5-star predictions, or books I’m fairly certain I’ll love

It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday post, which is always hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl – all the information on the weekly posts can be found here. This week, we’re talking about one of my favorite topics: 5-star predictions.

These videos and posts have truly become a trend in the past year or two, and I love it. Ever since I started tracking my reading on Goodreads in 2013, I’ve become better at figuring out which books I’ll like. Although I’m a more critical reader than I was 7 years ago, I do feel fairly confident in my 5-star prediction abilities. Today, that theory will be tested.

I predict that these 10 books will end up on a favorites list/being 5-star reads. Once I’ve finally read these, you can expect a follow-up post from me as well. Who knows how long that will take me though…

Queen of Coin and Whispers by Helen Corcoran
I found out about this book when I was looking through 2020 YA Fantasy releases, and immediately added it to the top of my to-read list. Fantasy is still my favorite genre, especially when courts and intrigue are added to the mix. What makes this book even more of an anticipated read for me is that it has an f/f relationship at the forefront, between (I’m assuming) the queen and her new spymaster. YES PLEASE.

The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin
Does this book need an explanation? It’s N.K. Jemisin. It’s SFF. I’m fairly certain it’ll be a 5-star read. I haven’t read a single N.K. Jemisin book I didn’t absolutely adore. In this novel, every city has a soul. New York City has 5. An ancient evil stirs beneath the earth, and it’s up to the city and her 5 protectors to stop it. Sounds epic.

Darius The Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram
This YA contemporary has been on my to-read list for ages, before it was released. It just seems like the type of YA novel I would enjoy, combining humor with more hard-hitting scenes. I haven’t seen a single negative review so far either.

Eggshell Skull by Bri Lee
I added this book to my Goodreads shelf because of Ely, who sang its praises. I trust her with my life, and can’t wait to read this nonfiction book that will undoubtedly end up making me cry.

Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse #1) by James S.A. Corey
I’m honestly not sure why I’m convinced this science fiction book will be a 5-star read. I couldn’t even tell you the synopsis of the novel… I’m going with my gut here, and hope I don’t disappoint myself.

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Is there a single other person on this planet who hasn’t read this book either? Red, White & Royal Blue was one of the most talked about and read romance novels of 2019. It had every booktuber I’m subscribed to sing its praises. My expectations are sky high at this point…

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
Standalone fantasy + Samantha Shannon + dragons + f/f relationship = 5 stars

The Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St. Clair
Another nonfiction book, who would have thought? As you can probably gather from the title, Kassia St. Clair dives into the history of different colors. She discusses 75 different shades and hues, which sounds endlessly fascinating to me.

The Blade Itself (The First Law #1) by Joe Abercrombie
You’re probably wondering why I haven’t read this book yet, since it’s a 5-star prediction and I’ve owned a copy for almost 2 years now. Honestly, I’m puzzled too. I don’t know why I do the things I do. It’s an epic fantasy novel with 4 characters at the center: a barbarian, a nobleman, a wizard and an inquisitor.

The Truants by Kate Weinberg
The reason The Truants is on my 5-star predictions list is because I saw someone describe it as dark academia. I love that genre/trope, and I haven’t read a single book like that I didn’t love.

Have you read any of these books? Which books are on your 5-star predictions list?

10 books I recently bought and haven’t read yet

It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday post, a weekly list hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Today’s topic is “most recent additions to my bookshelf”. I debated whether to take this literally and talk about the books I recently acquired, or to go the digital route and feature my to-read shelf on Goodreads. As you can tell from the title of the post, I chose the physical bookshelf. I might start a series in which I talk about the books I’ve added to my digital shelves at some point as well.

2019 ended with a huge book haul for me. I’d been pretty balanced in my book buying and reading last year, until Amazon (Germany) had a huge sale in November/December. I bought around 30 books, although some of them were ones I had already read. All of the books on this list were bought during that sale, as hardcovers were around €4 and paperbacks at times €3. Isn’t that insane? Here are 10 books I bought in November and haven’t read yet.

The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie
I’ve been interested in this fantasy novel ever since it was announced. It’s quite a recent release as well, which is why I was surprised to see it in the sale. The only thing I’ve gathered from the synopsis is that the novel involves gods, men, and someone who needs to be cast from the throne. Sign me up.

The Stone Sky (The Broken Earth #3) by N.K. Jemisin
In December of 2018, I read the first book in the Broken Earth trilogy and fell in love with the unique SFF novel. This was the perfect time to complete the set and buy the third book as well. Now I have all three, I can’t wait to continue and discover what will happen next.

Vengeful (Villains #2) by V.E. Schwab
A novel that had been on my wishlist for absolute ages. V.E. Schwab is one of my favorite authors. I definitely want to read all of her published novels at some point in time. Vengeful is the sequel to Vicious, one of the most fascinating hero-villain stories I’ve read in a long time. I hope I won’t be disappointed by this one!

Death’s End (Remembrance of Earth’s Past #3) by Cixin Liu
Another sequel… The reason I usually take ages to finish a series is because books are expensive and I never get around to buying the sequels. I borrowed the first book from the library (but also bought it in this same haul), and while the actual science in this science fiction series went way over my head, I still really enjoyed the reading experience. The second book wasn’t on sale but luckily my library has it.

The Kingdom of Copper (Daevabad #2) by S.A. Chakraborty
I’ve talked about this book in my big books I’d like to read in 2020 post, because it’s one of my most anticipated reads at the moment. I absolutely adored the first novel in the series, The City of Brass. Everything about that book was incredible: the atmosphere, the characters, the relationships, the pacing… I can’t wait to find out what the sequel has in store for me.

Hello Girls by Brittany Cavallaro and Emily Henry
This was a bit of an impulse purchase. I remember Chelsea (Chelsea Dolling Reads) talk about this contemporary novel, and being intrigued by it. All I know is that it’s about two girls who are tired of men controlling their lives, so they take their rage on the road.

I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong
A nonfiction book? Who am I? I want to make a conscious effort in 2020 to read more nonfiction, because there are so many intriguing books and topics out there. This one is about the microbes within our bodies. It’s been on my to-read list for years. Time to finally read this!

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim
Miracle Creek is a novel I want to go into completely blind. I don’t want to know what it’s about. It’s an adult mystery/thriller that I’ve seen appear on several “best of the year” lists. I hope it will make it to mine as well.

How to Be Remy Cameron by Julian Winters
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you might know that Julian Winters’ last novel, Running With Lions, is one of my all-time favorite contemporary books. Obviously, that means that I have to read and own his latest book too! Seeing this in the sale felt like an early Christmas present.

Pulp by Robin Talley
I’m going to be honest, I don’t know much about Pulp. It’s a dual timeline novel  partly in the 1950s, when two girls are in love and one of them wants to be a writer, and recent times, in which a girl writes her senior project on 1950s lesbian pulp fiction.

Those are 10 of my latest book purchases! Have you read any of these? Which one should I read first? If you’d be interested in a post on my latest additions to my Goodreads shelves as well, don’t hesitate to let me know!


a few settings I’d like to see more of

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly post hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is settings we’d like to see more of. Let’s get into it!

space stations/ships

In the past year, I’ve read a few novels that are set in space ships and/or space stations and I’ve loved them all. From The Illuminae Files to Binti to Gravity, all three were incredible. Which means I’m waiting for recommendations from you! Are there any other space station books you’ve enjoyed?

remote universities

the secret history

I know this is incredibly specific, but the setting was a large part of why I loved The Secret History so much. It’s set in a remote college in New England, and is so atmospheric.

(pirate) ships

Why have I barely read any books set on ships? Especially pirate ships? I love that setting, yet I was looking through the books I read and couldn’t really find any. I did adore Red Seas Under Red Skies, which takes place on a ship, as well as Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb.

Middle Eastern/African settings (historical/fantasy)

Once again, two novels that were so atmospheric. I sped through The City of Brass, partly because of the lush descriptions of 18th century Caïro. I’m also currently reading Twelve Kings, which is a fantasy novel in a desert setting I’m really enjoying.

polar fantasy settings

a shiver of snow and sky

I read A Shiver of Snow and Sky last January, and fell in love with the setting. It takes place in a little village on an incredibly cold island, where the ground is always covered in snow and the sky is clear and filled with lights. I can’t wait to read more polar fantasies, even though I will really need some recommendations for this one.

Do you have any recommendations for me? Which settings would you like to see more of?


8 of my auto-buy authors

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly post hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week, we’re talking about auto-buy authors. The ones whose books we’ll buy/read no matter what they’re about. I only have a handful of authors whose books I’ll read without any hesitation whatsoever, so let’s get into it.

Rin Chupeco
> read: The Bone Witch trilogy
After reading The Bone Witch trilogy, Rin Chupeco has earned herself a spot on my list of auto-buy authors. I’m excited to see what she will bring to my bookshelves next, after creating one of my all-time favorite fantasy series.

Brandon Sanderson
> read: Warbreaker, The Way of Kings, Mistborn #1-4
Is anyone surprised? Probably not. I haven’t actually bought all of his books, but I’m working on it. There are a lot of them, okay, and they’re expensive.

Julian Winters
> read: Running With Lions
It only took Julian Winters one book to end up on this list. Isn’t that completely insane? I adored Running With Lions, which I discovered at YALC last year. I managed to finish this in a matter of hours, even though I was incredibly busy. It was such a lovely book, and I can’t wait to see what he writes next.

Courtney Summers
> read: All the Rage, Sadie
A few years ago, I read All the Rage and fell in love with it. It was so dark, real, and honest which is everything I want in a contemporary read. Last year, I picked up her latest release, Sadie, which ended up being one of my favorite novels of the year. I will get to her backlist at some point, but I’m definitely buying her new releases as soon as possible.

Madeline Miller
> read: The Song of Achilles, Circe
The Song of Achilles catapulted Madeline Miller onto this list, and I pre-ordered Circe as soon as it was possible. The Song of Achilles is one of my all-time favorite novels. I cry every single time I read it. While I didn’t love Circe as much as I did her debut novel, I know I’ll buy and read every single book she publishes.

Leigh Bardugo
> read: The Grisha trilogy, Six of Crows duology
I feel like I’m lying here because I haven’t actually bought her latest release, King of Scars, yet. However, I am planning on purchasing it eventually! I don’t buy new releases immediately after they come out often because they tend to be quite expensive. Either way, I’m interested in reading every single book she ever publishes.

Alice Oseman
> read: Radio Silence, I Was Born for This, Solitaire
I find it interesting that I immediately thought of Alice Oseman for this list, even though I haven’t loved all of her books. Radio Silence was the first book of hers I ever read, which is one of my favorite contemporaries. Before meeting her last year, I bought and read I Was Born For This (which I liked) and Solitaire (which I disliked) as well. I will end up buying Heartstopper at some point in time too.

Jessica Townsend
> read: The Trials of Morrigan Crow, The Calling of Morrigan Crow
If you’ve read my reviews on these books, you’ll know that the Nevermoor series has rekindled my love for middle grade fantasy. I hadn’t enjoyed an MG book as much as these ones in ages. Jessica Townsend has reminded me why I love reading fantasy so much, and where I got started with the genre.

I don’t have 10 authors for you this week, because there aren’t that many authors out there whose books I’d buy no questions asked. I wanted to keep this 100% honest, and not include those whose books I might buy without looking at the description. These are some of my all-time favorite authors, and I can’t wait to read more of their works.

Have you read any of these authors’ books? Which authors are on your list?

characters I want to hug and protect forever

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly post hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Today is a character freebie, and I’ve decided to talk about the characters I want to roll up in a blanket and protect from the horrifying reality of humanity. Let’s get started, before this gets any darker, shall we?

Nicholas and Seiji | Fence by C.S. Pacat
I actually wanted to choose only one of the main characters from Fence for this topic, but I simply couldn’t decide which one I wanted to hug more.

Sebastian | Running With Lions by Julian Winters
This entire book, I wanted to fight anyone who ever made Sebastian feel bad. He’s such a Hufflepuff, and it kicked my protective feelings into high gear. He’s the kind of person to look after everyone else and make sure they’re doing well, but who is doing the same for him?

Sadie | Sadie by Courtney Summers
This entire book is so sad and painful! Maybe I’m growing old, but seeing a teenager go through all this makes me feel sick. Why is no one there to protect her?? I guess I’ll have to do it then.

Rudy | The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Morrigan | Nevermoor by Jessicca Townsend
As is described in the synopsis of the first book, Morrigan is a “cursed child” because she was born on Eventide. Her entire life, people have blamed her for every single thing that goes wrong in the town. The absolute ridiculousness of this makes me so angry. She’s a child. You are supposed to protect her, not make her feel worthless.

Arya A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
Out of all the characters in the series I’m desperate to protect, Arya tops the list. Since the start of the first book she has been my favorite character, and her journey has always been endlessly fascinating to me.

The Elric brothers | Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa
Protect the brothers! I’ve been reading the FMA manga this year, and have grown so attached to these two. They are so precious, and hilarious, and adorable.

Achilles & Patroclus The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
I cried my eyes out while reading this book. I didn’t expect to feel so emotional, because I already knew what would happen to the characters. The way Madeline Miller made these characters come to life is absolutely mind-blowing.

Wylan | Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Little Wylan… Do I even need to explain?

Kaladin | The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
I’ve only read the first book in the Stormlight Archive, but I already feel like I’ll need to protect him. He’s had such bad luck in the first one, I hope it gets better.

Have you read any of these books? Which characters would you protect with your life?

What did I read growing up?

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly post hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. In this week’s post, I’m talking about the books I read growing up. I think this will be such an interesting post to read, especially when us book bloggers hail from all corners of the world!

De Zusjes Kriegel by Marc de Bel
This title translates to The Sisters Kriegel, and it follows three sisters who are completely awful. I can’t actually remember anything about the book, but I remember loving it to death. If I’m not mistaken, the sisters were bullies and complete psychopaths but I still adored this book. Maybe I should reread this as an adult!

Matilda by Roald Dahl
Is there a book lover out there who didn’t relate immensely to Matilda as a child? Obviously, I read the translation growing up as I only spoke Dutch. This is definitely one I want to reread one day.

Wise Child by Monica Furlong
Another book I read translated! I actually remember lending this from the library more than 10 times because I adored the story so much. It follows a girl who starts to live with Juniper, a healer and wise woman. However, the town considers her to be a witch.

Koning van Katoren by Jan Terlouw
I’ve talked about this book before, I’m fairly certain. This is quite a famous children’s book in Belgium and The Netherlands, and it follows a boy who has been given seven impossible tasks to complete in order to become King.

Het Uur Nul by Dirk Bracke
Het Uur Nul, literal translation ‘the hour zero’, was the first Dirk Bracke book I read and it solidified my love for this author. He always tackles taboo topics, and I read every book of his I could get my hands on as a teenager. I wonder how I’d feel about them at this point in my life. Either way, this is about a teenage boy who gets diagnosed with HIV in the 90s.

Prophecy of the Stones by Flavia Bujor
I remember borrowing this book from my best friend in my early teens, and falling in love with it. It follows three girls who are chosen to fulfill an ancient prophecy, and is written by a French author of Romanian descent. I really need to hunt down a copy of my own so I can read it again one day. I read this in Dutch, by the way, but it does have an English translation.

Stormbreaker (Alex Rider #1) by Anthony Horowitz
The Alex Rider series started my obsession with Anthony Horowitz as a teen. I still have so many of the Alex Rider novels in Dutch at my parents’ house, and I definitely want to keep them in my collection. They were such a big part of my reading life growing up!

Raven’s Gate (The Gatekeepers #1) by Anthony Horowitz
My love for the Alex Rider series pushed me into trying more of the author’s works, and that’s when I stumbled upon this series. I can vividly recall rereading this series again and again, and never growing bored of it.

Lieve Woordjes by Carl Norac and Claude K. Dubois
This is a series of picture books my mom gave to me as a kid. She still has them in her bookshelves, and I hope to one day take them with me. They hold some of my absolute favorite memories. The title translates to Sweet words, and that’s exactly what this book is: sweet. One of the books follows the little daughter, who gets to stay at home alone for the first time while her parents go out for a few hours. She does all the things she has always wanted, but at the end grows bored and just wants her parents to come back home so she can hug them. It’s adorable.

Inkheart (Inkworld #1) by Cornelia Funke
A book I was given by my godmother as a child! I remember being so amazed at a world in which people could jump into stories or bring parts of the stories to life by reading out loud. I have so many wonderful memories attached to these!

This was a wonderful trip down memory lane. Growing up in a family that always encouraged me to read has left me with so many beautiful memories to look back on. I’m eternally grateful to my parents and godmother for fostering my love for reading.

Have you read any of these? What did you read growing up?


my summer to-read list (why do I even try?)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly post hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week, we’re talking about our summer (or winter, depending on your location) TBR. Now, I don’t even know why I try with these to-read lists. I always pick books I’m dying to read, and when the season is over I’ve barely read 2 of them. However, I’m not willing to give up. So what am I going to read this summer?

Fullmetal Alchemist 3-in-1 edition volume 3 by Hiromu Arakawa
This contains volumes 7, 8, and 9 of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga. I recently ordered 4 of the omnibuses because I want to start collecting those instead of the used single volumes I have now. I’ve already read volume 7, and can’t wait to read 8 and 9 as well.

Fruits Basket Collector’s Edition Vol. 1 by Natsuki Takaya
This edition contains the first two volumes of Fruits Basket. Once again, I’ve read the first volume already and can’t wait to continue. It was so cute!

Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
I requested this from the library, have had it for 2 months, and still haven’t read it. I really want to change that this summer. I’m feeling like reading epic fantasy at the moment. What’s better than fantasy with dragons and a sapphic relationship? NOTHING. Nothing is better than that.

Record of a Spaceborn Few (Wayfarers #3) by Becky Chambers
I finally bought a copy of this book in June, after wanting it ever since its release last year. It was always so expensive though, and I couldn’t bring myself to actually buy it. When I was in London, I spotted a copy with blue sprayed edges at Waterstones and knew it was time to get it.

Shortcake Cake Vol. 1 by Suu Morishita
I have no idea what this manga is about. I saw one of the YouTubers I’m subscribed to mention it as a series they’re currently reading and loving, so I had to buy it. The first two volumes are on their way to me, and I can’t wait.

Scythe (Arc of a Scythe #1) by Neal Shusterman
A hyped book I’ve been putting off for ages. Like I mentioned before, I’m in the mood to read SFF, which makes it a perfect time to give Scythe a try. If you’re unaware, this is about a society in which people don’t die unless their lives are ended by a scythe.

Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
In case my mood does a complete 180, I have some contemporary romances on this list as well. Love & Gelato is set in Florence, and follows a girl trying to learn more about her parents.

Our Dreams at Dusk Vol. 1 by Yhuki Kamatani
An LGBT+ coming-of-age manga! The description says, “In this realistic, heartfelt depiction of LGBT+ characters from different backgrounds finding their place in the world, a search for inner peace proves to be the most universal experience of all.”

Mango Summer by Agay Llanera
An adult contemporary this time around… This is set in San Antonio on a mango farm, where all the fruit goes sour for the first time in a century. According to a family legend, the only way to keep the mangoes sweet is for the women who run the farm to be married and bear children. If I’m not mistaken, it’s a romance between the 34-year-old owner of the farm, Fiona, and her best friend’s younger brother, who is 28.

The Obelisk Gate (The Broken Earth #2) by N.K. Jemisin
I really want to continue this series. I read, and loved, the first book last year and don’t want to wait another 3 years to continue the trilogy. I’m not sure how to explain the storyline, or whether I should even try. It’s adult SFF, and everyone should read it. That’s all you really need to know.

Have you read any of these books? What are you reading this summer?