my first manga haul

As you may know, I’ve been trying to branch out in terms of reading. Reading more translated works, listening to more audiobooks, and choosing from a wide variety of genres are all ways I’ve changed up my reading life in the past year. Giving manga an honest try is just another way of trying something different, and it’s one I’ve been loving.

I’ve never really gotten into manga or anime, and I have no idea why. I’m fairly certain I would absolutely love a lot of the stories out there. I guess I’ve always been somewhat intimidated by them… Exploring a new genre of format of media always feels somewhat terrifying, as it can feel like being dropped into an entirely new universe in which everyone knows more than you do. However, I can’t let that stop me from diving into this whole new world. Can anyone use that phrase without thinking of the song? Apparently, I can’t.

Since I hadn’t read much (or any) manga before, I wasn’t quite sure what my reading preferences in the format would be. Since it’s one I definitely want to read in physical format rather than digitally, I needed to purchase some first volumes to try. The best option, to me, was buying these secondhand. Used books are far cheaper than new ones, and it allowed me to buy quite a lot of volumes at a price I could justify. If I didn’t end up liking it, I wouldn’t have spent much on it.

You’ll also recognize most, if not all, of these manga. I decided to start with some of the most famous ones, as they probably are loved for a reason. Here’s what I’ve bought in the past 6 months or so!

FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST

One of the first series I bought volumes of is Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa. Last year, I purchased the first volume from Better World Books to give the manga a try. I read it earlier this year, and ended up loving it. It’s one of my favorites so far – which I guess might not say that much since I’m only just getting started in manga. I immediately bought volumes 2-7 used as well, which I’m currently reading.

I already know I will continue to buy this series, but will probably go for the beautiful 3-in-1 editions in the future, and buy them new. I’m certain I’ll enjoy them, so I don’t mind spending it bit more on the volumes. One day, I’ll replace the secondhand ones I have right now with the matching 3-in-1 editions too, but that’s for future Jolien to deal with.

I haven’t watched the anime, but want to save that for when I have read more of the manga.

BLACK BUTLER

When I purchased the first Fullmetal Alchemist volume last year, I did the same with the first Black Butler one. I also managed to read it in 2018 itself, and quite enjoyed it. I didn’t fall in love with it like I did with FMA, but it is a series I wanted to continue soon. So I bought volumes 2 and 3 used this year too. I’m sad that they arrived very damaged, especially since I’d been quite lucky with that so far. I think I will buy new copies at some point, but I don’t think they have special editions/3-in-1 editions for this manga…

Either way, I’m enjoying the story and will definitely continue. I’ll also end up watching the anime at some point in the future.

I HEAR THE SUNSPOT

I discovered this app called MangaRock through a YouTuber, and decided to try it out. It’s an app where you can read manga translated by fans, as obviously a lot of manga never get translated to English. I Hear the Sunspot seemed really interesting to me, and it was the first one I read on the app. After finishing the first volume, I knew it would become one of my all-time favorites. I was obsessed with out. Some Google searches later I discovered that the first three volumes were officially translated and published. I immediately bought them all, new, and devoured them. I can’t wait for new issues to be released!

I read the fan-translated volume Limit 2 as that one hasn’t been released yet, but will definitely purchase it later too. If you have any information on whether new issues will be released soon, let me know! I can’t find anything on it, and I’m devastated.

DEATH NOTE – BLACK EDITIONS

I also purchased volumes 1, 2, and 4 of the Death Note Black Editions used. Did I forget I hadn’t added the third one to my basket before checking out? Yes. Oops. A few years ago, I tried to read Death Note volume 1 and didn’t really love it. I’m glad I gave it another try with the black editions. I read the first black edition in April, and discovered that the first half felt quite awkward, and the second half was great. I think the translation of the first volume might just be a tad weird? Either way, I really enjoyed it. I’m planning on reading Black Edition II in May, and buying the third one soon.

BLUE EXORCIST

Out of all the manga I’ve mentioned in this haul, Blue Exorcist is the only one I haven’t tried yet. I bought the first 2 volumes in my most recent Better World Books order along with the Black Butler, Death Note, and Fullmetal Alchemist ones. I’ll definitely update you all in a wrap up once I’ve read them. I really hope I’ll end up liking this one too.


So far, so good on all the manga I’ve purchased recently. I’ve bought some other first volumes in random series, but didn’t want to include those in this haul yet. I bought them in 2018 and haven’t picked them up yet, but you might see them in future wrap ups. Have you read a lot of manga? Have you tried any of the ones I mentioned? Or do you have any recommendations for me based on these? I’d love to hear your suggestions, so I can buy even more in the future.

the first ten books I reviewed on this blog | #toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly post hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Today’s topic is a bit of an embarrassing one, in my case, and it’s the first 10 books we ever reviewed. I decided to focus on the first ten reviews I wrote for this blog. Looking back on them, I’ll probably be kind of embarrassed about the things I wrote. I’ve (hopefully) grown quite a lot in terms of writing and expressing my thoughts in the past few years – since I started this blog in 2014. Anyway, let’s take a look at the books.

Break It Up by E.M. Tippetts 
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway and felt obliged to write a review on it. Coincidentally, it happened around the time I started my blog in 2014, and this ended up being the first review I ever published on here. I’m honestly too afraid to read it, and I can’t imagine reading the book again either. It’s certainly not something I’d pick up today, but then again I didn’t buy it back then either.

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
I always feel like I need to add a disclaimer when I talk about this book. Yes, I know it’s a story about incest. No, I don’t condone incest. Taking a step back from that whole discussion, this book is incredibly moving, emotional, and hard-hitting. Seriously, read it.

The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg
Another book that I don’t think I’d ever pick up today. It’s a paranormal read, about a girl who dies of a broken heart and has to watch her family, friends, and ex-boyfriend go through the rest of their lives without her. She has to grieve too, before she’ll be allowed to move on.

The Blood of Olympus (Heroes of Olympus #5) by Rick Riordan
I think this might be one of the most popular reviews on my blog, to this day. Which scares me because I have no idea how eloquent I was in said review. I refuse to reread what I wrote years later and edit it, because that seems kind of dishonest. I don’t think I need to explain how much I loved this book, right? I adore Rick Riordan, and this conclusion to the series was fantastic.

Schizo by Nic Sheff
I think this might be the most popular review on my blog. I have no idea why because I’ve never seen anyone talk about it. I’m kind of scared about leaving this review on my blog, to be honest. I wasn’t a (very) critical reader in 2014, and this book focuses on a boy with schizophrenia. I don’t know how good the rep in it is, and it’s been too long for me to remember anything that happened in it. I know that the author was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but obviously that’s not the same.

Every Ugly Word by Aimee L. Salter
I think this might have been the first book I was ever approved for on Netgalley. At this point in time, I remember absolutely nothing about this book other than it focusing on bullying.

The Paper Magician (Paper Magician #1) by Charlie N. Holmberg
The second book I ever got through Netgalley? Probably. Unlike with Every Ugly Word, I still remember so much about this series. I distinctly remember loving it, and flying through the first two books, being so sad I had to wait for the release of the third one. This is about a girl who becomes an apprentice to a paper magician, even though she always wanted to be a metal magician.

The Glass Magician (Paper Magician #2) by Charlie N. Holmberg
Like I mentioned before, I absolutely flew through the first and second book! I immediately reviewed both, because I wanted to share this fun, magical world with everyone else. I did read and review the third book when that came out too, but still have to read the 4th one.

The 100  (The Hundred #1) by Kass Morgan
I think I read this one because I’d heard of the TV show, and wanted to read it before watching the adaptation. I ended up thinking this book was simply okay. There were too many perspectives and too little time with each person, which ended up being not only incredibly confusing, but also created a distance between the reader and characters. I did love the TV show, however! I’m so far behind on it, but I love it nonetheless.

The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard #1) by Scott Lynch
Finally, a book I still rave about today. I can’t believe I read this in 2014! I’m seriously due for a reread. This is one of my all-time favorite fantasy books/series, and I won’t stop recommending it to everyone. Thanks Top Ten Tuesday, for reminding me I need to read this book again.


Quite an odd collection of books, my first 10 reviews… I still love The Lies of Locke Lamora today, and consider it to be one of my favorites. I barely even remembered some – and had completely forgotten about others. Have you read any of these books? What were your first reviews? How long have you been blogging?

review: the way of kings | 1200+ pages of epic fantasy goodness

the way of kingsTitle: The Way of Kings
Series: Stormlight Archive #1
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Published in 2010 by Tor
Genre: epic fantasy (adult)
Rating: ★★★★★ – a new favorite

I long for the days before the Last Desolation. Before the Heralds abandoned us and the Knights Radiant turned against us. When there was still magic in Roshar and honor in the hearts of men. 

In the end, not war but victory proved the greater test. Did our foes see that the harder they fought, the fiercer our resistance? Fire and hammer forge a sword; time and neglect rust it away. So we won the world, yet lost it. 

Now there are four whom we watch: the surgeon, forced to forsake healing and fight in the most brutal war of our time; the assassin, who weeps as he kills; the liar, who wears her scholar’s mantle over a thief’s heart; and the prince, whose eyes open to the ancient past as his thirst for battle wanes. 

One of them may redeem us. One of them will destroy us.

my thoughts on - review black (1)

I put off reading The Way of Kings for years because it is such an intimidating book. It’s an adult epic fantasy novel of over 1200 pages. That’s a serious commitment  reading-wise, is it not? I finally bit the bullet late last year, and I’m so glad I did. After the first few chapters, I found myself falling in love with the characters, and wanting to know more about the world. I’d highly recommend this book, even if it might seem daunting to you.

CHARACTERS

The Way of Kings is a multiple POV fantasy novel with three main perspectives – interspersed with some small chapters from other people’s point of view.

The main characters of this book are Kaladin, Dalinar, and Shallan. I would say that this novel is more of an exploration of their characters and the world, rather than an action-packed fantasy novel. I assume the sequels will focus more on events happening rather than character introduction and build-up, as the first book has set the PoV characters up pretty well. I find it hard to choose a favorite character, to be honest, as they are all intriguing in their own way.

There are other characters who have their own POV as well, but don’t have as much page-time as the previous three, such as Szeth-son-son-Vallano (who is endlessly intriguing), Adolin Kholin (Dalinar’s son), and Navani Kholin (widow of King Gavilar).

Kaladin is the character you would follow to your own death, but is simultaneously the one you want to wrap in a blanket and protect from the universe. Dalinar is a man to look up to, one you can’t help but admire, even if you feel he’s somewhat naive at times. In fact, he reminds me a lot of A Song of Ice and Fire‘s Ned Stark. Shallan is a woman you grow to love and understand. She’s been placed in a position that leaves her unsure of what course to take, and I would not know what to do either. I can’t help but admire her eagerness to learn, and adore her witty retorts. I also wish I could draw even half as well as her.

“Ignorance is hardly unusual, Miss Davar. The longer I live, the more I come to realize it is the natural state of the human mind. There are many who will strive to defend its sanctity and then expect you to be impressed with their efforts.”

There are other characters that are incredibly important to the story, like Jasnah. In fact, she might be my favorite character of all. I don’t want to say too much about her, but know that Jasnah has taken Shallan on as an apprentice. She’s also an atheist in a world where it’s seen as insane, and is a woman who is not afraid to walk her own path, regardless of what other people think.

“Regardless,” Jasnah continued, “tonight’s actions came about because I chose this path, not because of anything I felt you needed to see. However, the opportunity also presented a chance for instruction, for questions. Am I a monster or am I a hero? Did I just slaughter four men, or did I stop four murderers from walking the streets? Does one deserve to have evil done to her by consequence of putting herself where evil can reach her? Did I have a right to defend myself? Or was I just looking for an excuse to end lives?”

I especially loved this conversation she has with someone trying to convert her to their religion.

[talking about being an atheist]

“I wouldn’t say I have nothing to believe in. My brother and my uncle, my own abilities. The things I was taught by my parents.”

“But, what is right and wrong, you’ve… Well, you’ve discarded that.”

“Just because I do not accept the teachings of the devotaries does not mean I’ve discarded a belief in right and wrong.”

WORLD BUILDING

One of the most interesting aspects of this novel is the world-building. We have become quite used to fantastic world-building from Sanderson’s novels, as he always manages to create a new, epic world without confusing the reader. However, the same cannot be said for The Way of Kings. It’s, in my opinion, intentionally confusing at times.

He starts off with the basics of the world: the fact that in Alethkar people with “lighteyes” are nobility, while the “darkeyes” are peasants, the fact that there’s been a war between the countries for years, that they are fighting on the Shattered Plains after Alethkar’s king has been killed by the Parshendi, the highstorms that determine the climate of the world, and so on.

We are also told of a previous time in history, where the Heralds protected humanity and the Knights Radiant were incredible knights/warriors with Shardplate – armor that is almost impossible to breach and lends power to the wearer – and Shardblades – same but a sword. Why the Heralds turned their back to humanity, the Knights Radiant seemengly betrayed the world, and what happened next is a huge mystery throughout this book. Why? Records from that time don’t seem to exist, and so no one truly knows the details of that turning point in history. It’s fascinating to discover more of the world, because it’s not only new to us but to the characters as well.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The Way of Kings is such a fascinating start to what I’m sure will be an epic series, and I can’t wait to pick up the sequel. I know it’s daunting to start the Stormlight Archive because the books are so long, but I promise it’s worth it. The first hundred pages or so may seem somewhat confusing or less captivating, but soon you’ll be unable to put the book down. I’m already so attached to these characters, am intrigued by the magic, and excited to discover the history of this world. I recently ordered the sequel, Words of Radiance, and I swear it won’t sit on my bookshelf for a year, unread! I promise. Truly.

learning to appreciate my local library (+ acquisition requests!)

I’ve had an off-again-on-again relationship with my local library for years now. I was a frequent visitor in high school, and could often be found browsing the shelves. In those days, I primarily read in Dutch, making my library an absolute treasure trove of books. As I got older, I started seeing the merit of reading books in their original language. After all, things do get lost in translation from time to time. I started picking up more books in English, and by the time I started university, it was the sole language I read in.

Unfortunately, that also meant that my library had lost a little bit of its magic for me. It didn’t have much of an English section, which is to be expected from a small(ish) town in Belgium. There wasn’t much that called my name anymore, and I stopped visiting for years. These past 2 years, I’ve started to build my relationship with the library back up again. While I’ve wanted to started reading in my own language again, I haven’t managed to pick up many Dutch books. However, my library has been expanding their English section. It’s still quite small, but has some unexpected gems in it.

I figured that if I never showed my appreciation, and never borrowed the type of books I wanted to read, they’d never know there was any interest in those stories. So I started borrowing more (English) books. From adult mysteries to YA contemporaries and science fiction, I tried it all. When new releases that were hyped up in the bookish community started appearing, I borrowed those too. If they knew there were people out there interested in these books, they might add more of them to the collection.

At the start of the year, I wanted to give the acquisition requests a try. For years, I had seen that button on the home page of the library network, but never given it much thought. Stuck in a rather negative mindset, I was convinced my requests would never get approved anyway. In January, I realized that it couldn’t hurt to try, and set off to requests some books I really wanted to read, but didn’t necessarily want to buy.

To my utter astonishment, most of my requests were approved within a week! A few weeks after I got the approval email, I could pick the books up in the library as they’d been set aside for me. I was ecstatic. In February, I requested another book – and got approved for that one too. In March, the same thing happened.

I’m going to continue to request certain purchases from my library for the rest of the year, and update you on how this went throughout the entirety of 2019. At the moment, I couldn’t be happier. I have some books I’ve wanted to read for ages, and I didn’t have to pay anything for them.

Are you curious to see which books I’ve requested and received? Let’s take a look at them together!

Skyward (Skyward #1) by Brandon Sanderson
While I adore Brandon Sanderson’s writing, I didn’t want to buy a copy of Skyward yet. I’d heard some mixed reviews, even from his fans, which made my wary of spending so much money on it. My library doesn’t have many science fiction or fantasy books in English, so I figured this would be the perfect addition to the collection. I picked it up sometime in February or March, but still haven’t managed to read it.

Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1) by Laini Taylor
When I first heard of this book, I thought I would end up buying it immediately. However, on its release date only the hardcover copy was available – which is annoying as it’s both more expensive and less handy to read than a paperback. I waited ages for the paperback release of the beautiful cover, but the urgent need was no longer there. For some reason, I’m terrified I won’t like this which is why I chose to put in an acquisition request. In case I don’t like it – at least I didn’t pay for it.

The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth’s Past #1) by Cixin Liu
Another book that has been on my to-read list for absolute ages! I think the reason I haven’t bought it myself, is because I’m intimidated. I’m still slightly scared of not understanding science fiction novels, even though I’ve been reading more of them lately. Add that to the fact that it was translated from Chinese, and it makes for an intimidating read. I’m always scared of translations, guys, especially when I am unable to read the original for myself. I have high hopes for this though.

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker
After hearing quite a few people go on about The Silence of the Girls, I knew I wanted to read it pretty soon. However, I’ve been trying to buy less new books, and this adult fiction novel isn’t very cheap either. So how could I get my hands on this retelling of the Iliad without spending any money? You guessed it. I asked the library to spend money for me. I immediately read it after picking it up, and have since written a review.

P.S. I feel so accomplished with this acquisition request, because someone already reserved the copy 1 day after I had picked it up. I made a good decision!

The Wicked King (Folk of the Air #2) by Holly Black
Late last year I discovered my library had a copy of The Cruel Prince, which was so surprising. I borrowed it, read it, and thought it was okay. Definitely good enough to continue the series, but not captivating enough to want to buy. I figured that if they’d seen the merit in the first book, they might consider getting the sequel too. Like with The Silence of the Girls, I read it immediately after picking it up and have since written a review.

Fire & Blood (A Targaryen History #1) by George R.R. Martin
Listen, Martin’s books are extremely expensive. Adult fantasy novels are very expensive in general! I haven’t read anything by him since the last A Song of Ice and Fire book, which was 8 YEARS AGO. I’m kind of scared this will feel too much like a textbook history on the Targaryens, which is why I didn’t want to buy my own copy yet. It’s been in my possession for a while now, and I’ll probably have to return it soon, but I still haven’t read it. Sorry!

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
Another recent release I wanted to read so badly, but didn’t buy in order to lessen the amount of new books I get. To be honest, this was the most surprising approval of the bunch to me. I never thought they would approve my request and buy it immediately, since it’s a) a very new release, b) expensive, and c) fantasy, a genre my library doesn’t have that much of. I can’t wait to dive into this one soon, and then put it on the shelf for others to discover!


Do you have a local library? If so, what do you think of it? Have you gone through any similar experiences? Let me know if you’ve ever made a library request! Or if you have any recommendations for my next request.

rainy day reads | #toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly post hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Fence by C.S. Pacat
I feel like graphic novels are the perfect rainy day reads. They’re usually easy to get into, and the illustrations truly help you get lost in the story. What could be better on a dreary day than Fence? Lose yourself in the competition between Nicholas and Seiji, and what I hope will end up becoming an enemies-to-friends-to-lovers story in the next issues.

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio
If you want to coordinate your mood with the weather, you might want to go for a bit of a darker and moodier read. If We Were Villains is perfect in that case. It’s the story of Oliver, who has just been released from prison after serving 10 years for a crime he may or may not have committed. It’s partly set in the present, where Oliver is telling the story to a former detective, and partly in the past, when the actual crime took place. Did he really kill his friend? If so, why?

Sadie by Courtney Summers
I chose Sadie as the perfect rainy day read because I can just imagine someone listening to the audiobook while looking out the window, staring at the rain pouring down. It’s such a moving and sad story, and I think it really suits the mood. Sadie follows a character of the same name, who goes on a hunt to find the person who killed her little sister, and a radio host personality who is making a podcast of their story.

The Trials of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #1) by Jessica Townsend
If you don’t want to go for a moody or dark book, The Trials of Morrigan Crow is the one for you. As it’s middle grade, the novel is incredibly easy to get into. You’ll find yourself falling in love with the magic and wonder of Nevermoor immediately, trust me. Rainy days are perfect for discovering magical lands, don’t you think so?

The City of Brass (Daevabad #1) by S.A. Chakraborty
In case you want some escapism, but don’t like middle grade, you might want to go for The City of Brass. It’s one of the most atmospheric and captivating fantasy reads I’ve read in a while, and it’ll transport you from your rainy surroundings into the hot desert.

The Martian by Andy Weir
Want to get away from the rainy atmosphere of planet Earth? Well, the weather’s worse on Mars! You might be stuck inside, but at least you’re not left behind on a planet after a sandstorm.

Assassin’s Apprentice (Farseer #1) by Robin Hobb
In my opinion, rainy days are the perfect time to truly get lost in a book, to immerse yourself in another person’s life. While most people expect an action-packed novel when they pick up Assassin’s Apprentice, that’s really not what the book is. It’s more of a character-driven novel, where we follow Fitz’s life from a little boy onward. Robin Hobb has mastered the art of creating a fantasy series with complex characters.

Illuminae (the Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
One more way to escape into outer space! I’d highly recommend listening to the audiobook of Illuminae on the next rainy day. It’s action-packed, funny, creepy, and captivating. It has a full cast narration, which makes it seem like a TV show in your head. It’s truly perfect for a chill day at home.

I Hear the Sunspot Volume 1 by Yuki Fumino
Are you more of a contemporary reader instead? Don’t worry, I’ve got your back. It might be time to consider picking up the three volumes out so far of I Hear the Sunspot, a wonderful manga I need everyone to read. It’s a romance between two university students, who meet when one accidentally falls “from the sky” when the other is having lunch. It’s queer, it has a disabled main character and talks about hearing impairments quite often, it’s adorable, and it’s sweet.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
If you truly want to match the weather, you might want to go for a book that’ll leave you weeping at the end. Enter The Song of Achilles, a novel that made me cry my eyes out by the end – even though I already knew how the story played out. It’s a retelling of the Iliad through the eyes of Patroclus, Achilles’ best friend and partner.


What do you think of my picks? Have you read them? Do they seem like good rainy day picks to you? What are your rainy day recommendations?

my #avengersreadathon19 to-read list

I’ve been participating in so many readathons lately, and here I am adding another one to that list. I saw some TBRs on the Avengers Readathon earlier today, and knew I wanted to participate as well. The readathon was created by The Perks of Being Noura and takes place from April 14 (today!) until May 14. I’m combining the majority of the prompts with reads for the O.W.L.s readathon in April, and probably the Asian Readathon in May because I want to participate in those as well.

For this readathon, there are 18 different S.H.I.E.L.D. assignments, designed after an Avengers character. You can choose up to two of them, and have to fulfill the challenges per assignment. So, who did I choose?

IRON MAN!

I chose Iron Man, who has always been one of my favorites. Let’s take a look at the assignments I’ll have to fulfill for Iron Man.

Tony’s suit > red on the cover

For the prompt of Tony’s suit, we have to read a book with red on the cover. I have quite a lot of options for this one, but I might go with…

Either Fullmetal Alchemist volume 2 by Hiromu Arakawa or The Girl with the Red Balloon by Katherine Locke. I recently bought the former because I fell in love with the first volume a while ago. I can’t wait to continue the series. However, I might go for the latter instead, as I recently picked it up from the library and would like to read it before having to return the novel.

Stark industries > science fiction book

I have quite a lot of science fiction books on my to-read list, so this prompt is definitely not set in stone yet. Here are some of my options.

I requested Skyward by Brandon Sanderson from the library, and would like to read it before bringing it back soon. I’ve also had Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey on my shelf for a few months, and would like to read it before watching the TV show adaptation. Another book I picked up recently is Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza. I bought this when it was on sale in one of my favorite bookstores, but have since read quite a lot of negative reviews on it and am now scared to pick it up. Lastly, I have never read (or watched) Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, which I need to rectify this year.

the famous tony stark > award-winning book

This prompt falls perfectly in line with one of my picks for the O.W.L.s readathon, as the title of the series starts with an ‘r’. It won the Hugo Award in 2015 for best novel! Any guesses as to what it is?

the three-body problem

That’s right! I’m finally reading The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liutranslated by Ken Liu. I have no idea what this is about, to be honest. I know that it’s a science fiction novel by a famous Chinese author, and that everyone seems to love it.

iron man 3 > mental health

This is the prompt I’m definitely taking recommendations for!

It isn’t specifically stated in the synopsis of Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson, but I assume the main character of this book is dealing with trauma and PTSD after an attack. I might also listen to the audiobook of Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram because I’ve wanted to read that for ages and have only heard fantastic things about it.

war machine > book with robots or AI

obsidio

A few hours before becoming aware of this readathon, I had started listening to the audiobook of Obsidio by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman, the final book in the Illuminae Files. Coincidentally, it is the first day of the #avengersreadathon19 and I started a book without even knowing it would fit this prompt. Obviously, AIDAN is in here.

captain marvel > read a new release

holy sister

You know that I had to pick Holy Sister by Mark Lawrence for this prompt. I pre-ordered it, have had it for about 10 days now and can’t wait to see how Nona’s story wraps up.

T’Challa > book by a black/African author

Last year, I bought a copy of The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin, the sequel to The Fifth Season. I loved the first book, and would like to continue the series before I completely forget what happened before. I also might listen to the audiobook of On the Come Up by Angie Thomas. I have such high expectations of Angie Thomas’ new book!

Nine Realms > translated book

I recently read the first black edition of Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba, and am dying to continue the series. It fits pretty well for this topic! I also might read Train Man by Hitori Nakano. It seems like a pretty funny read, which I might need between the heavier science fiction books.

White, red, and blue > one of these colors on the cover

I’ve put Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho on literally every TBR ever, and I still haven’t read it. Someone help me. I also have a copy of Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor from the library, which is entirely blue. Lastly, I might tackle The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha ShannonIt could fit for this topic because on my copy, the title and dragon are blue.


That’s my TBR for the #avengersreadathon19! Have you read any of these books? Are you participating? Which character are you aiming for?

my thoughts on Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo | thoughts on TV

weightlifting fairy kim bok-jooWeightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo (2016)
Country: South Korea
Genre: romance, drama
Rating: ★★★★ – really liked it

Bok Joo is a weightlifter who is pursuing her dream of winning the gold medal but she then finds romance for the first time in her life. While she is a woman who trains with heavy steel weights, she is also very feminine when it comes to relationships. To focus solely on weightlifting would jeopardize her relationship but leaving her weightlifting career for love would keep her from attaining her dreams. Can she find a way to have love as well as glory at the age of 20? The characters within this drama are elite athletes in weightlifting, swimming and rhythmic gymnastics who work hard to reach their goals in life. It covers their coming-of-age stories and relationships through hectic life.

my thoughts on - review black (1)

As usual, I will talk through my thoughts on this show in bullet points divided into what I liked, and what I didn’t like. Let’s get started!

⭐️ the woman is a weightlifter, the man a swimmer. Can I just say how much I love the fact that this story is about a woman who is a professional weightlifter? YES. Thank you for showing that women can be both powerful, strong, beautiful, and “feminine”. And I meant strong in a literal sense.

⭐️ the romance is so cute. You know that has to be a positive in my reviews. I loved their relationship, it was so adorable!

⭐️ friendships. I adored Bok Joo’s friends! All three of the girls were competitive weightlifters at the same university, but they weren’t jealous of each other’s achievements. Instead, they supported each other all the time.

⭐️ the ex-girlfriend wasn’t made into a villain. I hate it when shows make the male lead’s ex-girlfriend into an awful person to make the female lead seem better. Yes, in this drama the ex did something that wasn’t very nice, but I think we’re all human and prone to doing not-so-nice things at times. Yet she was never made to look like a bad person, or a shallow one.

💥 while the show is fun to watch, it’s kind of forgettable. I binged this show when I watched it, so I definitely enjoyed it. And I gave it a 4 out of 5 stars! However, weeks later I can barely remember the details of this drama. I can only recall the main points. That tells me that while this show is fun to watch, it doesn’t have that special something to make it into a memorable one, or a favorite drama.


Have you watched this drama? What did you think of it?