Top Ten Tuesday – Books With Colors in the Title

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

I decided to join this since one, I love lists and two, it’s the perfect opportunity to talk a little bit about books I haven’t yet in this blog. So here we go, I’ve searched through my goodreads read lists of the past 8 years and this is the list I’ve come up with.

10. Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik – a very good stand-alone fantasy, it has an amazing fairy-tale like quality to it, and I remember really enjoying the characters. It’s a bit oddly-paced, and I was left wanting a bit more, more violence, more tension from it, but a good book nontheless.

9. Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge – this book is such an important read, it brings to light systemic racism in the UK and it states clearly the problems coloured people face in a very white-centric world. I’ve read this this past month and found it a relly poignant read, specially at the time we are living in.

8. Blue is the warmest color by Julie Maroh – it’s one of my favorite graphic novels; it’s a coming-of-age story of a girl that finds love in Adele, a blue-haired woman, and their story. I don’t remember that much from it, if I’m honest, it’s been quite a long time since I’ve read it but I remember crying and being very moved by it.

7. Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey Quinston – it’s a very cute, very fast YA love story between the son of USA’s President and an UK’s prince. It’s charming, the perfect summer rom-com. Also, I really recomend this audiobook.

6. Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater – This one was an easy pick. It’s the third book in the Raven Cycle series, which I completed a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it. This book was definitely not my favorite of the series, but I was so in love with the characters by then that it was kept in my mind as a great book.

5. My Sweet Orange Tree by José Mauro de Vasconcelos – this book is from a brazilian author and it tells us the story of the friendship between a poor and sensible 6-year-old kid and his portuguese neighbor. I read it a lot of years ago, but I still remember sobbing as a mad woman with this book, it’s delightful.

4. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch (let’s pretend dark is actually a color, ok?) – if somebody asks me to reccomend a sci-fi, this is always it. It’s a very well thought book that plays with the ideia of parallel realities, and I loved it.

3. The Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop – this is one of my original fantasy series, one of those I read while still a teen, and fell in love deeply with it. It’s set in a dark and sensual world, and I loved the magic system, based in Jewels.

2. Lethal White by Robert Galbraith – I’ve thought a lot before putting this book here. I’ve made no secret that I’m a huge Harry Potter fan and also that I absolutely love J.K. Rowling’s new series, about the detective Cormoran Strike. However, recently I was severely disappointed on Rowling’s views on trangender people, particularly transgender women, and I’m having a very hard time sepparating the work from the author. But, for what it’s worth, here it is. It’s the fourth book of a series I was really into, now I don’t know if I’ll continue with it, just because I don’t want to support J.K. Rowling.

  1. Golden Girl by Chris Cleave This one is the story of three olympic athletes and their complicated relationship, the secrets they carry with them, and I loved it, just as I loved every Chris Cleave book I’ve ever read. I definitely need a re-read of this one, but I think it’s one that will stand the testo of time for me, there are still scenes from it remember super clearly, even though it has been seven or eight years

The Dialogue of Two Snails by Federico Garcia Lorca

Book 7 of the Reading Rush 2020

Challenge Completed: Read the first book you touch

I had never read any García Lorca before, and I was quite happy that this was what I picked blindly from my Penguin modern collection. I’m only including this review here so I can close the reviews from my Reading Rush week, since I haven’t read enough poertry, at all, to really be an insightful reviewer. The only think I can say, truly, is that I enjoyed it a lot, and that it made me want to read a bit more by him, maybe next time in spanish so I can really appreciate the cadence of his words.

The Guest List by Lucy Fowley – Review

Book 6 of the Reading Rush 2020

Challenge Completed: Read a book which title starts with “The”

In a small little island in the coast of Ireland Jules and Will are getting married. During the party, the lights go out, and then a terrible scream comes from outside. Someone might be dead on the isolated isle. Jules is beautiful and powerful, an online magazine editor, and Will is a rich, sexy and brilliant tv host, and everything about their wedding has been meticulously planned. But there’s a bridesmaid with a secret, a wedding planner that really wanted to work on this wedding, a best man whose life has gone downhill, a plus-one which husband might be a little too friendly with the bride…

This book was the perfect fix I needed for my summer-mystery craving. It’s well constructed, the characters are very very interesting, you are wondering from the first chapter who was killed and who killed them and why, and you are kept guessing all the way through.

I heard the audiobook for it while on walks, and I really appreciated it, I do recommend it over the written book, since it was narrated by a full cast and it made the whole atmosphere come to life perfectly. I listened to it while in the woods with my dog and found myself creeped out by some scenes, by just the description of the island, and I just love when books have the ability to translate their atmosphere, their feeling into your everyday life.

When it comes to the plot, I was quite pleased on how the whole thing turned up. I really enjoyed some plot twists, one of them partiularly took me off guard, and I never felt bored whilst listening to it. I had some problems with the ending, on how everything kind of “turned” in the same direction (sorry for my vagueness, trying not to spoil anything here), but all in all a great summer read.

My star rating: 4.0/5.0

If you liked this book you might like:

  • And then there were none by Agatha Christie
  • The French Girl by Lexie Elliot

Defy Me by Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me #5)

Warning: this review has spoilers for the first 4 books of the series

Book 5 of the Reading Rush 2020

Challenge Completed: Read a book with a cover with the same colour as your birthstone – diamond

Juliette has lost control; after only a short time as the Supreme Commander of North America she has lost sight of who her allies are, broke up with Warner, killed a whole lot of people and now finds herself with her biological parents, who had given her willingly to The Reestablishment. In this book, we follow her as she fights to regain control of her most remote memories and discovers a whole new person in herself.

I’m on the fence about writing this review, and that is because I’m still mad at the book. Really mad. I disliked it quite deeply, and worst, it disappointed me, since I’ve been following this story for quite a few years now, and it has gone astray.

I read for the first time the initial trilogy when I was way younger, when I was picking up every YA book that was being talked about on BookTube. And I really enjoyed it, I could always see its flaws, its shady worldbuilding and hasty plot points, but I was super engaged on the characters and on the main romance. For me, I always saw this series as a romance who was disguising as a dystopian action book, and I was alright with it. But then Tahereh came up with this new story arc, this three new additions to the series, and if the 4th one already left me with a sour taste in my mouth, this one did the trick fully, and I strongly disliked it.

In this book all that has been built so far unravels and crumbles; charcaters that we thought dead aren’t (one of my most hated tropes ever, always feels like a cop out), the characters are not who we thought they were (for years!), relationship issues are just brushed off instead of dealt with, physical changes are reversed, cheesy romance is thrown in during fucking complicated scenes… It’s a mess, a jumble of all the tropes I can’t stand in one single book.

I also missed Tahereh’s beautiful writing style in it, the previous books had a faeric-like charm to them, which was definitely lacking in this one.

I actually think I will read the last book, since I’m already 5 books into the series, I’ve already purchased it, and also because I think that now this can only go up.

My star rating: 1.0/5.0

Instead of this I would reccomend:

  • Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo
  • Lips Touch Three Times by Laini Taylor
  • The Broken Stars by Amie Kauffman and Meaghan Spooner

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

Book 4 of the Reading Rush 2020.

Challenge Completed: Read a book that inspired a movie you’ve already seen

After Chris McCandless graduated from college he donated all the money from his savings account, burned the dollars he carried with him and left his everyday life behind, searching for adventure in the wilderness. He was 24 when found dead in the Stampede Trail, in Alaska, after two years of roaming the country with nothing but the few clothes and personal objects he carried with him.

I had seen the movie quite a long time ago, and I remember not really knowing how to feel about it, about Chris’s actions and decisions, and that made me feel a bit unsure about picking up the book. But finally,incentivated by The Reading Rush challenge, I did it.

Jon Krakauer’s writing is quite special, he turned a jornalistic peace, an exploring of a true story in a really interesting work, a book that touches not only on the facts but also conjectures about the reasoning that guided Chris through this wild adventure.

It was a very fast read, unlike what I had been expecting, I flew through the book in one afternoon, and kept wanting to know more, to meet every person he met along the way, to get to know this strange and brave and smart guy that died living his dream. It still left me with the same contradictory feelings the movie did, particularly about his violent departure from his family, but it still made for a pretty good read.

The book just lost me a bit when different stories, from other adventurers or even from the author’s life were thrown in there, it completely lost my attention since all I wanted was to keep following Chris’ story. I also felt the order of it all a bit confusing, I had some difficulties to mantain a chronological order in my mind.

My star rating: 3.0/5.0

If you liked this you might like:

  • Dead Mountain by Donnie Eichar
  • Columbine by Dave Cullen

Beach Read by Emily Henry

Book 3 of the Reading Rush 2020.

Challenge Completed: Read a book that is set in a continent other than your own. This one is set in North America.

January is a romance writer and a girl who has always seen the bright side of life. However, after her father’s death, and the discovery that he might have had a second life, she’s out of fun stories to tell; broke and in need of a book written by the end of the summer, she moves into the lake house her father has left her. Her next door neighbour,however, is an old acquaintance, a brilliant novelist who is also in the search of his next book, and January’s rival.

I feel this book has fulfilled exactly what I expected of it. It’s cute, fast, a great summer read for a day at the beach.

I really enjoyed the characters and their development, January is a good main character, funny, independent and well flushed out. Augustus, the neighbour, is the traditional brooding artist but I really liked that about him. The dialogue, the banter between them is quite good.

The pace of the book is good, it feels like a rom-com, sometimes the characters are even aware of it, and it’s fun, not too serious. It deals with heavier subjects in it, and I think it does them justice. The atmosphere is perfect for the summer, I read it all in one day and I didn’t want to put it down.

I think the only thing I have to point out to it it’s that it fell in some pretty predictable plot points and devices, some of them I wasn’t really on board with. It also didn’t surprise me, all the way through, and I wish it had. But, all in all, a very good read.

My star rating: 3.5/5.0

If you liked this you might like:

  • Big Summer, Jennifer Weiner
  • The Unhooneymoners, Christina Lauren
  • Listen to Your Heart, Kasie West

Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton

Book 2 of Reading Rush 2020.

Challange completed: Read a book in a genre you want to read more of.

This book. If you’re a late 20 something year-old female just go and get this book, don’t even read the rest of the review, just go pick it up.

This. Book.

Dolly Alderton takes us through her formative years and then her 20’s, showing us how her views on love, boys and life in general altered as she grew older. We peek into her crazy “party-girl” life and are lulled by her amazing ability to connect.

My reading year had been kind of shitty, so far. I had read a couple of good books but nothing that remarkable that would stay with me for a long time. Until this book. I cannot even put in words how much I connected with Dolly’s writing, how much of my 20 year-old self I saw in hers, and then my 25 year-old self and so on. Not that we had the same experiences, my life has been much tamer than hers, but that we perceive reality in a pretty similar way.

You know that felling you have when you’re reading and you think “oh, you too?”, and you feel seen and understood, and finally there’s a setence, right there, that translates what you’ve been feeling? That happened quite a lot of times in this book, specially in the final two chapters, where she reflects on her 20s, and I felt hugged.

This is not only a great reflection on romantic love but also the greatest love letter to female friendships I’ve encountered in a long time. Finally a book, a non-fiction one, where you see how important are your female friends, both in your teenage years and in your 20s, how that sisterhood feeling is the compass that guides us through these years.

I don’t know if this was a me thing, if this is a millenial thing, or even a late 20s person thing, but this book hit all the spots it was supposed to and left me thinking about a lot of personal aspects. And I thank it profusely.

So just go, go read it now, please.

My star rating: 5.0/5.0

If you liked this you might like:

  • We are never meeting in real life by Samantha Irby
  • Love Sick, Jessie Cave

Heartstopper vol.3 by Alice Oseman – Review

Book 1 of Reading Rush 2020

Challenge Completed: Read a book outside your house. I read it in the first day of the readathon, in a river beach near my parents’ house.

This book is the third in a comic series where we follow high schoolers Nick and Charlie as they become very good friends and then something more. It’s a series that focus on sexuality, first love and navigating those on the treacherous waters of a school full to the brim with other teenagers.

This is a very enjoyable, very fast read. It’s a fun comic, and although it deals with heavier topics it is a “feel-good” one. I’m a big fan of Nick and Charlie’s romance and also of the diversity the author has managed to include in this book.

The first book still has its place as my favorite, mainly because it’s where we get introduced to the characters, which I always love, and also we get to experience the “falling in love part”, the getting to really know each other, and I’m a sucker for that. In these last two I’ve enjoyed myself but they feel a bit lackluster, but I’m for sure going to continue with the series.

My star rating: 3.0/5.0

If you liked this you might like:

  • Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey Quinston
  • They both die at the end by Adam Silvera
  • Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Erin Hicks

My Reading Rush TBR

So I’ve been participating in The Reading Rush readathon since it started, as BookTube-a-Thon. This year it happened to fall on a week I’ve taken off for some stay-at-home vacations, so I think it will be the perfect opportunity to just immerse myself into reading.

As every year, the Reading Rush has seven challenges we have to try and complete, so here are my proposals by challenge- the books I actually read may be different since I’m a pretty moody reader, but for now it looks good to me!

  1. Read a book that matches the colour of your birthstone (DIAMOND – April)Defy Me by Tahereh Mafi.

Well, diamonds are actually a very dubious colour, but it’s the perfect excuse to finally pick up this sequel. I was a fan of the Shatter Me trilogy when I was younger but I kind of hated the following book, Defy Me, so I’ve not been inclined to pick up the last two of the series. But hopefully here I go.

2. Read a book that starts with the word “The”The Guest List” by Lucy Fowley

I wanted an audiobook from Scribd in this list, and this one seems like a very cool and cozy mystery to follow while I’m on my runs or dog walks.

3. Read a book that inspired a movie you’ve already seenInto the Wild, Jon Krakauer

I’m a read a book before you see the movie kind of person, so I didn’t have that many books to choose from. I’ve been meaning to read Krakauer for a couple of years now, I’ve actually picked this book up before and put it down, so now it’s the perfect timing to give it another go.

4. Read the first book you touch with your eyes closedThe Dialogue of Two Snails by Federico García Lorca

So this one we could choose; we could either blindly pick from an entire shelf, or list, or collection. I picked from my Penguin Modern classics; they’re small, pretty fast reads and also it contains a multitude of authors I want to explore more of, or at least get a sense of their writing. I was pretty happy with Lorca.

5. Read a Book completely outside of your houseHeartstopper vol.3 by Alice Oseman

It’s a graphic novel, so it’s short, great for a quick read at the beach.

6. Read a book in a genre you’ve always wanted to read more ofEverything I know about love by Dolly Alderton

I’ve always wanted to read more non-fiction, particularly memoirs, my favorite. In the last few years I’ve been making an effort to do this, so here goes another one.

7. Read a book that takes place on a different continent than were you liveBeach Read by Emily Henry

This book takes place in America, I’m pretty sure, and I live in Europe, so here we go. Also, it seems the perfect fast read for a Summer readathon.

I’m going to try and make individual reviews for each of the readathon books; don’t hold me to my promise, since I’ve been a very lazy reviewer lately, but I’ll make an effort!

June Wrap Up

I feel like the world has sped up; since the ending of lockout it has been like a race, first tentative and now at full velocity and I’m trying to keep up with this newness. It’s been a very good month, but I haven’t actually read that much, and most of it was done during a vaction week at the beggining of the month. So here we go, with the promisse of more contant this month and not only jumping from a wrap up to another.

Heartstopper, volume 2 by Alice Oseman – 3 stars

It’s just as cute as the first part, but I felt it less exciting, I felt the story losing air a bit, but I’m still excited to continue reading this.

Complications: a Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Sciece by Atul Gawande – 4.5 stars

This book was excellent and it came to me exactly when I needed it most. In it, surgeon Atul Gawande talks about the errors that are still present in Medicine despite the huge advances of the last decades, the mysteries that cannot be unvailed and the uncertainty that goes hand in hand with this job. The first part of these three, the one about error, was my favorite one, it helped me establish the importance of aknowledging our mistakes; for a doctor it is extremely important to be able to annalyse their errors and try to dimminish them in the future, but it’s highly frowned upon, more and more each day, due to the increasing vision of doctors as machines, as people who CANNOT make mistakes. But doctors are people, just as fallible as anybody else, and this book established that beautifully.
It felt like a hug, and a very well written hug at that.

The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa – 2 stars

Fun, light hearted, but nothing to tell home about. It’s a romance, and I heard the audiobook version of it, and it was good for keeping me entertained while doing chores or walking my dog, but it wasn’t memorable.

The Female of The Species by Mindy McGinnis – 3.5/5.0

This is a heavy book. It deals a lot with rape and rape culture, and I cannot deny it’s importance. I was completely enrapped in the story at the beginning, and I was enjoying that off-tone to it, that lingering wrongness of the main character. The ending disappointed me quite a bit, it became too theatrical, but still a good book.

Caim by José Saramago – 4 stars

It had been a while since I picked up a Saramago book and it was amazing to return to his writting. To those of you who never read anything by him just pick one of his books up in a library and read a few pages. Its mesmerizing.

In this book Saramago retells several Old Testament episodes, through Cain, who slaughters his brother Abel and then travels through time and takes part in different well-known scenes, such as Sodoma and Gomorra and the deluge. It’s funny, acrid, sacrilegious in the best sense of the word. Not my favorite Saramago book so far, but still a great read.

Total pages this month: 1969

I’ve been listening to:

  • Taken for a fool – The Strokes
  • Virile – The Blaze
  • All the trees of the field will clap their hands – Sufjan Stevens