2021 reads I can’t wait for

Welcome back! Today’s post is the first Bookending Winter post of 2021… because I missed posting day and really wanted to use this prompt even if the year was over! For those of you who haven’t heard about it yet, Bookending Winter is a book blogging event run by Clo and Sam, in which different bloggers host a couple of prompts each during the month of December (Yep. I’m late.). Anyone who wants to participate can register on the announcement post, make 3 (or more) posts during the event, and link them up on the challenge spreadsheet so others can find them easily!

Today’s prompt comes from Sam @ fictionally sam ! It called for a top 10, but I went for a top 5 – not because there aren’t many new releases that look really good for 2021, but simply because I’ve been so busy reading library books and ARCs that I haven’t really gotten the time to look at the upcoming releases for this year. I’m taking notes on everybody’s 5 stars predictions, though, and I’m expecting great things from 2021 novels!

Prompt Explanation : What are your top ten most anticipated reads for next year?

Victories greater than death, by Charlie Jane Anders

A thrilling adventure set against an intergalactic war with international bestselling author Charlie Jane Anders at the helm in her YA debut—think Star Wars meets Doctor Who, and buckle your seatbelts.

Tina has always known her destiny is outside the norm—after all, she is the human clone of the most brilliant alien commander in all the galaxies (even if the rest of the world is still deciding whether aliens exist). But she is tired of waiting for her life to begin.

And then it does—and maybe Tina should have been more prepared. At least she has a crew around her that she can trust—and her best friend at her side. Now, they just have to save the world.

A sci-fi novel with an awesome-looking cover and an interesting synopsis. I’ve been trying to find some fun YA sci-fi, and so far, this story seems pretty promising! I really like the concept of clones (especially the type of cloning we got in stories like Altered Carbon, for example) and the idea of the protagonist actually knowing what’s going on and why they’re “special” sounds quite refreshing!

Check it out on Goodreads here

One last stop, by Casey McQuiston

Casey McQuiston is coming out with a new YA LGBT romance! I’ve been gravitating more and more towards books with LGBT characters that don’t center the entire story on homophobia or LGBT pain, and I found this author’s previous novel to be exactly what I was looking for last year. I have good hopes for this one too, especially with such a fun synopsis!

For cynical twenty-three-year-old August, moving to New York City is supposed to prove her right: that things like magic and cinematic love stories don’t exist, and the only smart way to go through life is alone. She can’t imagine how waiting tables at a 24-hour pancake diner and moving in with too many weird roommates could possibly change that. And there’s certainly no chance of her subway commute being anything more than a daily trudge through boredom and electrical failures.

But then, there’s this gorgeous girl on the train.

Jane. Dazzling, charming, mysterious, impossible Jane. Jane with her rough edges and swoopy hair and soft smile, showing up in a leather jacket to save August’s day when she needed it most. August’s subway crush becomes the best part of her day, but pretty soon, she discovers there’s one big problem: Jane doesn’t just look like an old school punk rocker. She’s literally displaced in time from the 1970s, and August is going to have to use everything she tried to leave in her own past to help her. Maybe it’s time to start believing in some things, after all.

Check it out on Goodreads here

See also : my review of Casey McQuiston’s previous book, Red, White and royal Blue, in Two contemporary YA novels

The ones we’re meant to find, by Joan He

Cee awoke on an abandoned island three years ago. With no idea of how she was marooned, she only has a rickety house, an old android, and a single memory: she has a sister, and Cee needs to find her.

STEM prodigy Kasey wants escape from the science and home she once trusted. The eco-city—Earth’s last unpolluted place—is meant to be sanctuary for those commited to planetary protection, but it’s populated by people willing to do anything for refuge, even lie. Now, she’ll have to decide if she’s ready to use science to help humanity, even though it failed the people who mattered most.

More sci-fi! Joan He’s Descendant of the crane was one of my favorite books of 2019, and I’m expecting great things from this one – a sci-fi mystery thriller with an amnesiac main character and the promise of a twisty plot? Yes. 100% yes.

Find it on Goodreads here.

Six crimson cranes, by Elizabeth Lim

There’s clearly a theme here – in 2021, so far, I’m trusting authors I’ve previously read from and loved stories from, and eagerly awaiting their next work. Elizabeth Lim is no exception to this, and I have a strong feeling that this one will be a five stars read, as was everything I’ve previously read from her!

Shiori, the only princess of Kiata, has a secret. Forbidden magic runs through her veins. Normally she conceals it well, but on the morning of her betrothal ceremony, Shiori loses control. At first, her mistake seems like a stroke of luck, forestalling the wedding she never wanted, but it also catches the attention of Raikama, her stepmother.

Raikama has dark magic of her own, and she banishes the young princess, turning her brothers into cranes, and warning Shiori that she must speak of it to no one: for with every word that escapes her lips, one of her brothers will die.

Peniless, voiceless, and alone, Shiori searches for her brothers, and, on her journey, uncovers a conspiracy to overtake the throne—a conspiracy more twisted and deceitful, more cunning and complex, than even Raikama’s betrayal. Only Shiori can set the kingdom to rights, but to do so she must place her trust in the very boy she fought so hard not to marry. And she must embrace the magic she’s been taught all her life to contain—no matter what it costs her.

Find it on Goodreads here.

Leviathan falls – The Expanse, book 9

It doesn’t have a synopsis on Goodreads yet, but I’m halfway through this series, so hopefully I’ll have read all of the previous books by the time this one comes out in 2021! I’m watching the TV show at the same time, so I’m a bit further in the TV show than I am in the books, but it hasn’t spoiled my enjoyment of the novels so I’m quite happy about that. (And they make excellent Christmas gifts to ask for!)

That’s it for me today – what are your most anticipated reads of 2021? If you’ve written a blog post, or an Instagram one, feel free to link it in the comments so I can check it out and add some of them to my yearly TBR!

NetGalley TBR – November 2020

Good afternoon!

Today’s post is inspired by Alexa’s NetGalley Update series, which you can go check out on her blog, Writing the universe (and don’t hesitate to follow her blog if you haven’t subscribed yet!).

These past few months, I’ve done my best to improve my NetGalley ratio, which was at a low 65 at some point this year (yeah, I know, that’s pretty bad… I might have requested a bit more books than I could actually read…).

It’s now gone up to 78%, and I’m doing everything everything I can to get it all the way up to the recommended 80% – I feel like I’d be pretty happy if I could get it to 85, but then again, since I’m not a US-based reviewer, it won’t drastically augment the number of books that are available for me, so I’m not stressing too much about it.

Related posts : The eternal frustration of an international book blogger, by @insidemylibrarymind, My story with ARCs as an international book blogger, by Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane books

My NetGalley “to read” and “to review” shelves have now been almost fully emptied, but I do still have some books I’d like to get around to reading and reviewing sometime before the end of the year :

  • Slingshot, by Mercedes Helnwein – I got an invitation to get this e-ARC in my email a while ago, and almost didn’t see it at all – it had slipped in my spam folder by accident. Fortunately, I managed to find it before the publication date!
  • Men who hate women, by Laura Bates – I read a book on this exact topic from a Québécois author last year, and I’m supposed to be taking a class on it next semester, so I thought it might be useful for me to read this one!
  • The truth and other hidden things, by Lea Geller – this just sounded fun and full of drama – exactly what I’ll need once my finals are done in mid-December!
  • Viral BS : Medical myths and why we fall for them, by Seema Yasmin – I felt like this was going to be particularly interesting considering the year we’ve just had, so my expectations are pretty high for this one!

I think I’ll prioritize them by their publication dates – the last one on the list here is due for January 2021, and it’s the earliest one here so far, which means I’ve got all the time I need to read and review them all before I end up with late ARCs.

I did wish for a lot of new ones, but I’m not holding out any hope of actually getting them, since most of them were highly anticipated YA novels for which I’m sure a lot of other people made wishes.

One thing that would be pretty useful, though, would be if NetGalley could add a “wished for” tab in the library section, so we could see those books in the same way we can see the pending requests – I’ve wasted time more than once opening a ton of NetGalley tabs to check out interesting books, only to realize that I’d been here earlier in the month / year and already wished for those…

There’s been a lot of change in my life recently, and lots of added stress, so I’m not sure how fast I’ll be able to check these books off my list, but I’m genuinely excited to read them all, so we’ll see how it goes over the month of December!

Tackling the pile of shame : my physical TBR

I’ve got a pile of unread books in my home, and I’m pretty ashamed of it. Physical books are expensive, and I have a very limited budget – especially in times of covid – so I tend to not buy a lot of them, but I do sometimes get them as a gift from other people, or use money meant to buy myself a gift for it. As a result, my collection of physical books is quite small – and yet, there’s still a good portion of these books that I haven’t read. Why is that, you may ask?

Since I’ve gotten into reading in public transport, or pretty much anywhere when I have the time, and borrowing books from my local library, I’ve been reading more and more e-books instead of physical books. Their instant availability means that whenever I finish one of them, I can just open the next one immediately – without having to go back to my apartment and getting another novel from my bookshelves. The availability of e-books has led me to ignore my personal collection, which is why I want to set myself a challenge for 2021 : read every single book on my physical TBR.

Can I do it? Probably. Will I do it? We’ll see that next December! For now, here’s the contents of that TBR :

From the series The Expanse : Caliban’s war, Abbadon’s gate, Cibola burn.

I got the first two as a Christmas gift, and bought the fourth one this summer, but haven’t gotten around to reading them yet. They’re excellent and I love them, but having watched the TV show kinda slows me down in reading. I’m hoping I can get through these soon, though, as the next season arrives on amazon prime at the end of the year!

Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

I got this book at a local secondhand bookstore a few street away from my apartment, and I’ve read it once before, when I was a young child, but the edition I have now is absolutely stunning – it’s the 60th anniversary edition, which has an introduction written by Neil Gaiman, and I thought it would be a very nice addition to my bookshelves when I found it!

I have little to no memory of the actual story, so it would definitely be good for me if I could re-read it.

Unravel the dusk, by Elizabeth Lim

I loved the first one, so I’m pretty sure I’ll love this one too, which is why I’m quite ashamed of putting it on this list!

I had a preorder of this book, and then Covid happened and I… kinda put reading on hold for a while during the summer, as I was working full time as an essential worker in a grocery store, then in a restaurant for as many hours as I could get, and studying part-time. With the new restrictions in September, I stopped working but went back to university full time, and I just didn’t find a moment to pick this up.

This is how you lose the time war, by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone

This was one of my birthday gifts! I’m super interested in the synopsis, and it’s the books and tea book-club read-along for November/December, so I’m hoping to get this one done before the end of 2020!

The city we became, by N.K. Jemisin

I loved N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy, and I’ve had my eye on this one since it was announced a long time ago – I finally got it at the bookstore last week!

The midnight library, by Matt Haig

Good reviews made me pick up this book while it was on sale at my local bookstore on the same visit when I got The city we became, and I love the cover art!

Hopefully I can read this one in the first half of 2021… maybe even during my winter break? Who knows…

I’m really excited to be reading all of these, and I’ve got some preorders for 2021 that will get added to the collection once they arrive – I’ll post an update halfway through the year, to see where this got me!

Do you have a lot of unread physical books? What are the ones you want to read the most, out of your collection? Let me know in the comments so I can add them to my TBR!

10 backlist books I want to read in 2021

I don’t know about you, but ever since I started book blogging, I tend to look forward to new releases much more than before. Sadly, that focus on new releases tends to make me forget about older books – something that the beat the backlist challenge post by Austine on Novelknight this week reminded me of.

As I was talking about this with my partner, I thought it might be interesting to go back and have a look at some titles I’ve missed over the years, see if I could find some that I’d be interested in! So I went on a tour of Goodreads and my bookmarked blog posts, and spent a too long amount of time reading through lists of YA 2018 releases, to pick and choose from the ones I hadn’t read yet and make my first TBR for the next year.

Here are the 10 finalists of that first selection – the 10 YA novels of 2018 that I’d like to read in 2021 :

The forgotten book, by Mecthild Gläser

The synopsis portrays this as a YA retelling of Pride and Prejudice – a YA fantasy romance that seems like a perfect way to start my year!

Find it on Goodreads here

Girls of paper and fire, by Natasha Ngan

This is the first book in a series, and I’ve seen it in so many recommendations since it came out in 2018 that I absolutely need to add it to my TBR. I don’t usually read a lot of series, since I’m someone who likes reading the entire story all in one go (so when there’s multiple books in a series, I tend to wait until it’s finished to pick it up), but this one looks so interesting that I can’t wait to read it!

Find it on Goodreads here

Heretics anonymous, by Katie Henry

From the Goodreads synopsis, this is a contemporary novel about atheists and misfits in a catholic school. As someone who went through two catholic schools and didn’t really fit in properly, I’m interested to see this take!

Find it on Goodreads here

The forest queen, by Betsy Cornwell

This is marketed as a gender swapped Robin Hood retelling, and I’m 100% on board with it. I loved the story of Robin Hood as a child, and gender swapped stories are one of my favorites themes – I’m really excited to see the result in this one!

Find it on Goodreads here

To be honest, by Maggie Ann Martin

Sometimes, all you need is a fluffy contemporary YA romance. After the train wreck that is 2020, I’ll definitely need to read more than one of these next year!

Also : have you seen this cover? It’s super cute!

Find it on Goodreads here

Furyborn, by Claire Legrand

The cover for this book is stunning, and I’ve been meaning to read it ever since I saw it last year at my local bookstore. I think this is also the first part of a series, and I remember being really interested in the plot after reading the back of the book at the bookstore, so I’m expecting good things from this one!

Find it on Goodreads here

Empress of all seasons, by Emiko Jean

This is a high fantasy & mythology YA novel that I first heard about when Lauren @ Northern Plunder reviewed it on her blog, and her review makes it an automatic addition to this list.

Find it on Goodreads here

We regret to inform you, by Ariel Kaplan

This is a YA contemporary mystery about rejected college applications, and I didn’t know I needed this until I read the synopsis, but it sounds so right up my alley that I immediately added it to my library wishlist.

Find it on Goodreads here

———————–Related posts : Library book tag

Sky in the deep, by Adrienne Young

This is another novel I had initially seen at my local bookstore, then forgotten about as the new releases kept coming my way – and I definitely should have added it to my TBR when I saw it the first time.

I don’t often read historical fiction/fantasy, but this story seems really promising so I’ll give it a shot sometime in January!

Find it on Goodreads here

Reflection, Elizabeth Lim

A Mulan retelling written by the author of Spin the dawn and Unravel the dusk? Of course I’m reading that! The gorgeous cover is a nice bonus as well.

Find it on Goodreads here

———————–Related posts : Spin the dawn (The blood of stars, #1), by Elizabeth Lim

What are some older books you’ve been meaning to read ? Any recommendations ? Let me know in the comments !

5 things I want to do in June + my June TBR

June is my birthday month – I’ll be 22 on June 10th! – so I’m planning a lot for the next few weeks : I’ve got exams coming up, final projects for classes, blogging, reading… hopefully, I’ll have a nice start of the summer with all those plans!

The unrealistic June TBR

My TBR might be a little too long for me to manage this June – but I’ll try nonetheless !

So far, I’ve got these two fantasy novels to read first :

  • Words of radiance, by Brandon Sanderson – I’m at 52% in this one and hopefully will be done by Wednesday (mostly because it’s so good that I can’t put it down, even to go to sleep!)
  • Oathbringer, by Brandon Sanderson – right after I finish the previous one, because I need to know what happens to Kaladin, Shallan and the others, and I can’t possibly wait until I finish something else first.

I got into Brandon Sanderson’s books after watching one of Emily @ BookswithEmilyFox’s videos – you can find her (super fun) booktube channel here!

I’ve also downloaded much more library eBooks that I can possibly read, but I’ll do my best to get through at least those before July :

  • Don’t overthink it, by Anne Bogel
  • Furyborn, by Claire Legrand
  • The buy nothing, get everything plan, by Liesl Clark
  • What the most successful people do before breakfast, by Laura Vanderkam
  • How to hold a grudge, by Sophie Hannah
  • Rest, refocus, recharge, by Greg Wells
  • I wanted fries with that, by Amy Fish

I also have a few books from NetGalley I’m hoping to read during these coming weeks :

  • Every other weekend, by Abigail Johnson
  • Don’t read the comments, by Eric Smith
  • Martian blood, by John Pahl
  • Act like a lady, by Keltie Knight, Becca Tobin and Jac Vanek

5 goals for June

Write something (again)

One of my personal goals for may was to try to write something – and I did! It’s a small Star Trek : Alternate Original Series fanfiction that I posted on AO3, and it’s super short, but it made me happy to write it. Getting kudos and comments made me feel much more confident in my abilities to write more, so I’ll try to post something new this month too!

Related posts : check out my May wrap-up to see how well (or not) I did on last month’s goals!

Keep trying to post regularly

I’m doing my best to follow my schedule – for work, for studying, and for posting reviews and discussions here. My blog schedule for June is almost ready (it only has a few posts without full titles, so it should be good to go in a few days), and I’ll try to follow it by using my free time to plan posts in advance, save my drafts whenever I can.

This should help me avoid unexpected blogging breaks like the one I unfortunately had to take in the first weeks of May.

Pass all my exams

My intensive summer semester ends on June 23rd, with two exams on June 22nd and two final projects to turn in by that date too. I passed the midterms this week, and am hoping for good results – all that studying I’ve been doing should at least help me maintain my current GPA!

Try to cut down on takeout and restaurant food

One of my most important expenses, in May, has been takeout food.

A medium iced capp from Tim Hortons when I go to work, two bubble teas to bring home on my off days, some groceries when I leave the store I work at, a burgers and fries order at A&W… It all added up to an amount I’m really not comfortable with, and I didn’t appreciate that when I had to pay off my credit card in full at the end of the month.

Fortunately, I made enough money in May to cover those unexpected expenses (I know that having a job during the pandemic is extremely lucky and I’m doing everything I can to do it well and keep it) – but I should have been able to save that money for other things, and not waste it when we had food at home.

So yeah. In June, we’re doing better. I won’t completely ditch the iced capps or the bubble teas, but when it comes to full meals, I’d love to take some more time to prepare them at home, so I don’t have to panic next time I have to pay my bills.

Have a great birthday

I actually have two three-hours classes on my birthday, so I probably won’t spend a lot of time having fun, but I’ve bought myself a brand new book at my local library today to celebrate, and I’ve got good stuff planned! A nice meal, maybe bubble tea, and a nice evening of watching bullet journaling videos on YouTube and reading on the couch should be great as a birthday not party, and will help me relax – which is exactly what I need right now.

Hopefully, my preordered copy of Aurora Burning will arrive eventually – I’d love for it to get here for my birthday!

That’s is for this month’s goals and TBR – stay around to see if I can take on these new challenges when I post my June wrap-up post at the end of the month!

5 things I want to do in May + my May TBR

May is almost here, and as much as March and April have been terrible, hectic months, I’m sincerely hoping for a much better may 2020 – and as such, I’m making plans !

I’ve just recently started a new job in a grocery store, packing online orders for customers who are self-isolating at home, so I don’t have as much free time as I had over the past few weeks of quarantine – but I’m really excited over what I have planned, so hopefully I’ll be able to tackle at least some of these monthly goals !

The goals part

Blogging goals

Maintain a regular posting schedule

This month, I’d like to post twice a week. This is honestly a goal that I’m probably just going to repeat every month for the whole of 2020 – keeping a regular schedule is sincerely difficult for me, and I want to improve on that while still keeping all the fun of blogging ! I’ve read a lot of books I haven’t reviewed yet, and I want to try writing one or two discussion posts, so we’ll see how that goes.

Personal goals

Keeping up with university work

I’ve signed up for two summer classes at my university for this summer ! It’s the intensive summer schedule – instead of 3 hours of class a week, it’s 6 hours per class, which means two full days of class every week – which will split my summer weeks into 5 days of work (if all goes well at my new job) and 2 days of class. Hopefully I can stay on top of all of this, get good grades, and not overwork myself too much !

Playing video games

My boyfriend got me a copy of Harvest Moon : A new beginning this week, and I’ve been playing it every evening since then on my 2DSxl – and enjoying it a lot ! Playing video games helps me relax in stressful times, and Harvest Moon is such a sweet and wholesome game that I really want to make time for myself and play it while curled up on my bed in my comfy heating blanket !

Watching TV shows

I’ve been slowly making my way through the latest seasons of NCIS: Los Angeles, and I’m now halfway through season 9. Watching this show is such a fun time for me, I’d love to be able to take some time to watch one or two episodes per week on the days I don’t have too much work to do !

Writing something

I feel like it might be a silly thing to post about, but I really want to try my hand at writing fanfiction in English – I’m just having a hard time taking that first step and actually daring to write the stories I’d love to share. I’ve been feeling like no matter how much I try, what I’ll end up writing will never be as good as what a native English speaker would be able to write, and so I shouldn’t even try – and even if I know that’s not a very rational thought, it’s been preventing me from doing something I’ve been wanting to do for years now.

If you’ve got any advice on how to get past imposter syndrome when English isn’t your first language, please feel free to share it with me !

Photo by Ella Jardim on Unsplash

The TBR part

I’ve got a pretty ambitious TBR (for me !) this month, mostly because I might have bitten off more than I could chew while putting books on hold at my local library and requesting ARCs. Since I’m not planning on backing down from that challenge, I’ve got a total of 10 books I absolutely want to read this month : 5 from the library, 3 overdue ARCs, and 2 books I have in my bookshelf that I really should have read a long time ago.

Library books

Men explain things to me, by Rebecca Solnit

I had this one in my last library eBook haul, and managed to get halfway through it… and then my library hold expired and I had to request it again because I forgot to renew it. So this month, when my hold comes in again, I’m finishing this book !

Crown of feathers, by Nicki Pau Preto

This one is a case of “judging a book by its cover” – and by that, I mean that I saw it on my library’s website, the cover looked amazing, so I placed a hold on it and it came through this week ! I’m pretty excited to see if the contents are as good as the cover promises they are !

Furyborn, by Claire Legrand

Ooooh this one also has an amazing cover ! I actually saw this book at my local bookstore a while ago, and didn’t have the cash to buy it at that time even though it really made me want to read it – so when I saw that it was available on the library’s website, I didn’t hesitate one second !

The 30-day money cleanse, by Ashley Feinstein Gerstley

My love of personal finance books strikes again. I have no excuse for this one. I just love reading personal finance books and comparing different authors’s advice. Sue me.

Better than before, by Gretchen Rubin

This is also a book I had in my library eBook haul ! I didn’t have the time to read it these past few weeks, but I’m hoping I’ll get to it sooner than later this month.

Late ARCs

Buy yourself the f*cking lilies, by Tara Schuster

I’m a little more than halfway though this one, and so far it’s… meh. I usually love self-help books, but this feels like more of a memoir than self-improvement advice, and as far as memoirs go, it’s not the most relatable one. But I’ll keep my judgement until I’ve completely finished reading it.

Followers, by Megan Angelo

I’m super super late in reading and reviewing this book ! I got it through NetGalley, and it was published in January this year… I’m putting this one on the high priority list and hoping I can be done with it and review it before the middle of the month.

Surrender your sons, by Adam Sass

Finally, an ARC I’m not late for ! This one will be published in September 2020, so I’ve still got quite a bit of time to read and review it – still, it looks really good so I’m adding it to this month’s list just in case I’ve got some spare time lying around at the end of May to read it.

On my bookshelf

The rise and fall of the dinosaurs, by Steve Brusatte

In December (or was it November ?) 2019, I borrowed this book from the library, and got through around half of it before my hold expired and I had to give it back for the next person to read it. Since then, it’s been bothering me so much that I finally caved and made an exception to my one book a month book-buying ban, and ordered it on the online store of my local bookstore ! From what I read so far, it’s an absolutely excellent book about dinosaurs, and honestly, that’s all you need to know to borrow it / buy it for yourself / buy it for your sister with a never-ending love for dinosaurs.

Caliban’s war, by James S. A. Corey

My parents actually gifted this one to me for Christmas, and I started reading it in January, but stopped a hundred pages in ( why ? I don’t know ! My reading habits defy logic) even though it was a perfectly enjoyable read. I’d love to get back to it this month !

Did you set any reading or blogging goals this month ? Feel free to link your posts in the comments so I can check them out !

Me and my boyfriend will be moving out of our basement apartment into a much nicer one downtown on May 1st, and a lot of changes are on the way during the next week, so I might have some trouble keeping up with those objectives, but I’ll do my best !

Stay tuned for June’s TBR, where we’ll see if my unrealistic reading goals were somehow miraculously met this month !

Self-isolation library eBook haul

If you’ve been around for some time, you’ll have noticed that, since the beginning of 2020, I haven’t made any proper TBRs or monthly wrap-up posts. The truth is, I’ve been planning to make them for a while, but always postponed writing them, up until the moment when they were no longer relevant. I hit a big blogging slump in march, and only just recently got out of it, which gave me the motivation needed to write this one !

With that newfound motivation, I wanted to make a reading list for April, but with self-isolation and the recent amount of covid-19 cases in my city, I haven’t gone shopping for books, or borrowed any physical copies of anything lately. However, just because I didn’t get out of my (tiny) apartment doesn’t mean I didn’t borrow anything !

My local library has an excellent online catalogue of eBooks and audiobooks. Personally, I’m not a fan of audiobooks, but I do love eBooks. I usually read them on the way to university in the morning, or to my once-a-week kickboxing class in the evening – on average, I spend one hour a day in public transport, so I like to use this time to read and be in my own little bubble before starting my day.

I’m especially lucky, because the library’s website is super well designed, and allows me to browse and discover titles I never would have found on paper. The different filters allow for a lot of freedom in your selection, and the holds / wish list system works very well for me : when I see a book I might like, I add it to my wish list, and when I see one I absolutely can’t miss a chance to get, I use one of my 5 available holds to ensure I get it ASAP.

These past few days, I’ve been wanting to read some non-fiction, and learn more about interior design. It’s not an accident : I’ve applied for a new apartment with my boyfriend, for may 1st, so I’m thinking about all the ways in which we could make that place our home, and how we could decorate and furnish it. My eBook reading tastes depend a lot on what’s going on in my life at the moment, and right now, that’s home improvement, personal organization, and nutrition.

So here are the books I currently have on loan, and will endeavor to read during the next 21-days period : 

So, in that pile, we have : 7 non-fiction books and 2 novels, including 3 books on home design, one on budgeting, and one on journaling. I should have more than enough material for the next three weeks !

I also have some ARCs I’ve been meaning to read and review – they’re NetGalley ARCs, so I’ll post the reviews on NetGalley before posting them on the blog, but I’ll cross-post them eventually, closer to their respective release dates. 

My university classes have resumed this morning. As they all have been changed from in-person classes to online sessions, I’ll save a couple of hours every week by studying from home. But this new situation is going to change a lot in my usual routine, and I’ll need to change some things to be able to accommodate that.

I haven’t planned all my posts for the next few weeks yet, but hopefully I’ll be able to keep a consistent posting schedule – and ace my exams !

January TBR and goals

Happy new year ! (Yes, I’m saying that to everybody I know and I won’t stop until the end of January) I hope you had a nice holiday season and a good time in this first week of 2020 🎉

Mine has been pretty good – I slept a lot, ate nice food, and went to a Van Gogh immersive expo in Montreal (this one) which was amazing.

TBR

I’m planning January as a pretty relaxed month – I’ve got 5 classes this semester, and I’m looking for a job, so I want to be able to focus on work, and use books to relax, not to stress about ARCs or things I absolutely have to read before the end of the month.

With that in mind, I’ve still got a list of priorities when it comes to the books I currently have : 

  • Natalie Tan’s book of luck and fortune, by Roselle Lim

I’m so happy to have a copy of this book, I only heard good things about it so I’m expecting a fun and relaxing read !

  • Followers, by Megan Angelo
  • Don’t read the comments, by Eric Smith
  • Every other weekend, by Abigail Johnson

This book comes out tomorrow, so I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to review it in time before the release, but I’ll definitely post it before the end of the month.

  • Healthy as f*ck, by Oonagh Duncan 

This is the one I’m currently reading – I got this at my local library, and I’m feeling pretty meh about it, but not enough to DNF it so I’ll try to review it next week and see what my overall impression of it is.

I also need to give feedback on an e-ARC of Tweet Cute, by Emma Lord, which I read some time ago already, but didn’t get the time to write my review, so I’ll post it closer to the release date !

Goals

It’s January, and my September 2019 student loans haven’t come in yet, so the one big goal of the  month is to tackle that and see what went wrong. Other than that, I’m going to focus on school, reading, having fun and generally just having a good month. 2019 was rough all year long, so I’m just aiming for a better 2020.

What do you have planned for January ? Did you make a TBR ? Do you have ARCs you’re hoping to read this month ?

Five 2020 new releases I’m excited about

Hey ! I haven’t been here in a while, mostly because of the final exams at the beginning of December, but also because I took a week off from – well, from everything, really.

I’ve been on holiday for a week now, and I spent that week at home, sleeping, reading, playing Stardew Valley (the latest update is so nice) and catching up on all the good stuff I like to do / see when I’m not busy studying every single hour of the day.

So now I’m back, with a few end-of-the-year blog posts – and today’s post is about five of the 2020 new releases I’m most excited about !

This Coven Won’t Break – Isabel Sterling

In this gripping, romantic sequel to These Witches Don’t Burn, Hannah must work alongside her new girlfriend to take down the Hunters desperate to steal her magic. Hannah Walsh just wants a normal life. It’s her senior year, so she should be focusing on classes, hanging out with her best friend, and flirting with her new girlfriend, Morgan. But it turns out surviving a murderous Witch Hunter doesn’t exactly qualify as a summer vacation, and now the rest of the Hunters seem more intent on destroying her magic than ever.

I read the first book in December (or at the end of November, maybe ?) and I just can’t wait to see where this story goes ! I got attached really fast to all the characters in the first novel, and loved the way magic was described in it.

This book comes out in June 2020, and you can find it on Goodreads here

Unravel the dusk – Elizabeth Lim

Maia Tamarin’s journey to sew the dresses of the sun, the moon and the stars has taken a grievous toll. She returns to a kingdom on the brink of war. The boy she loves is gone, and she is forced to don the dress of the sun and assume the place of the emperor’s bride-to-be to keep the peace.

But the war raging around Maia is nothing compared to the battle within. Ever since she was touched by the demon Bandur, she has been changing . . . glancing in the mirror to see her own eyes glowing red, losing control of her magic, her body, her mind. It’s only a matter of time before Maia loses herself completely, but she will stop at nothing to find Edan, protect her family, and bring lasting peace to her country.

The first book, Spin the dawn, was one of my most anticipated reads of 2019, and one of my favorite ones too – It’s one of the very few books I actually preordered this year ! I’ve already preordered this one, as soon as it was available to do so, and it comes out in July 2020 – if you haven’t read Spin the dawn, there’s still time to do so before grabbing a copy of this !

You can find it on Goodreads here. (Also, the cover is gorgeous !)

We used to be friends – Amy Spalding

Told in dual timelines—half of the chapters moving forward in time and half moving backward—We Used to Be Friends explores the most traumatic breakup of all: that of childhood besties.

This one just looks super fun. I’ve been wanting to read more stories about friendship-breakups, friends who grow apart, that kind of thing, and this book seems like a nice fun read ! It comes out in January 2020, so hopefully I’ll get my hands on it at the beginning of the year !

You can find it here on Goodreads.

The city we became – N.K. Jemisin

Every great city has a soul. Some are as ancient as myths, and others are as new and destructive as children. New York City? She’s got six. But every city also has a dark side. A roiling, ancient evil stirs in the halls of power, threatening to destroy the city and her six newborn avatars unless they can come together and stop it once and for all.

I loved N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy, so when I spotted this book coming out in March 2020, I had to put it on my list ! I’m really excited to see what this will have to offer – it’s shelved as urban fantasy on Goodreads and I haven’t read a lot of good urban fantasy novels, so we’ll see how this goes !

The wolf of Oren-Yaro – K. S. Villoso

Born under the crumbling towers of Oren-yaro, Queen Talyien was the shining jewel and legacy of the bloody War of the Wolves that nearly tore her nation apart. Her upcoming marriage to the son of her father’s rival heralds peaceful days to come. But his sudden departure before their reign begins fractures the kingdom beyond repair.

Years later, Talyien receives a message, urging her to attend a meeting across the sea. It’s meant to be an effort at reconciliation, but an assassination attempt leaves the queen stranded and desperate to survive in a dangerous land. With no idea who she can trust, she’s on her own as she struggles to fight her way home.

I looked at the cover of this one, and knew I wanted to read it. The synopsis only confirmed that. From the reviews on Goodreads, this is a very character-driven story, with a main character who lives up to her title of “The bitch queen” – and you know what ? I think I’d actually like to read a story where the main character is, indeed, an asshole. Let’s see what this one has to offer.

What are your most anticipated 2020 releases ? Did you add any of those books to your 2020 TBR ?

November TBR

November is here, and it’s my first month without too many things to do – and by that, I mean that I only have one or two high anxiety-inducing tasks a week, instead of a dozen, so yay !

It also means that I have been, for the past couple of days, back on my bullshit – a term which here means that I’ve been binge-watching NCIS : Los Angeles and am now on season 6, am up to date with Lucifer and on my way to binge-watch the new season of Jack Ryan on Prime video. (And no, this isn’t a sponsored post by amazon prime, although I definitely recommend their service because all those TV shows they have are great)

But even if I’m busy watching TV shows on my laptop screen, I do have other things to get to this month. Namely : books. So, here’s my November TBR !

Photo by Claudia on Unsplash
  • Rage becomes her : the power of women’s anger, by Soraya Chemaly

I’ve got this from my local library and the due date is approaching soon, so I’m hoping to be able to read it before I have to give it back !

See this book on Goodreads

  • Girl, wash your face, by Rachel Hollis

I picked up this one on a whim because I kept seeing it in every bookstore I went to, and I’m halfway through it right now – hopefully, I’ll be able to finish it by the end of this week, and write a short review for my monthly wrap-up.

See this book on Goodreads

  • Tweet cute, by Emma Lord

I got an ARC of this one when I totally didn’t expect to, so I downloaded a copy to my phone, but I haven’t started it yet. I might get to it at the end of the month, if I have the time.

See this book on Goodreads

  • A slice of Christmas Magic, by A. G. Mayes

I loved the first one of this series, I found it really cute and soft (you can find my review in french here) so I didn’t hesitate to get an e-ARC of the second one !

See this book on Goodreads

  • Bird Brain, by Chuck Mullin

I got this one on NetGalley because it looked cute and I really like the comic style, so I’m planning to read this one on a day when I need to get my mood up a bit !

See this book on Goodreads

  • Would I lie to you ?, by Judie Ketteler

This is also an ARC from NetGalley ! I haven’t downloaded it yet, but I’m expecting it to be a pleasant read.

I also would like to get my hands on a copy of the first book in The expanse series – I’ve been watching the show for a long time now, and I love it so much that I think it’s time to start reading the books ! I’ve hear good things about them, and if they’re anything like the show, I should have a great time reading them.

As I said in my previous post, 10 things I’d like to do in November, I’m not planning to force myself to read 100% of this monthly TBR – my goal for this month is to read, and review, four of those books, and not feel guilty about it. And find some time to study and watch NCIS too.

We’ll see how it goes !