my favorite sff bffs (so many abbreviations…)

Today’s Top 5 Wednesday post revolves around our favorite SFF BFFs! I love to read about friendships, especially in science fiction and fantasy novels. Everyone can use a friend, right? Here are some of my favorite fictional friendships!

Hadrian & RoyceRiyria Revelations by Michael J. Sullivan
There will never be a post on my favorite friendships in fantasy novels without Hadrian and Royce on it. Ever. Is this duo fairly typical for adult high fantasy? Yes. Do I love them any less for it? Nope.

Morrigan & HawthorneNevermoor by Jessica Townsend
I feel so weird adding a middle grade book onto this list, because I’m not used to reading much aimed at said age range. I’m clearly not the target audience, and thus tend to stay away from it. However, this series captured my heart in 2018 and part of the reason why is the friendship between Morrigan & Hawthorne.

Nona & AraBook of the Ancestor by Mark Lawrence
I haven’t read the last book yet, and I have hopes for it becoming more, but so far I love the friendship and loyalty between Ara and Nona. They start off on the wrong foot, Ara being rich and noble and Nona being poor and alone, but grow to trust and love each other along the years.

Darius & SevroRed Rising by Pierce Brown
One of the reasons I love Red Rising so much is because of its brutality. Darius and Sevro trust each other, even knowing how capable of violence and cruelty the other is. It’s quite remarkable to see, to be honest.

Jean & LockeGentleman Bastards by Scott Lynch
Once again, I will never make a list about my favorite fictional friendships without Jean and Locke. That’s it.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think of their friendships? What are your favorite SFF BFFs?

noteworthy mother figures | top 5 wednesday

I’m back with a Top 5 Wednesday post, everyone! I thought this week’s topic was quite intriguing, because we are all talking about our favorite fictional mother or mother figures – not including characters from the Harry Potter series.

To be completely honest, it was very difficult to put this list together. We’re all aware of how often the absent parents trope appears in YA fiction, and how actual good parenting is a rare occurrence. When putting this list together, I realized that even when there was 1 parental figure present, it was almost always the father. I wonder why that is… Is it because we do not see the same potential for women raising a strong protagonist? Is it because we do not see them as capable of the same level of cruelty? That’s a discussion for later, I guess. Here are 5 of my favorite mothers/mother figures!

Mykaela – The Bone Witch (The Bone Witch #1) by Rin Chupeco
Maybe it’s because I only recently read the final book in this trilogy, but Mykaela was the first mother figure to come to mind when preparing this list. She becomes Tea’s teacher and warden when the latter accidentally raises her brother from the dead and discovers she’s a Dark asha. It’s so clear throughout the three novels how much they care for one another, how important they are in each other’s lives.

Essun – The Fifth Season (Broken Earth #1) by N.K. Jemisin
The Fifth Season is, without a doubt, one of the most interesting novels I’ve read in a long time. One of the reasons why is that it’s partly told in second person, which makes for an intriguing reading experience. It’s told in multiple perspectives, one of which is Essun’s. Her husband has just murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter, and Essun is determined to find and save her remaining child.


Sunja – Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
I’ve talked about this multigenerational story set in Korea and Japan multiple times now, but feel the need to do so again. As this novel follows Sunja and her family for multiple generations, a lot of it is focused on her role as a mother. I admire her so much. She loves her children unconditionally, and does everything she can to make their life better.

Nadine and Patty – The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
I couldn’t make a list of favorite mothers without including Nadine and Patty. Reading a YA contemporary novel in which the main character has a good relationship with their mothers was fantastic. It’s clear how much Nadine and Patty love their children, how much they respect them, and how well they raised them. I wish every person in the world could grow up in a household this loving.

Circe – Circe by Madeline Miller
For those of you unfamiliar with this novel, Circe is the story of Circe’s life. She is exiled by her father to an uninhabited island where she will spend the rest of eternity – as she’s immortal. At some point in time, Circe gives birth to a son and spends her next years raising him. I thought this was an interesting look at motherhood because you both see how much Circe loves him him and would give up for him, and how hard being a mother can truly be. It doesn’t skip over the parts of motherhood that aren’t so nice to talk about, which I appreciate.

Have you read any of these books? Who are your favorite fictional mothers?

5 books I thought I’d hate but ended up loving

It’s time for another Top 5 Wednesday post! Today’s topic is books you thought you’d hate but ended up loving. To be honest, if I truly believe I won’t like a book, I just don’t read it. There are too few hours in the day to waste them on books you think you won’t enjoy. However, there are some books that managed to surprise me.

The Martian by Andy Weir
When I got this book, I was fairly certain I wouldn’t end up loving it. However, since so many of my favorite bloggers had written glowing reviews on The Martian, I figured I at least needed to try it. The reason I thought I wouldn’t enjoy reading this book is because I wasn’t reading much science fiction at the time. I was very intimidated by the genre. I’m so glad I ended up loving this book! It even earned a spot on my favorite reads of the year list.

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman
I honestly have no idea why I thought I wouldn’t like Illuminae. Literally everyone was screaming about how good it was, and I sat on the sideline watching the bandwagon go by. It didn’t seem like the book for me, and I stubbornly stuck to that belief. Until I gave the audiobook a try, and was hooked after 15 minutes.

The Demon King (Seven Realms #1) by Cinda Williams Chima
The Demon King is such a well-known and loved series, which is part of the reason I was expecting not to like it. It’s a quite “old” YA fantasy novel as it was released a decade ago, but I only managed to read it in 2017. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be impressed with it since I’ve read quite a bit of (YA) fantasy, especially ones that were released after this one. Would I still enjoy it in 2017? The answer is yes. I still loved it, even though I’ve read the tropes that occur in this novel so often already.

The Outsider by Stephen King
Prior to reading The Outsider, I had only ever read one Stephen King novel – The Eyes of the Dragon. While I remember loving that book as a teenager, I’ve always been intimidated by Stephen King’s novels. Everyone absolutely loves them, and they’re often quite long too. For some reason, I was convinced I wouldn’t like his writing. Why? Why did I believe I was such a special snowflake? Either way, I really enjoyed The Outsider even though I’m fairly certain it spoiled me on the Bill Hodgins series.

The Host by Stephenie Meyer
I think it’s fairly obvious why I thought I wouldn’t enjoy reading The Host, as it was written by the author who created Twilight. It’s normal to feel a tad hesitant then, no? I shouldn’t have been though. I absolutely adored The Host, and Ian and Wanda are still one of my favorite ships.

These 5 books managed to pleasantly surprise me in the past few years. Have you read any of these? Which books did you end up loving unexpectedly?

5 characters that embody Hufflepuff House

I missed a week of Top 5 Wednesday posts last time, but I’m back today with 5 characters that embody my Hogwarts House – which if you can’t tell from the title happens to be Hufflepuff. To be honest, it took me a while of going through my ‘read’ shelf on Goodreads to come up with these picks, because I feel like a lot of books don’t have Hufflepuff protagonists. In my opinion, a lot of main characters would be sorted in Slytherin or Gryffindor but that may be because I read a lot of fantasy and science fiction novels… Either way, let’s take a look at the loveliest Hufflepuff characters.

Daenarys TargaryenA Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin
I know this may seem like an unconventional pick to a lot of people, but hear me out, will you? In the first book, Dany’s only 13 years old when she is married off to Khal Drogo. She does so in order to escape her brother’s anger, and he needs her to marry the Dothraki in order to take back their throne in Westeros. Dany says that she doesn’t want a throne; all she wants is to go home. When she is wronged and the people closest to her are hurt, she turns into a powerful ruler to take the offenders down. When she acquires a certain level of power, she steers away from her ‘dream’ to help thousands of people who have been enslaved for years. She’s such a Hufflepuff.

MegThe Others by Anne Bishop
When the story starts, Meg has escaped a compound where blood prophets are bred and kept in captivity. She ends up in the Lakeside Courtyard, where she is taken in as the liaison between humans and The Others. All Meg truly wants throughout this show is to be able to make her own decisions, and create a home for herself. She befriends so many people/creatures, and doesn’t really care about the recurring prejudices around The Others. She wants everyone to be treated equally, and for everyone to have the ability to make their own decisions.

Evan – A Girl Like Her by Talia Hibbert
I simply adore Evan. His character was based on Chris Evans, who is most definitely a Hufflepuff. He is such a kind person! He often helps one of his co-workers out by cooking for him and his sick mom, he cooks for Ruth when he finds out she doesn’t really cook, and he’s always ready to lend a helping hand to anyone. He’s also not afraid to speak up when he witnesses injustice or discrimination, which is another Hufflepuff trait.

Sebastian – Running With Lions by Julian Winters
I’ve mentioned this quite a few times, but this book is basically a LGBTQIA+ sports romance for Hufflepuffs. Sebastian and his friends go to summer camp for the last time, to start football training before the school season starts. His teammates are like family to him, and he’s always protecting them and acting as a mediator between others. He’s just a wholesome boy, okay?

Sam – The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
Shout out to Sam, one of the most underrated characters ever. Even though he has never set foot outside of the Shire, he follows Frodo to the scariest place in Middle Earth without hesitating. His loyalty to his best friend is remarkable, and he often puts Frodo first as well. Without Sam, Frodo would never have gotten anywhere near Mordor.

There you have it, 5 Hufflepuff characters! Tell me, do you (dis)agree with me? I’d love to talk about it in the comments. If you’ve read any books with Hufflepuff protagonists, please let me know as well. I want to add more of them to my to-read list.

5 fictional places I’d like to take a date to | #T5W

Another Top 5 Wednesday post! I know, I’m doing so well keeping up with these. I have to admit that this week’s topic, fictional places you’d take a date to, was much harder for me than the previous ones. I read a lot of fantasy and science fiction, and would absolutely not like to visit 90% of the locations I read about. However, here are 5 exceptions to that rule!

The Night Circus – The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Wouldn’t it be amazing to get to discover the Night Circus with your date? See all the magic for ourselves! I think it would be such a wonderful evening, because there’s so much to discover and do.

Wonka’s Chocolate Factory – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Listen, as a Belgian and frequent consumer of chocolate this would be a dream come true. I won’t drown in the chocolate river, or eat any bubblegum. I just want to see all the magical chocolate goodness!

Hogsmeade – Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Wandering through the streets of Hogsmeade seems like a perfect date too. You could have a butterbeer/hot chocolate/coffee, then shop at Honeydukes and Zonko’s. It would be lovely at any time of year, but during the snowy winters it would be even more magical.

Hobbiton – The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien 
Hobbiton sounds like such a wonderful place for a date! It could be a pick nick in the fields, walking through the forests, kayaking on the river… I don’t care, it all sounds so beautiful and wonderful! Of course, you have to have a hobbit-style dinner too.

Nevermoor – The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend
I was going to pick Hotel Deucalion at first, but then realized I didn’t want to narrow down my options immediately. There’s so much magic to discover in Nevermoor, I didn’t just want to see the Deucalion.

What do you think of my choices? Do you (dis)agree? Where would you take a date to? I’d love to hear about it!

Love interests I would’ve kicked to the curb | #T5W

In this week’s Top 5 Wednesday post, I’m talking about love interests I would have broken up with. As someone who notoriously ends up shipping the wrong end of the love triangle – or is everyone else just wrong? – this is an easier topic for me. In no way am I saying that you are trash if you happen to like these couples/ships/love interests! It’s just my opinion.

Will Herondale – The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare
It’s a no from me, mate. I’ve never understood why everyone loved Will so much when Jem is right there. He was so rude to Tessa the entire time. Yes, I understand that he has his ‘reasons’ but let’s not get into that here. To me, there is no reason good enough to make another person feel awful. And Jem is such a precious human being!! I’ll also never forgive Tessa and Will for a certain scene in the third book.

Michael Teo – Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan 
I would not only kick Michael to the curb, I would obliterate him if I could. He’s everything I hate in a person. Isn’t that wonderful? He’s an insecure little asshole who can’t deal with the fact that his wife has more money and power than he does. Bye.

Matthew – Cormoran Strike by Robert Galbraith
Oh boy. Matthew. I actually had to look up his name on Goodreads because I had erased him from my mind. I hate how he wants to keep Robin down, how he treats her new work and hobbies as beneath him or inconsequential, how inconsiderate he is of her in general. Nope. Nope. Nope.

Rafe – The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson
My dislike for Rafe started to grow in the second book, and came to a head in the last book of the trilogy. In The Beauty of Darkness he just kept putting himself before Lia. Keeping her from doing things because he didn’t believe it was the right thing to do, never mind what she thought. Just because you don’t agree with your partner, doesn’t mean you get to keep them from doing it. You are NOT a prison guard, mate.

Every single love interest ever – The Cruel Prince (Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black
I can only speak for the first book here because I haven’t read The Wicked King yet. However, I would have kicked every single love interest in the first book aside. There’s no excuse for bullying, no matter your background, history or whatever. They went too far, and it’s utterly gross. There’s this weird feeling I have, where I don’t want Jude and Cardan to end up together but I also love reading about their conversations and chemistry? I don’t know what that’s about.

Those are my love interests I would’ve broken up with. Have you read any of these books? Do you agree with me? Let me know!

5 independent women I love | #T5W

As I mentioned in my previous Top 5 Wednesday post, I’m really inspired by the February T5W prompts and wanted to make a list every week. This week’s topic is your favorite independent women, who don’t get too distracted by their love interests. Here we go!

Sadie – Sadie by Courtney Summers
Sadie is the first woman who came to mind when I first heard of this topic. She’s a woman on a mission: to trace the person who murdered her sister and kill them. I simultaneously admire her and want to wrap her up in a blanket to protect her from the world.

Every single girl and woman – Book of the Ancestor by Mark Lawrence
I couldn’t pick one! There’s obviously Nona, the main character of the series. But I think Ara would fit this prompt pretty well too. And so do Abbess Glass, Sister Kettle, and Sister Apple. And we can’t forget about Zole either! Like I said, every single girl and woman from this series.

Inej – Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Do I really need to explain why I picked Inej? I don’t think so.

Starr Carter – The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Yes, there is an established relationship and romance in this novel. However, I do still consider Starr to be incredibly independent. Being independent and being in a relationship are not mutually exclusive whatsoever. Starr is such an admirable, brave and honest woman, and I love her to death.

Ósa – A Shiver of Snow and Sky by Lisa Lueddecke
This is a book I don’t see many people talk about, and it kind of makes me sad. In A Shiver of Snow and Sky, Ósa undertakes a dangerous journey in order to talk to the Goddess and ask her to spare her people from the upcoming disasters. She has to make the journey alone, and while she’s definitely scared, she won’t let anything stop her.

There you have it, 5 of my favorite independent, fictional women! Have you read these books? Do you agree with my choices? Who are your favorite independent female characters? I’d love to hear about it, so I can add more books to my to-read list!

5 nostalgic ships | #T5W

It’s been a while since I’ve participated in Top 5 Wednesday posts, hasn’t it? In December, the topics were pretty similar to either my Top Ten Tuesday prompts or posts I had already written, and I didn’t see the need to bore you with the same posts twice in a week. In January, the weekly prompts simply didn’t speak to me. I’m happy to say that all the February topics seem really fun to me, and I’ll try to write a post each week. They’re romance-themed – duh, Valentine’s Day takes over February – but at the same time, they’re not the typical romance topics either.

This week, we’re talking about our favorite nostalgic ships. The first fictional couples that gave you butterflies, made you squeal and smile at the same time. The ones you were so into years ago. I’m so excited about this! Let’s talk about some nostalgic relationships.

Ian and Wanda – The Host by Stephenie Meyer
Forget TwilightThe Host is where it’s at. I absolutely loved Ian and Wanda as a teenager, and I’m fairly certain I still would today if I happened to re-read the book. I’ve always been a sucker for the enemies-to-lovers trope, which is exactly what happens between these two.

Percy and Annabeth – Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan
Obviously this wasn’t the case in the earliest books because the characters are only 12 at that time, but I loved watching Percy’s and Annabeth’s friendship grow into a romantic relationship during the later books.

Eragon and Arya – The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini
This was one of the first fantasy series I fell in love with, and the same goes for this ship. I’m still a little salty about the ending of this series but I expect I’ll get over that sometime in the next 20 years.

Liadan & Bran – Son of the Shadows (Sevenwaters #2) by Juliet Marillier
While I loved Sorcha and Red in the first novel of this series, I connected far more to Liadan as a teenager. I honestly have no idea why because I have next to nothing in common with this girl, but it happened nonetheless. I adore this couple so much, I could talk about them endlessly.

Harry and Ginny/Hermione and Ron – Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
While these couples definitely aren’t my favorite HP ships anymore, I loved them when I first read the series as a child/teen. These days, I would much rather see the Harry/Draco and Ginny/Luna ships than Harry and Ginny’s relationship, but it is what it is. I adored these couples as a child, and I’m trying to stay honest in this post. I couldn’t leave them out as Harry Potter was my favorite series growing up.

Have you read any of these books? Do you agree with my ships? I find it so interesting to look back at the books I read 10 years ago! I tried my hardest to remember which ships actually brought me joy back then. What are your nostalgic ships?

5 books I need to read before 2019 | #T5W

Today’s Top 5 Wednesday is books you want to read before the start of 2019. 2018 is almost over, and that scares me. Honestly, what happened? Where did it go? I feel like I zoned out for ten minutes and the year was gone. Anyway, these are 5 books I want to read before I blink and 2018 is over with.


Night by Elie Wiesel
I recently bought this, and I know I want to read it before the year is over. I’m sure I’ll achieve that goal too, because this book is incredibly short. It’s a autobiographical piece in which Elie Wiesel talks about the things he experienced in Auschwitz and Buchenwald.

Train Man by Hitori Nakano
Another recent addition to my shelves, albeit a slightly more upbeat one. This is a (translated) Japanese novel about a geek who saves a young woman from another guy on public transport, and turns to an online messaging board for help when she thanks hum with an expensive gift. Keep in mind that this was written in 2004…

The Way of Kings (Stormlight Archive #1) by Brandon Sanderson
It’s happening, people. In fact, writing this post has inspired me to start the book. I’m currently reading The Way of Kings, and really enjoying it!

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy (Montague Siblings #2) by Mackenzi Lee
I was so excited for this book to come out. It’s been out for a little while now and I haven’t read it yet. I think I will listen to the audiobook, because I did the same for the first book, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue.

The Salt of the Earth by Józef Wittlin
I got approved for an e-ARC of this book, and I’m really excited to read it. If I’m not mistaken, it’s a new translation of a book that was originally written in 1935 in Polish. It’s about a peasant called Piotr, who wants nothing more than an official railway cap, a cottage, and a wife. Unfortunately, WWI breaks out and he is drafted into the army. Apparently this is a pacifist novel that truly challenges war. I’m excited to read it.

What do you think, will I succeed in reading these before the year is over?
Which books do you want to have read by the start of 2019?

The longest books on my to-read list | #T5W

We’re back with another Top 5 Wednesday post! Today, I’m talking about the longest books on my to-read list. I recently talked about the longest books I have read, now I’m talking about the ones I still haven’t read.

The Way of Kings (Stormlight Archive #1) by Brandon Sanderson – 1258 pages
Okay, I need to read this in the next 3 months. I’m committing to that RIGHT NOW.

The Wise Man’s Fear (Kingkiller Chronicles #2) by Patrick Rothfuss – 1107 pages
I desperately need to read this one too, but I’ve forgotten everything about the first one already. I hope the Recaptains wrote a summary on this one, because there’s no way I’m re-reading it first.

Kushiel’s Dart (Phèdre’s trilogy #1) by Jacqueline Carey – 1015 pages
I’m kind of surprised this is so long! I didn’t even realize it when I was holding it earlier…

Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay– 676 pages
I bought this one a couple of years ago during a sale in my favorite bookstore, and I still haven’t read it. It’s so long, but I’ve always wanted to read some Guy Gavriel Kay.

Magician (Riftwar Saga #1-2) by Raymond E. Feist – 841 pages
I guess this is cheating because it’s a bind-up of two books? However, it seems like one book when it’s sitting on my shelf.

Someone give me some motivation to finally read these!
What are the longest books on your unread shelf?