Movies I Watched | Best of 2017

I’ve talked about my favorite books of 2017 before, and now it’s time to address movies. Just like with my reading list, these movies were not all released in 2017. I just happened to watch them in the past year! Let’s get started. 

These are not ranked, by the way. Just a random order.

Wonder Woman // Who is surprised this made it to my list? ABSOLUTELY NO ONE. I don’t think I need to explain this pick. I loved it. I love Gal Gadot -she is the most precious human being on this planet.

Lion // This movie was so emotional. Even more so because this was based on a true story! If you somehow haven’t seen this one, please go do so.

Moana // I finally watched Moana. I know! I should’ve watched it a long time ago, but I didn’t. It was featured on so many ‘best of 2016’ lists though, so I knew I had to give it a go. I did, and now it’s featured on this list… The music was stuck in my head for months afterwards.

The Big Sick // This may be my favorite rom-com that’s been put out in a while. I think this is especially touching because this was based on Kumal’s life -and he portrays himself in the movie as well. 

Baby Driver // This is the most surprising one on my list. I don’t usually love stories centered around cars/car chases. For example, I’ve never seen any of the Fast and Furious movies because they just don’t appeal to me. But the trailer for this one looked amazing. So I watched it. And it blew me away. Ansel Elgort is absolutely genius as Baby! The way music is woven into this story is beautiful, and I’ve been listening to the soundtrack for a while now. I also adored Lily James -another surprise because I didn’t really like her in Cinderella. HIGHLY RECOMMEND! I will re-watch this movie again and again, I think. 

Call Me By Your Name // Shoot me, because the feelings are too much. If you don’t know what this is about, this is the story of Elio (17) and Oliver (I think he’s like 24?). Oliver accepts an internship with Elio’s father in Northern Italy during the summer and lives with them. It’s a beautiful love story. I may have fallen in love with Elio (or Timothée Chalamet). I love that it’s a LGBT+ romance story, but it’s not about coming out or family drama or cheating. It’s just a story of first love.

dunkirk

Dunkirk // I watched this in theaters with my parents, because my dad loves movies that are WWII-related (he also loves history books and documentaries on the topic) so I thought this would be perfect for him. Dunkirk actually isn’t that far away from where we live: about a 2 hour drive! I would say that this isn’t a movie to watch when you feel like having a relaxed movie night. Watching Dunkirk is a very stressful experience. I was on edge the entire time I was watching this, because you truly feel like you’re there on that beach with the soldiers, dying. 

That’s it! I didn’t watch that many movies in 2017, but these were my absolutele favorite ones. I’m aiming to watch many more in 2018 and I’ve already created a list of movies I am most anticipating. I’ll be posting that one soon, so we can fangirl about the upcoming movies together.


Have you seen any of these movies?
Which movies are on your best-of-2017 list?

2017 Favorites | Songs & Music Videos

I thought I’d try something different today. As you know, this is a book blog. But I’ve also used this platform to talk about my favorite TV shows and movies before. Today, I want to talk about something I’ve been neglecting for years: music. So let’s take a look at some of my favorite songs and music videos of the year!

2017 was the year I fell into the K-Pop black hole. It’s pretty much all I’ve been listening to for months, so expect quite a lot of this list to be K-pop… 

ALEX & SIERRA – YOU’RE THE ONE THAT I WANT

These two have made this famous song into such a slow and hauntingly beautiful one! It’s astonishing to think this is the same song as in ‘Grease’. They’re so talented. 

ARTY FT. ERIC NAM – IDEA OF YOU

Eric Nam is a Korean-American singer, and I’m such a fan. I’ve had several of his songs on repeat during 2017 but this remains one of my absolute favorites. The entire song is in English, by the way.

BTS – BLOOD SWEAT AND TEARS

This was the first BTS song I fell in love with, and started my love for K-pop. I discovered this at the same time as I did ‘Not Today’. While I do love their new album (especially Go Go) and older stuff too, there’s just something about this one that makes it my favorite.

EXO – THE EVE

I think The Eve might be my favorite EXO song to date. I love many of their songs, but there’s just something about this one in particular that calls to me. I’ve included the dance practice video here because this one doesn’t actually have an MV. Plus, the dance practice is excellent.

HKEEM & TEMUR – FY FAEN

I discovered this because it was featured in an episode of Skam! I don’t speak Norwegian at all,  but I’m fairly certain fy faen means ‘holy fuck’ or ‘damn’ or something along those lines? Anyway, it’s a great song. 

JEAN-BAPTISTE MAUNIER – JE REVIENS

I’ve loved this song for a while. I think I’ve been listening to it since it was released in 2015? I’m still not tired of it. He’s a genius. 

LUIS FONSI FT. DADDY YANKEE – DESPACITO

I couldn’t leave this off the list, now could I? This is just such a wonderful song, and it never fails to make me smile. Also, no, I didn’t listen to the Justin Bieber version. Fuck that. The original version is just so much better.

MONSTA X – BEAUTIFUL

I adore this song, and I ADORE the music video. They’re all just so talented and beautiful…

OUR LAST NIGHT – SHAPE OF YOU

This is a rock cover of Shape of You (originally by Ed Sheeran) by Our Last Night. This was my introduction to Our Last Night, and I’m so glad I found them. I’ve come to love many of their songs!

SEVENTEEN – DON’T WANNA CRY

SO MUCH TALENT IN ONE GROUP. Also, so many people. I love every single person in this group, though. 


That’s it. Some of my favorite songs of 2017!
I could’ve made this into an impossibly long list but I tried to contain myself.
Have you listened to any of these songs? What did you listen to in 2017?

My Favorite Reads of 2017

It’s time to announce my favorite books of 2017! As always, these were not necessarily published in 2017, I just happened to read them this year. I don’t stick to a specific number either. Instead I pick and choose the ones that stand out to me most. Let’s get into it! 

I’m not counting re-reads for this!

 

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman // This is probably no surprise, because I’ve been raving about it ever since I read it in the first half of the year. I loved the story, Frances was incredibly relateable and I appreciate the conversation on asexuality and demisexality here!

All the Rage by Courtney Summers // This one hit me hard. It’s such an important book on rape, trauma and rape culture. It addresses slut-shaming and victim-blaming in a way I believe is really important for teenagers to read.

 

Etched in Bone (The Others #5) by Anne Bishop // This series is probably going to be in every favorites list, for as long as it goes on.

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli // There’s a lot more contemporary in this list than I expected there to be. I think for me personally, Molly was a main character I could relate to. It may even have been the first time I could understand a girl so well. Plus, Reid!

 

Assassin’s Quest (Farseer #3) by Robin Hobb // Love this trilogy! This was actually my favorite of the three. I adore the Fool, and Nighteyes.

Am I Normal Yet (Spinster Club #1) by Holly Bourne // More contemporary! This is such an important novel on female friendship, feminism, dating and OCD.

 

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon // One word: adorable. This was such a cute story! It made me smile multiple times while reading and has ensured that I will pick up anything Sandhya Menon will write. 

Red Rising (Red Rising #1) by Pierce Brown // I don’t read a lot of sci fi, but this book is so popular I had to give it a go. And I ended up loving it! It is quite brutal and violent, but as far as a rebellion story goes, I think that vibe fits it really well. 

 

Ship of Magic (Liveship Traders #1) by Robin Hobb // More Robin Hobb! I just started her Liveship Traders trilogy, which comes after the Farseer one in her Realm of the Elderlings series. The most interesting part? Ships that come alive!

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee // This is an incredible historical fiction novel. It’s funny, witty yet addresses tough topics such as abuse, sexism, disability, etc too. The romance between Monty and his best friend Percy was so cute as well. 

jane eyre

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë // A classic on my favorites list… Who would’ve thought? This classic managed to surprise me. I thought it was going to be boring/a struggle to get through because it’s not very short. But I flew through it and absolutely adored it! It might be my favorite classic so far (not counting The Lord of the Rings). 


There you go, my favorite reads of the year!
Have you read any of these? 

What were your favorite reads of 2017?

 

 

My Worst Reads of 2017

It’s time for the most negative post of the year: my least favorite reads of 2017. I’ll say it now, before I get some hate: these are MY least favorite reads of 2017. That doesn’t mean that you can’t love the book. If you did read one of these and loved it, that’s great! I didn’t though. And that’s okay! Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, right? Let’s get into it.

THE I-TRULY-HATED-THIS-BOOK ONES

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by John Tiffany & Jack Thorne // Don’t even get me started on this one. I waited quite a while before picking this one up, because I’d seen such mixed reviews. I was in such a happy-Harry-Potter-mood though in the first half of the year, that I decided to give it a go. And it promptly ruined my mood and made me incredibly angry. Inge can attest to that, she witnessed my rants. I even made a video on why I didn’t like this one at all, if you want to hear my unstructured and ranty thoughts. Yeah, 1 star – a rating I don’t give often. 

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger // This one took me by surprise. And not in a positive way… I buddy read this one during the Tome Topple readathon, and was so excited about it! It had been on my shelf for ages, and then I could finally watch the movie too. After finishing this, I will never watch the movie. I’ve already put my copy in the pile of books to be unhauled because I don’t want to be reminded of this trash ever again. It was sexist, creepy, weird, and incredibly offensive on many levels. I don’t understand how this has become so popular, and why no one (or at least not that I knew of) talks about the problematic aspects of this one. Again, I did a ranty video on it if you want to hear my thoughts and specific examples. 2 stars – doesn’t actually deserve the second one.

THE NOT-TERRIBLE-BUT-DISAPPOINTING ONES

The Girls by Emma Cline // This wasn’t a bad book, don’t get me wrong. I gave it three stars, which is my rating for ‘it wasn’t bad, but I didn’t really like it either’. My issue with this book is that I expected it to be about a girl who got involved in a cult, but in reality the cult isn’t the main part of the story. I also felt highly uncomfortable with how sexualized the main character is made to be when she’s only like 13. I understand this may have been the reality during this time, but I still hated it. 

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson // One of my two DNFs this year… I was really looking forward to this because this is a well loved book. I decided to put it down because the writing style just wasn’t for me. I felt really detached from the story and characters, which made it less enjoyable to me. I can see why people love it, but it just didn’t work for me. 

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz // This one kind of broke my heart. I DNFed one of my most anticipated reads. I didn’t stop reading because I had any issues with the story, I didn’t get far enough into it for that. I quit reading because the writing style really wasn’t working for me. The short, choppy sentences made me feel detached and took me out of the story.


That was it! 5 disappointing reads in 2017. That’s not too bad, right?
I general, I’m lucky to like most of the books I read.
Which books let you down recently? Have you read any of these?

The Year of Re-reading | Notes on my re-reads of 2017

It’s almost time for me to show you my list of favorite reads of 2017. I know that it was a Top Ten Tuesday post already, but I didn’t feel like I could write my post already. I know the year is almost over and it’s highly unlikely I will finish a lot more books before it is. But I don’t want to risk it! What if I find an amazing book on December 30th and can’t put it in my list anymore? 

Anyway, while I was looking through the books I read this year for my list, I realized that I’ve re-read a lot of books this year. I’ve always loved re-reading for many reasons. I get to return to a world I love, and revisit characters that I adore. I might notice little plot things I overlooked the first time -or foreshadowing that I just missed altogether. Sometimes I also re-read books to see whether I still love them, years later. So today, I want to take a look at all the books I re-read in 2017!

The Others by Anne Bishop

Books: Written in Red, Murder of Crows, Vision in Silver, Marked in Flesh
How do I feel about it? Still one of my all-time favorites

I re-read the first 4 books in The Others series by Anne Bishop at the end of January. Why? In March, the 5th book would be released and I wanted to make sure the previous events in the series would be fresh in my mind. This happens to be one of my all-time favorite fantasy series. I think I’ve read the first book about 4 times now, and I only discovered it in 2013.



The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini

Books: Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr, Inheritance
How do I feel about it? Loved the first book a bit less, still adore the series overall

This is one of the series that really got me hooked on fantasy in my early teens. I wanted to see what I would think of it as an adult, having read a lot more fantasy. I immediately noticed a difference with the first book. The writing style felt a bit choppy, because Paolini used a lot of really short sentences. He was so young when he wrote this, and I do think it shows. Still, I really loved it -and you can see him grow as an author throughout the series.



Kay Scarpetta by Patricia Cornwell

Books: Postmortem, Body of Evidence
How do I feel about it? Enjoyed it a lot less than I remember, the crime and scientific aspects are great but the sexism and racism really made me uncomfortable

I remember really enjoying this series as a teenager, so I was dying to re-read them when my mom received the entire series as a gift from someone. I decided to start with the first books, even though they are quite old (which can make an impact on the story when it’s a crime novel that relies on science, in my opinion). To my surprise, I still loved the crime and scientific aspects of the story. But I didn’t like the racist and sexist comment Marino gave, and think the main character Kay should address them instead of just feeling superior to the rest. I will probably re-read the rest of the series at some point, but I’m in no hurry.



Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier

Books: Daughter of the Forest, Son of the Shadows
How do I feel about it? It’s still one of my favorites! Why don’t I hear her books mentioned more often?

I started reading this series when I was a teenager (maybe like 14 or 15?) but I never continued after the second book. I have no idea why because I remember absolutely loving them. I saw them at my local library this year, so I decided to re-read the first two and then continue. I have re-read the first two, but still haven’t continued… These books are absolutely amazing. They’re set in Ireland, and the atmosphere of these is just mind-blowing. I also love the main characters, and how Juliet Marillier addresses some serious topics like rape and its after effects in a thought provoking way.



Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

Books: The Prisoner of Azkaban, The Goblet of Fire, The Order of The Phoenix, The Half-Blood Prince
How do I feel about it? No explanation necessary, I think. They feel like home.

I decided to re-read these because I needed to wash away the foul taste The Cursed Child left in my mouth. I mean, I always re-read at least one Harry Potter book every year. And this year, I had discovered HP fan fiction. I was all in the wolfstar (Remus/Sirius) feels thanks to fan fiction, when I decided to read The Cursed Child. It then made me so mad that I had to try and re-read all the books to wash away my anger and disappointment. Maybe I’ll re-read The Deathly Hallows during Christmas!



The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

the song of achilles

Book: The Song of Achilles
How do I feel about it? Still one of my all-time favorites, still crushed me emotionally

I read this one for the first time in the beginning of 2015, almost 3 years ago! I rave about this one all the time on my blog, so I decided I needed to re-read it to know whether I’d still love it just as much, 3 years later. And I do. This time I had my own hard copy, and used it to my advantage by tabbing all my favorite passages, quotes and moments. Needless to say, I used a lot of sticky tabs. 



Seven Realms by Cinda Williams Chima

the gray wolf throne

Book: The Gray Wolf Throne
How do I feel about it? Quite enjoyed it -but I do think it’s a filler book

This is a special case. I actually only started this series in 2017! I read book 1, 2 and 3 in the first half of the year and decided it was time to read the 4th and final one last month. Only problem? Because I had gotten so addicted to the books in the beginning and absolutely sped through them, I couldn’t remember many details from the third book. So I re-read it before continuing on to the final one. I actually read this one for the first time this year, and re-read it only a few months later!



Riyria Revelations by Michael J. Sullivan

theft of swords

Book: Theft of Swords
How do I feel about it? Currently re-reading, still enjoying it

Finally, my current re-read! I am re-reading Theft of Swords as I’m writing this. I discovered this series in the beginning of 2015 so again: almost 3 years ago! I absolutely adore Royce and Hadrian, the main characters of the series, and have recently read the fourth book in the Chronicles series (prequel series), The Disappearance of Winter’s Daughter. It reminded me of my love for these two, so I decided it was time for a re-read. I might finish this before 2017 ends and continue with the sequels, but I can’t predict that right now.


How do you feel about re-reading? Do you like it, or not? Have you re-read anything this year?

I personally really enjoy re-reading. I know I could spend that time discovering a new favorite instead. But there is just something so comforting about returning to a favorite place or characters! Sometimes, that’s exactly what I need.

November Reading Wrap Up

It’s time to talk about the 2 books I managed to read during the month of November. I actually read both of them this week, and they’re the first books I’ve managed to read in 2 months. I’m slowly getting my reading mojo back, I think. So let’s talk about the books!

The Gray Wolf Throne (Seven Realms #3) by Cinda Williams Chima // ★★★★ // I started getting my reading mojo back when my copy of the 4th book in this series arrived. I really wanted to read it and finish the series to find out what happens to my favorite characters. But I didn’t really remember all that much about book 3, even though I only read it in April. So I decided to re-read it. I now know that the reason I didn’t remember much is because not all that much happens in this one. It’s mostly a filler book, I think, to set up the story for the grand finale. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed it. 4 stars it is.

The Crimson Crown (Seven Realms #4) by Cinda Williams Chima // ★★★★★ // And then it was time to read the last book in the series. I LOVED THIS. I will say that if you’re not a fan of political intrigue and politics in fantasy, then you won’t enjoy this book. Politics and life at court is really the main focus of this book. Alliances are made and broken left and right, and it might have given me whiplash. But I really loved this book! I’m so glad I finished the series. Pat on the back for starting and finishing a series within the same calendar year, right?

That’s it. That’s all I read this month. It’s 2 books more than last month! I’m currently about halfway through The Disappearance of Winter’s Daughter (Riyria Chronicles #4) by Michael J. Sullivan. I received my early copy a while ago as a backer of his Kickstarter campaign, and I’m so glad to return to two of my favorite characters ever.

What did you read in November? Have you read the Seven Realms series?

Some of my favorite non-fiction reads

I’ve mentioned a few times now that I’m not really reading anything at the moment. I’m probably in the worst reading slump I have ever been in (it’s been about 3 months now) and it doesn’t look like it’s about to end. I’m especially sad about this because I really wanted to participate in Non Fiction November again. Since I can’t do that, I thought I’d just make a post and video on my favorite non fiction reads so far. 

Quiet by Susan Cain // This may well be my favorite non fiction book ever. Mostly because I read it at the time in my life when I needed it most. This book is about introverts, and how we can thrive in a western society that values extroverts. At university, I really struggled with balancing my health and what I wanted with my friends and what everyone else was doing. Reading this helped me understand what being an introvert is, and how that isn’t a bad thing or something to be ashamed of. 

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin // I received this book as a gift from Inge (thank you!) and I really enjoyed it. I do think that Gretchen Rubin is privileged, which is why she was able to do this whole year-long happiness project in the first place. But I really liked some of the things she said, like making an interest-list so you can keep track of every little thing that piques your interest (and look into it later without forgetting).

The Upside of Stress by Kelly McGonigal // I read this book because I listened to her Ted Talk (which I’d highly recommend you do as well). The idea that changing your mindset on stress could be beneficial for your body and mind is intriguing to me. 

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie // This is only 50 pages, which means that there’s no excuse not to read it. It’s such an important read!

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg // I like reading about things like habits! I’m always trying to improve my routines and habits, so I can lead a healthier life. This was a really interesting and easy read, that I’d highly recommend. 

The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui // This is a graphic memoir on Thi Bui and her family. It portrays her family’s journey from war-torn Vietnam to the United States. First of all, the artwork here is beautiful. And then there’s the story. I don’t really know much about Vietnam, so this memoir taught me a lot. There’s a lot of pain and hurt in this story, so be prepared for that when you pick it up.


I haven’t read that much non fiction, but these are some of my favorites so far. Have you read any of these? Which non fiction books are your faves? 

August Wrap Up

I only read 3 books in August… I think that’s the lowest amount I’ve read in a month in about 4 years? Yeah. Although I did read a lot of fan fiction! And some of those are like 60 to 90 chapters long. One of them was 91 chapters and 500 000+ words. I mean, that must count for something? Anyway, let’s talk about the books I actually managed to read.

Geekerella by Ashley Poston // 4 stars // I bought this at YALC, and felt like reading a fluffy contemporary in August. This was so much fun! I loved the twists on the classic Cinderella story -like the pumpkin actually being The Magic Pumpkin, a vegan food truck. I also enjoyed the discussion on whitewashing in Hollywood. 

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee // 5 stars // Definitely one of my favorite reads of 2017 now. I ADORED this book. If you want to read this as well, I’d highly recommend the audiobook. It really adds something to Monty’s voice.

The Hammer of Thor (Magnus Chase #2) by Rick Riordan // 4.5 stars // I’m slowly catching up with Rick Riordan’s latest books! Another one I actually listened to, and an audiobook I’d recommend too. It did take me a while to get used to the narrator though. Can I just say that I adore Alex?

Yup, that’s all I read in August. I know… Quantity-wise, not a great month. Quality-wise though, I’m very satisfied with my reading! I also managed to reach my Goodreads reading goal by finishing The Hammer of Thor. 


Have you read any of these books? Which books did you read in August?

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Reads of 2017 (so far)

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week I will make a list of 10 books, authors or other bookish things surrounding a certain topic.

 

Etched in Bone (The Others #5) by Anne Bishop // I don’t think this is a surprise to anyone who has been following my blog for a while. This series has been on my favorites list since I started my blog, and the latest installment is no different.

All the Rage by Courtney Summers // This book took me by surprise. I never expected to love it as much as I did, because I’m generally not much of a contemporary reader. But this book was so honest, brutal and angry that I couldn’t help but love it. It just sparked so many emotions in me. 

Assassin’s Quest (Farseer #3) by Robin Hobb // What an incredible end to the trilogy! It is by far my favorite of the three, and I honestly can’t wait to read more of her works. 

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli // THIS BOOK. I fell in love with this book. I know this is one of the few contemporaries I will actually want to re-read. I just felt like I could understand Molly so well, better than I ever have with a main character. I just hope to find my Reid too.

The Exiled Queen (Seven Realms #2) by Cinda Williams Chima // I’ve read the first 3 books in the series this year, but the second one is my favorite. Maybe because I love school settings in a fantasy book? Anyway, if you’re one of the people who also hasn’t started this series: please do. I started reading it in January and was hesitant because I was afraid it wouldn’t live up to the hype. It did though. It did. 

 

The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough // Another book that managed to surprise me. This is about Love and Death, who have been playing the Game for centuries. They both choose a player, and if they both fall in love and choose it above all other things in their lives, Love wins. If not, Death wins. Guess what happens then? This is set in Seattle during the Great Depression and the players are Henry (a white boy adopted by a wealthy family) and Flora (an African-American girl who sings in a jazz club but wants to be a pilot). 

Red Rising (Red Rising #1) by Pierce Brown // I’m late to the party here. Everyone has already read this -and its sequels- and I’ve only read it this year. But I really loved it. This is a science fiction story revolving around a revenge plot (basically). It’s epic. 

Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well by Meik Wiking // This book made me feel so cozy and warm. It featured everything I love, and I’m now convinced I need to move to Denmark.

The Dragons of Nova (Loom Saga #2) by Elise Kova // I would feature the first book here too, but I read that one in 2016. I love this epic fantasy series. I liked her Air Awakens books (I’ve read the first 2) but wasn’t really blown away by them. These though… I just flew through them!

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman // Another contemporary. I feel like this year, I’ve really expanded my reading in terms of genres. This book is amazing. It’s the story of Frances, a 17 or 18 year-old girl in the UK. It’s the first story of a girl in high school where I feel like I can actually recognize my high school experience. Plus, the diversity here is incredible. Frances is British-Ethiopian. Daniel (a side character) is Korean. There’s bisexual, gay, demi- and asexual rep. Honestly, it’s so so so good.


Those are my favorite reads of the year so far! I’m excited to see what the next half of 2017 brings, to be honest. Obviously, I didn’t include any re-reads in this. I’ve re-read The Others by Anne Bishop, Inheritance by Christopher Paolini, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling and Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier so far. I love them all but I don’t feel like it’s honest to include them here. What are your favorite reads of the year so far? Have you read any of the books I mentioned? I’d love to talk to you about them!