The Worst Books I’ve Read in 2022

Hello friends!

Did you see my last post “The Best Books I Read in 2022”? I honestly believe I had an amazing year full of amazing books! It was a very positive year because most of the books I picked up were good. Now with that said… I read some bad books as well.

Fortunately they were very few! So that’s exactly what I’m sharing with you today: the worst books I read in 2022. To be more specific, I’m bringing you 4 books I read last year that I disliked and the reasons why I disliked them.

Just a small, but necessary disclaimer: please don’t take it personally if I mention a book you loved! We all have different opinions and tastes when it comes to reading and I’m not trying to offend anyone… this is just my personal opinion 🙂

Okay, now let’s go into the list! Here are the books:

1. The Blouse by Bastien Vivès

This was by far one of the worst books I have ever read in my entire life. I got this book from NetGalley, and I absolutely hated it. I rated it 1 out of 5 stars – which is one of the lowest ratings I have ever given a book. 
Just to explain quickly what the book is about: we follow a plain Jane named Séverine. She doesn’t stand out in any way, shape or form… until she puts on a silk blouse. Then all of a sudden she becomes a sex bomb. And not only that, but her personality changes just like magic. First she’s very shy, does not smoke and is very quiet. After putting on the blouse, she starts smoking, starts cheating on her boyfriend recklessly and “interacts” with strangers with confidence. Aaaand… that’s it, that’s the whole story.So why did I dislike this so much? There are a lot of reasons, so to name a few: it’s a very shallow book, it has no story (or explanation, or goal, or motivation, or direction or anything); it has a lot of weird, vulgar and icky scenes – I’m no prude, but it was too much; the artwork was bland and underwhelming… I just don’t get what this book was trying to achieve. I don’t think I will ever find anyone I would recommend this book to. It was a complete waste of time.

2. Mooncakes by Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker

I was a little sad that I started the new year with a bad book. It wasn’t the worst book I’ve ever read in my entire life, but it was still bad and very confusing. 
The artwork was beautiful and I liked the magic and witchcraft theme of the book… but what really went wrong for me was the plot. The story was mostly focused on a romance, so the plot felt secondary and unnecessary. It was very weak and rushed, and the timing of the images felt weird. I also had a hard time connecting to the characters, because they were extremely bland and boring. The insta-love romance was weak and lacked chemistry, so I didn’t care for it either. 
The only thing I really liked about this book was the art, but… why on Earth is the art different in the last chapters? It looks like the work was left unfinished which was super weird. Unfortunately it wasn’t even entertaining, I wouldn’t recommend it as well.

3. How To Be Better At (Almost) Everything by Pat Flynn

Well, this one didn’t work out for me as well. Do you know the famous quote “a jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one”? Supposedly, this was the main idea of the book. However, one of the reasons why I didn’t like this book is because it feels more like a random memoir than a self-development book. It’s very focused on the author’s experiences and interests. There is a lot about him playing the guitar, working out and faith/religion… but not much about actual self-development.
There’s bad, cringe humor and a lot of biased religious references that ended up being a little too preachy.
I always say that I always learn something about every book I read, but I don’t think I learn anything from this “self-development” book. It was underdeveloped and all over the place, there was a lot of filler and the good/evil preaching session was unnecessary. I didn’t take much from it, and I believe it’s a waste of time.

4. Tidesong by Wendy Xu

What are the odds of the same author appearing two times in a “Worst books” list? Not only “Mooncakes” is here, but also “Tidesong” by Wendy Xu.
I thought “Mooncakes” was probably an isolated situation, so I decided to pick up “Tidesong” this year as well. Even though the plot was a little better this time, the reading experiences were very similar.
Again, the illustrations were beautiful, but… that’s pretty much it. That’s all I liked about this book. The story was weak, the pacing was weird, and the timing between the frames felt super off sometimes – and I had the exact same experience with “Mooncakes”. It felt like everything happened in two or three pages, and then nothing happened for a longer time. These books lack structure and a solid plot to shine.
So what’s the conclusion here? Wendy Xu’s books are not for me, so I think I’ll avoid them in the future.

Like I said, please take my opinion with a grain of salt. Everyone likes what they like and we all have different opinions!

So tell me, have you ever read any of these books? Let me know in the comments! I hope you enjoyed this post and I will see you in my next post!

The Best Books I’ve Read in 2022

Hello friends!

Happy new year! Let me ask you something: is there a better way of starting the new year than with great book recommendations? Because that’s exactly what I’m bringing you today: the best books I’ve read in 2022! 

I read 60 books last year, and let me tell you… it was an amazing reading year! It was overwhelmingly full of 4 and 5 stars ratings, so it was very necessary for me to make this post to tell you all about it!

Just a small disclaimer: these are not necessarily books that came out last year! This list is focused on my personal reading year and the books that were part of it. 

So here are 7 books I read last year that I loved! Let’s get into it:

1. The Woman in the White Kimono by Ana Johns

This book was absolutely stunning! It reminded me of my all-time favorite book “Memoirs of a Geisha”, and I honestly couldn’t help falling in love with this story. This is an historical romance, with a setting in Japan.
This book is beautifully written and the reading experience is very immersive. Not only will you feel like you traveled in time, but you also get a good glimpse of what life in Japan was like in 1957. The author used two different time periods for the story.and when these timelines converge, the story is blended perfectly and a big revelation is made!
The inspiration for this book came from someone close to the author, who lived a similar reality, so she worked on this fictional story for years before publishing it.
It’s just a beautiful story. It is so much more than a love story. It’s a story about heartbreak, love and loss. It’s an emotional rollercoaster, but it’s absolutely worth it.

2. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki

This year I found the best book I have ever read about financial freedom: the amazing “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”. This is the kind of book that changes your perspective forever.
It had a huge impact on my life and I will forever be grateful to Mr. Robert for sharing his knowledge with this book. My perspective on money issues has forever changed and I’m now on the right path to achieve financial freedom. There were so many things said in this book that made me reflect on my life and my own beliefs about money. To create a different reality, we need to think differently and get out of our comfort zone. And that’s exactly what I have been doing this last month! My reality already changed drastically and I’m even more motivated to keep going.
I don’t know what else to say other than: you need this book in your life. No matter how much money you have (or don’t have), this is definitely worth picking up. There’s no way you’ll stay indifferent to your financial situation after reading this book. You need to read it!

3. Atomic Habits by James Clear

This book is absolutely phenomenal! The focus of this work of art is to teach you how habits work and how to make changes in your life using practical and easy techniques. It’s a very practical book because the author gives easy and clear instructions for the reader to follow. He also explains what’s behind each tip with a fresh and new perspective.
It is a very simple and easy book to follow. It’s not a dense, complex or hard book to keep up with. Everything is very well structured and the language used is accessible to readers of all ages.
I learned a lot from this amazing book and I already use some of its teachings in my daily life. I strongly believe you’ll take something from this book if you give it a chance. If you are looking for a book to create new habits or to stop old habits, this is the book for you!

4. I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy

This is one of the best memoirs I have ever read in my entire life, and trust me… I’ve read a few already! Like everyone else who came across this book, I was hooked by the words “I’m Glad My Mom Died”.
The title hooked me in, but the book amazed me. Jennette shares a lot about her and her life in her book, including her family dynamics, the abuse from her mother, what it is like to go through child stardom, and body image issues/eating disorders. This is a very personal memoir, but mostly – it’s an important one. This is just a real life example of what so many child actors go through growing up. They frequently are abused and exploited by parents and people in the business, and they’re scarred for life – just like Jennette was.
It’s a very impactful and tough book to read, and I’m very impressed with what was achieved with this book. If you’re into memoirs, I have to recommend this one!

5. The Obesity Code by Jason Fung

If I had to pick the best book I have read in 2022, this one would be my first choice. This was a life changing book for me. I’ve struggled with overeating and being overweight for a few years now, and I’m always looking for new information and new things to read on the subject. This was a very important read for me because I learned a lot and I applied a lot of the teachings to lose weight… and guess what? It worked perfectly! I’m happy to say my habits have changed and I’ve lost a lot of weight so far!
The author uses A LOT of human studies to back up every claim. It’s the kind of book that you will definitely take something from, even if you’re an expert in the subject because he covers a lot of areas. Not only does he explain what works and what doesn’t for weight loss, but it uses a lot of proof to back it up. And the best part? It’s very easy to read because the language used is simple so anyone can read it.
This is an amazing book and an essential read with anyone struggling with losing weight! It’s a must read.

6. The Book of Gothel by Mary McMyne

And the award for best retelling book read in 2022 goes to… you guessed it, “The Book of Gothel”! Yes, I’m a big fan of retellings – especially with villains -, and this was one of the best I have ever read! I’m very surprised this is a debut novel, because it’s absolutely stunning and well written. Every single element of this book created a beautiful and immersive reading experience. I would describe this book as young adult fantasy, but it definitely matures as the story goes. It’s nothing too graphic (in my opinion), but it talks about more serious topics as the book progresses.
There’s a bit of romance in here, but it’s not the main focus of the book. The focus of this book is 100% the main character’s development. It’s a coming-of-age story with a touch of feminism, folklore and paganism. I just love how original, creative and inspiring this story was! If you like retellings, this is definitely a must-read!

7. The Power is Within You by Louise L. Hay

Another great book! When I started this book and I got through the first chapters, I thought this would be a pretty simple self-development book. But as the book progresses, I started to read about things that really spiked my interest and curiosity. One of these topics was on how we create our own diseases with our negative emotions such as frustration and anger. Not only that but she also talked about how the affected organs and side of the body are also not coincidental.
Honestly, I just loved this one so much. It’s a very positive, feel-good book, and I learned a lot of new things. Even if you don’t take everything it preaches, I guarantee you’ll still find something here that you can take with you.

I’m just so happy with all of the amazing books I found this year. It was truly an inspiring year dominated by self-development and non-fiction. I feel like I learned a lot through reading in 2022 and I’m forever grateful for that.

Like Dr. Phil always says, “no matter how many times you flip a pancake, it always has two sides’ ‘. But why am I referencing this quote? Because even though I had read amazing books in 2022, I also read bad books… and that’s exactly what I’m bringing you in my next post: “The Worst Books I’ve Read in 2022”! So stay tuned for that. 🙂

What about you? What were the best books you read last year? Did you read any of the books I included in the list? Let me know in the comments!

See you in the next one!

Recommendations | Middle Grade/Children Books I Loved!

Hi friends!

I hope you’re doing well and you’re having a fantastic day. Today I’m bringing you another round of recommendations: Middle grade and children books!

I don’t pick from these two genres very often, but when I do… I get invested in the stories! I’m currently reading an amazing Sophie Anderson book, and that is what inspired this post!

If you have young kids and want to read them good stories of bravery and adventure, this is the recommendation post for you! Or if you’re like me and just want to read something magical and fun, this one is also for you!

Let’s take a look at the books then:

And here they are! You have two classic books that I loved and three (fairly) recent books… either way, these are amazing and I would always recommend them. So let’s go through them individually!

1. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Starting off strong with the amazing classic “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by Roald Dahl!

This is a middle grade that everyone should read at least once in their life. This book is special, wholesome and incredibly magical – basically everything you would want in a fantasy middle grade book! This was my first ever Roald Dahl book, and let me tell you: I completely understand why his books are so popular.

It’s a book that teaches kids to be humble, behave and be good to others. Not only that, but it’s incredibly fun! The characters are amazing and quirky and every single one of them serves a very specific purpose in delivering a message.

I highly recommend it if you never gave it a try. Also, if you are a fan of the movies, you definitely need to read it!

Synopsis

“Greetings to you, the lucky finder of this Gold Ticket from Mr Willy Wonka! I shake you warmly by the hand! Tremendous things are in store for you!

One miraculous moment changes Charlie Bucket’s life forever.

A boy who only gets to eat cabbage soup for breakfast, lunch and dinner finds a Golden Ticket that will take him into Willy Wonka’s magical chocolate factory.

Joining him on the tour are four horrible blighters:

Augustus Gloop – a great big greedy nincompoop, Veruca Salt – a spoiled brat, Violet Beauregarde – a repulsive little gum-chewer and Mike Teavee – a TV addict.

With a chocolate river, crafty squirrels and mysterious Oompa Loompas, Mr Wonka’s chocolate factory is the strangest, most magnificent place Charlie has ever seen.

What other surprises are in store for the lucky ticket winners?”

2. The House With Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson

The second recommendation I’m bringing to you today is “The House With Chicken Legs” by Sophie Anderson. Let me tell you something about Sophie Anderson’s books: they are middle grade perfection! To me she is the best middle grade writer, hands down.

This book in particular blew me away with how amazing it was. I can honestly say this is probably my favorite middle grade of all time – so that’s saying a lot! Not only was the story beautiful and full of magic, but it was written with a solid story with great meaning. Definitely check the synopsis below to see what the story is about! As a nice bonus, you get a lot of references to Russian culture, so I’m happy to say I learned a thing or two.

The illustrations that appear alongside the story are amazing and capture beautifully the essence of the story. The book wouldn’t be the same without them and I’m glad she worked with such an amazing artist to bring the story to life!

I highly recommend it if you like a good story with depth and meaning behind it. I can’t stress this enough: if you like middle grade books, you need this in your life!

Synopsis

“All 12-year-old Marinka wants is a friend. A real friend. Not like her house with chicken legs. Sure, the house can play games like tag and hide-and-seek, but Marinka longs for a human companion. Someone she can talk to and share secrets with.

But that’s tough when your grandmother is a Yaga, a guardian who guides the dead into the afterlife. It’s even harder when you live in a house that wanders all over the world . . . carrying you with it. Even worse, Marinka is being trained to be a Yaga. That means no school, no parties–and no playmates that stick around for more than a day.

So when Marinka stumbles across the chance to make a real friend, she breaks all the rules . . . with devastating consequences. Her beloved grandmother mysteriously disappears, and it’s up to Marinka to find her–even if it means making a dangerous journey to the afterlife.”

3. Castle of Tangled Magic by Sophie Anderson

Another Sophie Anderson that I think is worth mentioning is “The Castle of Tangled Magic”. 

This is such a cute book! It has a very creative story that you’ll want to keep reading until you’re finished with the book. 

What I liked the most from this book was definitely the lessons behind the story. Lessons such as “belief is a very powerful thing” and “magic is everywhere” are only a few of the lessons this book teaches. The characters were amazing and I loved that even though they were all so different, they worked together to help Olia (the main character).

Saara Soderlund is the illustrator (once again) and she did an amazing job with this book. It really brought the story to life!

Another cool thing about it is that it is themed after slavic folklore! So that was another fun aspect of the book.

It’s beautifully written, full of details and magical touches! You can tell the author really took her time with this book, because you can feel the love through the pages. Definitely worth picking it up!

Synopsis

Magic and whimsy meet in this Howl’s Moving Castle for a new generation from the critically adored Sophie Anderson, author of The House with Chicken Legs.

Twelve-year-old Olia knows a thing or two about secrets. Her parents are the caretakers of Castle Mila, a soaring palace with golden domes, lush gardens, and countless room. Literally countless rooms. There are rooms that appear and disappear, and rooms that have been hiding themselves for centuries. The only person who can access them is Olia. She has a special bond with the castle, and it seems to trust her with its secrets.

But then a violent storm rolls in . . . a storm that skips over the village and surrounds the castle, threatening to tear it apart. While taking cover in a rarely-used room, Olia stumbles down a secret passage that leads to a part of Castle Mila she’s never seen before. A strange network of rooms that hide the secret to the castle’s past . . . and the truth about who’s trying to destroy it.”

4. The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

Another book I want to share with you today is “The Girl Who Drank the Moon” by Kelly Barhhill. I found this story to be very magical! It made me dream because it’s told like a fairytale and you get completely immersed in this fictional world. It is a very atmospheric book because the author does an amazing job on awakening your senses – I swear I could almost hear the birds chirping, smell the woods and feel the magic from the moon!
The characters are adorable, and I promise you will fall in love with every single one of them! I loved how there were two cute magical creatures added to the mix (who worked like companions to the lead), a sweet witch and a magical grandmother everyone would want in their life.
It’s definitely a story that makes you dream and takes you to a magical place. It’s targeted as middle grade, but it’s really a beautiful story for every age!

Synopsis

“Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the forest, Xan, is kind and gentle. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster named Glerk and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, Fyrian. Xan rescues the abandoned children and deliver them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey. 

One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this enmagicked girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. To keep young Luna safe from her own unwieldy power, Xan locks her magic deep inside her. When Luna approaches her thirteenth birthday, her magic begins to emerge on schedule–but Xan is far away. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Soon, it is up to Luna to protect those who have protected her–even if it means the end of the loving, safe world she’s always known.”

5. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

And to finish this list with a bang, I’m bringing you another amazing classic “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”! If you don’t know, this story was inspired by a little girl named Alice Liddell who Lewis Carroll liked to tell stories to.

So how would I describe “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”? In a nutshell: this book is the definition of childhood, nonsense and craziness. I can confidently say that I’ve never read a book like this, and I completely understand why it became so popular among people of all ages.

I highly encourage you to read this book, no matter how old you are. It is a beautiful story that reminds you of what it was like to be a child. When you are a kid, nothing really matters and nothing is taken seriously, as it should be. It’s a remarkable piece of art and I definitely recommend it.

Just a piece of advice: if you can, get a copy with the original illustrations from John Tenniel!

Synopsis

“On a drowsy afternoon by a riverbank, a young and distracted Alice follows a rabbit into a fantastical underground world that grows curiouser and curiouser. Dared, insulted, amused, and threatened by a succession of anthropomorphic creatures, the indomitable Alice falls deeper into a swirl of the imagination where logic has no place.

Referenced, resourced, analyzed, and embraced since its publication in 1865, Carroll’s masterpiece of the irrational has inspired such varied artists as Walt Disney, Marilyn Manson, Jerome Kern, James Joyce, and Tim Burton. It stands as one of the most extravagantly and ingeniously absurd works in the English language.”

And there you have it! These are some of my favorite middle grade/children books. I hope you found this recommendation post interesting and I hope you found yourself some new books to read! As usual, I’m always looking for book recommendations so let me know if you have any for me!

Thank you for taking the time to read this post! I hope you liked what I had to share with you today. I’ll see you in the next one! 🙂

Recommendations | Wholesome Stories to Keep Your Heart Warm While It’s Raining

Hi bookish friends!

Are you feeling cold? I don’t know about you, but I sure am! It’s starting to get very chilly here in Lisbon and the leaves are falling everywhere creating a beautiful Fall scenery. This is my favorite time of the year, so I’m beyond happy!

There is no better time to cozy up with a book and a cup of tea/coffee than now! The rain outside and the soft blankets made me think about all the books that made my heart warm, and that’s exactly what I’m bringing you today: wholesome stories to keep your heart warm while it’s raining!

I have an amazing selection of 5 novels to keep you warm during the Autumn/Winter season. Here they are:

I personally loved all of these books because all the stories are amazing! I have to warn you that the saying is true: before the rainbow comes the storm. This means that things may get ugly before they get better in some of these books, so don’t expect these to be roses and butterflies from beginning to end! Still, all of these are incredibly wholesome and I would highly recommend every single one of them to you!

Okay, let’s go through them individually!

1. The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

The first book I want to talk to you about is “The House in the Cerulean Sea” by TJ Klune. Before I’ve even picked this up, I saw countless positive reviews on every single social media platform. This book is very unique! I would describe this as an amazing fantasy book with great characters and a wholesome story.
I’m so happy I decided to buy this and give it a try. It easily became one of the best books I have ever read! The story is beautifully written and easy to follow, it’s full of magic and humor, and the interactions between the kids and the adults were very heartwarming.
This book suits everyone of every age. It doesn’t matter if you’re an adult or a kid, this story is meant for everyone. The hype is real and it’s definitely worth it, can’t recommend it enough!

Synopsis

“A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.”

2. Away With the Penguins by Hazel Prior

Next on the list is a very underrated book in my humble opinion: “Away With The Penguins” or “How the Penguins Saved Veronica” by Hazel Prior. It’s not a very common thing to find in books, but this one in particular can be found with two different English titles.
The wholesome factor in this book is enormous. Not only is the story fun and it has amazing characters, but it also talks about topics such as family bonds and it has a huge environmental aspect regarding nature conservation and endangered species. I also loved how realistic the entire story feels!
It was a really fun book to read and I think it’s a great option to pick up if you’re looking for something light and heartwarming – and even if you’re not, I would still recommend you this book! It’s charming and you’ll fly through the pages. I mean, what could possibly go wrong with a story with penguins? If you don’t love penguins already, you definitely will after reading this book!

Synopsis

Veronica McCreedy is about to have the journey of a lifetime…

Veronica McCreedy lives in a mansion by the sea. She loves a nice cup of Darjeeling tea whilst watching a good wildlife documentary. And she’s never seen without her ruby-red lipstick.

Although these days Veronica is rarely seen by anyone because, at 85, her days are spent mostly at home, alone.

She can be found either collecting litter from the beach (‘people who litter the countryside should be shot’), trying to locate her glasses (‘someone must have moved them’) or shouting instructions to her assistant, Eileen (‘Eileen, door!’).

Veronica doesn’t have family or friends nearby. Not that she knows about, anyway… And she has no idea where she’s going to leave her considerable wealth when she dies.

But today… today Veronica is going to make a decision that will change all of this.

3. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Another book I thought was worth mentioning is “A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman. To be fair, Fredrik Backman writes amazing, wholesome books… but for me this one is the best!
It was an emotional rollercoaster from beginning to end! This story is about an old man named Ove, who is a very strict and short tempered man. He doesn’t get along with any of his neighbors and he has no plans of changing that. But what no one knows is that underneath his hard shell is a man who suffered a lot in life and still carries a lot of sadness and grief within.
There are a lot of sad scenes – so prepare your tissues -, but there are also a lot of funny scenes that balance the sad. I completely understood Ove and his pain, and I cared a lot about him and his story – I was rooting for him the entire time! So naturally, I cried a lot. Not only when I finished the book but also during most of it.
Fredrik Backman’s writing style is very unique, and he has a talent to mess with your emotions. But if you’re not interested in reading the book, I’m glad to tell you that there is a movie adaptation! I personally haven’t watched it, but I heard it’s good. Either way, I would still recommend the book. It’s an amazing, emotional book that I will never forget!

Synopsis

“A grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.

Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.”

4. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

The next book I want to share with you is the amazing “The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig. This was my first time reading a Matt Haig book and I absolutely loved it!
In this book, the main character reviews her life decisions to send a clear message: make readers understand they’re exactly where they need to be and we shouldn’t regret anything in our lives. It makes you think about all the decisions you made, big or small, and how they made an impact on the course of your life.
I fully understand the hype of this book and I’m happy it is so popular, because I know for sure I will never forget what I’ve just read. It’s a book that makes you think about life after death and life regrets. It’s incredible, I can’t recommend it enough!

Synopsis

“Nora’s life has been going from bad to worse. Then at the stroke of midnight on her last day on earth she finds herself transported to a library. There she is given the chance to undo her regrets and try out each of the other lives whe might have lived.

Which raises the ultimate question: with infinite choices, what is the best way to live?”

5. The Woman in the White Kimono by Ana Johns

Last, but not least, I present to you the final book recommendation: the book “The Woman in the White Kimono” by Ana Johns.
This book is absolutely stunning! It reminded me of my all-time favorite book “Memoirs of a Geisha”, so I couldn’t help falling in love with this story. It’s essentially an historical love story, but you can take a look at the synopsis below to understand better what this book is about!
A cool thing about this book is that it is based on a real story. The inspiration came from someone close to her that lived a similar reality, so she worked on this fictional story for years before publishing it. But don’t be fooled: this is so much more than a love story. It’s a story about heartbreak, love and loss.
This book is beautifully written and the reading experience is very immersive. Not only will you feel like you traveled in time, but you also get a good glimpse of what life in Japan was like in 1957. I can’t stress enough how beautiful and wholesome it is, I can’t recommend it enough!

Synopsis

“Oceans and decades apart, two women are inextricably bound by the secrets between them.

Japan, 1957. Seventeen-year-old Naoko Nakamura’s prearranged marriage to the son of her father’s business associate would secure her family’s status in their traditional Japanese community, but Naoko has fallen for another man—an American sailor, a gaijin—and to marry him would bring great shame upon her entire family. When it’s learned Naoko carries the sailor’s child, she’s cast out in disgrace and forced to make unimaginable choices with consequences that will ripple across generations.

America, present day. Tori Kovač, caring for her dying father, finds a letter containing a shocking revelation—one that calls into question everything she understood about him, her family and herself. Setting out to learn the truth behind the letter, Tori’s journey leads her halfway around the world to a remote seaside village in Japan, where she must confront the demons of the past to pave a way for redemption.

In breathtaking prose and inspired by true stories from a devastating and little-known era in Japanese and American history, The Woman in the White Kimono illuminates a searing portrait of one woman torn between her culture and her heart, and another woman on a journey to discover the true meaning of home.”

Aaaand now you know what to do while it’s raining outside! We’ve reached the end of the list and I truly hope you found this post interesting. Some of these are very popular, but hopefully you haven’t heard about one or two of them… until now! 🙂

As always, you know the drill: I’m always looking for book recommendations so let me know if you have any for me! I love to find new books.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post! I hope you liked what I had to share with you today. I’ll see you in the next one! 🙂

Recommendations | 5 Books with Names in the Title

Hi everyone!

I hope you’re doing well and you’re having a fantastic day! Today I’m starting a new fun little series on my blog – I’m calling it a series because I want to do more blog posts like this one in the future. 🙂

In this series, I’m going to share with you five books that – you guessed it! – have names in the title. I thought this would be a fun way of sharing random recommendations with you, with different genres and writing styles!

Let’s take a look at the books then!

And here they are! I just realized that for some reason I only picked female characters for this post – it wasn’t on purpose, I promise! But no worries, I’ll compensate with male characters in the next “Books With Names in the Title” post.

Some of them you may already know because I’ve talked about them for a while now, but some of them are new additions. So let’s go through them individually!

1. Michigan vs. the Boys by Carrie S. Allen

You have read it correctly: Michigan. Don’t think of the state folks, because the main character of this book is a girl named Michigan!
When I first read the synopsis (below), I thought this would be a “girl power” kind of book of a girl who bested the boys of her hockey team, but I was wrong. I’m not going to spoil it for you, but it’s a very serious book with some serious topics. It’s a story about bullying and perseverance, even when the world seems against you.
It’s heavy, but it’s a book that left a mark on me. I was left with very strong feelings and I know I will never forget about this book. I believe this book is extremely underrated and I wish more people gave it a chance! I highly recommend giving this one a try, just be aware of trigger warnings for abuse, bullying and violence throughout the book.

Synopsis

“When a determined girl is confronted with the culture of toxic masculinity, it’s time to even the score.

Michigan Manning lives for hockey, and this is her year to shine. That is, until she gets some crushing news: budget cuts will keep the girls’ hockey team off the ice this year.

If she wants colleges to notice her, Michigan has to find a way to play. Luckily, there’s still one team left in town …

The boys’ team isn’t exactly welcoming, but Michigan’s prepared to prove herself. She plays some of the best hockey of her life, in fact, all while putting up with changing in the broom closet, constant trash talk and “harmless” pranks that always seem to target her.

But once hazing crosses the line into assault, Michigan must weigh the consequences of speaking up – even if it means putting her future on the line.”

2. Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel

You guessed it, Rose Gold is the name of the main character for this book.

This book is a fictitious story based on Gypsy Rose Blanchard’s true story. If you don’t know Gypsy Rose, I recommend you do a quick Google search because this case was absolutely crazy and messed up!

It portrays a very toxic and intriguing mother/daughter relationship, and you get to see the way they talk to each other versus their thoughts – that was one of my favorite parts of this book. 

And by the way, this is in essence a thriller! It was very creepy and haunting, and I was very impressed with this book. It was really good and it was a very interesting approach to creating fiction through true-crime.

Synopsis

“For the first eighteen years of her life, Rose Gold Watts believed she was seriously ill. She was allergic to everything, used a wheelchair and practically lived at the hospital. Neighbors did all they could, holding fundraisers but no matter how many doctors, tests, or surgeries, no one could figure out what was wrong with Rose Gold.

Turns out her mom, Patty Watts, was just a really good liar.

After serving five years in prison, Patty begs her daughter to take her in. The entire community is shocked when Rose Gold says yes. And Rose Gold is no longer her weak little darling…

And she’s waited such a long time for her mother to come home.”

3. My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

Yup, Vanessa is the main character’s name for this book.
How to describe this book? I would say disturbing but important. I definitely took a lot from this book and I know I will never forget it. After finishing the book I didn’t know how to feel because even though I was very interested in it, I felt disgusted and uncomfortable at the same time.
This book is about a teenage girl who has a secret relationship with her English teacher. You would think this is a very obvious problem, but it’s not a straightforward and simple book to understand. The goal of the book is exactly that: to be confusing and to make you question things, and maybe encourage you to start a conversation about it.
I’m not going to lie, it’s a very uncomfortable, difficult book to read and you should keep that in mind if you decide to pick this up. But I honestly think it’s worth it and I highly recommend it.

Synopsis

“Exploring the psychological dynamics of the relationship between a precocious yet naïve teenage girl and her magnetic and manipulative teacher, a brilliant, all-consuming read that marks the explosive debut of an extraordinary new writer.

2000. Bright, ambitious, and yearning for adulthood, fifteen-year-old Vanessa Wye becomes entangled in an affair with Jacob Strane, her magnetic and guileful forty-two-year-old English teacher.

2017. Amid the rising wave of allegations against powerful men, a reckoning is coming due. Strane has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student, who reaches out to Vanessa, and now Vanessa suddenly finds herself facing an impossible choice: remain silent, firm in the belief that her teenage self willingly engaged in this relationship, or redefine herself and the events of her past. But how can Vanessa reject her first love, the man who fundamentally transformed her and has been a persistent presence in her life? Is it possible that the man she loved as a teenager—and who professed to worship only her—may be far different from what she has always believed?

Alternating between Vanessa’s present and her past, My Dark Vanessa juxtaposes memory and trauma with the breathless excitement of a teenage girl discovering the power her own body can wield. Thought-provoking and impossible to put down, this is a masterful portrayal of troubled adolescence and its repercussions that raises vital questions about agency, consent, complicity, and victimhood. Written with the haunting intimacy of The Girls and the creeping intensity of Room, My Dark Vanessa is an era-defining novel that brilliantly captures and reflects the shifting cultural mores transforming our relationships and society itself.”

4. Fable by Adrienne Young

This is a book I’ve recommended a few times here on the blog. The main character’s name in this story is Fable! Cool name, huh? But the best thing about this book is the really cool, atmospheric story! The way the characters talked and acted, the terms used, the scenery… Everything contributed to create a rich story in Fable! It’s definitely the type of book that you don’t know who to trust. Everyone acts suspicious and has an agenda here! I will say there were some points the story felt a bit slow paced, but not to the point that would bother me. Still, there is a lot of adventure, danger and secrets to unfold, so if you like pirate stories you are in for a treat!

Synopsis

For seventeen-year-old Fable, the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home she has ever known. It’s been four years since the night she watched her mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day her father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one, and rely on the unique skills her mother taught her. The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her father, and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father.

But her father’s rivalries and the dangers of his trading enterprise have only multiplied since she last saw him, and Fable soon finds that West isn’t who he seems. Together, they will have to survive more than the treacherous storms that haunt the Narrows if they’re going to stay alive.

Welcome to a world made dangerous by the sea and by those who wish to profit from it. Where a young girl must find her place and her family while trying to survive in a world built for men. Fable takes you on a spectacular journey filled with romance, intrigue, and adventure.

5. The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman

The name of the character is – you guessed it again – Nina Hill.
This is a very fun, contemporary romance! The characters were sweet and quirky, and I loved their interactions. As the main character, Nina was a likable character and I related to her a lot. She is the kind of character who likes to stay at home and be quiet with a book in her hand – who doesn’t?
Still, my favorite thing about this book was the writing and humor! It’s a very charming and wholesome book, and there are so many funny references and dialogs that will make you giggle. I would recommend it for a fun read, with nice characters and humor!

Synopsis

The author of Other People’s Houses and The Garden of Small Beginnings delivers a quirky and charming novel chronicling the life of confirmed introvert Nina Hill as she does her best to fly under everyone’s radar.

Meet Nina Hill: A young woman supremely confident in her own…shell.

The only child of a single mother, Nina has her life just as she wants it: a job in a bookstore, a kick-butt trivia team, a world-class planner and a cat named Phil. If she sometimes suspects there might be more to life than reading, she just shrugs and picks up a new book.

When the father Nina never knew existed suddenly dies, leaving behind innumerable sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews, Nina is horrified. They all live close by! They’re all–or mostly all–excited to meet her! She’ll have to Speak. To. Strangers. It’s a disaster! And as if that wasn’t enough, Tom, her trivia nemesis, has turned out to be cute, funny, and deeply interested in getting to know her. Doesn’t he realize what a terrible idea that is?

Nina considers her options.
1. Completely change her name and appearance. (Too drastic, plus she likes her hair.)
2. Flee to a deserted island. (Hard pass, see: coffee).
3. Hide in a corner of her apartment and rock back and forth. (Already doing it.)

It’s time for Nina to come out of her comfortable shell, but she isn’t convinced real life could ever live up to fiction. It’s going to take a brand-new family, a persistent suitor, and the combined effects of ice cream and trivia to make her turn her own fresh page.

And we’ve reached the end of the list! I hope you found this post (at least a little) interesting and I hope you found some new books. And once again, I’m always looking for book recommendations so let me know if you have any for me!

Thank you for taking the time to read this post! I hope you liked what I had to share with you today. I’ll see you in the next one! 🙂

Recommendations | Celebrity Books That Are Actually Good and Why

Hi bookish friends!

Do you enjoy reading celebrity books? Personally I’m a little skeptical when it comes to picking up books like these. I know most of them have people helping them write their stories, but I still keep my expectations low when I decide to pick them. I think it’s because most of the time I’m left disappointed… but other times I’m impressed.

I really like reading about other people’s lives because there is so much we can learn from each other. People can be very inspiring when they tell their own stories and send a message with their words. And that is why today I’m bringing you five recommendations of memoirs from famous people that I actually enjoyed and took something from.

So let’s get into these book recommendations! Here are some of my favorites and why I loved them so much:

1. Becoming by Michelle Obama

Starting out strong with Becoming by Michelle Obama! I read this a few years ago and I was a big fan of the book. 

It doesn’t matter what your political views are – this is not a political book. It’s a book about a woman, her childhood, her education, her family, growing up and helping others – becoming. I respect Michelle Obama very much! This is a very honest and inspirational biography in my opinion. I listened to the audiobook version and I’m glad Michelle is the narrator of her own story!

Not gonna lie, I was a little intimidated by how bulky the book is. But I still decided to read it and I’m very glad I did. Don’t be intimidated by the book’s size, it’s definitely worth checking out!

Synopsis:

In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.

In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.

2. Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Another book I picked randomly but ended up loving was “Born a Crime” by Trevor Noah. Just like what happened with Jimmy O. Yang’s book (you’ll see below), I didn’t know a lot about Trevor so I also went blindly into his book.

What made me really like this book was what he shared about his youth in South Africa and his mother. The experiences he had while growing up were very interesting and I learned a lot about appartheids and what is like living in South Africa. Also, his mom is a badass, but you definitely need to read it to know what I’m talking about!

I also highly recommend the audiobook version.Trevor is the narrator and he added a very personal touch to the story. Definitely worth your time!

Synopsis:

The memoir of one man’s coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed.

Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.

3. Meaning of Mariah Carey by Mariah Carey

The reason why I decided to pick up this book was a weird one. I was never a big fan of Mariah Carey (for different reasons), but my mother is a huge fan of hers. So when I saw she had a memoir I decided to read it, just to understand her life a little better. It’s funny to see how it became one of my favorite memoirs I’ve read!

She had a rough upbringing and she had a very hard time dealing with racism. Her relationship with her family was very bad and to top it all off: she was in an abusive and manipulative marriage. Needless to say that she went through a lot!

I wouldn’t say her story is the most inspiring story ever, but I really liked to read about her life experiences and it made me understand her better. I would say to give this one a try!

Synopsis:

It took me a lifetime to have the courage and the clarity to write my memoir. I want to tell the story of the moments – the ups and downs, the triumphs and traumas, the debacles and the dreams, that contributed to the person I am today. Though there have been countless stories about me throughout my career and very public personal life, it’s been impossible to communicate the complexities and depths of my experience in any single magazine article or a ten-minute television interview. And even then, my words were filtered through someone else’s lens, largely satisfying someone else’s assignment to define me.

This book is composed of my memories, my mishaps, my struggles, my survival and my songs. Unfiltered. I went deep into my childhood and gave the scared little girl inside of me a big voice. I let the abandoned and ambitious adolescent have her say, and the betrayed and triumphant woman I became tell her side.

Writing this memoir was incredibly hard, humbling and healing. My sincere hope is that you are moved to a new understanding, not only about me, but also about the resilience of the human spirit.

Love,
Mariah

4. I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy

This was a very pleasant surprise as well, and one I would definitely recommend to other memoir lovers! It’s one of the best books I’ve read in 2022 – so that’s saying a lot! Like everyone else who came across this book, I was hooked by the title. “I’m Glad My Mom Died”? That sounds very scandalous… and intriguing!This is Jennette McCurdy’s memoir, and trust me: it’s a good one. I watched iCarly occasionally (not religiously), so I was already familiar with Jennette’s work as an actress, but I would have never in a million years guessed what was behind her success. This is a very personal memoir, but mostly – it’s an important one. This is just a real life example of what so many child actors go through growing up. They frequently are abused and exploited by parents and people in the business, and they’re scarred for life – just like Jennette was. I highly recommend this, it’s a very impactful and tough book to read.

Synopsis:

A heartbreaking and hilarious memoir by Jennette McCurdy about her struggles as a former child actor—including eating disorders, addiction, and a complicated relationship with her overbearing mother—and how she retook control of her life.

Jennette McCurdy was six years old when she had her first acting audition. Her mother’s dream was for her only daughter to become a star, and Jennette would do anything to make her mother happy. So she went along with what Mom called “calorie restriction,” eating little and weighing herself five times a day. She endured extensive at-home makeovers while Mom chided, “Your eyelashes are invisible, okay? You think Dakota Fanning doesn’t tint hers?” She was even showered by Mom until age sixteen while sharing her diaries, email, and all her income.

In I’m Glad My Mom Died, Jennette recounts all this in unflinching detail—just as she chronicles what happens when the dream finally comes true. Cast in a new Nickelodeon series called iCarly, she is thrust into fame. Though Mom is ecstatic, emailing fan club moderators and getting on a first-name basis with the paparazzi (“Hi Gale!”), Jennette is riddled with anxiety, shame, and self-loathing, which manifest into eating disorders, addiction, and a series of unhealthy relationships. These issues only get worse when, soon after taking the lead in the iCarly spinoff Sam & Cat alongside Ariana Grande, her mother dies of cancer. Finally, after discovering therapy and quitting acting, Jennette embarks on recovery and decides for the first time in her life what she really wants.

Told with refreshing candor and dark humor, I’m Glad My Mom Died is an inspiring story of resilience, independence, and the joy of shampooing your own hair.

5. How to American by Jimmy O. Yang

This was my most recent memoir read and it was very surprising. I haven’t watched “Silicon Valley” and I wasn’t familiar with Jimmy O. Yang and his work as a comedian/actor, so I went into this book without knowing anything about the author. And now I’m glad to say I’ve become a fan!

What I liked so much about this book was how he shared his struggles as an immigrant from China to the USA. It was not easy for him to fit in and constantly being mocked for his accent and not understanding English, and yet, he was able to overcome his struggles and became very successful as an actor and comedian.

I was very inspired not only by his story but also for his positive attitude towards life. It’s an inspiring book that I will always recommend to others. Oh, and the best part? He’s very funny and has great comedic timing!

Synopsis:

Standup comic, actor and fan favorite from HBO’s Silicon Valley and the film Crazy Rich Asians shares his memoir of growing up as a Chinese immigrant in California and making it in Hollywood.

“I turned down a job in finance to pursue a career in stand-up comedy. My dad thought I was crazy. But I figured it was better to disappoint my parents for a few years than to disappoint myself for the rest of my life. I had to disappoint them in order to pursue what I loved. That was the only way to have my Chinese turnip cake and eat an American apple pie too.”

Jimmy O. Yang is a standup comedian, film and TV actor and fan favorite as the character Jian Yang from the popular HBO series Silicon Valley. In How to American, he shares his story of growing up as a Chinese immigrant who pursued a Hollywood career against the wishes of his parents: Yang arrived in Los Angeles from Hong Kong at age 13, learned English by watching BET RapCity for three hours a day, and worked as a strip club DJ while pursuing his comedy career. He chronicles a near deportation episode during a college trip Tijuana to finally becoming a proud US citizen ten years later. Featuring those and many other hilarious stories, while sharing some hard-earned lessons, How to American mocks stereotypes while offering tongue in cheek advice on pursuing the American dreams of fame, fortune, and strippers.

And there you have it: five of my favorite memoirs of all time! I found every single one of these very inspirational and I always recommend them to every reader I know. Every celebrity featured in this post had (very different) struggles that they were able to overcome, and I think that’s why their books were so inspiring and impactful to me.

Let me know if you have read any of these and what were your thoughts on them. If you have any recs for me, let me know in the comments – I would appreciate it very much!

Once again, thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope you liked what I had to share with you today. I’ll see you in the next one!

Recommendations | 5 Graphic Novels I Love!

Hi everyone!

I hope you’re doing well and you’re having a nice day. Today I want to share with you some of my favorite graphic novels of all time. I admit I only pick up graphic novels occasionally, so I’m far from being an expert on the subject. Still, I have read a few that I loved and that’s what I’m bringing you today.

I tried my best to include different styles of art, so you’ll find not only your typical comic book, but I also included a manga I love and a creepier version of a comic. Also, don’t be surprised if you don’t find in this list superhero books – it’s not my cup of tea!

Okay, let’s get into the list already!

1. Thornhill by Pam Smy

“Thornhill” by Pam Smy is a graphic novel on a new level of creepy… and of course, I enjoyed every second of it!

There are so many great things about this book: the artwork is incredible, the story is mysterious and intriguing, the diary format, the creepiness of it all, the gothic elements, the heavy atmosphere… everything! I think this book is very well put together and was very entertaining. 

Definitely worth checking out if you like paranormal, scary books.

Synopsis:

Parallel plotlines, one told in text and one in art, inform each other as a young girl unravels the mystery of a ghost next door.
Mary is an orphan at the Thornhill Institute for Children at the very moment that it’s closing down for good. But when a bully goes too far, Mary’s revenge will have a lasting effect on the bully, on Mary, and on Thornhill itself.

Years later, Ella moves to a new town where she has a perfect view of the dilapidated, abandoned Thornhill Institute. Determined to befriend the mysterious, evasive girl she sees there, Ella resolves to unravel Thornhill’s history and uncover its secrets.

Ella’s story is told through striking, bold art; Mary’s is told through diary entries. Each informs the other until the two eventually intersect to reveal the truth behind Thornhill’s shadowy past, once and for all. Strikingly told and masterfully illustrated, Pam Smy bends genres and expectations alike.

2. Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell

Next on the list we have “Pumpkinheads” by Rainbow Rowell. If you never read this, I’m telling you: you are missing out. I strongly recommend reading this book near the Fall time because the reading experience is magical!

This graphic novel has a very immersive atmosphere, not only for the fun story with a Fall festival, but also with the artwork. The warm Fall colors and art details bring the reading experience to the next level.

It’s a very fun read and like I said, I highly recommend picking this one up when the weather is starting to get cooler!

Synopsis:

Deja and Josiah are seasonal best friends.

Every autumn, all through high school, they’ve worked together at the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world. (Not many people know that the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world is in Omaha, Nebraska, but it definitely is.) They say good-bye every Halloween, and they’re reunited every September 1.

But this Halloween is different—Josiah and Deja are finally seniors, and this is their last season at the pumpkin patch. Their last shift together. Their last good-bye.

Josiah’s ready to spend the whole night feeling melancholy about it. Deja isn’t ready to let him. She’s got a plan: What if—instead of moping and the usual slinging lima beans down at the Succotash Hut—they went out with a bang? They could see all the sights! Taste all the snacks! And Josiah could finally talk to that cute girl he’s been mooning over for three years…

What if their last shift was an adventure?

3. Eat, and Love Yourself by Sweeney Boo

Another great graphic novel that I highly recommend is “Eat, and Love Yourself” by Sweeney Boo. I got this book randomly as an arc from the publisher and I ended up loving it and recommending it to everyone I know!

The story is kind of heartbreaking. In this book we follow our main character Mindy, and we get to see her struggles with body image, depression and eating disorders.

As someone who has struggled with being overweight most of my life, this book touched me. Fortunately I didn’t struggle with eating disorders like the main character does, but I definitely identified myself with Mindy in a lot of ways.

It’s a book with a serious message, so if you are considering picking this up, please keep in mind that there are trigger warnings for eating disorders, body dysmorphia, depression and body shaming.

It may seem like a negative book, but it’s not. It talks a lot about self-acceptance and self-love, so I honestly think this is such an important book for young readers! It is very touching, personal, relatable and will probably make you cry. Definitely worth it!

Synopsis:

A story about Mindy, a woman living with an eating disorder who has to learn how to love herself again.

In pursuit of the perfect body, Mindy buys the low-fat diet products and the glossy magazines which promise the secret to losing weight. One night, while perusing the aisles of the neighborhood convenience store for a midnight snack, she finds a new product. A chocolate bar called “Eat and Love Yourself”. On a whim, Mindy buys the curious candy, not knowing that with every piece of chocolate she eats, she will be brought back to a specific moment of her past — helping her to look at herself honestly, learn to love her body the way it is, and accepting love. Perhaps, she will even realize that her long lost high school best friend, Elliot, was more than just a friend…

4. Card Captor Sakura by CLAMP

From all of the books that I’m sharing today, this one has a very special place in my heart. Not only is it one of my favorite graphic novels of all time, but it’s also one of my favorite book series of all time. I’m talking about the amazing manga series “Card Captor Sakura” by CLAMP. 

I can’t even express how much I love this series. I watched the anime version of Cardcaptor Sakura when I was younger and it easily became my favorite anime of all time. And after rewatching the series on Netflix, I decided to read the manga. Oh, and a fun fact: this was my first time reading manga!

I could ramble forever on why I love this series so much, but in a nutshell: the manga is full of a lot of my favorite tropes. There is a strong female heroine who is just a regular girl just trying to do her best; there is a slow burn cute romance that started from rivalry; there are a lot of references to yummy food and cakes; there are so many real friendships; there are special, inspiring outfits handmade just to catch the cards; the innocence of it all… just everything!

Whether you’re used to reading manga or not, I highly recommend this series. It’s absolute perfection!

Synopsis:

Sakura Kinomoto was just your average 4th grader—loved P.E., hated math. Until… One day, while looking through her father’s library, Sakura found The Clow, an enchanted book designed to hold a set of magical Clow Cards. But when Sakura opened the book, it was empty. Talk about disasters!! Kerberos, the Creature of the Seal, emerged from the cover of the book and told Sakura the cards must be returned to the book. “If the cards aren’t in the book, they come to Life and do evil!” Kero formed a contract with Sakura making her a Cardcaptor. And together with Kero and best friend Tomoyo, Sakura embarked on a mystical journey to capture all the Clow Cards before they wreak chaos and destruction.

5. Heartstopper by Alice Oseman

The next one I want to share with you is the popular series “Heartstopper” by Alice Oseman! Is it really a surprise that this series is here? Absolutely not!

Before picking up the first volume, I saw this series everywhere! And I admit I was a little skeptical to read it because I thought this was probably overhyped on social media. I’m glad to say I was completely wrong!

This is one of the sweetest, cutest romances I have ever read – and that’s saying a lot! Nick and Charlie are adorable and deserve all the hype. Also, the artwork is stunning and complements the story beautifully!

If you pick anything from this list, make it this one! I highly recommend it.

Synopsis:

Charlie, a highly-strung, openly gay over-thinker, and Nick, a cheerful, soft-hearted rugby player, meet at a British all-boys grammar school. Friendship blooms quickly, but could there be something more…?

Charlie Spring is in Year 10 at Truham Grammar School for Boys. The past year hasn’t been too great, but at least he’s not being bullied anymore. Nick Nelson is in Year 11 and on the school rugby team. He’s heard a little about Charlie – the kid who was outed last year and bullied for a few months – but he’s never had the opportunity to talk to him.

They quickly become friends, and soon Charlie is falling hard for Nick, even though he doesn’t think he has a chance. But love works in surprising ways, and sometimes good things are waiting just around the corner…

And there you have it friends, those were five of my favorite graphic novels! I’m still fairly new to the world of graphic novels, so I’m still exploring and finding new books. If you have any recs for me, let me know in the comments – I would appreciate it very much!

Once again, thank you for taking the time to read this post! I hope you liked what I had to share with you today. I’ll see you in the next post 🙂

Recommendations | Books with Weddings

Hello friends!

I hope you’re all doing well and I hope the first half of the year was nice to you – time flies in a blink of an eye! Tell me dear reader, can you hear the wedding bells chiming? Because today I’m bringing you a fun little post all about wedding themed books!

Maybe it’s my romantic nature speaking, but I thought it would be a cool idea to make a post about a few of my favorite wedding books! These recommendations I’m bringing you today are all fiction books I’ve read in the past that have some sort of wedding celebration in the story. No non-fiction today, sorry!

So without further ado, here are five wedding themed books. Enjoy!

1. Once And For All” by Sarah Dessen

First on the list we have “Once and For All” by the one and only Sarah Dessen! This fluffy, cute YA book is all about wedding planning and preparations. You get to see the backstage of the entire wedding planning while falling in love with our very special main characters!
This is obviously a romance book, but the characters in this are… peculiar, to say the least! Well, just Ambrose to be honest (the male lead), but you have to see it for yourself. I promise you’ll laugh a lot!
This book is packed with a lot of good stuff: great family dynamics, a fluffy (and unique) romance, likable characters and a hint of drama. It is definitely a fun option if you like wedding books. Also, Sarah Dessen’s writing is incredible and perfect for this time of the year!

Synopsis:

Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that’s why she’s cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm’s length. But Ambrose isn’t about to be discouraged, now that he’s met the one girl he really wants.
Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself.

2. Maybe This Time by Kasie West

Another book I thought about when I first created this list is “Maybe This Time” by Kasie West. This book is a little different from the others in this list in the sense that it takes place not only in a wedding, but in different events over a span of a year. So not only do you get a wedding in this book, but you get a set of different events! The reason for this is because the main character works in a flower shop that is doing flower arrangements for all of these events.
It’s a very cute book with great characters and a nice romance. I highly recommend it for a light reading!

Synopsis:

One year. Nine events. Nine chances to… fall in love?
Weddings. Funerals. Barbecues. New Year’s Eve parties. Name the occasion, and Sophie Evans will be there. Well, she has to be there. Sophie works for the local florist, so she can be found at every big event in her small hometown, arranging bouquets and managing family dramas.
Enter Andrew Hart. The son of the fancy new chef in town, Andrew is suddenly required to attend all the same events as Sophie. Entitled, arrogant, preppy Andrew. Sophie just wants to get her job done and finish up her sketches so she can apply to design school. But every time she turns around, there is Andrew, getting in her way and making her life more complicated. Until one day she wonders if maybe complicated isn’t so bad after all…
Told over the course of one year and following Sophie from event to event, this delightful novel from master of romantic comedy Kasie West shows how love can blossom in unexpected places.

3. “Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

Next on the list is a very fun and summery book: “The Unhoneymooners” by Christina Lauren! This super fun chick lit not only is wedding themed, but also honeymoon themed. The cover gives a glimpse of the atmosphere of the book very well: what you get in this book is the most perfect tropical honeymoon…  with a twist! The couple is not the bride and groom, but the bride’s sister and groom’s best man! Interesting right? The bride and groom got food poisoning so they sent them to enjoy the honeymoon instead (or they would just lose the money). The problem is they hate each other. Well, you know what happens next! If you’re a big fan of the hate-to-love trope, this will be a treat.
The setting is gorgeous and summery and the couple has the best banter and hate/love relationship. It’s a really good option to bring to the beach!

Synopsis:

Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Ami, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancé is something out of a romantic comedy (gag) and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of Internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.
Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.
Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of… lucky.

4. “The Guest List” by Lucy Foley

This one is a little different from the other books because it’s everything BUT romantic. This is not a romance book, it is a thriller! I decided to add something a little different to this list for my thriller fans out there.
How to describe this book? This was a really fun murder-mystery set on an isolated island… during a wedding! The cool thing is that you’re not only trying to find who was the murder… you don’t know who dies in the first place, so you’ll be guessing on that too! It was a very fun mystery full of possible suspects and different motives. I highly recommend it!
You can find my thoughts on this book right here.

Synopsis:

On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed.
But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast.
And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?

5. “Save the Date by Morgan Matson

The next recommendation is “Save the Date” by Morgan Matson! This is another very fun option to pick due to its great humor and family dynamics. The cool thing about this book is that it’s wedding themed… but only disasters! Everything that could possibly go wrong goes wrong, so you’ll be laughing the entire time of the perfect disaster that is happening (and maybe get some anxiety as well).
This wonderful and heartwarming book also has amazing sibling relationships that were beautifully written and explored. Needless to say, if you like wedding books, this one is a must!

Synopsis:

Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home, and Charlie can’t wait for the first time in years, all four of her older siblings will be under one roof. Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend, before the house is sold and everything changes. The house will be filled with jokes and games and laughs again. Making decisions about things like what college to attend and reuniting with longstanding crush Jesse Foster all that can wait. She wants to focus on making the weekend perfect.
The only problem? The weekend is shaping up to be an absolute disaster. There’s the unexpected dog with a penchant for howling, house alarm that won’t stop going off, and a papergirl with a grudge.
There are the relatives who aren’t speaking, the (awful) girl her favorite brother brought home unannounced, and a missing tuxedo. Not to mention the neighbor who seems to be bent on sabotage and a storm that is bent on drenching everything. The justice of the peace is missing. The band will only play covers. The guests are all crazy. And the wedding planner’s nephew is unexpectedly, distractedly cute.
Over the course of three ridiculously chaotic days, Charlie will learn more than she ever expected about the family she thought she knew by heart. And she’ll realize that sometimes, trying to keep everything like it was in the past means missing out on the future.

And that’s it folks! I hope you enjoyed these wedding themed recommendations. Tell me about you! Do you like wedding themed books? If you have any recommendations, let me know in the comments.

Thank you for reading! I’ll see you in the next post 🙂

Recommendations | Paranormal Books by Genre

Hello friends!

I hope you’re all doing well and I hope you already read amazing books this year – share with me some recommendations if you have them, I’m always looking for new books to read!

I recently went through the list of books I have read on Goodreads and I had a realization. I found so many different types of paranormal books in there! That made me realize that paranormal is a very flexible genre, since you can find it in so many other genres.

Inspired by my little Goodreads discovery, I’m bringing you a list of a few recommendations for paranormal books within different genres! Here are a few books that I have read that have that special paranormal element. Enjoy!

1. MYSTERY

Paranormal pairs beautifully with mystery, for obvious reasons! And I remembered this small, but very interesting book that fits perfectly in this category: A House At The Bottom of the Lake by Josh Malerman.

In this story, you’ll follow two teenagers on their first date and while they’re spending time at a mysterious lake, they find a normal-looking house at the bottom of the lake. Things quickly get scary when they find out there’s something special that gives life to the house… and that’s where I’ll leave it! It’s a very interesting paranormal/mystery story, and very out of the ordinary as well. If you’re curious, definitely check it out!

2. THRILLER

Paranormal and thriller is also a very common mix, so there are many options out there. I thought of two books for this category, and here they are!

Little Darlings by Melanie Golding is a really creepy book that gave me chills! It’s a story about a mother who gives birth to a set of twins, but at some point she feels like they’re not her babies and that her real babies were stolen. Of course the story goes from there and you can imagine what happens! It’s a creepy book, but a very interesting one that will give you goosebumps!

The Patient by Jasper DeWitt is the kind of story you usually find on paranormal/thrillers. It’s about a young psyquiatrist who tries to work with a 40 year-old patient that was admitted to the psyquiatric hospital when he was only 6 years-old. Everyone who tried to treat this man descendend into madness and even suicide. No one knows what he has, so he’s confined between the hospital doors for the rest of his life. Interesting, right?

3. ROMANCE

A not-so-popular combination to find is paranormal and romance. Which is a shame, because the queen Colleen Hoover wrote an incredible one: Layla!

This book is very unique. It’s different from EVERY romance I have ever read. I can’t even explain this book without spoiling it, so I’ll leave here the synopsis here so you can see it for yourself:

“When Leeds meets Layla, he’s convinced he’ll spend the rest of his life with her—until an unexpected attack leaves Layla fighting for her life. After weeks in the hospital, Layla recovers physically, but the emotional and mental scarring has altered the woman Leeds fell in love with. In order to put their relationship back on track, Leeds whisks Layla away to the bed-and-breakfast where they first met. Once they arrive, Layla’s behavior takes a bizarre turn. And that’s just one of many inexplicable occurrences.

Feeling distant from Layla, Leeds soon finds solace in Willow—another guest of the B&B with whom he forms a connection through their shared concerns. As his curiosity for Willow grows, his decision to help her find answers puts him in direct conflict with Layla’s well-being. Leeds soon realizes he has to make a choice because he can’t help both of them. But if he makes the wrong choice, it could be detrimental for all of them.”

Interesting right? Although I prefer Colleen’s typical romances, this one definitely left a mark on me in a good way. Definitely worth checking out if you’re curious!

4. HORROR

This is probably the most popular genre mix in this post: paranormal and horror! Sure, thrillers are popular too, but nothing beats the horror/paranormal combination! Here is a book within these genres that I would recommend: Horrid by Katrina Leno!

This book starts with a girl moving to another state with her mom after her dad died. They move into a manor that was from her grandparents, and they soon get to know the history behind the creepy, old house. You can also guess what happens next!

5. YOUNG ADULT

There are a few young adult/paranormal books out there, but today I’m bringing you a duology from one of my favorite authors of all time: Pivot Point by Kasie West.

The paranormal element in this book is related to having special abilities. In this world, people have special abilities, and when facing a choice, the main character is able to see the future and see what are the two possible outcomes and the consequences. Her parents are divorcing and asked her who she wants to live with, so she decides to see the future to make her choice. It’s a very clever book and it gets even better with the second book. Highly recommend it!

6. GRAPHIC NOVEL

You could never go wrong with graphic novels! So why not pair it with paranormal? Here are two really cool paranormal books that are also graphic novels:

Thornhill by Pam Smy is a triple threat because it also dives into horror! This amazing graphic novel follows a girl that moves to a new house, and there she finds a mysterious girl living next door. She only sees her from her bedroom window, until one day she leaves to follow her. This is such a cool book and I highly recommend it if you’re into these genres.

Sheets by Brenna Thummler is definitely on the lighter side! There are a few difficult topics, but the book is full of humor and it’s perfect if you’re in the mood for something lighter. It follows the relationship between a cute ghost and a girl who lives above a laundromat. It’s an adorable book that I’m sure you’ll love. And if you reeeeally like this, there’s a second book you can get!

And that’s it folks! I hope you enjoyed these recommendations. As you can see, paranormal books dip into other genders frequently… so I’m sure you’ll find something that suits your taste. Why not give it a try? 🙂

Tell me about you! Do you like paranormal books? If you have any recommendations, let me know in the comments.

Thank you for reading!

Recommendations | 4 Pirate Books You Will Love!

Ahoy mates! See what I did there?

I hope you’re all doing well! Today I’m bringing you 4 recommendations for Pirate books! I love heavily themed books, and pirates are one of my favorite subgenres within fantasy! I read a few pirate books in the last few years, and I want to share with you some of my favorites. So here are the recommendations!

1. Daughter of the Pirate King duology by Tricia Levenseller

This duology stole my heart to the point that I read it in one sitting! The book is very well written and I felt like I was completely transported to that ship! I also loved the main character: she was strong, intelligent, fully aware of her potential and fierce as hell. I loved her smart answers and sarcasm, which made her even more amazing to me.

There’s also some romance in this story, and I would describe it as a perfect balance of a slow burning romance with a lot of excitement! The story is fantastic, the female lead is inspiring and strong and the atmosphere is out of this world! If you take any recommendations from this post, I strongly recommend this one! Here’s the synopsis:

Synopsis

“There will be plenty of time for me to beat him soundly once I’ve gotten what I came for.

Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map—the key to a legendary treasure trove—seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.

More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.”

2. To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

Compared to the “Daughter of the Pirate King” duology, this has more of a serious/realistic tone to it. Still, the author also did a great job setting an atmosphere that makes you travel to this new world.

Apparently this is a retelling of “The Little Mermaid” but I honestly don’t see it. The only thing both stories have in common is that the main character is transformed from a siren to a girl. But other than that, there is not that much in common to make me think of this as a retelling. I think the romance is not the strongest here, but if you like slightly dark pirate books, give this a go! Also, this is a standalone… not very common in fantasy! Here’s the synopsis if you’re interested:

Synopsis

“Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?”

3. Fable duology by Adrienne Young

Just look at these covers. JUST LOOK AT THEM! It’s by far one of my favorite covers of all time. Anyways, I digress.

This was such a cool story! One of my favorite things about this book is how well this world is put together. It’s obvious the author put in a lot of work to make this story seem realistic – you know, for a fiction story. The way the characters talked and acted, the terms used, the scenery… Everything contributed to create a rich story.

This is the kind of book where you don’t know who to trust. You get into Fable’s shoes and you just hope for the best! I will say there were some points the story felt a bit slow paced, but not to the point that would bother me. Still, there is a lot of adventure, danger and secrets to unfold, so if you like pirate stories you are in for a treat! Here’s the synopsis:

Synopsis

“For seventeen-year-old Fable, the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home she has ever known. It’s been four years since the night she watched her mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day her father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one, and rely on the unique skills her mother taught her. The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her father, and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father.

But her father’s rivalries and the dangers of his trading enterprise have only multiplied since she last saw him, and Fable soon finds that West isn’t who he seems. Together, they will have to survive more than the treacherous storms that haunt the Narrows if they’re going to stay alive.

Welcome to a world made dangerous by the sea and by those who wish to profit from it. Where a young girl must find her place and her family while trying to survive in a world built for men. Fable takes you on a spectacular journey filled with romance, intrigue, and adventure.”

4. All the Stars and Teeth duology by Adalyn Grace

I admit this duology wasn’t my favorite, but I think it’s more of a personal taste matter, and for that reason I still think it’s worth talking about it! A lot of people enjoyed this, so I think it’s worth checking it out if you like pirate books.

I personally found this book a little dull at times regarding the pacing, but I think the story is well structured and the plot is interesting. So here’s the synopsis in case you’re curious:

Synopsis

“Set in a kingdom where danger lurks beneath the sea, mermaids seek vengeance with song, and magic is a choice.

She will reign.

As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer — the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic.

When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic.

But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder — and more peril — than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she’ll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stow-away she never expected… or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever.

I am the right choice. The only choice. And I will protect my kingdom.

And that’s it folks! I hope you enjoyed these recommendations. It’s not easy to find good pirate books out there, so I’ll keep digging and I promise I’ll share with you once I find new ones. 🙂

Tell me about you! Do you like pirate books? If you have any recommendations, let me know in the comments.

Thank you for reading!