May Wrap Up | Books, Music, Movies and TV Shows

what i read 80c8b0

Moonrise by Sarah Crossan // ★★★★ // I read this in a matter of hours. I think it’s the first novel I’ve read that is written in verse. And if it isn’t, the last one must have been so long ago I’ve completely forgotten about it. This was a really beautiful read, yet so rough at the same time. It’s about a boy whose brother is on death row. It forces you to think about death row, the death penalty, innocence and how to truly prove that someone is guilty. I’d highly recommend it. 

A Close and Common Orbit (Wayfarers #2) by Becky Chambers // ★★★★ // After reading The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet I knew I had to read the sequel immediately. I was bit surprised to realize that it’s actually a companion novel! It follows Pepper and Lovey, and I can’t really say more without spoiling part of the first novel. Although I truly enjoyed this novel, I didn’t love it as much as the first one. Still, I absolutely adored learning more about Pepper, and Lovey’s life brings a lot of interesting debates on tech to the surface. I can’t wait to meet Becky Chambers in July (at least I hope I will), because she’s a true genius. 

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli // ★★★★ // You knew this would be on the list, didn’t you? After falling in love with both Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda and The Upside of Unrequited, I had to read Becky Albertalli’s latest release as soon as possible. Once again, I was completely blown away. Every time I think Becky Albertalli can’t make a character more relatable, she proves me wrong. I don’t identify as bisexual, yet so many aspects of Leah’s character are familiar to me. The only reason I didn’t give this 5 stars is because of the way Leah reacted when someone came out to her. I believe that could’ve been handled differently. Every other aspect of this book was absolutely incredible, and I love it endlessly. (IT WAS SO ADORABLE!)

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee // ★★★★ // From an adorable read like Leah on the Offbeat to a realistic and horribly sad one like Pachinko. I saw this book on a BookTubers “favorite books of 2017” list and thought it sounded really interesting. Side note, I can’t remember whose video that was so if you did put Pachinko on your favorites list and I have commented on your video, feel free to let me know so I can refer to your video! This book follows 4 generations of one family through 8 decades in Korea and Japan. It starts in 1911, shortly after Japan annexed Korea, in Yeongdo. This book hit me hard. It is so sad and honestly, not many good things happen to this family. It’s an incredible novel though, and I would still highly recommend it. It taught me a lot about Korea’s history, as well as the lives of Koreans who moved to Japan after the annexation and how they were treated. 

what i watched 80c8b0

I started watching Sense8 again. I don’t know why I stopped watching for a while, because this show is absolutely incredible. I’m currently finishing up season 1 and am hoping to move on to season 2 immediately afterward. 

I also watched 2 episodes of Rich Man, Poor Woman. This is a K-drama that stars Suho from EXO! Not going to lie, that’s why I started watching. However, I’m enjoying the female lead even more? Ha Yeon-Soo is so beautiful and seems so kind. This is a remake of a 2012 series, if I’m not mistaken. I can’t really say much on the show yet, because I’ve only seen 2 episodes but I do want to continue watching. 

I binge-watched Just Between Lovers this past month. This K-Drama was just so incredible, I couldn’t stop watching! It’s a very sad story though, and will play with your emotions. But if you haven’t seen it, please go do so. Won Jin Ah was absolutely gorgeous in this drama, and I can’t wait to watch her in more movies and/or shows. And can we talk about Lee Junho for a second? Because wow… 

lee junho in just between lovers

I’m currently also watching Between, a Taiwanese drama. It’s about a “sandwich” girl, which I believe is a girl who is always stuck in the middle. At work, she’s stuck between the management and the employees because she’s a supervisor. And obviously, she’s stuck between two guys as well. I’m quite enjoying this drama, although it’s so utterly cheesy at times. I can handle a bit of cheesiness or clichés, but this has a lot of them. It just makes me laugh after a while. BUT I’m enjoying it enough to eagerly anticipate new episodes (and subtitles). And can we talk about how beautiful the female lead is? I feel like I’ve said that multiple times, but really, her smile is so adorable. 

And the most exciting news of the month? I won 2 tickets for an early viewing of Love, Simon! I know what you’re thinking. Jolien, that movie has been out for months? What do you mean, early viewing? Well, in some countries it was released in March. Yet in Belgium (and I believe the Netherlands too) Love, Simon is only scheduled for release on June 20th. Which means I got to see it a month before it hit theaters here. It was everything I could ever have asked for. I will be going to the cinema once it does release, pay for a ticket and watch it all over again. I want to watch this movie a million times (and support it with my money). 

what i listened to 80c8b0

DAY6 – I Need Somebody

I have been in love with DAY6 for months. Moonrise might be one of my favorite albums, in fact. Partly because of this song. Not only is it absolutely beautiful, the lyrics are incredible too. I understand this song and the feelings behind it so well, it’s a bit terrifying to be honest. 

MOMOLAND – BBoom Bboom

A completely different song, but I have been loving it. It makes me want to dance every single time I hear it. 

BTS – Fake Love

Obviously, this was going to be one my list. I don’t think anyone is really surprised here. I’m really enjoying BTS’ new comeback and I’m digging the songs. I have to admit that some of their “older” songs are still my favorites. I have a special place in my heart for Silver Spoon and Blood, Sweat and Tears in particular. 


What did you read, watch and/or listen to this past month?

Advertisements
May Wrap Up | Books, Music, Movies and TV Shows

6 Disappointing Books I’m Glad I Read Anyway

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. Each week I will make a list of 10 books, authors or other bookish things surrounding a certain topic. Today, I’m talking about 6 books that left me disappointed. Yet somehow, I’m still glad I read them? I only chose 6 because I really wasn’t feeling glad I read any of the other disappointing books I’ve read and I didn’t want to lie to you just to make it to 10. 

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by Jack Thorne & John Tiffany // I’m going to be honest: I absolutely hated this script. Sorry not sorry. But I’m glad I read it, because I want to keep up to date with the Harry Potter franchise. Even though I hated everything about this.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald // Another one that I intensely disliked. Yet I’m glad I read it, mostly because it is such a classic. I always hear everyone talking about this book, so I felt like I had to give it a go too. I did. Hated it. But at least I tried, you know? 

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger // Another one I’m only glad I read because it’s such a cult classic. Everyone seems to love this book, and I really wanted to watch the movie adaptation too. Guess what? I definitely won’t be watching because I didn’t enjoy this book (and thought it had a lot of problematic aspects).

Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp // I’m glad I read this book because I want to support Marieke. I know it may seem silly, but you got to support the Dutch or Belgian authors if you’re Dutch-speaking. And I really loved her debut! This one just wasn’t for me.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins // I can’t remember when I read this, but it sure was one of the most disappointing books of that year. I just found myself bored and annoyed throughout the whole read, which isn’t a very good sign when you’re reading a thriller. But I am glad I gave it a go, because I want to read more thrillers and people really seemed to enjoy this one. 

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness // I’m also glad I read this because of the hype surrounding this series (and this author in general). I want to read all of your favorite books too, and this seemed to fit the bill. And it’s not like I hated it… The writing style just really wasn’t for me. This book was a tad too chaotic (ha!). 


Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them?

6 Disappointing Books I’m Glad I Read Anyway

My April Wrap Up

I’m back with another monthly wrap up! I’ve finally started reading again, and I couldn’t be happier about it.

what i read 80c8b0

The Bone Witch (The Bone Witch #1) by Rin Chupeco // ★★★★ // This was a re-read for me. I read this for the first time in 2016, before its release, and absolutely loved it. When I got my pre-order of the sequel, I knew I had to re-read this one first because there was so much I’d forgotten. I still adored it the second time around -and it actually helped get me out of my months-long reading slump.

The Heart Forger (The Bone Witch #2) by Rin Chupeco // ★★★★★ // After re-reading the first book, I was ready for the sequel. I’m happy to say it didn’t disappoint at all! Rin Chupeco mentioned that The Heart Forger is about loving someone despite their flaws and disagreements – about how living separate lives does not mean the lessening of bonds. What an accurate and wonderful summation of this book. 

Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller // ★★★★ // I read this one for work, to be honest. It’s a very interesting read though! I’d highly recommend it.

I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo // ★★★ // I’m sad to say I was a bit disappointed by this. Yes, I knew going in to it that it was based on K-dramas and romance and that those tend to be a bit cliché and over the top. No hate here though, because I love K-dramas!! I wasn’t prepared though for the absolutely ridiculous levels the MC went to. Honestly, she was a danger to humanity. Yes, it was cute and fluffy too. Yes, I loved learning more about her Korean-American background. Yes, I adored her dad. But that wasn’t enough to make up for the fact that she did seriously dangerous things without them having true consequences.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers #1) by Becky Chambers // ★★★★.5 // I FINALLY READ THIS. I’ve had the first two books om my shelves for almost a year now, and I still hadn’t read them. Now that Becky Chambers will be at YALC though, I knew I had to read them. And so glad to say this didn’t disappoint. It was incredible, and it forced me to think about things I never really considered before.

Circe by Madeline Miller // ★★★★★ // The long-awaited second novel by Madeline Miller. You knew I was going to read this as soon as possible. Once again, didn’t disappoint. Did I love it as much as The Song of Achilles? No. Do I think she wrote an amazing novel about a woman who had been vilified in mythology and made you see her in a different perspective? Yes. 

what i listened to 80c8b0

This has become one of my favorite sections, to be honest! 

buffering the vampire slayer

I don’t really think I need to say a lot about the podcast I’ve been listening to, Buffering the Vampire Slayer, because I’ve made an entire post about it. You can read that one here, if you’re interested.

SONGS

B.A.P – Hands Up

I know that this isn’t a new song, but I’ve only recently started listening to it! I’ve actually only recently started getting into B.A.P. I’m not familiar with them yet, but I do want to dive more into the group, because I feel like they’re kind of underrated.

NCT 2018 – Black On Black

Well, no surprise there. NCT has been killing it in 2018, and this might be my favorite one yet. I know there isn’t really any singing in here, but the performance is just so good.

Eric Nam – Honestly

Eric Nam is another artist I feel is criminally underrated. He has so many amazing songs! Many of his songs always put me in a good mood, like this one. 

Ten – New Heroes

Ten might be my NCT bias. Sorry, Taeyong… He’s just so talented. Not only is he an incredible singer but he’s such a talented dancer too!

EXO-CBX – Blooming Day

So many amazing songs this month! I also loved EXO-CBX’s comeback called Blooming Day. Such a fun rhythm. Again, it’s one of those songs that just puts me in a good mood. 


That was my month? What did you read and/or listen to?

My April Wrap Up

Books I Really Want NOW! | Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. Each week I will make a list of 10 books, authors or other bookish things surrounding a certain topic. Today, we’re talking about the books for which we’d do pretty much anything to get early.

Fat Girl on a Plane by Kelly Devos // All I know is that this is about a fat girl who dreams of becoming a fashion designer. The fashion industry isn’t really known as an inclusive place when it comes to size, so I’m excited to see a plus-size main character conquering the industry!

From Twinkle with Love by Sandhya Menon // I absolutely loved When Dimple Met Rishi last year, so I’m looking forward to Sandhya Menon’s upcoming books. I believe that From Twinkle With Love is about an aspiring filmmaker and a film geek, which sounds wonderful to me.

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik // I loved her novel, Uprooted, and have been looking forward to reading more of her works ever since. I still have to pick up her Temeraire series, but I’m really looking forward to this one! Plus, the cover is so beautiful. 

What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera // I’m going to be honest and say that I have no idea what this book is about. All I know is that it’s co-written by Becky Albertalli, and I adore her. I haven’t read any Adam Silvera, but I’d like to try this out first so I can get a feel for his writing style before continuing on to read his other works.

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee // FELICITY! Okay, Felicity was one of the best parts of The Gentleman’s Guide of Vice and Virtue, one of my favorite books of last year. Now that she’s getting her own book, you best believe I’ll read it as soon as possible. 

To Be Honest by Maggie Ann Martin // Also don’t know what this is about, but it has a plus-size girl on the cover and it’s a YA contemporary. From what I read on Goodreads, it’s about a girl called Savannah who is home alone with her mother after her sister left for college. Her mother is obsessed with dieting, and that combined with her missing her sister and worrying for her future makes for a stressful time. 

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang // Listen, this is a contemporary romance novel about a woman called Stella who hasn’t had much dating experience. So she hires Swedish-Vietnamese escort Michael Phan to teach her. But the main reason I’m excited to read this novel is that Stella has Asperger’s -and that according to what I’ve read, this is an own voices novel in that aspect. In Helen Hoang’s bio, it says that she was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, in line with what used to be called Asperger’s. SO YES FOR AN #OWNVOICES AUTISM ROMANCE NOVEL!

The Shadowglass (The Bone Witch #3) by Rin Chupeco // This doesn’t have a cover yet, but I can’t wait to read it. It doesn’t even have a publication date yet, seeing as the second book was only recently released. I love this series so much though, and can’t wait to read the third book! 

Rise As One (Rise #1) by Ashok K. Banker // This is all I know about this book: “RISE follows a young thief and her gang as they battle to overthrow a brutal tyrant and stay a demon invasion.” Uh, yes please?? 

We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia // This is scheduled for release in 2019, and I have no idea how I came across it to be honest. But here’s the current description on Goodreads: “We Set the Dark on Fire is a debut novel from Tehlor Kay Mejia, set at the Medio School for Girls, where young women are trained to become one of two wives assigned to high society men. With revolution brewing in the streets, star student Dani Vargas fights to protect a destructive secret, sending her into the arms of the most dangerous person possible.”


Those are 10 books I can’t wait to read, and would really love to have NOW!
Are you excited to read any of these? 

Books I Really Want NOW! | Top Ten Tuesday

A Podcast I’ve Been Loving Recently

Lately, I’ve been getting back into podcasts. It’s so useful to have them available on Spotify, and I listen to them while doing chores or during my commute. Once in a while, I try a new podcast as well. When the podcasts I’m already subscribed to don’t feel right at that moment, or I just want to listen to a completely different topic. 

I can’t really remember how I came across this podcast, but I discovered it a few weeks ago. It’s a new favorite already. I’ve listened to multiple episodes in one day, while cleaning my apartment and cooking. I’ve laughed out loud, reminisced and have looked at one of my all-time favorite shows in a different way. 

The podcast I’ve been loving lately is called Buffering the Vampire Slayer.

buffering the vampire slayer

As you can probably tell, it’s a podcast based around Buffy the Vampire Slayer, one of my all-time favorite shows. Every episode of this podcasts revolves around one Buffy episode. The hosts, Jenny and Kristin, talk about what they noticed during the episode, what they loved and what they hated AND Jenny creates a recap song for every episode. So at the end of every podcast episode, you get a little song that recaps the Buffy episode. 

Obviously, I wouldn’t recommend listening to this if you haven’t watched Buffy, or if you aren’t watching along with them. Not only will you get spoiled on everything, you also won’t understand what they’re talking about. But if you are a Buffy fan, or if you want to start watching and then listen to their thoughts, I’d highly recommend this podcast

Not only are Jenny and Kristin really funny, they also point out things I had never noticed or thought about before. They watch from a different perspective than mine, and I absolutely love it. 

A little bit about the hosts

The podcast is hosted by Jenny and her wife, Kristin. Jenny is an enormous Buffy fan, while Kristin only started watching after they started dating (I think that’s what they said in the first episode, correct me if I’m wrong). 

Jenny is a musician, and Kristin a writer. On Kristin’s website, it states that she is a writer, speaker, educator and consultant with a focus on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) issues. 

I’m so in love with this podcast. I’ve listened to quite a few episodes already. They have reignited my love for Buffy, and now I really want to re-watch the whole show. They share my thoughts on Xander (ugh!) and Cordelia (love!). 

If you’re a Buffy fan and you haven’t listened to this podcast yet, please give it a chance! I find it both hilarious and insightful, and I’m looking forward to catching up with the episodes.

A Podcast I’ve Been Loving Recently

March Wrap Up

Hi everyone! It’s been a while, I know. I haven’t had the motivation or will to blog lately. And while there have been many things I’ve wanted to talk about, almost none of them were book related. Why? I haven’t been reading, to be honest. I read 1 book in March, and that’s only because I read 90% of it in February. 

I’ve been thinking of letting my blog transition to include more other things too -my personal life, music, TV, movies, anything I want to talk about really- but then I wonder how many of you would actually care about stuff like that. I mean, I assume the majority of you are here to read my book-related thoughts, right? Let me know! Anyway, let’s get into the wrap up. 

what i read 80c8b0

morning star

Morning Star (Red Rising #3) by Pierce Brown // 5 stars // This is the only book I managed to read in March! I read the majority of it in February though. This was so good. Honestly, one of the best finales I’ve read in a while. I know that there are additional books in the series now, but this was originally meant to be the conclusion of the trilogy -which is why I’m calling it a finale. Pierce Brown is a genius. 

what i watched 80c8b0

annihilation

Annihilation // I watched it! I know some people said it’s best to read all three books first because the movie contains more than just the first one but I didn’t want to wait. I wanted to watch it. This movie was SO GOOD! Honestly, much better than I expected it to be. I wasn’t quite sure how they would translate the book to the screen, because the book was already so weird. But they captured it perfectly. The visual effects of this movie are out of this world, and it makes me quite sad I couldn’t watch it in cinemas. I think the big screen would’ve done this more justice than our TV. I have to admit that for the last 15-20 minutes of this film, all that was going through my head was: “What the hell? What I am watching? Am I hallucinating? Is this real?” Worth it, though. 

because this is my first life.jpg

I also just started watching Because this is my first life. I’ve only watch 1.5 episodes so far (yes, I had to stop watching in the middle because I was too tired to concentrate on the subtitles), but I’m really enjoying it! 

I’ve also watched about 8 episodes of Idol Producer, which is a Chinese talent show (sort of) where 100 (or 101? can’t remember) trainees from different entertainment companies compete for 9 spots in a new music group. They get different challenges every week in dance, vocals and rap while trying to endear the public to them and their talent so people will vote. I quite enjoyed the episodes I watched and started to get attached to quite a few of them. Even though I did start watching for Zhang Yixing at first. If you’ve watched the Korean show Produce 101, it’s extremely similar to that but Chinese.

what i listened to 80c8b0

NCT U – Boss

I fell in love with NCT this month. Especially NCT U to be honest. I think Boss might be the first NCT song I’ve listened to and I’m into it. (especially Taeyong)

NCT U – Baby Don’t Stop

After Boss came Baby Don’t Stop. And wow… If I didn’t already love Taeyong before, I fell for him now. And TEN! YES! Not only is he so talented (I love his voice in this song, and he’s an incredible dancer) but he also seems like the nicest person ever. 

MONSTA X – Jealousy

Monsta X is back and I couldn’t be happier. I think they are one of my absolute favorite groups. In fact, I.M may be a strong contender for my ultimate bias. And can we talk about the fact that their MV has subtitles in like 40 languages?? And about that ‘why are you talking about Shownu’ line that Wonho sings??

BLØF – Zoutelande

Living in Belgium or in The Netherlands means that you can’t escape this song at the moment. I never listen to the radio, and even I am bombarded with it. I’ve grown quite attached to it, to be honest. I feel like it’s quite calming. And I also find it quite funny that this song about Zoutelande has suddenly created a lot of tourists for this place!

in real life 80c8b0

To be honest, I don’t know what March has meant for my personal life. I’ve had some really good days, and I got to see some of my uni friends again after quite a while. Those things definitely made me happy. But I have to be honest and say that I’ve been struggling a lot lately. I feel like it’s something I can’t quite talk about yet, but suffice it to say that I’ve been sad often. That’s why I haven’t read much, or watched any shows or movies. 


That was March for me! How was your month?
Did you read, watch or listen to anything fun? Let me know!

March Wrap Up

Books That Surprised Me | Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. Each week I will make a list of 10 books, authors or other bookish things surrounding a certain topic. Today, we’re talking about books that surprised us -in a good way!

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë // This book surprised me simply because I tend to have very low expectations when reading classics. I actually loved reading this though, and it’s one of my favorite classics I’ve read so far.

Red Rising (Red Rising #1) by Pierce Brown // This was a surprise because I don’t read much science fiction, and lately, not a lot of dystopian either. So I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about it. I was so pleasantly surprised… In fact, I’ve now finished the first trilogy! I loved all three books.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt // I had no idea what to expect here. I was afraid it would be a bit too pretentious at times, or that I wouldn’t understand anything. Or that it would take me ages to read. And even though it did take me a while to read, I fell in love with it along the way.

Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor #1) by Mark Lawrence // This is a book I saw mentioned often on r/fantasy and on some SFF-blogs but not many other bookish places. Which makes me sad, to be honest. Mark Lawrence is a really well-known fantasy author, but I had never read any of his work before. What a great introduction this one was! I immediately pre-ordered the sequel. 

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio // I’ve only ever heard one BookTuber talk about this book (and I only noticed their video when I’d already read it). It’s one I picked up randomly in the library because it said ‘like Donna Tartt’s The Secret History’ on the cover. THIS IS SO GOOD. SO GOOD.

Nice Dragons Finish Last (Heartstrikers #1) by Rachel Aaron // I put this one as a surprise because I barely ever see anyone talk about this series -or this author, really. IT’s such a solid urban fantasy story though, and I want more people to read it. Like dragons? READ THIS.

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma // I was surprised by how much I like this because this is a novel about a brother and sister falling in love. That kind of makes me want to vomit, considering I also have an older brother and can’t even handle the thought. It makes me physically uncomfortable. And yet I ended up loving this book. It broke my heart.

Dreamer’s Pool (Blackthorn & Grim #1) by Juliet Marillier // I’m not actually sure why I feel like this book surprised me. It wasn’t the first Marillier book I read and loved, so I knew to expect a wonderful read. I guess it’s because I still don’t see her mentioned very often in the bookish communities I’m a part of, which makes me incredibly sad!

The Moon in the Palace (Empress of Bright Moon #1) by Weina Dai Randel // WHY do I never see this book mentioned anywhere? I really don’t understand! This is the first book in a duology of historical fiction novels set in China during the Tang dynasty (7th century AD), I believe. It follows Mei, who is a concubine at the palace, as she navigates life.

The Bone Witch (The Bone Witch #1) by Rin Chupeco // This was surprising to me because I received a review copy months before the release of this book. I didn’t really see any reviews before starting it so I sort of went into it blindly. I absolutely flew through this book! I couldn’t wait to gush about it. And then all the negative reviews started coming in, and I was devastated. This has become such an underrated book now. 


Well, those are 10 books that managed to surprise me! Have you read any of these? What did you think of them? Which books managed to surprise you?

Books That Surprised Me | Top Ten Tuesday