Saturday, March 30, 2019

Bookish Talks ~17~ Fairs, Updates and Coffee Breaks

Hey, all! 

Welcome to a new Bookish Talk! I realised it's been since last August since I've written one and, naturally, I have a lot to talk about, both about things that have happened and things that are to occur. So, without further ado, let's jump right into it! I just checked and the last one I wrote about was about moving to Nijmegen and YalFU and a lot has changed since then! 

1. YAlTival
I'm going to another bookish convention! YalTival is happening on June 31st somewhere in the Netherlands, where I'll be meeting, among other unannounced authors, Stephanie Garber! I'm guilty of not having read any of her books yet, but I'm still looking forward to the event, and it gives me motivation to get into Caraval soon! I'll be going with some friends I met at YalFu! I'm super excited about this as whenever I go to these little conventions in the Netherlands I meet up with the same people regularly and I absolutely love that!

2. Livres Paris
Although I did write a whole post about it here, I went to Livres Paris two weeks ago, a huge French book convention! Although French is one of my mother languages, I have a little bit of a harder time reading it than English, so I don't know many French authors well enough to have gone for a signing. However, I met some incredible indie authors, who have written books I can't wait to delve into once my ARC-TBR is reduced! 

3. Bookstagram woes 
So I think I've mentioned this somewhere before, but I re-started by instagram account from scratch back in January. I found myself stuck in a vicious corner of the internet where people follow people to be followed back, and that just generally had an uncomfortable vibe going around. In the space of 24 hours I saved my favourite photos, deleted my account and started fresh. Same user name @justanotherbookishblog, but a slightly different way of doing things. I'm now doing whatever I want, not limiting myself or giving myself a fixed schedule. If a creep decided to follow me I have no problem removing them from my follower list. It's been refreshing! 
I reached 600 followers just today, which I'm very proud and impressed by. But I feel more comfortable in bookstagram now, so I'm glad I made this choice. 

4. I followed the advice of Will Traynor
If you know me well, you'll know that one of my all-time favorite contemporaries is Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes. Now, the other day when I was visiting my parents in Paris, we went to Le Marais for falafels. Now, this is the area that Will tells Lou he would go back to if he could. So what did I do? I looked up what exactly he said about it, and where he suggested her to go. 

Sadly, the cited café doesn't really exist, however it was inspired by one called Le Voltigeur that I had the absolutely greatest time at! Look out for a full post about this soon! It deserves a full one!

5. D&D 
I love Dungeons and Dragons. My dad started showing me how to play in middle school, and I played off an on through high school up until now. One of the people I met at YalFU actually introduced me to her group, so we've been playing together. I have my main character Lila who I have been playing with the longest that I sometimes bring into their campaign if I can, and I'm DMing my own game, based on the Legend of Zelda! Those games are all written up as my Trials of Time stories, which I would love for you to check out! (My players are _very_ hopeful for fan art, too, in case that's your thing!)

6. ARCs
I just received an influx of ARCs that shall, for now, remain secret! I'm super excited about some of them, so make sure to stay tuned for reviews, release dates and reactions!

7. Blog Updates
And finally a small segment - I FINALLY took the time to update my tabs on top of my blog! Now every review is present in the reviews tab, and I made a new one for this series! I am very proud of myself, though the amount of work that took and the constant switching between screens did give me a headache, oops! 

Stay bookish! 

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

The Trials of Time - Episode 2

Hey, all! 

I was amazed at how many of you took the time to read my first episode of my current Dungeons and Dragons campaign, OoTers! (For reference, I call it OoTers when talking about it, but when writing I will keep calling it Trials of Time). 

So, here is the second episode! For those of you who know a thing or ten about the Legend of Zelda, I made the choice of having Link die after having found the Stone of the Forest - maybe an aggressive Octorok got to him? 

In any case, our four adventurers, Lulu, Jem, Shadow and a yet-to-be-introduced Gerudo are on their way to complete the quest to find the three gems that will open the Door of Time. They have two places to choose from, and they decided out of game to first go to visit the Goron city to inquire about the second stone, the Stone of Fire. 


When one leaves Hyrule Castle town, one can travel East until they encounter Kakariko village, a small town created by a group of Sheikahs to give civilians a safe place to live during the wars that tore through Hyrule. Nestled in a valley between two mountains, Kakariko village soon grew to be prosperous and held a great sense of comfort. 

As the adventurers approached, the sun had set. Lulu rubbed his eyes, knocking his glasses askew, tired from the journey. Shadow and the Gerudo kept following closely behind, not saying a word. Only Jem seemed alert, if not a little nervous, an eye kept on a small potions shop. He lead the group towards it, an idea in mind. Tentatively, he opened the door. 


From the back of the shop, they all heard something crash, followed by flurry of quick footsteps. From around a corner, a tall girl with brown hair appeared. 

"James Carstairs, where have you been?!" She demanded, looking straight at Jem. 

Lulu looked between them, eyes wide. "I thought you said your name was Jem?" he asked, more confused than anything else. Why would anyone say a name that's not theirs? 

But Jem didn't seem to register Lulu's questions. "It's nice to see you too, Tess," he managed, before she caught him in a tight hug. 

Shadow groaned and looked away, not in the mood for heartfelt reunions. She looked at the Gerudo and muttered "I'm going to go explore. There might actually be something interesting in this town."

The two girls left the small shop, going from building to building. To tell the truth, there wasn't much in the town - a small school, an armoury, and a slew of small houses. Shadow climbed a set of stairs towards a windmill, and pulled open the door. Inside what a whole contraption that allowed it to spin, that creaked with the sound of splintering wood. Inside was a musician, seemingly hypnotised by the windmill. "Round and round..." he kept repeating. 'Around and around and around'. 

It didn't take long for Shadow to leave, quietly deciding that these townsfolk needed to see more of the world before they got any crazier. 

In the meantime, the Gerudo was in conversation with an old man, hunched by a tree. "I'm sorry, do you know how I can get to an inn?", she asked, breaking her usual silence. 

The man kept staring at the ground. "People are disgusting. My parents were disgusting, my brother was disgusting..."

"Um, pardon me?"

He finally looked up at her. "You must be disgusting as well!"

Put off by his demeanour, the Gerudo left him alone, finding Shadow as she left the windmill. "The people in this town are insane." she noted. 

Shadow nodded. Soon enough, Lulu showed up, followed closely by Jem and Tessa. Tessa, curious, kept an eye on the Gerudo woman, who started staring back, not exactly kindly. Jem put a hand on his friend's shoulder, making her snap out of her daze. "I'm sorry, it's just I've read so much about your tribe... In any case, Jem told me about your plan... I can offer you a place to sleep? I own the inn, over there, and I'd be happy to let you stay. And if you need any potions or food, I'm sure I'll have anything you need. I'm an alchemist, potions are easy for me."

Soon enough, she lead them to the inn, letting them settle in. Jem, having things to talk about over a cup of tea, decided to follow Tessa to her house. 

It was nearing one in the morning before Jem finished his tea, when Tessa asked. "Are you sure he's alive? And that you can find him?"

Jem looked up at the girl he shouldn't love so much anymore, his gaze steady. "I wouldn't be going on this trip if I wasn't certain, Tess. Not in my condition. Will is alive, and I will bring him back." He set down his tea cup and glanced at his violin. "It is late, isn't it? The others will want to leave early."

Although the two started off being alone, Tessa soon, sought out Jem for comfort, who spent the night holding her close. 

*** *** *** 

The morning came too quickly. 

At least everyone agreed to that. 

Filling the groups pockets with health potions and powders, Tessa pointed the way to the Goron city - up a pathway leading to a volcano. It was an easy hike, especially for Lulu who could sneak past every sleeping Tektite on the road. They easily found Goron City, an underground cavern filled with paths and rooms, grossly dug out into what could look like homes. 

In the middle of the cavern was an empty central area, adorned with a large jar depicting the past Goron kings, each with a different expression on their face. Behind the imposing jar, was a large door, leading to the King's chambers. 

The king himself was named Darunia. He was of a strong build and had a kind face, but was not used to having visitors. 

"Hey! Who are you?"

Lulu, taking off his hat, spoke up. "We were sent by Zelda for the gem! Not 'Jem' with a J, that's him", he pointed to Jem "but a shiny fire gem, with a g!" 

Darunia tilted his head to the side. "I received no notice of any royal visitors, and, no offence, but you don't look the type. What proof do you have?" 

The companions looked at each other, before Jem pulled out his violin. From it he drew a beautiful tune, one known to be used only by those with ties to the royal court. 

Darunia grinned. "Alright! You may be legit. But before I just hand the stone over to you, I want to know what you're worth. We've been having a problem with our supply of stones. If you four manage to rid us of the problem, the stone is yours!"

Before any of the others could interject, Lulu agreed to the mission. "OK! Where is this problem? I think we can help!"

Darunia chuckled and lead them to a cavern. 

It was full of puddles of lava, had bombs scattered here and there, and the far wall was adorned with the giant head of a fish. 

And the door closed behind them. 

The group went from room to room, looking for a way up. Soon enough, they found a rather large room, with a tower in its centre, surrounded by flowers that looked like bombs. The Gerudo girl was watching the structure from a corner of the room. She looked to Shadow. "I have an idea. If this doesn't work, my name is Sisin. Don't forget that". 

Shadow nodded and watched the girl - Sisin - drop a device near one of the flower bombs. It seemed to be another kind of explosive device, which triggered a chain reaction of bomb explosions. Suddenly, the tower fell, crashing into the ground to form rough steps towards a door high up on the wall. Lulu - his hands covering his ears - yelled out "You're quiet but smart!", and started scampering up the steps, the others behind him. 

The rooms seemed endless, until the four companions entered small room, filled with strange creatures. They attacked each other relentlessly - Lulu threw many stones at them, while Sisin and shadow cut them down with blades. As he had shown before, Jem used some fire magic to kill some of the creatures. However, they seemed immune to much of the attacks. Having accidentally hit some bombs with his fire, Jem caused a small explosion, directly affecting the creatures. The sparks drew the bats to the bombs like a flare. After a few cuts, Jem decided to do something that may just work. He picked up a bomb, lit it and waited until some of the bats came closer to him. However, he waited too long. 

The bomb exploded in his hands. 

Jem was on the ground. 

Alarmed, the others cut through the final enemies. Once they were vanquished, they ran to Jem, healing him slowly.

"Why is the medicine working as fast as it should?" Lulu asked, used to seeing these potions work. 

Indeed, while the potions let anyone heal at an increased speed, Jem's wounds did heal... but not as they should have. 

Slowly, he regained consciousness. Mumbling a few curses in his mother tongue, he excused himself, and left the room for a moment. When he returned, he looked... absolutely fine. "Let's go find a way to get out of this place," he said, completely casually, though his heart was racing. The others looked at him with wide eyes as they got up and followed him to the next room. 

The next room, in fact, was back in the main hall, confusing the group. Next to them stood a sign. "The door will only open once the beast's eyes are lit". 

"What does that mean?" asked Lulu. 

Always the silent force, Sisin picked up some flower bombs, tossing them into the dark eyes of the fish head. One by one as the bombs landed, the eyes lit, and the jaw of the fish opened slowly. With a silent shrug, she walked into the mouth of the beast, the others close behind. 

The room they walked into was quite large. 

And in it stood a large dragon-like creature. 

After some relentless fire-setting, bomb-throwing, rock-throwing and slicing, the dragon fell. 

It was a difficult battle. 

But once it was over, a door opened to the outside world, where Darunia greeted them, a smile across his face. 

"Hey! You did it! You freed our cavern!"

The group, covered in various cuts and bruised, looked at him somewhat incredulously. 

"You know", Jem started "You could have told us we were fight a dragon". 

"Ah, but what fun would that have been? Anyway, you wanted the stone, right?"

Lulu looked up at the mention of the stone and approached Darunia. "Yes please!"

Jem chuckled as he watched the Goron king hand over a beautiful red stone to the Kokiri child, who he was growing quite fond of. 

Darunia smiled at the group, and stretched out his arms. "You are now all the sworn brothers and sisters of our people!". Out of nowhere, two other morons appeared, reaching out to hug the adventurers who had saved their food and trade supply. Lulu and Jem hugged them back happily, while Shadow and Sisin, seemed... uncomfortable. 

Eventually, they all made it back down the mountain to Kakario village. It was late, their next adventure would have to wait until the next day. 

Lulu, Shadow and Sisin went to sleep almost right away, Lulu keeping the stone close. 

Jem had someone to visit before going to sleep. Although Tessa scolded him, he couldn't hold back a slight smile. He hadn't been fighting for years, since his brother went missing, and it felt great. Although he had almost died, it finally felt like he was doing something to help. 

"Why are you still smiling you almost died?" Tessa finished, looking at him with apparent confusion. 

Jem just took her in his arms and kissed the top of her head. "I know. But I think I know how I can help Will. It helps to have a path." 

That's it for this chapter! I know it's quite long but I hope you are taking the time to read it anyway! It's a lot of fun to write and it includes a lot of things I now hold to heart! 

Stay bookish! 

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Mini Reviews 3

Hey, all! 

With no-exams-during-exam-week and bookfairs, I've had a lot of opportunities to read what I want! However I've been a bad blogger and haven't been reviewing every book one at a time (oops). So without further ado, here's my third set of mini-reviews. Hopefully I'll be better at reviewing in the upcoming months! 

1. Clockwork Princess, by Cassandra Clare
Ok so by now it's no surprise this is one of my favorite books - I just ordered a signed copy because I could not resist it! I do have some more thought-out book reviews (check out the review page!) for this book that basically sum up my fangirl feels! I re-read this apart from the previous two instalments because the D&D campaign I'm now running includes Jem, Tessa and Will and I wanted to read it again for reference :) 

Naturally, 5/5 stars! 

2. The Clockwork Scarab, by Colleen Gleason 
This is a London-based steampunk I picked up on BookOutlet! Imagine references to Sherlock Holmes, Vampires, Dracula, Ancient Egypt, superhuman strength and time travel, wrapped up in about 300 pages. I liked where this book was going, but I found myself lost in all of the quirks there were to consider! However, I did like the writing style Colleen offered, and the re-imagined niece of Sherlock was a fun character to follow! There were times where I could make literal parallels with Clockwork Angel, but I'm not sure this was done on purpose. Overall I enjoyed reading it, it was fun, but I'm not going to pick up the second book. 

3/5 stars from me! 

3. Creatures Fantastique, by Kaziya
Another Manga? Caro are you becoming a manga fan? Maybe! This was one of the books I picked up at Livre Paris last week and I read in a day! It's a super cute story about a medical specialist and his apprentice, who go around discovering magical creatures and finding ways to heal them. Very wholesome with a background story that I found to be very fun to follow! This Manga is set in a world in which science is taking over the minds of a population that once believed in magic, which is such an interesting setting!

Super adorable, 4/5 stars! 

4. Kids of Appetite, by David Arnold
David Arnold is one of the authors I had the pleasure of meeting almost 2 years ago, he's such a cool guy! I finally read KoA and enjoyed it a lot! The main characters, Vic and Mad are quite heartwarming and yes super real, while all the side characters have a real purpose and are not just there to be figures. I had a great time reading about the developments between Vic and the other Chapters, however Coco might have been my favorite character! The only thing I have 'against' this book is that is was very John Green-like. I love JG's books but this had the same pattern present in most of his books. David I saw your voice in Mosquitoland so clearly, bring it back! 

This was a healthy 4/5 stars for me! 

That's it for today! I have a lot of books I am planning on reading soon so look out for more full reviews! (Hopefully!) 

Stay bookish, 

Sunday, March 24, 2019

The Trials of Time - Introduction and Episode 1

Hey, all! 

Some of you may know that I enjoy playing Dungeons and Dragons, and that I also like the Legend of Zelda, Ocarina of Time. Playing through the game, I realised it would make a fun D&D campaign! So I started one, with 4 new friends who have never played the game before. It's been going smoothly, and I figured it would be a good idea to write down each session we play as a little story, for you guys to read! Note, it will give SPOILERS for Ocarina of Time! Now, I don't follow the game to the letter, and play loose with the rules, as well!

The world started off in a dark, dangerous chaos. Out of this primordial state, three goddesses works together to create a new world, in which a balance between their beliefs would be held. 
Din, the goddess of power, with her strong, flaming arms, cultivated the land and created the red earth. 
Nayru poured out her wisdom on the land, and gave it the spirit of law. 
Farore, with her rich soul, produced all life forms that would furthermore uphold the law.
Together, these goddesses form the symbol of the Triforce, representing power, wisdom and courage. 
Now, the Triforce rests in the Chamber of the Sages, a realm that exists outside of time, space and law. However, its balance is fragile. Should someone with darkness in their should touch the Triforce, it will split into its three parts, find three hosts, and the land will certainly fall to darkness... 

The adventure starts a century after a violent war divided the land of Hyrule into different kingdoms - the Hylians keep general order, yet the Kokiri, Goron and Zora tribes keep laws of their own as well. However, one tribe, the Gerudo, have their own intentions. 

Every century, one man is born to the Gerudo tribe. This group of fierce woman thieves honour this man as their leader, as the King of Thieves. However, this new leader, Ganondorf, was born with a darkness in his heart that was apparent from the moment he came into the world... 

The sun was setting on Hyrule castle town, bustling with life as the celebration of the young princess's 9th birthday was proceeding. Hylians of all ages danced around the well-lit fountain towering in the centre of the main square, to music played by young musicians favoured by the princess. The princess herself, Zelda, stood on a path leading to her family's castle, anxious to see a friend of hers return, a young Kokiri boy named Link. 

She turned her attention to a small child that looked a lot like her friend - a small Kokiri with a happy soul and crooked glasses, dancing close to the musicians, and admiring everything he could. It was fairly unusual to see any Kokiri outside of their village, and this intrigued her. 

Soon after, her father joined her at her side. The King of Hyrule was generally beloved by all, kind and wise. He gently placed his hand on his daughter's shoulder, watching the celebrations with her. 

However, the mood soon started changing - the sky became dark all at once. Even the violin player could no longer see the bow in his hand. From the sky, a single golden triangle descended, landing in the fountain and hovering for a moment, before a strong wind swept through the town, like a loud whisper. 

Only the well-trained could see a flash of light as a dark, armoured figure took the king away from his spot. 

The light slowly came back, along with a general sense of fear and panic. One shopowner, and older woman, started screaming, 
"The end of the world is nigh! War will be upon us soon again!"

It was odd that the guards took her away so quickly. 

In only a few minutes, most townsfolk were back in their homes, leaving behind the ghost of a party. Only a few individuals remained. 

The young Kokiri, too curious to move. 

A tall Hylian with a graceful stance and white hair, holding his violin preciously. 

A Gerudo woman who had decided to hide in the shadows. 

And a young girl wearing a set of outdated Sheikah gear. 

The princess sighed as she watched the four remaining townsfolk. Most were quite outlandish, but they all had something in common - none of them had moved, and all looked ready to face whatever it was that had threatened them. 

She walked towards the young man with the violin, recognising him as one who used to be a soldier for her father's army. He was always quite protective of her as a child. 

"You didn't leave..." she observed. 

"There was no reason to, your grace. If one runs at the sight of darkness..."

"Yes, I know the phrase. But enough with the formalities," she said, turning her attention to the others. "I would like you all to follow me, I have something to ask of you. You have five minutes to gather your belongings." 

The princess, although young, was authoritative, and clearly wise. The young Kokiri walked towards the violin player, noticing his unusual comfort in the situation. "My name is Lulu", he said by means of a conversation starter, looking around. "What what that?! It got so dark and then so windy and the shiny triangle fell in the water and now the princess needs our help?!" 

The man chuckled at the childish enthusiasm this Lulu portrayed. "I'm Jem, and yes, I believe things are about to change for us." 

Jem glanced over at the other people who had stayed. The Gerudo woman seemed to be walking in an out of abandoned houses and shops, filling her pockets with findings. The other girl, he thought he recognised as one of the Sheikah who had left years ago, but he was unsure. 

The young Sheikh seemed to be observing one of the chickens that could be found scattered around the town. Soon enough, many more chickens started appearing, seemingly trying to attack the young girl. Trying to fend them off, it was difficult to understand what was happening. 

Lulu tried helping by throwing stones at them, to no avail. Only Jem and the Gerudo managed to stop the attack, grilling two of these chickens in the process. 

"Uh do chickens always do that?" Lulu asked. "I'm new around here and that was scary but you made fire!" he looked up a Jem with wide eyes. He quickly turned his attention to the Sheikah who had challenged the chickens. "Are you ok? What's your name? You need a hug..." he said as he reached out to hug the young girl. She moved away easily. "You can call me Shadow", she said from behind her mask, picking feathers from her hair. "Don't we need to go join the princess now?"

"Oh yeah!" Lulu exclaimed, almost skipping towards the castle. The others followed close behind, not wanting the young Kokiri do do anything that could harm him. 

The princess smiled as the four people who approached her. "Thank you for meeting with me. There is something I would like to show you."

She lead them to the Temple that stood high up on a hill to the East of the village. Soon they were gathered around a pedestal within the temple, which was adorned by a single green gem, floating above a small crevice. Two similar holes were aligned next to it, devoid of their respective gems. 

"If you are here," the princess, Zelda, started, "It is because the Hero has fallen. Link was a friend of mine and... he must have passed." In her palm rested the triangle that had fallen from the sky. "As I suspected, he was the host of the Triforce of Courage... It is now separate, and the threat to Hyrule is more relevant than ever."

"I'm sorry for your loss..." Jem looked to Zelda "but I must ask, what do you mean by threat?"

"I... I have a feeling. My father was speaking to a Gerudo man yesterday, who felt dark. This evening, I had a dream that storm clouds were descending over Hyrule. I have reason to believe that this man is the dark clouds from my dreams. After speaking to this man, my father wasn't himself. I think he wants the Triforce," she said, looking at the triangle in her palm. 

At this, the Gerudo looked up. "So, what would you like us to do?". 

"Well... I would like you to find the two missing stones to open the Door to the Chamber of the Sages. I would like to hide the Triforce there, to protect it from Ganondorf - the man I told you about."

"The green one is pretty!" exclaimed Lulu. "Where do we find these?"

Zelda pointed to the distance. "They are likely near the gods of each of the Kingdoms. Link told me he found the green one in the Deku Tree... The others must be in places of importance as well."

The four companions looked at each other uneasily. Jem looked at the princess.

"If we agree to go on this quest, will it help me find my brother?" he asked, his hope obvious. 

"I don't see why not" Zelda replied. 

"Then I accept this quest. For him". He said, turning to the others "I must take some time for myself now, just a few minutes. Please consider the quest as well, it sounds like this journey needs as many people as possible."

Jem quickly left the temple, leaving the others to consider their options. 

It wasn't long before they all agreed. They would help protect the Triforce.

So that's the introduction to our campaign! We did play through two other sessions that I will be writing up in the next few days, so if you're interested make sure to subscribe to my blog and check back from time to time! 

Stay bookish! 

Monday, March 18, 2019

Livres Paris - What a day!

Hello, all! 

I just came back from an incredible ride of a day at the Expo Livre Paris - a book fair that shows off everything bookish from giant corporations to indie authors that are still trying to make a name for themselves. If you're curious about it you can find some more information about it on their website, here. (Yes, it's also in English!). 

I walked in and at first had no idea what was going on. See, I'm used to the Dutch book conventions - a handful of authors, quite a few bookish shops, and a good-sized group of book nerds there to meet and greet some authors and influencers! 

When you walk into Livre Paris, there are stands everywhere - some are huge and sell hundreds of books. You see stands that sell books by region, by country, or even by genre. Reporters are everywhere, conducting interviews. There are workshops happening everywhere and dozens of talks happening at all times. There's even a giant Peppa Pig walking around! 

This was mainly organised by genre. I quickly made my way to the YA area and found everything to be fascinating. I don't think I saw a single stand with hyped books! Although people pointed out my Clockwork Angel necklace, nobody recognised it. Instead, the books being sold were mostly from small publishers and indie authors. The Manga and graphic novel section was more conventional but also had a lot of new authors and illustrators. 

What really shook me was the area of the fair dedicated to independent authors, or small publication groups. While people were talking about visiting the stands of huge brands to obtain the latest hyped book, I spent hours talking with authors who hadn't seen a visitor in what may have been hours. Here I'll talk to you about some of these authors I have met, and give you their links. It'll mostly be of use to you if you speak French but I guess you can use these to learn as well! 

Adrien Mangold from HSN publishing sold me his first book, Second Humanité (Second Humanity). This is a sci-fi book with an aboslutely gorgeous cover that caught my eye! Adrien is a fun, calm person who seems to have a genuine passion for scoff and the publishing company he works with. I promised a review of his book so watch out for that! The blurb reads: "For his first book, Adrian Mangold explores the destinies of a researcher, a soldier and a little girl, who could change history, when a pandemic is born from a bit of inattention, and from the apocalypse, a second humanity". 

The second book I got was Le Sculpteur des Ames, by Catherine Michoux by editions Victor le Brun. This is another tiny publishing company. I met the author, alone at a table no bigger than a student's desk in high school. She was an absolute sweetheart. Her goal is to make a YA book, following the rules of adult books - not all bad characters are all bad, and not all good characters are all good. When I told her about my blog, she gave me her book, saying I was so kind that I should be able to just have it. This melted me. 
The blurb reads: "The war for total domination is imminent between the Andamian wizards and the other peoples of the world. To prevent the use of a magic weapon by the wizards, a group of adventurers is formed, in a somewhat chaotic way. Five unlikely destinies that will need to bind and unbind to each other to progress in a vital quest. They will, under the supervision of the strange soul sculptor, go on a journey where each one will discover who they really are, and what they really desire." 

The last book I bought from a smaller author is Six by Khalysta Farral. She is totally self-published as well! Such a fun person to talk to, Khalysta has a passion for space and sci-fi, so suggested I read her first book in a space drama trilogy! I'm super hyped about it, and I absolutely cannot wait to get to it! 
Blurb: "They arrived one day, and destroyed our planet... Hearing this repeated phrase, Cowl, a young pilot, grew up on a space ship. Running away from an enemy that no one has seen for a long time, the last humans advance through unknown space, without ever making new roots. But one day, while looking for a new planet, Cowl finds a strange young girl, who suffers from partial amnesia. Who is she? Where is she from? And especially, how does she know so much about the Earth and what has happened centuries beforehand?"

I did also get other books! These are Sirius by Stephane Servant and Creatures Fantastiques by Kaziya (manga). I'm really looking forward to reading all of these! I'll do my best to have all of these reviews in both French and English :) 

That's it for me! I have so many thoughts about what I saw, but it was a great experience overall! I quite literally went from almost punching someone I thought was rude, to being on the verge of tears because of how passionate some of these authors were about their worlds. 

Stay bookish! 

Thursday, March 14, 2019

The Umbrella Academy - Why the Hype?


I recently finished watching the first season of The Umbrella Academy and I can tell you right now that I was blown away! To all of you who told me to watch the series, I adored it and you were so right about it. 

For those of you who don't know, The Umbrella Academy is a new series made by Netflix based on a series of comic books. It revolves around a group of 7 children, all born on the same day, who have strange powers. A man adopts them and teaches them to use their powers for the greater good in an academy he calls... The Umbrella Academy. (Plot twist right?). The series starts when 6 of the 7 former students reunite, knowing that the world is to end in 8 days. 

Now you may have heard of this series from friends, posters in the streets or from its general acclaim. As per tradition of this new blog series I'm going to go through all of the points that may explain the hype of this piece of modern pop culture! 

1. The characters are fascinating
You have 6 main characters, most of which are presented with peculiar powers - one is strong, one can jump through space and time, one can talk to the dead, one can influence people with her words and one can hit any target. And all of them are broken, various sense of the word. Between anger issues, anxiety, drug addiction and general breakdowns, I found it really interesting to see how the creators of this story linked the powers these characters have to their flaws and weak points. I think that the catchphrase Super. Dysfunctional. Family. Is the best way to put this! 

2. The plot has amazing turns
The plot is relatively linear, but it still snakes around and is riddled with butterfly effects! It is worthy of some of the best movies and series and books! If it can keep this up next season I'm all in for it! There were 2 things I saw coming but generally mostly everything took me by pleasant surprise! 

3. The Soundtrack is out of this world 
Did you know that the songs from the first season of The Umbrella Academy has recently taken 7 of 10 places in the top 10 songs of the week this month? This series takes many songs from a wide variety of genres. It puts songs in situations in which the mood doesn't seem to quite fit, but all together makes for a wonderfully weird experience. I have (re-)discovered some amazing music thanks to this series

And now for some semi-spoiler random character notes! 
- Klaus is absolutely fabulous and is such a fascinating character. He's gone through some serious stuff. 
- Number Five's a pain in the butt 
- Alison is super cool and has such a complicated power! I can't imagine how tempting it must be to influence people for anything! 
- I'm still trying to figure out if I like Vanya or not - she's definitely scary in her own way. 
- Luther is such a mess but that makes sense - He was abandoned on the moon for 4 years! 
- Unpopular opinion, but I actually really like Diego's character - he has so much reason and logic!

I know this is not super detailed BUT it's so easy to fall into the spoiler territory with this series! In addition, there are only 10 episodes - perfect to catch up with! 

Stay bookish! 

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Books and De-Cluttering - the Marie Kondo trend

Hey, all! 

I know that I'm super late to post this, that this train has long left the station and I'm just running to catch up with it. 

But you know what, I'm gonna be posting this anyway, because time is relative and I still want to talk about it! 

If you've been exposed to any form of society lately, you would have heard of Marie Kondo - an organisational wizard who is known for suggesting that you get rid of the things that do not spark joy in your life. Around the book community, she has also been known for suggesting that you only keep around 30 books. 

That's right! 30 books, ladies and gents. Naturally, the bookternet freaked out at this proposition, and memes were quickly created. 

Now, I feel like she got unwarranted, automatic dislike for having come up with this proposal. Although I see her point, there is no way I can reduce my books to a simple 30 - that simply combines my Cassandra Clare and Rick Riordan collections, with no room to spare! 

However, she does have a point. I tend to keep books because I might read it someday, or because it has good reviews, or because it looks pretty. 

So, I conducted a thought experiment, and came up with the top 30 books I would keep, in the case that society suddenly deems it mandatory to only keep 30 books for whatever dystopian reason! 

1. The Giver, by Lois Lowry
2. I am the Messenger, by Markus Zusak
3, 4, 5, 6, 7. Percy Jackson and the Olympians, by Rick Riordan
8. Graceling, by Kirstin Cashore
9, 10, 11. The Infernal Devices, by Cassandra Clare
12. Siberia, by Ann Halam
13, 14, 15. Rebel of the Sands, by Alwyn Hamilton 
16, 17, 18. Shades of Magic, by V.E. Schwab
19-25. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
26. The Sun is Also a Star, by Nicola Yoon
27. The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint Exupéry
28. Matilda, by Roald Dahl
29. The Tales of Despereaux, by Kate DiCamillo 
30. Winnie the Pooh, by A.A. Milne 

These are in no order, but all have a place in my heard that would make them difficult for me to part with. Some are signed, others are ARCs, but most just had a big impact in my life as a reader. 

As mentioned, I do think that Marie Kondo has a point with her statements. Thus in the next few weeks, I will be scanning my shelves and getting rid of some of the books I have that I don't plan on reading anymore. I'm sure that there are many people out there who will benefit from them more than me :) 

To be fair, I don't think one should follow Marie Kondo's exact words. Yes, it is good to declutter. But some people can't afford a minimalistic life, or may not have the time, resources and/or the will to get rid of things. And there is nothing wrong with that. I'm a self-proclaimed hoarder - I keep a lot of the stuff I find as I attach a lot of memories to such simple items as bookmarks, hand-written notes, keychains etc. I think everyone should life their life how they want, Marie's way is one way of organising that may work for some :) 

What books would you save during the book apocalypse? 

Stay bookish!