How to Read More | Tips & How I Read

Hi everyone!! Today’s post is one that was requested. Last week I got a comment on one of my videos asking me to talk about my reading routine and how I make time to read ⇣

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Since this is a subject that I love, I was very excited to talk about it on my new channel, so here it is! 😋

My 5 Tips
  1. Manage your time wisely
  2. Make the most of your time – read any time you can!
  3. Take your books everywhere
  4. Multitasking is key
  5. Find your perfect format

I hope you enjoy this little video and that it’s even remotely helpful! ☺️


Thank you so much for reading,
I’ll see you in my next post ♡

Summer Reading Recommendations 🌡

As it is now, officially, summer in the northern hemisphere, it’s time to talk about the books I recommend for the warmer weather ☀️

I don’t know about you, but I’m kind of a seasonal reader – meaning I tend to read books according to the season and/or time of year. For summer, I usually prefer lighter reads, such as romance novels, maybe a fantasy book here and there and just not-so-serious books in general. You definitely won’t catch me reading Anna Karenina in the summer, just saying 😅

This being said, I’ll be sharing with you some of my favorite summer reads, and also some new or upcoming releases that I think are very appropriate for this season. Let’s get started!

click the book titles to read my review!

My Personal Favorites

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The Inevitable Collision of Birdie & Bash by Candace Ganger – 4.5/5 ★

Dreamology by Lucy Keating – 4/5 ★

Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour – 4/5 ★

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You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour & David Levithan – 4.5/5 ★

In Real Life by Jessica Love – 4/5 ★

The Possibility of Somewhere by Julia Day – 4/5 ★

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To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han – 5/5 ★

P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han – 5/5 ★

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han – 4/5 ★

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The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han – 5/5 ★

It’s Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han – 5/5 ★

We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han – 5/5 ★

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The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson – 5/5 ★

Summer Days & Summer Nights by Various Authors – 4/5 ★

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell – 4/5 ★

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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – 4/5 ★

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick – 5/5 ★

What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick – 4/5 ★

New or Upcoming Releases


Smothered
by Autumn Chiklis (review coming soon!)

Save the Date by Morgan Matson

What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera


What are your summer recommendations? Let me know in the comments! ♡

Thank you so much for reading,
I’ll see you in my next post ♡

Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag!

Soooo apparently it’s the middle of 2018 already…….. time to FREAK OUT 😱

Like last year, I answered this tag in video – hope you enjoy!!

Questions

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2018.
2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2018.
3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to.
4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.
5. Biggest disappointment.
6. Biggest surprise.
7. Favorite new author. (Debut or new to you)
8. Newest fictional crush.
9. Newest favorite character.
10. Book that made you cry.
11. Book that made you happy.
12. Favorite book to film adaptation that you’ve seen this year
13. Favorite review you’ve written (booktube or written)
14. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)
15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?


Thank you so much for reading,
I’ll see you in my next post ♡

Bookshelf Reorganization 📚

So you might have noticed that, from time to time, I like to take all of the books out of my shelves and clean and reorganize everything. A few days ago, I decided to do the same thing, and I made a bookshelf reorganization video 🎉

Once again, I kind of organized them by genre and grouped all of the books by each author together, since that’s what makes the most sense in my mind. I made a little scheme of what is where on my shelves, so you can find that below – hope you enjoy!! 👇🏼

What is where

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After taking this photo I realized I should have switched the first thriller shelf and the historical fiction one so that all of my thrillers could be together, but they actually look better this way, so I’ll keep it like that 🤷🏻‍♀️


How do you organize your shelves? Let me know in the comments! ♡

Thank you so much for reading,
I’ll see you in my next post ♡

Review: This Does Not Leave This House by Julie Coons

thisdoesnot.qxp_dont try coverThis Does Not Leave This House by Julie Coons

Goodreads rating: 4.00

Pages: 186

Genre: Adult, Non Fiction, Religion & Spiritualism, Self-Help

Date published: January 13, 2018 (USA)

My rating: ★★★★☆ 4/5 stars

Goodreads // Buy this book: Paperback

Synopsis

How does a little girl survive an abusive mother, Catholic school, rape, and a near-death experience? Raised by an abusive, narcissistic mother (who once tried to trick her into having an abortion), Julie Coons was also raped in college by a stranger and later married an abusive man who threatened to kill her if she ever tried to leave. Suffering from physical and mental torment resulting in very low self-esteem, Julie often felt so completely alone during the many struggles of her life that she tried to take her own life.

This book is her true story—telling all the secrets she was never allowed to tell to encourage and motivate others to heal their own lives and break the cycle of abuse. Her story shows that there is hope and life after abuse. Now that the secrets are finally out, Julie has found freedom. So can you. This Does Not Leave This House is a raw, poignant, and secret-revealing memoir written to lead a movement

My review

Firstly, I’d like to thank the author, Julie Coons, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

So often I felt so completely alone during so many struggles in my life. I was raised by an abusive, narcissistic mother. I was raped in college by a stranger. I married an abusive man that threatened to kill me if I ever tried to leave. His abuse nearly killed me anyway. My mother tried to trick me into having an abortion.

Reading this book was not easy. Julie’s life is quite a rollercoaster, as you can probably tell by the synopsis and the excerpt above. When I got the book in the mail I thought it would be a very quick read, since it’s less than 200 pages long – but I was wrong! It took me a few days to finish, I was very moved by everything I was reading and I couldn’t bear to read the whole thing at once 😅

Although it is not an easy read, I HIGHLY recommend this little book to everyone – and I mean everyone. This is a story about abuse, and how Julie overcame it, how she broke the cycle. She broke two cycles, actually – growing up, she was abused at home, and she was later abused by her husband as well.

Julie is such a strong woman, I really admire her. She shows that it’s possible to be happy even after you go through hell, you just have to find your strength (in her case, her biggest strength was her daughter) and finally make a move, taking a step towards a better life. This being said, I would love to know her opinion of a couple of Colleen Hoover books, specifically the ones that include abuse and domestic violence. I’m very curious as to what she would think as she read them 🤔

The author also tells us about her experience with spirituality and religion. She had an out-of-body experience when she was still a kid, and she believes that made her receptive to spirits – meaning she regularly has paranormal experiences. She said something that was very interesting, although it really freaked me out: there are spirits that immitate people. She says one time she heard her husband come home and call out her name, heard his footsteps, but when she thought he was about to come in the room she was in, there was nothing. He was never there. Isn’t that fascinating but also extremely scary? I’m not quite sure how I feel about the paranormal, whether I believe it or not, but I do love to hear about people’s experiences! 👻

If you’re expecting a beautifully-written and lyrical book, that’s not what you’ll find. This is a very raw and unfiltered testimony, and it goes straight to the point.

It’s not just a book for people who have gone or are going through abuse, it’s a book for absolutely everyone out there. It might help you plan your own escape. It might help you in the future, prevent you from allowing abusive behavior. It might even open an abuser’s eyes to how their actions affect their victim.

This Does Not Leave This House is an incredibly important testimony. I have no words to describe what the author went through, and how this book made me feel. I also can’t express to you how important her story is, so I’ll leave you with some of the quotes I highlighted as I read.

Another lesson here is, don’t settle. Don’t marry someone thinking you can fix them or change. Protect your happiness, but don’t block the wall off too high either. Don’t miss out on that really good person because you are too blocked off. You don’t have to choose to hate or fear anyone or anything. It’s a fine line and a really intense journey. Just don’t distrust all men or all women. I used to have to remind myself not to paint everyone with the same brush. Abuse throws the abused into this real of feelings of fear and rage all at the same time.

I saved every penny for college because I knew my father was going to help my brother and not me. He felt it was more important for his son to go to college because his daughter could “just get married”, as he told me. I wasn’t raised to feel very strong as a woman. (…) After all this happened and I came out the survivor, I realized: I am powerful, not despite, but because, of my gender.

I hope nobody else knows what this feels like. If you have experienced anything like my experiences, I stand with you. You are not alone. You are not the rape. You are not the abuse. You are not the illness. No matter what it is, you are not that thing you carry around. You are a special person with a sensitive soul who deserves to be acknowledged. You are never alone. I stand with you.

You can’t change anything if you don’t ackowledge it. One person really can make a difference. I want to be that person and create a domino effect, so everyone will join in. I hope we can all join together to start a movement of positive change in the world. Let’s work together to start a movement of positive change in the world. Let’s work together to plant the seed and watch it grow. Life is a beautiful thing when there isn’t any abuse in it. Stop making excuses for the abuser. Stop continuing to enable them. Get it out there and get on with it.
Don’t you cry no more.

★★★★☆ 4/5 stars

Have you read any books about abuse? Are you planning on giving this one a try? Let me know in the comments!

I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on This Does Not Leave This House and if you’d like, check out my other book reviews!


Thank you so much for reading,
I’ll see you in my next post ♡

I’ve Got News For You!!

I have finally succumbed to my desire to create a booktube channel in English!! My first video is now up 🎉 It’s an introduction to the channel in which I talk a bit about myself and tell you about the things I like.

I really hope you enjoy it and that this video doesn’t suck too much 😅

Please let me know if you have any video requests, I will gladly film them for you! 😋


Thank you so much for reading,
I’ll see you in my next post ♡

 

Review: Lies by T.M. Logan

Image result for lies tm logan book coverLies by T.M. Logan

Goodreads rating: 3.97

Pages: 432

Genre: Adult, ThrillerMystery, Psychological Thriller

Date published: September 11th, 2018 (USA)

My rating: ★★★★★ 5/5 stars

Goodreads // Buy this book: Paperback & Hardback

Synopsis

What if you have the perfect life, the perfect wife and the perfect child—then, in one shattering moment, you discover nothing is as it seems? Now you are in the sights of a ruthless killer determined to destroy everything you treasure.

It’s the evening drive home from work on a route Joe Lynch has taken a hundred times with his young son. But today, Joe sees his wife meet another man—an encounter that will rip two families apart. Raising the question: Can we ever really trust those closest to us?

Joe will do whatever it takes to protect his family, but as the deception unravels, so does his life. A life played out without any rules. And a cunning opponent who’s always one step ahead.

My review

Firstly, I’d like to thank St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

I must say I read through this 432-page baby in NO TIME!! I started it last night and finished it today. It was all I could think about, I had to know what would happen next 😍

I hadn’t read the synopsis (or at least I didn’t know anything about the story going into it), so I went in head first, completely oblivious to what was coming my way. I must say I was most definitely not disappointed 🙌🏼

In Lies, we follow Joe, an English teacher who is married to Melissa. They have a little boy, William, who is 4 years old. One day, as Joe drives home, William spots his mom’s car and they both decide to surprise her. So, they follow her as she drives to a hotel parking lot. Then, they spot her as she meets with a man, a very suspicious interaction that makes Joe start to question everything and causes everything around him to fall apart.

This story doesn’t go where you expect it to, not in the slightest. And that’s what I loved about it. I had never read a book with a plot line such as the one in Lies, it felt rather refreshing. It’s a domestic thriller, but through the eyes of a man, unlike what usually happens, and it goes places I never even dreamed it would.

As the title suggests, this whole book is based on lies and secrets, which makes for a read that keeps you on the edge of your seat as you try to figure out what happened and the author keeps throwing revelations at you. You’re constantly finding out new things – it’s absolutely addicting, I could not put this book down! 😋

Since this is built upon lies, I had a ton of theories throughout the book. I took notes and highlighted stuff every time someone said something that didn’t make sense or that seemed suspicious. I wasn’t even remotely right for the most part, and I love that. I love when books aren’t predictable and keep surprising me 👌🏼 I was playing detective the whole time, which is something I love 🕵🏻‍♀️

Although this is well over 400 pages long, it doesn’t feel slow at all – there’s just a LOT of things happening 😅 There isn’t a very extensive list of characters, which is great because you’re not confused all the time. What there is is a whole lot of unexpected twists and turns – as well as inevitable situations – that keep coming at you the whole time, making this a very rich book. The main plot twist really messed with my head. I did not see that coming whatsoever, I could not believe what I was reading! 😲 It reminded me of The Wife Between Us because, although the plot twist is not even similar, I also didn’t see this one coming and I had to go back and re-read it, to make sure I was seeing right 😅

I kept saying on Goodreads that I was stressed whilst reading this. You have no idea!! I literally had to pause my reading several times because I was getting so anxious and aggravated 😨 This book has a lot of injustice in it, and that’s something that really irks me, especially when there’s literally nothing you can do about it. God, this was so damn stressful 😩 – but so worth it!!

Overall, this is a fast-paced book with an intricate and well-constructed plot that makes for a great and engaging read – especially after a bombastic plot twist!

★★★★☆ 4.5/5 stars


Update (June 14, 2018): changing the rating to 5 stars because I realized that it deserves it!

★★★★★ 5/5 stars

Have you read Lies? What did you think about that plot twist? Let me know in the comments! ♡

I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on Lies and if you’d like, check out my other book reviews!


Thank you so much for reading,
I’ll see you in my next post ♡

The Guardian | 1000 (Crime) Novels Everyone Should Read

I came across this list on Raven’s blog (which I love!) and I thought it would be a great thing to use as a reference in the future.

I haven’t read any of these – I’ve only recently started getting into the crime genre – but I plan to, so this is my guide to “classic” crime books. The list features a book by a very famous Portuguese author, so that’s exciting! Although I wouldn’t really consider that a crime book – at least not a regular one since it’s about a moral crime, not an actual crime.

The plan here is to cross out the books I read as time goes by, kind of like a record to keep here on the blog.
Here are the books featured in the crime section:

  1. The Man with the Golden Arm by Nelson Algren
  2. Fantomas by Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre
  3. The Mask of Dimitrios by Eric Ambler
  4. Epitaph for a Spy by Eric Ambler
  5. Journey into Fear by Eric Ambler
  6. The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster
  7. Trent’s Last Case by EC Bentley
  8. The Poisoned Chocolates Case by Anthony Berkeley
  9. The Beast Must Die by Nicholas Blake
  10. Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary E Braddon
  11. The Neon Rain by James Lee Burke
  12. The Tin Roof Blowdown by James Lee Burke
  13. The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan
  14. Greenmantle by John Buchan
  15. The Asphalt Jungle by WR Burnett
  16. The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M Cain
  17. Double Indemnity by James M Cain
  18. True History of the Ned Kelly Gang by Peter Carey
  19. The Hollow Man by John Dickson Carr
  20. The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
  21. The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler
  22. No Orchids for Miss Blandish by James Hadley Chase
  23. The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers
  24. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
  25. The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
  26. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie
  27. The Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie
  28. The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie
  29. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  30. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
  31. A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle
  32. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
  33. The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle
  34. The Manchurian Candidate by Richard Condon
  35. The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad
  36. Under Western Eyes by Joseph Conrad
  37. Postmortem by Patricia Cornwell
  38. The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton
  39. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
  40. Poetic Justice by Amanda Cross
  41. The Ipcress File by Len Deighton
  42. Last Seen Wearing by Colin Dexter
  43. The Remorseful Day by Colin Dexter
  44. Ratking by Michael Dibdin
  45. Dead Lagoon by Michael Dibdin
  46. Dirty Tricks by Michael Dibdin
  47. A Rich Full Death by Michael Dibdin
  48. Vendetta by Michael Dibdin
  49. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  50. An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
  51. My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier
  52. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  53. The Pledge by Friedrich Durrenmatt
  54. The Crime of Father Amaro by José Maria de Eça de Queiroz
  55. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
  56. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
  57. LA Confidential by James Ellroy
  58. The Big Nowhere by James Ellroy
  59. A Quiet Belief in Angels by RJ Ellory
  60. Sanctuary by William Faulkner
  61. Casino Royale by Ian Fleming
  62. Goldfinger by Ian Fleming
  63. You Only Live Twice by Ian Fleming
  64. The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
  65. Brighton Rock by Graham Greene
  66. A Gun for Sale by Graham Greene
  67. The Ministry of Fear by Graham Greene
  68. The Third Man by Graham Greene
  69. A Time to Kill by John Grisham
  70. The King of Torts by John Grisham
  71. Hangover Square by Patrick Hamilton
  72. The Glass Key by Dashiell Hammett
  73. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
  74. Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett
  75. The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett
  76. Fatherland by Robert Harris
  77. Black Sunday by Thomas Harris
  78. Red Dragon by Thomas Harris
  79. Tourist Season by Carl Hiaasen
  80. The Friends of Eddie Coyle by George V Higgins
  81. Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith
  82. The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
  83. Bones and Silence by Reginald Hill
  84. A Rage in Harlem by Chester Himes
  85. Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow by Peter Hoeg
  86. Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household
  87. Malice Aforethought by Francis Iles
  88. Silence of the Grave by Arnadur Indridason
  89. Death at the President’s Lodging by Michael Innes
  90. Cover Her Face by PD James
  91. A Taste for Death by PD James
  92. Friday the Rabbi Slept Late by Harry Kemelman
  93. Misery by Stephen King
  94. Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King
  95. Kim by Rudyard Kipling
  96. The Constant Gardener by John le Carre
  97. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carre
  98. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carre
  99. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  100. 52 Pick-up by Elmore Leonard
  101. Get Shorty by Elmore Leonard
  102. Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem
  103. The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum
  104. Cop Hater by Ed McBain
  105. No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
  106. Enduring Love by Ian McEwan
  107. Sidetracked by Henning Mankell
  108. Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley
  109. The Great Impersonation by E Phillips Oppenheim
  110. The Strange Borders of Palace Crescent by E Phillips Oppenheim
  111. My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk
  112. Toxic Shock by Sara Paretsky
  113. Blacklist by Sara Paretsky
  114. Nineteen Seventy Four by David Peace
  115. Nineteen Seventy Seven by David Peace
  116. The Big Blowdown by George Pelecanos
  117. Hard Revolution by George Pelecanos
  118. Lush Life by Richard Price
  119. The Godfather by Mario Puzo
  120. V by Thomas Pynchon
  121. The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon
  122. Black and Blue by Ian Rankin
  123. The Hanging Gardens by Ian Rankin
  124. Exit Music by Ian Rankin
  125. Judgment in Stone by Ruth Rendell
  126. Live Flesh by Ruth Rendell
  127. Dissolution by CJ Sansom
  128. Whose Body? by Dorothy L Sayers
  129. Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy Le Sayers
  130. The Madman of Bergerac by Georges Simenon
  131. The Blue Room by Georges Simenon
  132. The Laughing Policeman by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo
  133. Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith
  134. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  135. The League of Frightened Men by Rex Stout
  136. Perfume by Patrick Suskind
  137. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
  138. The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey
  139. The Getaway by Jim Thompson
  140. Pudd’nhead Wilson by Mark Twain
  141. A Dark-Adapted Eye by Barbara Vine
  142. A Fatal Inversion by Barbara Vine
  143. King Solomon’s Carpet by Barbara Vine
  144. The Four Just Men by Edgar Wallace
  145. Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
  146. Native Son by Richard Wright
  147. Therese Raquin by Emile Zola

How many of these have you read? Let me know in the comments down below!

Thank you so much for reading,
I’ll see you in my next post ♡

Review: And I Darken by Kiersten White

Image result for kiersten white and i darkenAnd I Darken by Kiersten White (The Conqueror’s Saga #1)

Goodreads rating: 3.90

Pages: 475

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, LGBT, Romance

Date published: June 28th, 2016 (USA)

My rating: ★★★★☆

Goodreads // Buy this book: Paperback & Hardcover

Synopsis

No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

My review

I got and started this book when it came out, back in 2016, but eventually put it down and never picked it back up. Since I’ve been trying to finish the books I’ve started, I decided to resume my reading of And I Darken – and I was definitely not disappointed!

I must confess that, when I first started it, it didn’t really capture my attention, the story didn’t grab me – probably why I didn’t keep on reading. But this time, as soon as I picked it up, I really got into the story. I’ve never been a historical fiction fan, and that’s why I barely read the genre, but this is a great fantasy story with a historical setting. As you probably know from all the hype when it first came out, this story takes place in the 15th century, in and during the Ottoman Empire. Oh, and one of the main characters is based on Vlad the Impaler, which is so cool 🙌🏼

Our main characters, Lada and Radu, are siblings, and they’re from Wallachia, a place in Romania which is under the power of the Ottoman sultan. Their father is the prince of Wallachia, and they are Christian, unlike the Ottomans. One day, something goes wrong and their father basically sells them and leaves them to be raised by the Ottomans as a guarantee, a way to ensure that he won’t misbehave (knowing that his children will be killed if he does). Lada does not accept her fate, and she hates everything about the Ottomans, starting with Islam. Radu, however, is way less of a rebel, and is more accepting of his fate and the people around him, although they are very different and, essentially, his enemies.

Poor eunuchs. Though the chief eunuch said being castrated and sold was the only future his parents had been able to offer him, Radu did not think it was very kind. The chief eunuch was powerful, yes, in charge of the entire harem and privy to the inner workings of the empire, but what a sacrifice!

This is a story filled with political intrigue, as you can probably tell from the synopsis. I actually hate politics, so I never expected to like this kind of plot as much as I did, but it’s amazing!! I was at the edge of my seat in so many moments, I loved how the characters were constantly endangered. Well, I don’t like that they’re in danger, but you get what I mean 😄 Another great part of the plot is the rivalry between Christianity and Islam, which is, unfortunately, still a thing six centuries later.

The author focuses quite a bit on the life of the soldiers, the Janissaries, which I really liked. She focuses on the details from the way they trained to how they behaved amongst themselves and with other people, which shows that White did her research – or at least she was able to convince me that she had done her research 😄 Still regarding historical accuracy, although the book is written in English, the author points out the fact that not everyone in Edirne spoke the same language, and she mentions the switching between languages – depending on who is talking and whom they are talking to. Little details that I really appreciate 😋

The characters are all so great and HILARIOUS. I laughed so many times, everyone in this world is hysterical and I am so here for it! Most of them were absolutely brilliant, but they still made mistakes. I like badass characters, but it’s important that they’re realistic, otherwise, I can’t even relate to them. There are many strong women in the story who know what they want – and use the little-to-no power they have to get whatever it is that they want. That is rather inspiring, and I think it’s a great representation of women. Huma and Lada are, probably, some of the strongest females I have ever read about, I fucking love them ❤️🙌🏼

“I think of you like a sister,” he said. “Like a brilliant, violent, ocasionally terrifying sister that I would follow to the ends of the earth, in part because I respected her so much and in part because I feared what she would do to me if I refused.”

She nodded. “I would do awful things.”

Nicolae laughed. “The most awful.”

“And then I would steal your horse lover, to spite you.”

“Your cruelty knows no bounds.”

Speaking of representation, there are a few LGBT characters which, as you might guess, it not the best thing when you’re in Ottoman lands – or any land really, the discrimination is still present today so I can only imagine how bad it was 600 years ago 😬 Fortunately, fantasy series have been including more and more LGBT+ characters with time – which we all appreciate, don’t we? 😊🌈

Another thing I thought was very well done was Lada’s struggle as a woman growing up surrounded by men. She eventually gets her period and goes through puberty, but she doesn’t quite understand it all, as no one explains it to her. There’s also some sexual harassment, which pissed me off. It made mad and also very sorry for her – but she handles it like a boss, to be honest.

Lada did not know how much longer she could get away with stealing bedsheets. Radu had complained that his bed was stripped of everything but a single blanket. She had to sit with her back against the door to guard against discovery as she ripped his sheet into manageable pieces to staunch the flow.

Kiersten White was able to create the most genius love-triangle type of thing I have ever read. The romance in this is so freaking good, but so unusual and original. That’s definitely one of my favorite parts of the story! 😍

In conclusion, I need the second book NOW so that I can find out what happens next 😋 Maybe I’ll wait until the third book comes out in July so I can binge read them both 👌🏼

★★★★☆ 4.5/5 stars

Have you read this book? What about the other books in the series? Let me know in the comments! ♡

I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on And I Darken and if you’d like, check out my other book reviews!


Thank you so much for reading,
I’ll see you in my nextpost♡

The Sunshine Blogger Award

Hi everyone! The lovely Rachael over at BeachBookworm nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award – thank you so much! I very gladly accept the nomination, so today we’ll be answering some questions.

I think I’ve been nominated before but I didn’t write down by whom, and now I can’t find it – I’m very sorry! 😅

Rules:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
3. Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
4. List the rules and display the sunshine blogger award logo in your post/or on your blog.

Rachael’s Questions for Me:

1. What’s your favorite thing about blogging?

This is probably a given, but talking about books. I just love to share my bookish thoughts and feelings with you. Combine that with writing, photography and some amazing followers, and it’s a wonderful hobby! ♡

2. Have you met a fellow blogger face to face?

I have friends who are bloggers, but I’m not sure that counts?? Otherwise, I don’t think I’ve met any of the bloggers I follow, unfortunately 😔

3. What is your favorite TV show?

I would say it’s Supernatural, but the truth is I haven’t watched a single TV show episode in months. Like easily since last year, it’s crazy! I’ve probably missed a whole Supernatural season 😅 That’s what senior year does to you…

4. What is your biggest fear?

I have so many that it’s hard to say which one is the biggest. Maybe I fear not being happy the most. I don’t feel happy at all, and I’m rather scared of being unhappy forever. That would really suck, wouldn’t it? 😰

5. Do you have any pets?

I do!! I have a dog named Sasha, she is the CUTEST. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen her in my stories 😍

6. How many books have you read, so far, this year?

I’ve read 17 out of 75… quite behind schedule, but I will fix it once I graduate – that’s a promise!! I want to read as much as I can this summer 🙌🏼

7. Tea or coffee?

Tea. I hate coffee with a burning passion. Just the smell of it makes me nauseous 🤢 I wish I liked it though, God knows I need the energy boost 😄

8. Where is your favorite reading spot?

I love reading in bed, that’s where I read the most. However, I think I might like reading on the train even better – that is, when there’s no one next to me talking on the phone and distracting me 😒

9. How happy are you today on a scale of 1 to 10?

Oh boy, like a 3? I’m rather down today because yesterday I got a test back and it wasn’t a good grade so I’m disappointed. I also spent all day studying and I am exhausted. Why can’t the semester just be over 😩 On the bright side, though, the biggest bookish event of the year here in Lisbon starts this Friday – I swear I’ll try my best not to buy too many books 😅

10. Which era do you wish you could visit?

This is actually so hard to answer?? I’m a history student, so I really like different eras for different reasons. It would have to be a tie between Ancient Egypt, probably around 1500 BC, and Ancient Rome, definitely around the 2nd and 1st centuries BC.

Maybe I would prefer Rome because a) they’re my ancestors, b) the climate is not as harsh as in the desert, c) I would understand the language better, and d) Mark Antony. However, visiting Ancient Rome would definitely be more gruesome, so I’d better toughen up before I left for my trip 😂

11. Favorite quote?

This changes from time to time, but right now it’s a quote that we analyzed in Latin class and it really stuck with me.

Amor, ut lacrima, ab oculo oritur, in pectus cadit
– Publilius Syrus

It roughly translates to “Love, just like a tear, rises from the eye, falls upon the chest”. Isn’t it so beautiful? Bless his soul

I Nominate:

  1. Zuky @ BookBum
  2. Susan @ Susan Loves Books
  3. Paige @ Just One More Pa(i)ge
  4. Sophie @ Beware of the Reader
  5. Kayla @ Books and Blends
  6. Nina @ The Cozy Pages
  7. Holly @ Nut Free Nerd
  8. Shanah @ Bionic Bookworm
  9. J.W. Martin
  10. Joshua @ High Literature
  11. Catherine @ Ethereal Pages

My Questions for the Nominees:

1. If you could trade places with anyone, who would it be?
2. Who is your favorite character of all time?
3. Do you ever find yourself daydreaming?
4. Reading at home or reading outside?
5. How many languages do you speak?
6. Which language(s) would you like to learn?
7. What is your main goal for this year?
8. Zodiac sign?
9. What is your favorite flower?
10. Biggest pet peeve?
11. Do you believe in the supernatural?


Alright you guys, those were my borderline depressing answers to Rachael’s questions! Don’t forget to check out her blog, it’s amazing! I hope you enjoyed getting to know me a little better through some of these answers 😋 If you’d like a Q&A post, definitely let me know in the comments! 👇🏼

Thank you so much for reading,
I’ll see you in my next post ♡