30 days before yours expires), but that I cannot put my life on hold for this any longer. I’m currently taking steps to figure out what I might be able to do instead and how I could move on, but it’s all a process. This really still is my biggest dream and giving up on it is soul crushing to even contemplate.

My creativity still isn’t at a peak, but I can feel some of it returning. I may or may not have splurged on some new materials that I’m excited to work with, even though I still have to get acquainted with a lot of them. I don’t think I will post any portraits or other drawings in the near future, but rather just try to get a feel back for myself without having to put anything of it out into the world yet.

MY FAVORITE THINGS

As much as I struggled with the fact that the finale of the Falcon and the Winter Soldier premiered on the same day and at the same time as Shadow and Bone, I loved doing those weekly reviews. They may not have sparked as much engagement and views as some of the WandaVision content, but it was nice to dig deep on content I feel so passionate about. I’m still unsure whether to go through the trouble for Loki, but at the same time, I felt a big hole this past Friday without anything to review. Please, let me know in the comments which other shows (besides Loki) you could imagine me doing weekly or in depth seasonal reviews for! I obviously can’t promise anything, because I don’t know if I will always have the time for it, but I enjoyed the routine and if you *want* me to talk about something in particular, I’d really like to know what, so I can at least think about it!

I’m all ears for your ideas!

MY OTHER POSTS

THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER REVIEWS/CONTENT

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

THURSDAY MOVIE PICKS

VARIOUS TAGS AND POSTS

TRAILER POSTS


Hope your April went well! What are some posts you enjoyed reading this past month? Did you encounter some great books and TV shows? Let’s talk!

Charming as a Verb by Ben Philippe (Book Review)

Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Page Count
: 336

I have said it before and I will say it again, there’s something about Ben Philippe’s writing that just works for me. I was utterly smitten with The Field Guide to the North American Teenager and extremely pumped to read Charming as a Verb. From the first couple of pages, you just sort of get the characters and their personality. They come to life easily and grow on you quickly.

All children are charming as an adjective, but you’re charming as a verb. 

Henri “Halti” Haltiwanger is, in all possible meanings of the word, charming. He has a Smile (yes, capital S) for every situation and knows how to navigate people like the back of his hand. In addition to that, he is also extremely smart and funny and handsome – a combination that makes him likable in every social circle he encounters, despite some massive income differences between him and his other classmates. And while you read, you get it! Henri is a go-getter and not beyond a little con here and there to get to the places he needs to go. He just knows exactly what to say and makes his flaws look endearing, so, it comes as little surprise when Corinne, the social opposite of him, blackmails him into helping her get a social life. A meet cute started by blackmail, not something you see every day!

“You want me to She’s All That you?” I manage to say, hiding the smile creeping on my lips.
“What’s that?”
“Oh, my God,” I groan. “Watch more movies. Maybe that’s been the missing ingredient all along.”

From there on, things evolve quickly and you have a sort of rivals to friends to lovers situation. Corinne and Henri are incredibly cute together and will have you smiling like crazy with their banter and endearing get-to-know phase. However, this book isn’t just a romance. It’s about so much more!

A much bigger component, and the source of many a problem, is the fact that Corinne, Henri and their friends are in their senior year at High School. Being at a very competitive private school is one thing, but Henri simultaneously has to keep his dog-walking-business running, help out at home and fulfill his dad’s dream of getting into Columbia. And that’s the source of one of the main issues!

Despite our both being the O-Generation – a concept I have to admit rings terribly true the more I think about it – Corinne isn’t an immigrant. Or the child of immigrants. It’s a distinction that’s mostly irrelevant except in the moments like these, where it could easily place us on two different wavelengths. There’s no Haitian in her, no Jamaican, no Puerto Rican. Her Blackness is American, born and raised. Stolen and enslaved, technically, but still, it’s rooted here. She never aspired to be here from another shore elsewhere. She might not understand.
“If I give up on Columbia, then … I don’t know.”
“Then it’s like you’re no longer Haltiwanger Hungry?”
“Something like that.”

So, Henri has to figure out why he wants to go to Columbia and how far he is willing to go to get there. I call it the main issue, because it leads to Henri doing something that just made me so irrefutably angry. Maybe it’s not fair for me to hold Henri to such a high standard, but I truly expected better from him and that just made me so disappointed in his actions.
Then again, that’s another sign of great writing! I was so invested in the life of the characters, I wanted them to do better. I wanted everyone to succeed and live their dreams. And I don’t even speak of just Corinne and Henri here, who were so lovable, but also side characters like Henri’s best friend Ming. That dude was exactly the kind of friend I wish everyone had!

To recap, Ben Philippe’s writing style is still something that I enjoy very much. He manages to not feel the need to detail every second of every day the characters live through and yet you always feel like you have the full picture. His characters are full of life, relatable and fun. I didn’t enjoy the conflict in this one as much as in The Field Guide … but I still thought it had amazing parts focusing on the family-theme and very cute romance moments!

Fazit: 3/5 stars! I really wish Halti hadn’t done that one thing …

3s

Are you planning on reading Charming as a Verb? Have you read Philippe’s other book? Let’s talk!

August 2020 Wrap-Up

Again, August wasn’t my most active month on the blog. I know I keep saying this, but more about that in the life update section!

I have read 100% more books than last month, which means two instead of one! To some of you, that might still not seem like a lot, but I am happy with it. My reading challenge is still on track and that hasn’t been the case in years around the same time.

  • Stargirl by Geoff Johns – complete collection (3 stars)
    I did not review the comic book, although it was a decent collection. It got confusing at times when the crossovers with the JSA, Titans, etc. were incomplete or out of order, but you definitely got a feel for the character and its history.
    Again, major thanks to my friend Lois for gifting this one to me!
  • Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power (2 stars)

Stargirl          Burn Our Bodies Down

As per usual, click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy! My own reviews you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above.

I announced last month that I would replace my art challenge with a fitness challenge and I am sad to say that I did not finish Chloe Ting’s 25 Day Hourglass-Challenge. The thing is, I had been lightly working out on the daily for months (pretty much since lockdown started), but this challenge was a whole other intensity. A lot of the exercises repeated themselves in multiple videos and it led to my knee getting bad again and my wrist getting strained from overuse (basically too much planking and kneeling). It was very frustrating, as I was hoping to finally see results, but I knew I had to stop and rest in order to not risk a more severe injury. I haven’t been working out for 3 weeks now and I am not happy with the situation, but also cautious about possible injuries while doing this alone at home … (Everything’s fine now and nothing hurts, just being wary)

I also haven’t been writing or blogging very regularly, I did, however, continue to draw whenever possible and inspiration struck. Feel free to follow me @katimpossibledraws on instagram. I’m really close to 300 followers and hope to get there in September.

A lot of people have suggested I open a shop or sell prints, open my account for commissions, but I honestly have to tell you that I don’t think I’ll do that. Drawing has kept me sane in this very strange time we are living in. I like drawing what I want whenever I want to and enjoy it not being connected to any sort of stress factors. I’m sorry if that disappoints people who were hoping to commission something, but I really need this to just be my zen place.

MY FAVOURITE THINGS

My favourite things this past month were 100% certain Apple shows that I enjoyed. One is called Little Voice and is about a struggling musician finding her voice. It has one of my favourite ever love interests. I was really team Samuel since day 1 and I adored the finale. It was created by Sara Bareilles and Jessie Nelson and features just a bunch of songs you’ll end up listening to on repeat. All 9 episodes are available on Apple TV+!

The other show I adore is Ted Lasso! I haven’t had such a perfect comfort show in a while, but this one is really IT. Starring Jason Sudeikis as American Football coach Ted Lasso, who takes on the position of manager of a UK football (meaning soccer) club. It’s hilarious and very much American optimism meets British pessimism. The characters and their dynamics and relationships are everything! If you want to be happy too, watch it! (It’s still ongoing, but half the season is out so far)

As per usual, I’ve unfortunately still not been as active as I would have liked to be on everyone else’s blog. If you are up for it, feel free to share one of your own posts that you consider one of your faves from this past month in the comments below! I’d love to check it out!!

MY OTHER POSTS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

TRAILER POSTS


Hope you had a good August and are looking forward to a little less heat as much as me! Let’s chat a bit in the comment section!

Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power (eARC Review)

Publisher: Delacorte Press
Page Count
: 352

*I was provided with an eARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!*

CW: death, murder, arson, vomiting, unplanned pregnancy

I was supposed to read this book about two months ago, before it’s release in early July, but it was a struggle getting here. I want to start by saying that I have not read Wilder Girls and therefore had no expectations concerning the author’s writing style or way of storytelling. All I thought this would be was a family drama, which it was in part, but there is definitely so much more to it that I feel like I didn’t sign up for.

I’ve been trying to gather my thoughts for a while now, but can’t seem to make sense of it all yet. I think my main issue was that I went into this book thinking I’d get a twisted tale of a torn family, but really, it was more along the lines of horror? Those of you who know me, realise that in 9 out of 10 cases, I would not pick up a horror book on purpose and it was off-putting here as well.
I was prepared for an otherworldly, thick with the scent of buried secrets atmosphere (which Power manages to create quite well), however, I was not prepared for it to be so decidedly not our world in the end. When you start this novel, the characters take some getting used to, but it seems like we are here, in our reality. It takes almost half the book to come to the conclusion that you are not and at that point you are just confused.

This book features queer characters, a strained family relationship, a rural/small town setting – all factors that would usually entice me to read a book! So, why exactly didn’t it work for me?

Burn Our Bodies Down is told through the inner monologue of the main character Margot. She is a strange girl with very intense mood swings, something that didn’t always make it easy to follow her thought process. We get snippets of her personality as well as a bit of exploration of her sexuality (is she a lesbian? bisexual?), but it all gets dropped in favor of the “mystery” of the plot. And that mystery is really all that kept me propelled to keep reading, because I surely wasn’t able to connect or like any of the characters very much. I wanted to know how it would be resolved. I had my guesses early on and even though at that time, I had still thought this was just regular reality, I was right. That just added to me not feeling very satisfied by the pay off, because what else could it be?

Before I end this review for good, I just want to say that I saw a lot of people enjoy this book. It’s probably a very me-thing that I didn’t and which I mostly base on the inability to connect to any of the characters while reading. I highly recommend you check out varying reviews if you are still unsure whether you want to read this book or not.

Fazit: 2/5 stars! This was not meant for me.

Have you read this book? Do you want to? Have you read Wilder Girls? Let’s talk!

May 2020 Wrap-Up

I usually start these posts by just jumping right into what I have read, but it wouldn’t sit right with me to do that amidst everything that’s happening. If you follow me on Twitter, the social media platform I’m probably most active on, I hope I’ve made it clear and obvious where I stand. I stand with Black Lives Matter and all intersecting identities and I beg of you to educate yourself and support Black people during this time. We are now entering Pride month, which obviously also deserves attention, but you can do both! You can show up for the LGBTQ+ community as well as people of colour!

Also, please, don’t add to the exhaustion and pain by demanding more emotional labour from them, but instead look up resources yourself. Staying silent in the face of oppression is complicity. There are so many links and threads all over the internet for you to get information from. Click here for ways to help right now and here for tips on allyship! (This is by no means all there is out there, but it’s a start.)

No one can do everything, but everyone can do something!

Having said all that, I’m now not so smoothly transitioning to the books I read. It wasn’t the most productive month in terms of reading, but my mind was really occupied with other things. For the first time since June 2017, I’ve actually reviewed an ARC though, so I don’t know if you want to count that as a win or not?

  • Lore Olympus (Season 1) by Rachel Smythe (5 stars)
    Lore Olympus is a web comic about the story of Hades and Persephone. It’s stylish, modern and drama-filled, but also cute. I loved it! You can check it out here.
  • Again Again by E. Lockhart (3.5 stars)
  • Normal People by Sally Rooney (4 stars)

Lore Olympus, Season 1 Again Again Normal People

As per usual, click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy! My own reviews you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above.

I’m not going to lie to you, May was a tough month. I felt like there was blowback after blowback on a personal as well as global level. My country is actually reopening pretty much everything mid-June though and I’d like to think we are ready for that step. Still, I feel like this year will stay with a lot of people and no one will be able to escape it unscathed entirely.

Wow, I’ve rarely sounded this glum, but I’ve tried to stay as busy as possible, just finding activities for myself to do since I didn’t have a job to bury myself in. Like the month before, I’ve continued writing my Football WIP and am currently at 21.5K words. It’s not exactly double what I had last month, but’s progress and I’m very proud of it.

I actually did a thread of aesthetics for all my characters, even the ones that hadn’t been mentioned at the time. You can check it out here:

And then, on top of that, I also started drawing my own characters from the Football WIP. Some looked better than others, but I’m generally really pleased. It’s only three so far, but I think I’m going to continue with the rest of the Football team and other side characters.

I did some more drawings of various actors and actresses. You can check them out on my instagram account here. I am not too happy with the quality of the photos I take sometimes, as the colors often look washed out and less vibrant or clear than in real life, but I’m learning and maybe going to share close ups or random shots of my notebooks in the future, instead of a head on photo.

MY FAVOURITE THINGS

I’ve unfortunately not been as active as I would have liked to be on everyone else’s blog. If you are up for it, feel free to share one of your own posts that you consider one of your faves from this past month in the comments below! I’d love to check it out!! But here are a couple I liked:

  • The Orang-utan Librarian wondered if reviews can truly be unbiased (spoiler alert: no)
  • Marie @Drizzle and Hurricane Books is one of my oldest blogging buddies and she took a look at how much this community and platform of book blogging as changed in the past 5 years. (Yep, we are blogosauruses over here)
  • Lois @My Midnight Musings talked about SciFi and Fantasy books she would like to see adapted to the small and big screen and I couldn’t agree more with … ALL of it!!!
  • Trang @Bookidote clarified what it is a blogger actually does and how much work goes into it.

MY OTHER POSTS

VARIOUS POSTS AND TAGS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

TRAILER POSTS

I hope you are all taking care of yourselves and allow yourselves to take a step back when things become too overwhelming! Whatever June will be (let’s hope it’s good), we’re going to get through it!

April 2020 Wrap-Up

Something about time is just not consistent this year. Whereas the first couple months felt like years, April was gone in the blink of an eye. I guess we all got used to our current situations and that way it didn’t feel so endless? I don’t know … it’s just a working theory. Either way, April still gave me plenty of time to get back into my reading groove and I’m now halfway through my Goodreads challenge, which makes me super happy!

  • Again, but Better by Christine Riccio (3 stars)
  • Aphrodite Made Me Do It by Trista Mateer (5 stars)
    This is a beautiful and very personal poetry collection, where the poet talks to the Goddess Aphrodite about trauma and love and societal expectations and I adored it. It felt very intimate and I marked so many passages, but I don’t know how to review poetry really other than saying “THIS MADE ME FEEL SOMETHING”, so that’s why you didn’t hear much about it from me.
  • Deadpool Issue #20 (5 stars)
    You can read this issue for free here. Trigger warning for suicide!
  • Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel (3 stars)

Again, but Better Aphrodite Made Me Do It Deadpool #20 Only Human (Themis Files, #3)

As per usual, click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy! My own reviews you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above.

I went into this month thinking I could do … a lot? I soon realised that even if I was motivated, there were definite limitations. The more I wanted to do, the less I actually did and so I focused on a couple things. I started working out on the daily and have missed maybe one or two days this last month. I don’t do hours upon hours of workout, but I do feel better exercising a little bit and am starting (if very slowly so) to see some changes in my body.

Another thing I focused on was getting back into writing. I initially wanted to continue working on the #witchyWIP for Camp NaNoWriMo, but ended up not feeling it anymore. Instead, I started a completely new project where I have recently hit 12K words. It’s a YA contemporary story with a slight focus on Football, but also family drama and just all sorts of relationships (go friendships!). There is no pitchable blurb yet and I feel different about this project. You know me, I usually blab about my projects all day long, but somehow I feel like keeping this one close to my chest … at least for now.

Having been more into writing taught me that I cannot consume a lot of other media (books and TV and movies) or it will hinder my own creativity. I tend to get lost in all those fictional worlds and when that happens, it’s really hard to pull myself out of it and work on my own stuff. Which is what I want to do! So, I think all things considered, I did fairly well with posts and reviews, even though I felt I couldn’t read/watch as much as I sometimes wanted to.

However, something I tried to do more again to not get out of practice entirely is draw. When I have to pick my own reference pic, I will spend hours without getting anywhere, because I am super indecisive. Instead, I turned to my friends on Twitter and asked for characters they wanted to have drawn. If you have Twitter as well, feel free to comment with a pic of your fave. I won’t promise to draw anything, but I am trying to make it a more regular occasion and will turn to this pinned tweet for inspo!

The drawing I most enjoyed doing so far was of Melonie Diaz as Mel Vera from the Charmed Reboot!

But I am slowly but surely running out of watercolor paper (it’s ordered, but will take some time. I only have THREE pieces of paper left), which made me turn to practicing pencil drawings as well. Here is a grumpy Nick Miller from New Girl.

MY FAVOURITE THINGS

In turns of media consumption my two favourite things are very easy to identify as Friday Night Lights and the movie The Half of It! However, I talked about FNL at length in a separate post and do intend to talk about The Half of It in an upcoming one. So, instead, let’s check out some awesome content around the blogosphere:

  • Sophie @Me and Ink talked about some deliciously morally grey characters and I was all here for it!
  • Marie @Drizzle and Hurricane Books gave us an insight as to how to deal with a blogging slump. Let’s face it, it has happened to all of us at some point …
  • I really loved this look at Season 3 of Elite and what’s ahead over @MettelRay
  • The Orang-Utan Librarian had some quarrels with the adaptation of The Noughts and Crosses book series to screen (despite my dear Josh Dylan being in it).
  • My good friend Lois @My Midnight Musings does not just have a new layout on her blog, she was also completely smitten by The Kiss Quotient last month and did a great review on it.
  • Sophie Li and Jai Lynn both took it upon them to take part in my newly created Quarantine Write Tag! Check out their posts and stories – they are awesome!

MY OTHER POSTS

VARIOUS POSTS

WRITING TAGS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

TRAILER POSTS

This is it from me! I hope you had a good start into the month of May! I also hope you are staying safe and healthy. Take care of yourselves and be responsible <3!

Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel (Themis Files #3, Book Review)

Publisher: Michael Joseph
Page Count
: 350

Only Human is the third and final book in the Themis Files series. If you want to read my review of book 1, Sleeping Giants, click here and if you want to read my thoughts on book 2, Waking Gods, click here!

It has been a while since I read the previous books in the series, but my statement that this is like an adult and more Earth-centered version of the Illuminae Files still stands … sort of. I was surprised at how easily I found myself back in this world, remembering (almost) everything that had happened previously.

This story is still very much about humanity. However, a large part of this book didn’t take place on Earth and that was to be expected after the cliffhanger ending from Waking Gods, but I think I thought that the aliens would be different. I had a VERY hard time taking the aliens seriously. Something about them and their way of life just seemed silly (I really had a tough time with their language for some reason) and even when situations became really dire, it just did not feel that way. There were some serious life and death scenarios in the past that often didn’t end well and I appreciated this cold and almost detached analysis of “mistakes were made” and “wrong decisions were made”, but nothing in Only Human felt as severe as it should. Even some real blowbacks didn’t affect me at all and that was a real shame.

I don’t remember if that was the case in the previous installments, but I also struggled a bit with the copious amounts of time jumps. I guess it wouldn’t have worked to just tell it chronologically, but it just felt more scattered, whereas I always considered this series to be very focused. Also, certain scenes quickly gave off a repetitive vibe, as the same characters fought over the same topics over and over again, without making much progress or trying to see the other’s perspective. To say that ended in a couple useless fights is the understatement of the week …

As far as endings for a series go, this was really decent though. Questions that were asked throughout all books were (partially) answered or dealt with, no characters were forgotten or left behind. Everything sort of came full circle and that’s always enjoyable in a way, even if you don’t know every itsy bitsy detail about the character’s lives in the “after”. It leaves you with less of a sense of wondering about humanity as I expected though. We are and always will be judgmental and ready for a fight it seems, it just depends who we choose to see as our villain.

Ultimately, I don’t know if it’s due to me having stepped away from the series for so long or this just really not grabbing me as much, but Only Human was my least favourite part in the series. I still have no regrets reading it in general, even if a very big reason for it was me falling utterly and endlessly in love with the covers.

Fazit: 3/5 stars! A good but not brilliant ending to a very interesting series.

Have you read the Themis Files? Do you want to? Are you as in love with the covers as I am?

Again, but Better by Christine Riccio (Book Review)

Publisher: Wednesday Books
Page Count
: 373

Again, but Better is a book with very mixed reviews, yet I felt absolutely compelled to pick it up for myself, because Christine Riccio was one of a handful of booktubers who inspired me to get into (book) blogging. (I even thought about doing the whole video set up, but then just was so disappointed with the light in my room, my lack of equipment, etc., I switched to plain writing my thoughts out on the blog) When it was announced that she was going to release her first book, I was all in! That book could have probably been a horror mystery thriller (a mix of all the things I do not like) and I still would have read it … maybe.

So, it shouldn’t be that big of a surprise to anyone that I did not read the blurb properly …

I just want to start out by saying that I thought and was pretty sure that this book was a contemporary YA … but it’s not? I would class this more in the NA age group, because the main character is definitely in her twenties, although it still has great coming-of-age characteristics that many of us YA readers like. But, that’s not the big shocker, I just really wasn’t prepared for there being any sort of magical element (despite it literally saying so in the blurb). It’s still very much contemporary, but it has a magically twisty component. With my expectations being so totally off for this book, I think I was just sort of thrown for a loop there. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, it just felt … off?

I debated for a long time how I could possibly review this book, but I think I just have to resort to the good old “things I liked/disliked”-list situation, because I really feel a lot of different things.

WHAT I LIKED

  • Shane is a lot like Christine and that’s a lovely thing! When you see Christine on the screen, it’s sometimes hard to believe that she is an introvert who struggled to talk to people at college or who didn’t date a lot. But … that’s also how I think some people see/saw me? I am pretty good at some social events and like to be upbeat and friendly with everyone, but it’s hard and took a lot of time to develop to the point where I become more confident. A big change has happened for me when I was on my semester abroad and so it makes a lot of sense to me that she would put herself in the shoes of her main character and live through her that way.

“It’s weird how we have to get a little older to realize that people are just people. It should be obvious, but it’s not.”

  • The Shane and Pilot banter was spot on from the first time they met to the very last page! In general, Christine’s writing is just a lot of fun to read. It flows super easily and had me laughing out loud several times.

“Shane. Interesting name for a girl,” he teases. I narrow my eyes. “Pilot. Interesting name for a human.”

  • I really, really liked that Shane hadn’t done it all at twenty. There are so many people who do not enter into romantic relationships at high school and it’s not even that they wouldn’t want to, it just doesn’t happen. It’s not that weird and I need everyone to know that, because it makes you feel like in this quote:

“The young women in all the YA books I loved were high-school age. By eighteen, the majority of them had saved the world, not to mention: kissed people, traveled, been in a relationship, had sex. At twenty I felt like a pathetic, unaccomplished, uncultured, virgin grandma. It sounds like a joke now, but at the time, around all these people my age casually discussing all of the above, I felt so small.”

  • The end of the book reminded me of my own book ending (Break Up Buddy, the only story I ever finished) and I thought that was hilarious.

WHAT I DISLIKED

  • A huge reason I was excited for this book was that I have done a semester abroad myself (as mentioned above). In fact, I have spent a notable time in other countries when I was 15 (the US), 16/17 (France), 18/19 (US again) and 23/24 (Canada) and like to think I know what I am talking about when it comes to those experiences. Of course, everyone is different, but some stuff just nagged me, e.g. when Shane and the others went to Italy on their first weekend in London. That’s just not realistic? No one I know would spend their first weekend in a new city NOT in the city …
    Other than that, I suppose I know a lot of people who really went someplace new every weekend. Especially in the EU, travel is easy, but that doesn’t mean it’s super cheap. For college students who were all living off of internships, I was floored by what they could all afford to do.

“I suck in a deep breath as I plop one foot over the line and then exhale, knowing I’m standing on both sides of the world at once.”

  • The relationship that Shane had with her parents felt very … wrong? I’d like to say borderline abusive. I am not here to excuse any of their behaviour, BUT I’d also like to point out why I was not siding with Shane in certain instances. Her parents have paid thousands of dollars for an education she does not intend to use, she also cons them into financing her semester abroad by telling them it is useful to her premed major in NY. I just can’t.
    Their relationship was very complicated and Shane obviously wasn’t in a place where she could tell her parents how she really felt, but that kind of money is no joke? IF she had financed the trip herself somehow, I wouldn’t have minded at all, but that wasn’t the case and therefore just really not cool. Having never spoken to her parents about her concern before, I understand that it resulted in disappointment.

“I’ve been trying to make you happy for six years now, hoping somehow that would make me happy too, but I don’t think it’s working. You’re not really happy with me because I’m not happy with you because I’m not happy with me.”

  • While it was a fast and easy read, something about the pacing didn’t feel natural sometimes. It was difficult to gauge how much time had really passed and sometimes it was just hours and then suddenly weeks.
  • WHY could this girl not get up from a chair, without it crashing loudly to the floor and her flailing about??? Or, you know, put down a glass?

Lastly, I want to add that there is a significant cheating plotline. I didn’t feel any certain way about it, other than obviously not being for it, but it also didn’t ruin the book for me. I just thought I’d mention it.

So, I liked the book, but didn’t love it. I found Christine’s writing style had a great flow and made it easy to breeze through the pages, but maybe I will enjoy her next attempt more.

Fazit: 3/5 stars! Solid debut book by a great booktuber!

Have you read Again, but Better? Was it on your radar? Let’s chat!

March 2020 Wrap-Up

It’s been a year! Oh, wait … it’s just the end of freaking forever-March. I really thought January was the never-ending month, but March sure dethroned it. A lot has been happening, and very few of these things (or none) were according to plan, but more about that later. The one thing that March allowed me to do was get back into reading again. I still can’t plow through 10 books a month, like I used to do in my late High School/early college years (wow, am I getting old?), but I am quite happy nonetheless, because I am just really enjoying diving into books again. I am DEFINITELY on track for my Goodreads reading challenge.

Anna K. The Last Wish (The Witcher, #0.5) The Aftermath

As per usual, click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy! My own reviews you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above.

So, now let’s briefly talk about the obvious – the pandemic. I know, I know … we are all bombarded with it on a 24/7 news cycle and I can only imagine that you do not necessarily want to hear about it from me as well. I am not going to go into massive detail, but I just want to say that I hope you are all staying safe and at home (to the best of your abilities). These are trying times for everyone, but we need to remain patient and vigilant to continue flattening the curve. 

Having said that, I also want to say that it’s okay to mourn not being able to do something or see people you love. We are humans and therefore capable of more than one emotion. I can worry about the general human populace and still be sad about the fact that I had to cancel some important plans. As mentioned last month, I had planned to move to Canada this March with the work permit I acquired, but that has not happened. Not only was it my decision to cancel the flights and hotels I had already booked because traveling in this climate felt irresponsible, but a couple weeks later and literal all the borders are closed for non-essential travel. I am not going to lie, I threw myself a pity party and still am sad sometimes that I couldn’t do something I had worked towards for YEARS, but … in hindsight it might be for the better? I get to be with my parents right now. And even though it gets crowded sometimes, I am glad not to be entirely on my own an entire ocean away. It can get hard to find the positive, but I keep trying and just hoping that the more we band together (not physically, but by social distancing etc.) the sooner this will get managed.

Btw, don’t be like Vanessa Hudgens. Take this seriously!

Now, on to happier things! Life and Other Disasters has surpassed the freaking 2,500 follower milestone!!! I still can barely believe it, but I am so beyond grateful. As a way of looking back at years of blogging and which content stuck the most with you, my lovely readers, I published a series of posts titled “Kat Made Me Read/Watch It”. In it I listed all the shows, books and whatnot that you have told me you started watching or reading (partially) because of me and to this day, it’s one of the best things a blogger can hear. It makes our work feel appreciated and my heart sing. Here are the parts:

Aside from that, I don’t feel like I have been the most productive during this introspective time. I have barely picked up a brush, only honoring a couple actors for season finales or on their birthdays with a portrait. One was Ronen Rubinstein, who you will surely fall in love with just like I did once you watch 9-1-1 Lone Star (if you haven’t yet, what even are you waiting for?) and of course, the ever formidable Rupert Evans, who plays the whitelighter in the Charmed reboot.

I am serious, TK Strand will capture your heart (and not just that of hot police officer Carlos).

I thought it was especially cool that a friend of mine animated my drawing of Rupert, which made it eerily realistic and like it came to life!

MY FAVOURITE THINGS

I really had to think about this a whole lot, because I initially couldn’t think of something I had enjoyed over the top this month, but then it struck me! I absolutely 100% could not forget about Vampires. I mentioned it in this post, but to sum it up briefly. Vampirism is a matriarchy. This show creates vampires like humans (through birth) and deals with a girl who seems to be a hybrid. Her mother has broken off contact with the rest of the community, but when news gets out about Doina (the hybrid girl), they WANT her. It has a completely toxic ship, but one I am so here for? Like … I just need a second season to have Ladislas and Doina date. That’s literally all I want.

Now, it’s been a while since I’ve done this, but so many bloggers have been so very kind to me. They keep highlighting posts of mine and I always seem to have been too self-absorbed or busy to return the favour. So, here are a couple posts from around the blogosphere that I enjoyed.

  • Marie (Drizzle and Hurricane Books) talked about her book buying process and the fact that she HAS a real, several steps process is just wow! I love that girl!
  • Caro (Bookcheshirecat) has reviewed one of my all time hidden gems – Jackaby! You should really check it out if you haven’t yet.
  • Lois (My Midnight Musing) recommended some binge-worthy TV shows (including some shows that I absolutely 100% endorse as well), so give it a go if you need some more stuff on your quarantine watchlist.
  • Over at The Punk Theory, Becks has reviewed Season 1, Season 2 and Season 3 of Riverdale. That show is a trash fire that I once upon supported and now only hate watch. It’s beautiful to watch her confusion grow as she keeps with it … cause like a train wreck, you can’t seem to look away).
  • Maha (Sunshine n’ Books) made a plan for what she wants to accomplish during self-isolation. Since her to-do-list and mine are quite similar, I just felt the need to share it here too!

MY OTHER POSTS

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As I said before, I hope you are all staying safe and healthy! Here’s to hoping that we will all be able to accomplish the tasks we set for ourselves this April! If you ever feel like chatting, I am here.