my favorite songs of 2019

You might remember that I usually include a music section in my monthly wrap ups, talking about the songs I listened to most or fell in love with during said month. Music is a huge part of my life. I honestly don’t know what I would do without my Spotify subscription… I listen to music constantly: when I get ready, when I commute to work, during work, while cooking, while working out… There’s an appropriate song or playlist for everything. So I figured I would share some of my favorite songs of 2019. The ones that had an impact on my year, and I can vividly remember listening to on repeat.

BTS – Dionysus

Let’s start with my most listened to song of 2019, shall we? I fell in love with this dynamic song from their latest album. It’s so energetic and gets me ready to take on the day. I find with BTS that it’s well worth listening to all the tracks on their album thoroughly, because I often find myself loving the other tracks more than the title track (not that I dislike Boy With Love, don’t worry).

A.C.E – Under Cover

The song that started my love for A.C.E. This song is so my style that I knew I would end up listening to it non-stop within the first few seconds. The combination of rock and hiphop is fantastic. Catch me listening to it on repeat in 2020 as well.

Taemin – Want

Listen, Taemin is the king of sexy songs. This came out in February 2019 and I still listen to it pretty much every day. It just doesn’t get boring! If you haven’t watched Taemin’s solo songs (which would surprise me), please do. You’re truly missing out.

Jonas Brothers – Sucker

It’s the return of the Jonas Brothers!! Need I say more? This video is so adorable as well, and it makes me happy to see how well these men have found their way in life. They are loved, happy, and making music together again. What more could a fan want?

BTS – Pied Piper

I know that this is not a 2019 release, yet I can’t leave it off the list. It’s another one of my most listened to songs of last year. I guess they did their job well, creating a song that you cannot resist ūüėČ

MAMAMOO – Hip

Listen, these women are incapable of creating bad songs. They are so talented, work so hard, and deliver at every point in time. I might have a crush on every single member. Especially Wheein.

Angèle РBalance Ton Quoi

Ang√®le is a queen. This is an incredible song, both in terms of the music itself and the lyrics. If you don’t speak French, please turn on the English CC! You can’t miss out on the meanings in this feminist anthem. I wish I could have gone to her concert, but it sold out immediately. Next time!

ONEWE – Regulus

Ever since their debut¬†Reminisce About All, I kept my eye out for this band. I adore bands, and I don’t know enough Korean ones. This song absolutely blew me away. It wasn’t what I expected whatsoever, yet it’s so good. I can’t wait for their next release, whenever that may be.

Stray Kids – Chronosaurus

Chronosaurus¬†might be my favorite Stray Kids song to date. It’s so hauntingly beautiful. I absolutely love this group. They are not afraid to experiment with their songs and albums, sometimes resulting in a song that seems chaotic at first until its brilliance hits you like a brick.

Seventeen – FEAR

A more recent release, but another favorite from SEVENTEEN. I can’t wait to see these guys perform in March! Their songs are always epic, their choreographies growing more impressive with every comeback. They have never let me down.

DAY6 – Time of Our Life

DAY6 is one of my all-time favorite bands. They are also incapable of creating a bad song. I saw them live last January, and will see them live again this January. Worth every single cent, it was one of the best concerts of my life. It may seem ridiculous to you but one of the reasons I love this upbeat song so much is that they all seem so happy while performing.

ONE OK ROCK – Stand Out Fit In

Lindsey actually introduced me to ONE OK ROCK in one of her monthly wrap ups. I always look at her wrap ups because a) she’s one of my favorite bloggers and b) our taste in music is so similar. I was blown away by Stand Out Fit In, and proceeded to listen to their entire album (Eye of the Storm) on repeat. I love literally every song on there, and according to Spotify it is one of my most played albums of the year.


I have so many other songs I could have included here, but I tried to narrow it down a number close to 10. It ended up being 12, which I’m quite happy with. I think I want to create some more music related posts this year, maybe my favorite bands, solo artists, female artists, groups, male artists, etc. Please let me know if you’d be interested in that! I want to create the posts, but would feel kind of sad if no one actually cares.¬†

Which songs made your 2019? 

my favorite reads of 2019

If you follow me on Twitter, you might have seen these favorites before. That’s because I made a thread of my favorite reads of 2019 on there because I couldn’t find the will to actually write a blog post about it. For those of you who don’t follow me on Twitter, don’t wish to, or don’t have a Twitter account, here’s my list compiled in a blog post.

These are in¬†no particular order! I couldn’t pick a favorite from these whatsoever. I adored all of these books for different reasons, and they all deserve an equal place in my list. Let’s get started.

The City of Brass (Daevabad #1) by S.A. Chakraborty
This fantasy novel brought back my love for the genre. It’s such an atmospheric and captivating read! I ended up binge-reading the book in only a few sittings simply because I didn’t want to put it down.

Here’s my description of this book on Twitter:
‚≠ź made me fall in love with fantasy novels all over again
‚≠ź couldn’t put this down, I was attached to it until it was done
‚≠ź gorgeous, atmospheric, fantastic

Fence volumes 1, 2 and 3 by C.S. Pacat
Did I read all three volumes in one go? Yes. Have I been desperate for the next volume ever since? YES. This is an adorable series about a boy who competes to join the fencing team at a private school so he can become the best and show the father who left him for a new family. It’s got adorable friendships and what I’m hoping will become an epic romance.

Twitter description
‚≠ź fantastic group of characters
‚≠ź boys fencing team and competitions
‚≠ź slow-burn romance
‚≠ź LGBTQ+

A Girl Like Her by Talia Hibbert
I’m so grateful to Destiny for putting this author on my radar, because I hadn’t enjoyed a romance book as much as I did this one in a long time. This restored my faith in the entire genre. Yes, it’s that good.

Twitter description
‚≠ź comic book/webcomic creator and Chris Evans (more or less…)
‚≠ź #ownvoices
‚≠ź black, plus-sized, autistic main character
‚≠ź healthy relationships and communication, yes!!

Noteworthy by Riley Redgate
I can’t believe it took me so long to read¬†Noteworthy because it might be one of my all-time favorite YA contemporaries. It’s about a girl who disguises as a guy to join the all-male a cappella group in her school because she can’t get the lead role in a musical as an Alto 2. There’s SO much to love about this book, and I’ll gladly redirect you to my full review of it.

Twitter description
‚≠ź girl disguises as guy and joins all-male a cappella group
‚≠ź Chinese-American, bisexual MC
‚≠ź #ownvoices
‚≠ź discussion of gender/sexuality

I Hear the Sunspot by Yuki Fumino
The reason I fell in love with manga this year. I saw this series on an app (translated) and proceeded to buy paperbacks of it immediately, then binge-reading them all. I screamed about this series to literally everyone, and if you haven’t read them yet PLEASE DO.

Twitter description:
‚≠ź made me fall in love with manga
‚≠ź LGBTQ+ contemporary
‚≠ź disability rep: hard of hearing MC
‚≠ź so adorable!!
‚≠ź got way too invested in this and stayed up too late to read it

The Shadowglass (The Bone Witch #3) by Rin Chupeco
I know I’ve been talking about this YA fantasy trilogy for literal years, yet here I am doing so once more. I won’t stop until everyone has read it. This Asian-inspired fantasy series centers around a girl who discovers she’s a Dark Asha (“bone witch”) when she accidentally raises her brother from the dead.

Twitter description
‚≠ź the finale I’ve been waiting for!!
‚≠ź made me cry on public transport
‚≠ź catch me rereading this soon
‚≠ź if you haven’t read this Asian fantasy about a bone witch, what are you doing??

Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba
After reading I Hear the Sunspot, I wanted to truly dive into the world of manga. And what better way to start than by reading some of the most iconic manga in existence? Death Note did not disappoint whatsoever. I binge-read all the volumes, was absolutely glued to the pages.

Twitter description
‚≠ź binge-read the entire manga
‚≠ź¬†teenager with God complex, killing people by writing their name in a notebook
‚≠ź watch him spiral out of control
‚≠ź what is right or wrong?
‚≠ź L!!

Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa
After tackling¬†Death Note, I jumped over to¬†Fullmetal Alchemist. Once again, I absolutely fell in love with the manga and read the entirety of it in a matter of months. I’m quite proud of that accomplishment, as there are 27 volumes of FMA!

Twitter description:
‚≠ź also binge-read the entire manga
‚≠ź adorable brothers
‚≠ź characters you will become too attached to
‚≠ź alchemy!
‚≠ź just two boys trying to get their bodies back

The Black Tides of Heaven by J.Y. Yang
THIS NOVELLA! I’ve already recommended it to multiple people who have added it to their list of books to buy. While this is not a novella that is entirely unknown, it hurts me to see so few people in the bookish community mention it. Maybe I’m just not following the right people? Anyway, if you want an SFF read and LGBTQ+ representation, you need to pick this up. J.Y. Yang is brilliant, and I will read everything they write.

Twitter description:
‚≠ź EPIC fantasy novella
‚≠ź people born without gender, confirm gender themselves whenever it becomes clear to them
‚≠ź twins!
‚≠ź rebellion
‚≠ź literally everything you could ever want

Our Dreams at Dusk volume 1 by Yuhki Kamatani
An #ownvoices LGBTQ+ novel from a non-binary author? Sign me the hell up. And look at that artwork!! I don’t even know what to say about this manga because I’ve only read a few volumes and feel like it’s far more character-centered than plot-centered. All I can tell you is that you need this in your life.

Twitter description:
‚≠ź LGBTQ+ manga
‚≠ź about a boy finding a safe space
‚≠ź exploring gender and sexuality
‚≠ź adorable!! gorgeous drawings!!
‚≠ź author is non-binary

Girls on the Verge by Sharon Biggs Waller
This YA contemporary novel made me so angry. I was hurt and filled with rage and indignation. This is the story of a girl in the US who discovers she’s pregnant and wants to get an abortion. She can only do so with legal permission though, which she doesn’t receive. Abortion is illegal in her state, prompting her to go on a road trip with friends to get the procedure.

Twitter description
‚≠ź heartbreaking coming-of-age story
‚≠ź girl has to go on “roadtrip” to get an abortion
‚≠ź friendship
‚≠ź such an important read!!

The Poppy War (The Poppy War #1) by R.F. Kuang
I put off reading this fantasy novel for quite a while because I was intimidated by it. I knew I’d probably end up loving it, but wasn’t sure whether I was ready for that. That sounds absolutely ridiculous, I know, but I hope at least one of you can relate. I should never have put this one off because it was incredible.

Twitter description
‚≠ź fantasy novel inspired by China/Chinese history
‚≠ź engrossing, captivating and mind-blowing
‚≠ź brutal
‚≠ź main character who is neither good nor bad

The Wise Man’s Fear (Kingkiller Chronicles #2) by Patrick Rothfuss
I finally did it. I read the first book in the series in 2015, then decided to put off reading the sequel for so long I forgot what happened in book 1, making me even more “scared” to continue reading. As this is the favorite series of one of the best people in my life, I decided it was time to buckle up and re-read the first book so I could continue the series. I read them quite quickly, considering the size of the books, and ADORED THEM. This series is SO GOOD.

Twitter description:
‚≠ź epic sequel to an already incredible first novel
‚≠ź keeps taking me on a surprising journey
‚≠ź too attached to the characters already…
‚≠ź can’t recommend it enough


Those were my favorite reads of 2019! Have you read any of these books?
Which books made your favorites list?

2018 ranked | songs I’ve played on repeat part 2

Last week, I posted my first ‘songs I’ve played on repeat’ post featuring some of my most listened to K-pop songs of 2018. I realized it best to split the posts up when I tried to write down all the songs I feel deserve a place in this ‘2018 ranked’ post. I listen to music all the time, so I didn’t think it fair to only choose 10 songs in total. While I talked solely about K-pop last week, I’ll talk about music from other countries today.

Here are some more songs I kept playing last year! These weren’t all released in 2018, I just listened to them last year.¬†Thank the universe I live alone so I don’t have to annoy anyone else by constantly listening to the same songs.¬†

Moulin Rouge – El Tango de Roxanne

I don’t know why I suddenly became obsessed with this song in 2018, since I didn’t even rewatch the movie. This song is just so epic, and I could listen to it again and again. Especially the part where everyone is screaming at the end and it’s just one powerful battle in your ears.

PENTATONIX – Havana

I know everyone got sick and tired of listening to Havana, but Pentatonix released their cover of the song in February 2018 and I absolutely adore it. I always love their songs because their harmonies are truly out of this world, but this one has stuck with me throughout the entire year.

BL√ėF ft. Geike Arnaert – Zoutelande

I know this song was released at the end of 2017, but even in 2018 you couldn’t go anywhere in Belgium without hearing this song on the radio. It grew on me, and I still listen to it every now and then. I also heard Zoutelande has seen quite the increase in tourism after the release of this song!

The Weeknd – Call Out My Name

Another artist who can do no wrong in terms of music, in my opinion. I don’t even know what to say at this point, because I’m sure absolutely everyone has heard this song before. If you haven’t, how is that possible?

Avicii – Feeling Good

This song was used in an episode of Sense8, and I had to look it up immediately so I could add it to my playlist. It’s an incredible cover of Nina Simone’s song¬†Feeling Good, and the way they blended the song with the show itself was mind-blowing.

Arctic Monkeys – Do I Wanna Know?

A song that’s 5 or 6 years old this time around! I don’t know why I suddenly started listening to¬†Do I Wanna Know?¬†again, but it happened.

Lady Gaga – Always Remember Us This Way

You knew I’d have a song from¬†A Star is Born¬†on this list, didn’t you? I watched this movie last year, and this song truly touched me. To me, it was the second most memorable song of the entire movie. Although a lot of people preferred¬†Shallow,¬†I thought¬†Always Remember Us This Way¬†was the right song to add to my playlist.

Lovers in the night
Poets trying to write
We don’t know how to rhyme
But, damn, we try
But all I really know
You’re where I wanna go
The part of me that’s you will never die

Matt Bloyd and Colton Haynes – A Million Dreams

Another song from a musical, I’m well aware. I actually prefer this cover by Matt Bloyd and Colton Haynes to the original. If you didn’t know,¬†A Million Dreams¬†originally comes from the movie The Greatest Showman, which I’d highly recommend watching if you haven’t done so already.

The Oh Hellos – Hello My Old Heart

I came across this song in a Spotify playlist with music ideal for calming baths –¬†I can’t remember the actual title, sorry. I think this song is quite ‘old’ already since this video was posted in 2011 but I had never heard it before. It’s absolutely beautiful though.

Ariana Grande – God Is a Woman

Could I really make a list without adding Ariana Grande to it? While I’d say her song¬†thank u, next¬†was even more popular than this one, I’m quite partial to¬†God is a woman.


There you have it! An additional few songs I kept on playing in 2018. It’s a mix of old and new songs, which I’m really happy with. Have you heard these songs before? Which are your most played songs of the year?

2018 ranked | songs I’ve played on repeat – K-pop edition

Obviously, this edition of ‘ranked 2018’ will be a bit different. I can’t post all the music I listened to in 2018 from my least favorite to favorite because the post would be endless. Just the thought of doing that gives me nightmares… Instead, I’ll talk about some of my favorite songs of the year! The ones I’ve played over and over again, and don’t seem to get sick of.

Not all of these songs were released in 2018, I just happened to listen to them during said year. I also didn’t rank them, so I guess this is an unranked episode of ranked.

When I started compiling this list, I realized just how many songs I’ve truly loved this year and knew I had to split this up in several posts… This is part 1: the K-pop edition.

NCT U – Baby Don’t Stop

The long-awaited comeback of Ten.¬†Baby Don’t Stop¬†and¬†Boss¬†are the songs that truly got me into NCT’s music. I wasn’t a huge fan of their previous songs, aside from Cherry Bomb, but this one absolutely blew me away. Ten and Taeyong’s chemistry is through the roof, they work so well together. This song came out in February 2018 and I’ve been listening to it ever since.

NCT U – BOSS

Like I mentioned earlier,¬†Boss¬†is one of the songs that actually introduced me to NCT. I’d heard of them before, but didn’t listen to them much. I knew from the first second of this video that this song would be more my style, and I wasn’t wrong. I finally learned the members’ names after¬†Boss, and that’s when I fell into the black hole that’s called being a fan of this group.

EXO – Electric Kiss

I know that this is technically a Japanese release and album, but EXO is still a Korean group so I’m putting it in the K-pop category. I feel like so many people skip over¬†Electric Kiss¬†because it wasn’t a full MV/a Korean release but I absolutely love this song. It’s one of my favorites from EXO, to be honest. Plus, the dance practice is so satisfying to watch.

EXO – Love Shot

The comeback we’d been waiting for. I know they came back with Tempo after a year (more than a year?) and I do love that song as well. However, it’s not as catchy as¬†Love Shot.¬†This song got stuck in my head constantly after its release in December.¬†Sidenote: can we appreciate how good everyone looks in this MV? But especially Kyungsoo. There, I said it.

Stray Kids – District 9

2018 was truly the year of Stray Kids. This group is so talented and hardworking, I can’t believe they only debuted last year. They’ve created some of my favorite songs, and the messages they put out to the world are wonderful.¬†District 9¬†is a song that always manages to hype me up.

Stray Kids – Voices

Like I said before, the messages Stray Kids put out in the world through their songs are fantastic. If you haven’t listened to their music yet, please give this song a try. Don’t forget to turn on CC to read the English subtitles!

MONSTA X – Destroyer

In June 2018, I was lucky enough to see Monsta X in concert in Amsterdam. I can’t give you an MV of¬†Destroyer¬†because it wasn’t a title track and therefore doesn’t have one. However, this is one of my all-time favorite Monsta X songs. Partially influenced by I.M, since his rap verse in¬†Destroyer¬†is my favorite.

MONSTA X – Tropical Night

I wasn’t really aware of this song’s existence before going to the concert in June. When they performed it, however, the atmosphere and vibe the song created was so incredibly nice. I’ve been listening to it ever since, and it always puts me in a good mood.

DAY6 – I Need Somebody

If I had to choose 2 DAY6 songs to listen to for the rest of my life,¬†I Need Somebody¬†would be one of them. This song gets me every time. It never fails to make me emotional. It honestly feels like I’m listening to it for the first time every single time. Besides, the lyrics are so relateable.

DAY6 – I Like You

Before you ask, yes, this would be my second pick.¬†I Like You¬†was the song that made me a fan of DAY6. I’ve listened to it hundreds of times, and I’ll continue to do so for years. It’s just SO BEAUTIFUL.

DAY6 – Shoot Me

And finally, a 2018 DAY6 release.¬†Shoot Me¬†is once again very different than their previous songs. I feel like DAY6 changes the style and genre of their songs with every comeback, yet they never fail to sound like a ‘DAY6’ song either. They haven’t had a single comeback I didn’t love. I’m fairly certain they’re incapable of making bad songs.

iKON – Killing Me

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to¬†Killing Me. I know that¬†Love Scenario¬†is their most popular song, but I don’t love it that much.¬†Killing Me¬†is more my style. If you haven’t listened to iKon’s music before, maybe give this one a go!¬†Also, B.I looks so good in this MV. He truly is killing me.

Mamamoo – Egotistic

MAMAMOO is probably my favorite girl group at the moment. Their songs are catchy and beautiful, their harmonies incredible, and the amount of talent these women have is out of this world. Egotistic is one of my favorite songs from MAMAMOO, and I listened to it countless times in 2018.¬†Can’t forget to mention how insanely gorgeous they all are. Girl crush right here.

ASTRO – Always You

Always You¬†was quite a different release for ASTRO. The group tends to focus on more of a ‘cute vibe’ which is evident in their songs¬†Baby¬†and¬†Crazy, Sexy, Cool. Their previous releases had been upbeat and adorable.¬†Always You¬†has a more serious tone, as it’s a message from the group to their fans. Thank you for waiting for us, I’m sorry we couldn’t be back earlier.¬†Due to the problems the management of their company, Fantagio, had faced.

Chanyeol x Sehun – We Young

MORE EXO! Well, part of EXO… Chanyeol and Sehun came out with their own song last year, and I was here for it. This song is upbeat and fun, which is exactly what I needed. Don’t sleep on this release, everyone!

SUPER JUNIOR – Otra Vez

K-pop and Latin music combined their powers in Super Junior and Reik’s¬†Otra Vez. Super Junior has been around for quite a long time, and here’s the reason why. They still make fantastic music!

ATEEZ – Pirate King

Rookies on the list! ATEEZ debuted in late 2018 with the songs¬†Pirate King¬†and¬†Treasure. I absolutely love both debut songs, but I listened to¬†Pirate King¬†a tad more often. These guys are so talented, and I can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store for them.¬†P.S. they’ve already released a new song Say My Name which is fantastic too. 2019 is clearly going to be their year.

Sunmi – Siren

Is Sunmi the only solo artist on this list? Well, she deserves a spot of her own because this woman is fierce. Gashina might be her most famous release but I adore Siren too. She came out with this song in September 2018, and it has been playing on repeat in my head ever since.

Big Bang – BAE BAE

Bae Bae¬†might be the oldest song on this list, but I couldn’t not include it. Every K-pop fan has heard of Big Bang, the ‘Kings of K-pop’. While I was familiar with them and knew some of their songs, I’m ashamed to admit I didn’t know all that much about them. I started listening to¬†Bae Bae¬†after going to The Rose’s concert in Berlin where they performed a cover of this song. It has such a good vibe!¬†Never mind this weird af music video though. I’ll definitely rectify my past mistakes and learn more about Big Bang in 2019.


Obviously, I listened to a lot more K-pop songs than only these but I think it’s safe to say my 2018 was shaped by these songs. I’ll make a part 2 of this list soon where I’ll talk about the other music (thus not K-pop) I listened to in the past year. Have you listened to any of these songs? Who’s your favorite artist? Let’s talk about it!

 

My favorite books of the year | best in books (2018)

It’s time for my most anticipated blog post of the year. Even though it’s already 2019 and I’m really the only one anticipating its release. Anyway! Today, I’m talking about my favorite books of the past year. I didn’t create this list with a specific number in mind. I simply went through the books I read in 2018 and picked out the ones I truly loved, and I still think about today. Not every book I gave 5 stars will be on this list. I can’t really explain why that is, but I hope you’ll understand. These are the BEST books I read in 2018 – not necessarily released in the past year.

Titles of the books/series will take you to the Goodreads page.

BOOK OF THE ANCESTOR BY MARK LAWRENCE

This year I fell in love with Mark Lawrence’s writing. Specifically, his¬†Book of the Ancestor¬†series.¬†Red Sister¬†was one of the first books I read in 2018 and it completely blew my mind. It’s a series about assassin nuns, spy nuns, and magic-wielding nuns that focuses on Nona. When the books start Nona is very young (around 8 I think) and you watch her grow up and train at the Convent of Sweet Mercy. It’s SO GOOD. After loving the first book, I was afraid Grey Sister¬†wouldn’t live up to my expectation. Color me surprised when I ended up loving it just as much/even more than I did the first book.¬†I can’t wait for the release of the last book,¬†Holy Sister.

Read my review of Red sister here.
Read my review of Grey Sister here.

IF WE WERE VILLAINS BY M.L. RIO

This book caught me by surprise. I picked it up on a whim at the library because it was described as ideal for fans of Donna Tartt’s¬†The Secret History. You may know that said book is one of my all-time favorites, so reading that made me take it with me. It blew my mind! It was so good. I had never heard anyone talk about¬†¬†If We Were Villains¬†before, although I’ve seen some more reviews pop up in the past 6 months. If you don’t know what this is about, it follows a guy called Oliver who just served 10 years for a murder he may or may not have committed. The victim? One of his conservatory friends. They all attended the same elite conservatory where they studied Shakespeare. Seriously, read this.

Read my review of If We Were Villains here.

THE LONG WAY TO A SMALL, ANGRY PLANET BY BECKY CHAMBERS

I can’t count the amount of times this book was recommended to me before I bought myself a copy. It was on every science fiction recommendation list. It was on every LGBT+ SFF recommendation list. After reading it, I can see why. This is a very slow-paced science fiction novel, focused more on character development than action. You follow the crew of the Wayfarer as they take on a big job – they tunnel wormholes through space. If somehow you haven’t read this, please give it a try. Even if you don’t like science fiction!

I was going to link my review here, but then realized I never actually wrote one. Oops.

PACHINKO BY MIN JIN LEE

Prepare to feel your heart break in a million little pieces while reading this novel. If you don’t know, this is an adult fiction book set in Korea and Japan spanning 8 decades. It follows multiple generations of a Korean family as they try to survive in trying times. I’ll just say it now: not many good things happen in their lives. This is a SAD book. But it’s absolutely brilliant at the same time. Plus, it’ll teach you some of Korea’s history as well as their relationship with Japan – during and after its annexation of Korea.

Read my review of Pachinko here.

THE KISS QUOTIENT BY HELEN HOANG

I think this book left such an impact on me because it’s the first romance book I’ve truly¬†loved in a while. It’s centered around Stella and Michael. It has an #ownvoices autistic storyline as Stella has Asperger’s and the love interest, Michael, is Vietnamese-Swedish. It’s sweet, sexy and absolutely wonderful. I read it in the span of a few hours on the train because I just couldn’t put it down.

Also didn’t write a review of this one apparently. Get yourself together, Jolien.

EVERY FALLING STAR BY SUNGJU LEE & SUSAN MCCLELLAND

This is an autobiography I picked up at YALC during the summer, and I knew I wanted to read it as soon as possible. In Every Falling Star, Sungju Lee describes his life growing up in North Korea and his eventual escape from the country. It pretty much reads like a YA fiction book, and I had to keep reminding myself that his actually happened to him. As a child, he lived in Pyongyang and had a pretty pampered (and indoctrinated) life. Until his family was forced to move to the countryside and exiled into poverty. Sungju Lee ended up alone on the streets at age 12, stealing and begging to survive. It is a book everyone should read. I especially enjoyed hearing his thoughts on what the West (and South Korea, China, etc.) should do to prepare for an eventual reunification of Korea.

Read my review of Every Falling Star here.

THE HATE U GIVE BY ANGIE THOMAS

I know everyone already read this book in 2017 but I didn’t, okay? I’m apparently a procrastinator like that. Which is odd because I don’t tend to procrastinate much in other aspects of my life? I listened to the audiobook of¬†The Hate U Give¬†which I would highly recommend. I don’t think I need to say too much about this, as I’m certain most of you have already read it.

ILLUMINAE BY JAY KRISTOFF & AMIE KAUFMAN

I didn’t think I would ever read this book. I know everyone and their mother raved about this YA science fiction novel, but it just didn’t seem like a book I’d enjoy. I randomly decided to read it on a day I had to spent about 7 hours on public transport because the audiobook was available on Scribd. I’m so glad I gave it a chance! It was absolutely epic, and the audiobook is one of the best I’ve ever listened to.

THE FIFTH SEASON BY N.K. JEMISIN

Last year, I read two books from her¬†Inheritance¬†series and absolutely loved them. When I realized that everyone raves about this series,¬†Broken Earth, in particular I knew I had to read it too. This book was phenomenal. I don’t quite know how to talk about it without spoiling anything, so I’ll just say this has become one of my favorite SFF books and I need you all to read it too. It’s probably best to go into it knowing as little as possible so you can discover everything by yourself.

THE WAY OF KINGS BY BRANDON SANDERSON

I finally conquered this giant book! It was worth every second. Once again, I don’t know how to explain this story to you all… It’s a high fantasy novel told through multiple POVs. It’s got magic, battle, royalty, schemes, assassins, long lost legendary Knights, and epic swords. Honestly, it’s everything I’ve ever wanted.

NIGHT BY ELIE WIESEL

I’m ending my list with my most recent read on here, and the one I’ll be thinking about for months/years to come. This is a short autobiography in which Elie Wiesel talks about his deportation to and life in Auschwitz-Birkenau. It made me feel like vomiting at times, because I find it so hard to read what humans put other humans through. But it’s important to read books like these, and talk about them, especially in these times. Not only is fascism and hate on the rise again, the number of concentration camp survivors is dwindling. We can’t forget their stories, and need to remember it happened only a few generations ago.


My favorite books of 2018. It feels weird to say that, and truly end this (reading) year! Have you read any of these? What were your favorite novels of 2018?

Movies I Watched | Best of 2017

I’ve talked about my favorite books of 2017 before, and now it’s time to address movies. Just like with my reading list, these movies were¬†not all released in 2017. I just happened to watch them in the past year! Let’s get started.¬†

These are not ranked, by the way. Just a random order.

Wonder Woman // Who is surprised this made it to my list? ABSOLUTELY NO ONE. I don’t think I need to explain this pick. I loved it. I love Gal Gadot -she is the most precious human being on this planet.

Lion // This movie was so emotional. Even more so because this was based on a true story! If you somehow haven’t seen this one, please go do so.

Moana // I finally watched Moana. I know! I should’ve watched it a long time ago, but I didn’t. It was featured on so many ‘best of 2016’ lists though, so I knew I had to give it a go. I did, and now it’s featured on this list… The music was stuck in my head for months afterwards.

The Big Sick // This may be my favorite rom-com that’s been put out in a while. I think this is especially touching because this was based on Kumal’s life -and he portrays himself in the movie as well.¬†

Baby Driver // This is the most surprising one on my list. I don’t usually love stories centered around cars/car chases. For example, I’ve never seen any of the Fast and Furious movies because they just don’t appeal to me. But the trailer for this one looked amazing. So I watched it. And it blew me away. Ansel Elgort is absolutely genius as Baby! The way music is woven into this story is beautiful, and I’ve been listening to the soundtrack for a while now. I also adored Lily James -another surprise because I didn’t really like her in Cinderella.¬†HIGHLY RECOMMEND! I will re-watch this movie again and again, I think.¬†

Call Me By Your Name // Shoot me, because the feelings are too much. If you don’t know what this is about, this is the story of Elio (17) and Oliver (I think he’s like 24?). Oliver accepts an internship with Elio’s father in Northern Italy during the summer and lives with them. It’s a beautiful love story. I may have fallen in love with Elio (or Timoth√©e Chalamet). I love that it’s a LGBT+ romance story, but it’s not about coming out or family drama or cheating. It’s just a story of first love.

dunkirk

Dunkirk // I watched this in theaters with my parents, because my dad loves movies that are WWII-related (he also loves history books and documentaries on the topic) so I thought this would be perfect for him. Dunkirk actually isn’t that far away from where we live: about a 2 hour drive! I would say that this isn’t a movie to watch when you feel like having a relaxed movie night. Watching¬†Dunkirk is a¬†very stressful experience. I was on edge the entire time I was watching this, because you truly feel like you’re there on that beach with the soldiers, dying.¬†

That’s it! I didn’t watch that many movies in 2017, but these were my absolutele favorite ones. I’m aiming to watch many more in 2018 and I’ve already created a list of movies I am most anticipating. I’ll be posting that one soon, so we can fangirl about the upcoming movies together.


Have you seen any of these movies?
Which movies are on your best-of-2017 list?

My Favorite Reads of 2017

It’s time to announce my favorite books of 2017! As always, these were not necessarily published in 2017, I just happened to read them this year. I don’t stick to a specific number either. Instead I pick and choose the ones that stand out to me most. Let’s get into it!¬†

I’m¬†not counting re-reads for this!

 

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman // This is probably no surprise, because I’ve been raving about it ever since I read it in the first half of the year. I loved the story, Frances was incredibly relateable and I appreciate the conversation on asexuality and demisexality here!

All the Rage by Courtney Summers // This one hit me hard. It’s such an important book on rape, trauma and rape culture. It addresses slut-shaming and victim-blaming in a way I believe is really important for teenagers to read.

 

Etched in Bone (The Others #5) by Anne Bishop // This series is probably going to be in every favorites list, for as long as it goes on.

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli // There’s a lot more contemporary in this list than I expected there to be. I think for me personally, Molly was a main character I could relate to. It may even have been the first time I could understand a girl so well. Plus, Reid!

 

Assassin’s Quest (Farseer #3) by Robin Hobb // Love this trilogy! This was actually my favorite of the three. I adore the Fool, and Nighteyes.

Am I Normal Yet (Spinster Club #1) by Holly Bourne // More contemporary! This is such an important novel on female friendship, feminism, dating and OCD.

 

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon // One word: adorable. This was such a cute story! It made me smile multiple times while reading and has ensured that I will pick up anything Sandhya Menon will write. 

Red Rising (Red Rising #1) by Pierce Brown // I don’t read a lot of sci fi, but this book is so popular I had to give it a go. And I ended up loving it! It is quite brutal and violent, but as far as a rebellion story goes, I think that vibe fits it really well.¬†

 

Ship of Magic (Liveship Traders #1) by Robin Hobb // More Robin Hobb! I just started her Liveship Traders trilogy, which comes after the Farseer one in her Realm of the Elderlings series. The most interesting part? Ships that come alive!

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee // This is an incredible historical fiction novel. It’s funny, witty yet addresses tough topics such as abuse, sexism, disability, etc too. The romance between Monty and his best friend Percy was so cute as well.¬†

jane eyre

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bront√ę // A classic on my favorites list… Who would’ve thought? This classic managed to surprise me. I thought it was going to be boring/a struggle to get through because it’s not very short. But I flew through it and absolutely adored it! It might be my favorite classic so far (not counting The Lord of the Rings).¬†


There you go, my favorite reads of the year!
Have you read any of these? 

What were your favorite reads of 2017?