my favorite songs of 2019

You might remember that I usually include a music section in my monthly wrap ups, talking about the songs I listened to most or fell in love with during said month. Music is a huge part of my life. I honestly don’t know what I would do without my Spotify subscription… I listen to music constantly: when I get ready, when I commute to work, during work, while cooking, while working out… There’s an appropriate song or playlist for everything. So I figured I would share some of my favorite songs of 2019. The ones that had an impact on my year, and I can vividly remember listening to on repeat.

BTS – Dionysus

Let’s start with my most listened to song of 2019, shall we? I fell in love with this dynamic song from their latest album. It’s so energetic and gets me ready to take on the day. I find with BTS that it’s well worth listening to all the tracks on their album thoroughly, because I often find myself loving the other tracks more than the title track (not that I dislike Boy With Love, don’t worry).

A.C.E – Under Cover

The song that started my love for A.C.E. This song is so my style that I knew I would end up listening to it non-stop within the first few seconds. The combination of rock and hiphop is fantastic. Catch me listening to it on repeat in 2020 as well.

Taemin – Want

Listen, Taemin is the king of sexy songs. This came out in February 2019 and I still listen to it pretty much every day. It just doesn’t get boring! If you haven’t watched Taemin’s solo songs (which would surprise me), please do. You’re truly missing out.

Jonas Brothers – Sucker

It’s the return of the Jonas Brothers!! Need I say more? This video is so adorable as well, and it makes me happy to see how well these men have found their way in life. They are loved, happy, and making music together again. What more could a fan want?

BTS – Pied Piper

I know that this is not a 2019 release, yet I can’t leave it off the list. It’s another one of my most listened to songs of last year. I guess they did their job well, creating a song that you cannot resist ūüėČ


Listen, these women are incapable of creating bad songs. They are so talented, work so hard, and deliver at every point in time. I might have a crush on every single member. Especially Wheein.

Angèle РBalance Ton Quoi

Ang√®le is a queen. This is an incredible song, both in terms of the music itself and the lyrics. If you don’t speak French, please turn on the English CC! You can’t miss out on the meanings in this feminist anthem. I wish I could have gone to her concert, but it sold out immediately. Next time!

ONEWE – Regulus

Ever since their debut¬†Reminisce About All, I kept my eye out for this band. I adore bands, and I don’t know enough Korean ones. This song absolutely blew me away. It wasn’t what I expected whatsoever, yet it’s so good. I can’t wait for their next release, whenever that may be.

Stray Kids – Chronosaurus

Chronosaurus¬†might be my favorite Stray Kids song to date. It’s so hauntingly beautiful. I absolutely love this group. They are not afraid to experiment with their songs and albums, sometimes resulting in a song that seems chaotic at first until its brilliance hits you like a brick.

Seventeen – FEAR

A more recent release, but another favorite from SEVENTEEN. I can’t wait to see these guys perform in March! Their songs are always epic, their choreographies growing more impressive with every comeback. They have never let me down.

DAY6 – Time of Our Life

DAY6 is one of my all-time favorite bands. They are also incapable of creating a bad song. I saw them live last January, and will see them live again this January. Worth every single cent, it was one of the best concerts of my life. It may seem ridiculous to you but one of the reasons I love this upbeat song so much is that they all seem so happy while performing.

ONE OK ROCK – Stand Out Fit In

Lindsey actually introduced me to ONE OK ROCK in one of her monthly wrap ups. I always look at her wrap ups because a) she’s one of my favorite bloggers and b) our taste in music is so similar. I was blown away by Stand Out Fit In, and proceeded to listen to their entire album (Eye of the Storm) on repeat. I love literally every song on there, and according to Spotify it is one of my most played albums of the year.

I have so many other songs I could have included here, but I tried to narrow it down a number close to 10. It ended up being 12, which I’m quite happy with. I think I want to create some more music related posts this year, maybe my favorite bands, solo artists, female artists, groups, male artists, etc. Please let me know if you’d be interested in that! I want to create the posts, but would feel kind of sad if no one actually cares.¬†

Which songs made your 2019? 

favorite book releases of the past 10 years | #toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly post hosted by¬†That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is our favorite books of the past 10 years. As in, a book per year. I thought this was such a fun topic! I did decide to not pick multiple books in a series if I could avoid it, because otherwise this list might just consist of 2 series. Let’s get into it!

To clarify, these are ordered by the year they were published in not the year I read them in.


2010 – The Way of Kings (Stormlight Archive #1) by Brandon Sanderson
I only managed to read¬†The Way of Kings¬†in 2018, but I was blown away by it. To be honest, I don’t know how to describe this book to people who haven’t read it. It’s an epic fantasy novel everyone should read. I feel like this is a novel you shouldn’t know much about before starting it, so you can discover the world, history, and characters for yourself.

2011 – The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Who is surprised I picked The Song of Achilles? Absolutely no one. This is one of my all-time favorite novels, and I will never stop singing its praises.

2012 – The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater
Although it’s been a while since I’ve read¬†The Raven Boys, I feel like it still deserves a spot on this list. I’m usually not very into the magical realism genre or paranormal stories and this series definitely has that vibe. However, I found myself growing attached to the characters pretty quickly, and falling in love with the atmosphere of the novel.

2013 – Written in Red (The Others #1) by Anne Bishop
I haven’t picked up the spin-off/continuation of this series yet, but¬†The Others¬†has been on my favorite reads of the year lists for ages. I think I’ve read¬†Written in Red¬†at least 5 times by now.

2014 – Red Rising (Red Rising #1) by Pierce Brown
Red Rising¬†was the first dystopian novel I fell in love with in a while.¬†It’s quite a brutal story, and the main character is definitely not very likeable, but that’s why I enjoyed reading it so much.


2015 – The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
Who cried their eyes out while reading this? That’s right, I did. I’ve recommended this book to three of my family members and 2 of my friends already, and I’ll keep doing so until everyone I know is sick and tired of hearing me go on about it.

2016 – Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
Radio Silence¬†was the first Alice Oseman book I ever read, and it’s still my favorite of her works today. It’s quietly brilliant, and I found it so relatable (despite not having that much in common with any of the main characters). If there was ever a YA contemporary novel to read, it’s this one.

2017 – If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio
I never thought I’d find another novel like¬†The Secret History¬†that I could love just as much. They both have similar themes which is the reason I picked up¬†If We Were Villains¬†at my local library. I’m happy to say that I love both pretty equally. This story revolves around Oliver, who is being released from jail after 10 years for a murder he may or may not have committed.

2018 – Grey Sister (Book of the Ancestor #2) by Mark Lawrence
I’ve been raving about this trilogy ever since I read¬†Red Sister¬†in January 2018. I was scared the sequel wouldn’t live up to the epicness of the first book, but I needn’t have worried. I ended up adoring the second book even more, even if I didn’t deem it possible.

2019 –¬†The Shadowglass (The Bone Witch #3) by Rin Chupeco
I know it’s pretty early on in the year and I can’t truly pick my favorite 2019 release yet. However, I’m certain that no matter how many new releases I pick up this year,¬†The Shadowglass¬†will remain in my top 3 favorites. I’ve been in love with these novels since I received an e-ARC of the first book in 2016, and I can’t believe it has come to an end. Did I shed a few tears at the end? Yes, I did.

Those are some of my favorite books arranged by publication year! What are some of your favorite books? Did you also have a hard time picking only one book a year?

books I keep pushing everyone to read (are these books my brand?)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly post hosted by¬†That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is actually “books I refuse to let anyone touch”, but I don’t really have any books like that. Are there books I would only lend out with specific instructions to take care of them? Of course. That really only goes for my illustrated editions of Harry Potter, though.

Instead, I thought I would talk about the books I keep mentioning over and over again on this blog. Ones that have been on countless recommendations lists. I saw this video go around on BookTube where people were talking about the books that are their “brand”, which are really the books everyone associates with those specific vloggers. It seemed like a fun video, so why not create a blog post around it? Let’s get into the books!

Let me know whether you predicted any of these books to actually be on my list! I would love to know whether this is all in my head or not.

Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor #1) by Mark Lawrence
Ever since I read this book at the start of 2018, I’ve been pushing it onto everyone here. I’ve mentioned it countless times, because I still feel like not enough people have read it. It’s a character-driven story that is action-packed at the same time, and follows a girl called Nona who is training to become a Red Sister – a nun of battle, basically. Also, 98% of the characters in this book are female. YES.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt
While¬†The Secret History¬†is an incredibly popular novel in general, I feel like I don’t see it mentioned that often in the bookish community. Maybe I’m simply not following the people who also adore this book? Either way, everyone should read it. I know it may seem like an intimidating and somewhat snobbish read, but I promise you it’s worth it. Instead of the classic whodunnit, this novel is more of a whydunnit.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
This is one of the only books on my shelves I’ve actually lent out to people “in real life”. I hate saying in real life, but I don’t know how else to convey what I mean. I’ve lent it out to family and friends, and recommended the translated novel to those in my life who don’t read in English. Everyone I have recommended it to has loved it so far, which says something, right? It’s a WWII historical fiction novel about two French sisters during the German occupation of France.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
I’m sure the majority of you are sick and tired of seeing me mention¬†The Song of Achilles. Guess what? I couldn’t care less. I’m going to keep talking about it until everyone has read it. It’s a retelling of the Iliad through the eyes of Patroclus, Achilles’ best friend and partner.

I Hear the Sunspot volume 1 by Yuki Fumino
I Hear the Sunspot¬†is a very recent addition to this list, because I only read it two months ago. The reason I’m adding it to this list is because I know I’ll keep recommending this manga for years to come. It’s absolutely wonderful. I became obsessed with it immediately, and binge-read the three English volumes available at the moment – as well as the unofficial translation of the next issues out so far. I NEED MORE INFORMATION ON WHEN THE NEXT ONES WILL BE RELEASED. This manga follows two guys at university. One of them offers to take notes for the other, who is hearing impaired, in exchange for lunch. They quickly develop a friendship, and more…

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
Once again, I’ve talked about this book so often. Duh, Jolien, that’s what this entire list is about… To this day,¬†Radio Silence¬†is one of my favorite YA contemporary reads. It’s quietly brilliant. It has a biracial, bisexual main character who creates fanart for her favorite podcast and becomes friends with the podcasts’ creator, Aled. There is no romance between them whatsoever, which is refreshing.

Theft of Swords (Riyria Revelations #1-2) by Michael J. Sullivan
I feel like I haven’t talked about these books in a while, even though that’s probably a lie. Michael J. Sullivan is one of my favorite fantasy authors so far, ever since I read¬†Theft of Swords¬†in 2015. This series has all the fantasy tropes I love, and I’ve become so attached to the two main characters.

Written in Red (The Others #1) by Anne Bishop
How many times have I read¬†Written in Red¬†since first picking it up in 2013? I’ve marked it as read 4 times on Goodreads, but I know I’ve done re-reads of it without adding it to Goodreads. This urban fantasy series is absolutely fantastic. It has a large cast of characters, but the author manages to make you feel attached to every single one of them. There really aren’t any characters I don’t have any feelings on. Either I love them, hate them, want to protect them, want to kill them, or want to be them.

The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastards #1) by Scott Lynch
Once again, I feel like I don’t need to explain why¬†The Lies of Locke Lamora¬†is on this list. I have been in love with this series for years, and am (im)patiently waiting for the next book to be released. It’s about the Gentleman Bastards, who rob both rich people and other robbers. It’s magnificent.

The Bone Witch (The Bone Witch #1) by Rin Chupeco
I feel like I haven’t screamed about this series enough, to be honest. I absolutely adore it, yet I never even reviewed the second book? I recently read the last book in the trilogy, and will be reviewing it soon. It’s Asian-inspired YA fantasy, and reminds of of¬†The Name of the Wind.¬†It’s told in two timelines: one in which the main character discovers she’s a bone witch (Dark asha), and one in which she has been exiled from the kingdom and is raising an army of dead monsters to proclaim war.

Did you guess these correctly? Are there any books you feel I shouldn’t have put on this list, or ones that I should’ve added instead? Let me know! I find the idea of a “brand” as a book blogger quite interesting, because I want to know which books you all associate with me. Which books are your “brand”?¬† I’d love to hear about it!

My favorite audiobooks | #TopTenTuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly post hosted by¬†That Artsy Reader Girl. This week, I’m talking about audiobooks! I go through phases throughout the year. There are months in which I listen to quite a few audiobooks, and there are months I don’t listen to any.

I do believe that audiobooks are such a gift to readers all over the world for so many reasons. If English is not your first language, it can help you with pronunciation. Or if you’re learning a different language, it can improve your fluency, vocabulary and pronunciation. If you are always on-the-go and busy, audiobooks allow you to read while doing tasks such as cleaning, cooking, driving, working out, and more. That’s why I love them as well, multitasking. If you have a learning disorder like dyslexia, or have difficulty reading in physical format for any reason whatsoever, audiobooks allow you to consume the stories in a way that works for you. Don’t come at me with the opinion that listening to an audiobook is not reading, because that’s ableist and ridiculous.

Here are some of the audiobooks I’ve listened to in the past few years and would recommend to every single person in the world.

Binti (Binti #1) by Nnedi Okorafor
I listened to this novella as an audiobook at the start of 2019, and absolutely loved it. If you aren’t used to listening to audiobooks, I would highly recommend starting with¬†Binti. As it’s a novella, it only takes about 2.5 hours to listen to it – if you don’t change the reading pace. Robin Miles does a fantastic job bringing the story to life, and I’d like to listen to more of her narrations.

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
A novel told in verse, on my recommendations list? Who would’ve thought. I don’t read much poetry or novels in verse because I tend to have difficulty connecting with the writing style. I’m not used to it, and it hinders the reading experience for me. That’s why I decided to listen to this instead of reading it myself. Jason Reynolds narrates it himself, which is truly a perfect choice. After all, he knows best where to put the emphasis and where to pause. I think that listening to this book made it much more of an emotional read for me, and led to it having a bigger impact than it would’ve otherwise.

Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians #1) by Kevin Kwan
I listened to this audiobook while I was traveling last year. I find that audiobooks are perfect for traveling for me, because I tend to take trips on my own. If you think I should make a post on why I love solo travel so much, let me know! I could read this book while exploring a new city, and it was perfect. I know this book has some problems, but I had such a good time listening to it! It made me laugh out loud several times, and always managed to put me in a good mood.

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman
I’m going to be honest, I didn’t think this would work as an audiobook. This science fiction novel is told through different formats such as interviews, surveillance footage, official reports, and so on. How would that translate into audio? Wouldn’t you miss out on the true experience? I’m happy to say that the audiobook is an incredible way to consume this story. It was so immersive and captivating! It’s a full cast production, so if you’re worried about 1 person narrating different characters, this might be the way to go for you.

The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard #1) by Scott Lynch
I’ve always been worried about listening to fantasy novels on audio. When reading a fantasy novel, it’s very important to have a good grasp on the world, history and magic to understand the book. I thought that listening to the audiobook would hinder the way I absorb that information.¬†The Gentleman Bastard¬†series was one of the first fantasy series I ever listened to on audio, and it was a fantastic experience. I definitely want to listen to more books narrated by Michael Page.

The Crown Tower (Riyria Chronicles #1) by Michael J. Sullivan
If you’ve been reading my blog posts for a while, you’ll know how much I love this series and world. While I read the¬†Riyria Revelations¬†in paperback version, I listened to the audiobooks of the prequel series. Narrated by Tim Gerard Reynolds, this series chronicles the start of Riyria – when Hadrian and Royce first meet.

White Cat (Curse Workers #1) by Holly Black
I listened to this entire trilogy on audio, and I think that’s one of the main reasons I loved it so much. They are narrated by Jesse Eisenberg which has lead to me forever associating Cassel with Jesse. He has a very specific way of talking, and thus narrating, but it really worked for me. I remember listening to one of the books in the trilogy while on a trip to Dublin in 2016! The fun thing about listening to audiobooks while traveling is that I’ll always associate those books with wandering the streets of a certain place.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
I’m 100% sure I wouldn’t have loved this book as much as I did if I had read the physical copy instead of listening to it. The narrator brings Monty to life, and makes the dialogue, banter and sarcasm even better. If you haven’t read this book, I would highly recommend listening to it! It made me laugh, smile, and even snort at times. 10/10, would listen to again.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Another book I listened to while traveling last year. You see a trend here? I really should have read this book in 2017,¬† but I didn’t. I found it quite intimidating since so many people loved it and kept praising it. The audiobook seemed more accessible to me for some reason, and I didn’t feel as intimidated when listening to it. Now I’m convinced the audiobook is the best way to read this book.

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Clearly, I couldn’t make this list without including Harry Potter. As for the audiobook, I highly recommend the ones narrated by Stephen Fry. I know everyone talks about the Jim Dale narration, but Stephen Fry is honestly the best narrator of Harry Potter.

Listening to more audiobooks is definitely something I want to do in 2019! I listened to more than before in 2018 too, but there’s always room for improvement. In a lot of these cases, listening to the book truly added to my reading experience and I don’t want to miss out on that in the future. Have you listened to any of these books? What are your favorite audiobooks? Who are your favorite narrators?

Books I loved with fewer than 2000 Goodreads ratings | #TopTenTuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly post hosted by¬†That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is underrated favorites! I’m talking about some of my favorite books that have fewer than 2000 ratings on Goodreads. To be honest, I’m curious to see which books I’ve read will end up having fewer than 2000 ratings.

Okay, after going through my Goodreads shelf I realized that I’ve only read¬†and loved a few books with fewer than 2000 ratings. I don’t want to add books to this list that I simply thought were okay, or didn’t like at all, or can’t be read by the majority of you. For example, some of the books I’ve read and loved in this category are only published in Dutch, which I assume most of you don’t speak. So I’ve decided to talk about 6 books I would recommend, and 4 I want to read.

Disclaimer: these have less than 2000 ratings on January 23rd, which is when I’m writing this post.¬†



Ever Falling Star by Sungju Lee & Susan McClelland
I can’t believe this book has fewer than 2000 Goodreads ratings!¬†Every Falling Star¬†was one of my favorite books of 2018. This is a nonfiction book targeted at younger readers (young adult). In it, the author talks about growing up in North Korea, having to steal and beg to survive, and his eventual escape from the country. The way the authors tell¬†Sungju Lee’s story makes it seem like a YA fiction novel at times, and I had to keep reminding myself this actually happened to him. Please read this!

Running With Lions by Julian Winters
Another one I’m sad to see on this list. I also read this book in 2018, and fell in love with it. It follows Sebastian as he goes to yearly summer football camp with his team. The new addition to the team just so happens to be Emir, his estranged childhood best friend. His feelings for Emir might also not be entirely platonic. It was adorable, it was cute, and it was lovely. I need more people to read this!

The Melody of You and Me by M. Hollis
I feel like everyone should have read this already because this book is so short. I saw it on Riley Marie’s channel, and she made it sound really good. It’s about a girl called Chris, who recently dropped out of university and broke up with her girlfriend of 3 years. One day, a new girl starts working at the same bookstore Chris is an employee, and they connect instantly. It’s so adorable, everyone! Plus, it talks about creating an environment of people who support you, chasing your dreams, not knowing where your career is going when you’re in your twenties, and more. Best of all, thank you for writing a sex positive novel!

A Girl Like Her (Ravenswood #1) by Talia Hibbert
Thank you Destiny for talking about this book and making me want to pick it up. This is now one of my favorite adult romance novels, and I will keep singing its praises until everyone reads it too. It’s an #ownvoices book that follows a black, plus size, autistic woman who creates webcomics and an ex-military metalsmith. Hell yes.

A Shiver of Snow and Sky by Lisa Lueddecke
A Shiver of Snow and Sky¬†is a polar fantasy novel wherein the Goddess communicates with the people of Skane through lights that appear in the sky on clear nights. Green means all is well, blue is a warning for a snowstorm to come, and red… Red is a warning. This is such an atmospheric standalone, and I wish more people would read it! I found it in a secondhand bookstore last year and couldn’t be more grateful.

Solve for i by A.E. Dooland 
I bought a Kindle copy of¬†Solve for i¬†at random, because I don’t believe I’ve ever heard anyone talk about it before. It’s a adult contemporary novel that follows Gemma (28) who is starting to realize her feelings for her best friend, Sarah, aren’t very platonic. Only problem? Sarah is very straight, in a happy relationship, and pregnant. While I did think that the friendship between these two women was too co-dependent at the start, I think the author gave these characters enough room for growth. I immensely enjoyed the second half of the book, and will read her others for sure.



Down Station by Simon Morden
I bought this at YALC 2018, mostly because of the cover. Isn’t it absolutely beautiful? All I know about this story is that it follows commuters who happen to be in the underground when the apocalypse takes place, and end up going through a tunnel into a different world.

Death Notice by Zhou Haohui
In my pursuit to read more translated novels, I’ve added this mystery/thriller to my to-read list.¬†Death Notice¬†was originally written in Chinese, and follows a police squad hunting a criminal mastermind out to publicly execute criminals. Sounds epic to me.

Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani
Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree¬†follows one girl kidnapped by Boko Haram. It is a fiction novel, but is based on a true event. If you’re somehow unaware, in 2014 Boko Haram kidnapped 276 school girls. Today, around 110 of those girls are still missing. I still can’t understand why there is almost no talk of these kidnappings in Europe/America. Maybe it’s because so far Boko Haram hasn’t done anything to us specifically? Does it have to come to our doorstep for us to interfere? Anyway, this is a fiction novel following one of the kidnapped girls.

Astra: Lost in Space Vol. 1 by Kenta Shinohara
I have heard so many great things about¬†Astra: Lost in Space! One of my aspirations for 2019 is to read more manga, since I’ve really enjoyed the few I read last year. This series is high on my to-buy list, and has so few ratings on Goodreads! Although people who primarily read manga probably use a different website to track their reading.

There you have it, 10 books with fewer than 2000 ratings on Goodreads! It was so interesting to go through my shelves and look at the number of ratings certain books have. I was quite surprised by some of these picks, to be honest. Tell me, have you read any of these books? Which of the 4 on my to-read list should I prioritize? Which books with fewer than 2000 ratings do you love?

My favorite bookish couples | #TopTenTuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly post hosted by¬†That Artsy Reader Girl. Today, in honor of Valentine’s day, we’re talking about our favorite bookish couples! As the prompt states ‘couples in books’ I will only talk about the canon ships. In the past few years, it’s happened more often that I prefer the non-canon part of the love triangle to the eventually canon one. Anyone else suffer through the same? Anyway, here are some of my favorite canon ships.

Disclaimer: I guess you could see some of these as spoilers for these books. If you’d rather not know anything about these relationships, make sure to skip over the text after you spot the cover!

Ruth and Evan – A Girl Like Her (Ravenswood #1) by Talia Hibbert
Watch me scream about this book some more… I read it in January and absolutely loved it. It’s one of the best new adult/adult romance novels I’ve read in a long time. Ruth and Evan are the dream. I love how they appreciate each other’s interests, how much respect there is in the relationship, how they care for one another in their own way… I just loved it.

Sebastian and Emir – Running With Lions by Julian Winters
If you’ve been around my blog for a while, you might know how much I love¬†Running With Lions¬†already. It’s an adorable YA contemporary set at a summer football camp. Sports camp + LGBTQIA+ relationships + body positivity talk = this book. Please read this! If you need more (coherent) convincing, you can find my review on the book here.

Sister Apple and Sister Kettle – Book of the Ancestor series by Mark Lawrence
I know that Sister Apple and Sister Kettle aren’t the main characters of these books, but I honestly wish we would get some additional novels focused on them. I would buy them immediately! One of the things I like most about them is that they’re in a healthy, established relationship already. They’ve been together for years, and it’s clear how much they adore one another. Especially in¬†Grey Sister, the second book of the trilogy.

Jesper and Wylan – Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo
I find it hard to choose a favorite couple from this duology. If I’m being completely honest with myself, I know that Jesper and Wylan just have a special place in my heart. If I could protect them from all the horrible things in this world, I absolutely would. I’m fairly certain I don’t need to explain this choice further, because they’ll be on everyone’s list.

Meg and Simon – Etched in Bone (The Others #5) by Anne Bishop
Talk about a slow-burn romance… It takes them 5 books to get to this place – which I don’t consider a spoiler because we all knew where they would end up. On the one hand, I wanted it to happen earlier so we’d get more scenes of them actually being together, but on the other hand I feel like this was the only way to go for these characters. Considering Meg’s traumatic past and Simon’s lack of knowledge about humans, they needed to take this relationship slowly in order for everyone to be comfortable and happy with it.

Hugh and Sorcha – Daughter of the Forest (Sevenwaters #1) by Juliet Marillier
I’ve read this book multiple times now, and fell in love with it more every single time. What’s interesting about their story is that Sorcha can’t speak or utter a single sound for years if she wants to save her brothers. The entirety of their friendship and relationship is built on sign language, body language, and so on.

Patroclus and Achilles – The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
I know you’re all rolling your eyes at me right now, because I’ve mentioned this book so often now. I don’t care. There are still so many of you who haven’t read¬†The Song of Achilles,¬†and I won’t stop until that’s fixed.

Astrid and Charlie – Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
At the start of the series, Astrid and Charlie don’t really talk. They were together for years, until Astrid’s family intervened because they didn’t think Charlie was good enough for her (read: rich and classy enough). Watching their friendship develop again, and knowing how much Charlie cares for her made me root for these two so hard. It also helps that I absolutely despise Michael – Astrid’s husband.

Percy and Monty – The Gentleman’s Guide of Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
This is another couple I feel will be on everyone’s lists, and doesn’t need an explanation. I just love them so much, and want to read more about their lives after the end of this novel.

Chris and Josie – The Melody of You and Me (Lillac Town #1) by M. Hollis
I always feel a tad hesitant recommending this because it’s so short – it’s 144 pages. However, it’s such an adorable new adult f/f romance! I want more people to read it, so I’ll do my very best promoting it. It has a pansexual main character and a Filipina lesbian love interest. It’s also sex positive, which I’m so grateful for.

There you have it, 10 of my favorite canon couples! Have you read any of these books? How do you feel about these relationships? Let me know what your favorite bookish couples are, so I can add even more novels to my to-read list…

2018 ranked | songs I’ve played on repeat part 2

Last week, I posted my first ‘songs I’ve played on repeat’ post featuring some of my most listened to K-pop songs of 2018. I realized it best to split the posts up when I tried to write down all the songs I feel deserve a place in this ‘2018 ranked’ post. I listen to music all the time, so I didn’t think it fair to only choose 10 songs in total. While I talked solely about K-pop last week, I’ll talk about music from other countries today.

Here are some more songs I kept playing last year! These weren’t all released in 2018, I just listened to them last year.¬†Thank the universe I live alone so I don’t have to annoy anyone else by constantly listening to the same songs.¬†

Moulin Rouge – El Tango de Roxanne

I don’t know why I suddenly became obsessed with this song in 2018, since I didn’t even rewatch the movie. This song is just so epic, and I could listen to it again and again. Especially the part where everyone is screaming at the end and it’s just one powerful battle in your ears.


I know everyone got sick and tired of listening to Havana, but Pentatonix released their cover of the song in February 2018 and I absolutely adore it. I always love their songs because their harmonies are truly out of this world, but this one has stuck with me throughout the entire year.

BL√ėF ft. Geike Arnaert – Zoutelande

I know this song was released at the end of 2017, but even in 2018 you couldn’t go anywhere in Belgium without hearing this song on the radio. It grew on me, and I still listen to it every now and then. I also heard Zoutelande has seen quite the increase in tourism after the release of this song!

The Weeknd – Call Out My Name

Another artist who can do no wrong in terms of music, in my opinion. I don’t even know what to say at this point, because I’m sure absolutely everyone has heard this song before. If you haven’t, how is that possible?

Avicii – Feeling Good

This song was used in an episode of Sense8, and I had to look it up immediately so I could add it to my playlist. It’s an incredible cover of Nina Simone’s song¬†Feeling Good, and the way they blended the song with the show itself was mind-blowing.

Arctic Monkeys – Do I Wanna Know?

A song that’s 5 or 6 years old this time around! I don’t know why I suddenly started listening to¬†Do I Wanna Know?¬†again, but it happened.

Lady Gaga – Always Remember Us This Way

You knew I’d have a song from¬†A Star is Born¬†on this list, didn’t you? I watched this movie last year, and this song truly touched me. To me, it was the second most memorable song of the entire movie. Although a lot of people preferred¬†Shallow,¬†I thought¬†Always Remember Us This Way¬†was the right song to add to my playlist.

Lovers in the night
Poets trying to write
We don’t know how to rhyme
But, damn, we try
But all I really know
You’re where I wanna go
The part of me that’s you will never die

Matt Bloyd and Colton Haynes – A Million Dreams

Another song from a musical, I’m well aware. I actually prefer this cover by Matt Bloyd and Colton Haynes to the original. If you didn’t know,¬†A Million Dreams¬†originally comes from the movie The Greatest Showman, which I’d highly recommend watching if you haven’t done so already.

The Oh Hellos – Hello My Old Heart

I came across this song in a Spotify playlist with music ideal for calming baths –¬†I can’t remember the actual title, sorry. I think this song is quite ‘old’ already since this video was posted in 2011 but I had never heard it before. It’s absolutely beautiful though.

Ariana Grande – God Is a Woman

Could I really make a list without adding Ariana Grande to it? While I’d say her song¬†thank u, next¬†was even more popular than this one, I’m quite partial to¬†God is a woman.

There you have it! An additional few songs I kept on playing in 2018. It’s a mix of old and new songs, which I’m really happy with. Have you heard these songs before? Which are your most played songs of the year?

2018 ranked | songs I’ve played on repeat – K-pop edition

Obviously, this edition of ‘ranked 2018’ will be a bit different. I can’t post all the music I listened to in 2018 from my least favorite to favorite because the post would be endless. Just the thought of doing that gives me nightmares… Instead, I’ll talk about some of my favorite songs of the year! The ones I’ve played over and over again, and don’t seem to get sick of.

Not all of these songs were released in 2018, I just happened to listen to them during said year. I also didn’t rank them, so I guess this is an unranked episode of ranked.

When I started compiling this list, I realized just how many songs I’ve truly loved this year and knew I had to split this up in several posts… This is part 1: the K-pop edition.

NCT U – Baby Don’t Stop

The long-awaited comeback of Ten.¬†Baby Don’t Stop¬†and¬†Boss¬†are the songs that truly got me into NCT’s music. I wasn’t a huge fan of their previous songs, aside from Cherry Bomb, but this one absolutely blew me away. Ten and Taeyong’s chemistry is through the roof, they work so well together. This song came out in February 2018 and I’ve been listening to it ever since.


Like I mentioned earlier,¬†Boss¬†is one of the songs that actually introduced me to NCT. I’d heard of them before, but didn’t listen to them much. I knew from the first second of this video that this song would be more my style, and I wasn’t wrong. I finally learned the members’ names after¬†Boss, and that’s when I fell into the black hole that’s called being a fan of this group.

EXO – Electric Kiss

I know that this is technically a Japanese release and album, but EXO is still a Korean group so I’m putting it in the K-pop category. I feel like so many people skip over¬†Electric Kiss¬†because it wasn’t a full MV/a Korean release but I absolutely love this song. It’s one of my favorites from EXO, to be honest. Plus, the dance practice is so satisfying to watch.

EXO – Love Shot

The comeback we’d been waiting for. I know they came back with Tempo after a year (more than a year?) and I do love that song as well. However, it’s not as catchy as¬†Love Shot.¬†This song got stuck in my head constantly after its release in December.¬†Sidenote: can we appreciate how good everyone looks in this MV? But especially Kyungsoo. There, I said it.

Stray Kids – District 9

2018 was truly the year of Stray Kids. This group is so talented and hardworking, I can’t believe they only debuted last year. They’ve created some of my favorite songs, and the messages they put out to the world are wonderful.¬†District 9¬†is a song that always manages to hype me up.

Stray Kids – Voices

Like I said before, the messages Stray Kids put out in the world through their songs are fantastic. If you haven’t listened to their music yet, please give this song a try. Don’t forget to turn on CC to read the English subtitles!

MONSTA X – Destroyer

In June 2018, I was lucky enough to see Monsta X in concert in Amsterdam. I can’t give you an MV of¬†Destroyer¬†because it wasn’t a title track and therefore doesn’t have one. However, this is one of my all-time favorite Monsta X songs. Partially influenced by I.M, since his rap verse in¬†Destroyer¬†is my favorite.

MONSTA X – Tropical Night

I wasn’t really aware of this song’s existence before going to the concert in June. When they performed it, however, the atmosphere and vibe the song created was so incredibly nice. I’ve been listening to it ever since, and it always puts me in a good mood.

DAY6 – I Need Somebody

If I had to choose 2 DAY6 songs to listen to for the rest of my life,¬†I Need Somebody¬†would be one of them. This song gets me every time. It never fails to make me emotional. It honestly feels like I’m listening to it for the first time every single time. Besides, the lyrics are so relateable.

DAY6 – I Like You

Before you ask, yes, this would be my second pick.¬†I Like You¬†was the song that made me a fan of DAY6. I’ve listened to it hundreds of times, and I’ll continue to do so for years. It’s just SO BEAUTIFUL.

DAY6 – Shoot Me

And finally, a 2018 DAY6 release.¬†Shoot Me¬†is once again very different than their previous songs. I feel like DAY6 changes the style and genre of their songs with every comeback, yet they never fail to sound like a ‘DAY6’ song either. They haven’t had a single comeback I didn’t love. I’m fairly certain they’re incapable of making bad songs.

iKON – Killing Me

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to¬†Killing Me. I know that¬†Love Scenario¬†is their most popular song, but I don’t love it that much.¬†Killing Me¬†is more my style. If you haven’t listened to iKon’s music before, maybe give this one a go!¬†Also, B.I looks so good in this MV. He truly is killing me.

Mamamoo – Egotistic

MAMAMOO is probably my favorite girl group at the moment. Their songs are catchy and beautiful, their harmonies incredible, and the amount of talent these women have is out of this world. Egotistic is one of my favorite songs from MAMAMOO, and I listened to it countless times in 2018.¬†Can’t forget to mention how insanely gorgeous they all are. Girl crush right here.

ASTRO – Always You

Always You¬†was quite a different release for ASTRO. The group tends to focus on more of a ‘cute vibe’ which is evident in their songs¬†Baby¬†and¬†Crazy, Sexy, Cool. Their previous releases had been upbeat and adorable.¬†Always You¬†has a more serious tone, as it’s a message from the group to their fans. Thank you for waiting for us, I’m sorry we couldn’t be back earlier.¬†Due to the problems the management of their company, Fantagio, had faced.

Chanyeol x Sehun – We Young

MORE EXO! Well, part of EXO… Chanyeol and Sehun came out with their own song last year, and I was here for it. This song is upbeat and fun, which is exactly what I needed. Don’t sleep on this release, everyone!


K-pop and Latin music combined their powers in Super Junior and Reik’s¬†Otra Vez. Super Junior has been around for quite a long time, and here’s the reason why. They still make fantastic music!

ATEEZ – Pirate King

Rookies on the list! ATEEZ debuted in late 2018 with the songs¬†Pirate King¬†and¬†Treasure. I absolutely love both debut songs, but I listened to¬†Pirate King¬†a tad more often. These guys are so talented, and I can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store for them.¬†P.S. they’ve already released a new song Say My Name which is fantastic too. 2019 is clearly going to be their year.

Sunmi – Siren

Is Sunmi the only solo artist on this list? Well, she deserves a spot of her own because this woman is fierce. Gashina might be her most famous release but I adore Siren too. She came out with this song in September 2018, and it has been playing on repeat in my head ever since.

Big Bang – BAE BAE

Bae Bae¬†might be the oldest song on this list, but I couldn’t not include it. Every K-pop fan has heard of Big Bang, the ‘Kings of K-pop’. While I was familiar with them and knew some of their songs, I’m ashamed to admit I didn’t know all that much about them. I started listening to¬†Bae Bae¬†after going to The Rose’s concert in Berlin where they performed a cover of this song. It has such a good vibe!¬†Never mind this weird af music video though. I’ll definitely rectify my past mistakes and learn more about Big Bang in 2019.

Obviously, I listened to a lot more K-pop songs than only these but I think it’s safe to say my 2018 was shaped by these songs. I’ll make a part 2 of this list soon where I’ll talk about the other music (thus not K-pop) I listened to in the past year. Have you listened to any of these songs? Who’s your favorite artist? Let’s talk about it!


Hidden Gems | #TopTenTuesday

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

Running With Lions by Julian Winters // I read this in July, and fell in love with it. It’s a YA sports romance with an m/m relationship. It’s such an adorable romance, and I loved the topics this book addressed like struggling with your body image as a guy.

Every Falling Star by Sungju Lee // Non-fiction in general is a bit underrated in the bookish community, in my opinion. This is a very easy read though, and I finished it in mere hours. It’s the story of Sungju Lee as he tries to survive life in North-Korea. The majority of the story follows him as a young boy (from 10 to 16) and it leads up to his escape from the country.

Nice Dragons Finish Last (Heartstrikers #1) by Rachel Aaron // I’ve been talking about this series for ages, and I will continue to do so for ages. It’s a fantastic urban fantasy story about a dragon who is just too nice.

Daughter of the Forest (Sevenwaters #1) by Juliet Marillier // This isn’t an extremely underrated series in the world, but it is in the online bookish community. In my opinion, more people should be talking about Juliet Marillier and her works. This one is one of my absolute favorites so far.

Congress of Secrets by Stephanie Burgess // Another severely underrated one! This is a YA historical fiction with fantasy elements woven through set during the Congress of Vienna. Fascinating, right?

The Melody of You and Me by M. Hollis // Such a cute romance! It’s a very short book though. It’s a great f/f relationship with a pansexual main character and a Filipino, lesbian love interest. It’s so cute. Go read this if you want to feel all the feels.

The Moon in the Palace (Empress of Bright Moon #1) by Weina Dai Randel // Another historical fiction novel I never see anyone talk about! I haven’t read the second book yet, but I’m definitely planning on it and have actually already bought a Kindle copy of it. This is set in China during the 7th century (I believe…) and it follows Mei, a girl who becomes one of the concubines of Emperor Taizong.

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio // If you liked The Secret History by Donna Tartt, you should pick this one up. Or if you want to read The Secret History but feel intimidated by it, this one is perfect! It has a similar vibe or theme because it centers around a group of university kids who study theater (Shakespeare, in particular). One of them is dead, and one of them has served 10 years in prison for it.

Cinder & Ella by Kelly Oram // What a beautiful Cinderella retelling with disability representation. Yes, disability rep. That alone should be enough for you to pick this up.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee // Another historical fiction! I’m sensing a theme here… This novel follows 4 generations of the same family during 8 decades. It starts in 1911 in Yeongdo, Korea and chronicles the family’s journey through Korea and Japan. This was such an emotional read because the family goes through so much trauma. But it was worth every second of heartbreak.

Have you read any of my favorite hidden gems?
What are your favorite underrated books?

Favorite Short Novels | Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly post hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Today’s topic was actually favorite short stories or novellas, but I don’t really read many of those. Instead, I decided to talk about my favorite novels that are really short.


The Melody of You and Me by M. Hollis // 144 pages // This is a very short contemporary novel but it’s so beautiful and precious and I need you to read it. This is about a woman named Chris who works in a bookstore after dropping out of university and breaking up with her girlfriend. She gets a new co-worker called Josie, and a really cute romance starts. It’s such an adorable story with a pansexual main character and a lesbian Filipino love interest!

Sunbolt (Sunbolt Chronicles #1) by Intisar Khanani // 152 pages // I have to admit that I wish this were longer. That’s why I’m so grateful the sequel is much longer than the first book. It’s a fantasy series which in my opinion usually need a bit more pages to set up the world and story line. It’s about a girl called Hitomi who helps the Shadow League smuggle a leading political family out of the city/country when they have angered the Arch Mage Blackflame. Instead, she gets caught.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl // 176 pages // I don’t really need to explain what this is about, do I? It’s been a while since I’ve read this book but I still remember how much I loved it as a kid. Somehow I feel like being Belgian really enforced my love for this book because chocolate is honestly a national treasure here.

Annihilation (Southern Reach #1) by Jeff Vandermeer // 195 pages // I was surprised when I first bought this book and received it in the mail. A science fiction novel that is less than 200 pages? I ended up really enjoying this book even though it’s super weird. Really, this book is super fucking weird. There’s also a movie adaptation of this book on Netflix, which I really enjoyed as well.

The Paper Magician (The Paper Magician #1) by Charlie N. Holmberg¬†// 222 pages //¬†This was one of the first books I ever requested on Netgalley. It’s been almost 4 years since, can you believe that? This is about a girl called Ceony who wants to bespell metal but instead gets stuck as the apprentice of a paper magician. I WANT TO BE A A PAPER MAGICIAN!


Nimona by Noelle Stevenson // 266 pages // The only graphic novel on this list. 266 pages is already a bit longer but since it’s a graphic novel it’s a really quick read. I adore this graphic novel so much! The evil mastermind and his sidekick vs the good guy. Or is he really the good guy?

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie // 52 pages // 52 pages, anyone can manage that, right? I think everyone should read this book or listen to her TedTalk. It’s such a wonderful piece on feminism, easily accessible and understandable. I also think it’s interesting to see her compare feminism in the U.S. vs feminism in Nigeria. However, I believe this speech is still too focused on cis women and should be more inclusive.

Wise Child (Doran #1) by Monica Furlong¬†// 240 pages // This is a book I read as a child (translated into Dutch, of course) and haven’t picked up as an adult. I remember reading it multiple times because I just loved it so much. I definitely want to re-read this book now that I’m in my twenties to see what I think of it now.

Nice Dragons Finish Last (Heartstrikers #1) by Rachel Aaron // 287 pages // The longest book on this list. But I feel like for a fantasy novel, less than 300 pages is quite short. This is one of my favorite urban fantasy books. It’s about a dragon called Julius, who is an outcast in his clan because he’s just too nice and doesn’t have any ambition to be a powerful player in the world. It’s so so good.

Cinder & Ella by Kelly Oram // 254 pages // This is one of my favorite Cinderella retellings. This is about Ella Rodriguez who moves in with her father and step-family after losing her mother in a car accident. I really like the way this book talks about family, but also about disability. Disability is so often overlooked in books, so representation really matters here.

Those were 10 of my favorite short novels! Have you read any of these?