February in the life | personal wrap up

If you’ve been reading my blog posts for a while, you’ll probably know I divide my wrap ups every month: one that focuses on everything I read, and one in which I talk about the shows and movies I watched, music I listened to, and things I did.

what i watched black

Let’s start with everything I managed to watch in the past month!

On Your Wedding Day – ★★★★ – really liked it
I watched On Your Wedding Day because a) it was one of the movies available on my flight to Abu Dhabi and b) I love Park Bo-young. I had never even heard of this movie before, but am so glad I watched it! I ended up really enjoying it, as you can probably tell from my 4-star rating. It’s about a guy and a girl who meet in high school and fall in love, but then one day the girl disappears. He spots her in a promotional folder of a university years later, and decides to study as hard as possible so he can go there and they can meet again. While I didn’t love how much of his life depended on her, I did fall in love with the characters and their story. Also: THAT ENDING.

Bohemian Rhapsody – ★★★★.₅ – loved it
This was another one I managed to watch on said flight! I’d been meaning to see it in theaters, but as usual never actually got to doing that. I was mesmerized by this movie. I was so emotional while watching, which is odd because I wasn’t even alive in Freddie Mercury’s lifetime. Of course, like most other people, I grew up listening to Queen… Rami Malek was absolutely incredible in this. For the first time in a long while, I completely forgot there was an actor behind this performance. Most of the time, I’m quite aware that it’s someone portraying a character. Not here. I completely forgot it was Rami the entire time.

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo – ★★★★ – really liked it
This is honestly one of the most often recommended Korean dramas, and I finally gave it a go. It’s about a woman and a man who go to the same university; the girl is a weightlifter, and the guy a swimmer. I really enjoyed this drama because it was light-hearted and funny, yet had some depth to it at the same time. I love that there wasn’t any /much unnecessary drama to break the couple up like there is in most shows, and that they didn’t make the guy’s ex-girlfriend into a villain.

Game of Thrones season 1 and 2 – ★★★★★ – favorite
I rewatched the first two seasons of Game of Thrones in February! Ideally, I’d like to watch everything that’s been released so far before the start of the new/last season on April 14th. That’s probably not going to happen though, since the episodes are so long. But I want to watch it all without spoilers! Obviously, I loved it. I adore this show.

what i did black

What happened in February? Although it was a short month, I feel like I did quite a lot. As usual, I went to some job interviews. But I also managed to do quite a lot of fun things with friends and family!

I went to a quiz with my cousin, and we killed it (we ended up 7th out of the 20 groups, but I’ll take it). One of my absolute best friends had her birthday party and it was wonderful. I went to the gym with a lovely friend a couple of times as well, which is fantastic because we’re working out and get to see each other more often! I babysat for an evening, which was quite fun as well.

The most memorable thing that happened in February was my trip to Abu Dhabi and Dubai! I went for a week to visit a friend who works in Abu Dhabi, and it was fantastic. The weather was great, and I got to see quite a bit. My favorite moment was when we spent the day on a private island called Zaya Nurai. If you ever go to Abu Dhabi, please take a day out of your schedule to go there. It’s so beautiful and relaxing!

Of course, after the highs came a low. I got the flu and bronchitis on my way back from Abu Dhabi which resulted in the worst flight I’ve ever been on. I’m all better now though!

what i listened to black

Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody
You know I had to listen to this again and again after watching the movie. I don’t think this song requires any explanation, to be honest.

Queen – Radio Ga Ga
For some reason, this has always been one of my favorite Queen songs…

Queen – We Will Rock You
Obviously, this is on the list.

ATEEZ – Hala Hala
A completely different direction than Queen, but true nonetheless. I’ve listened to this song so often in the past month…

Taemin – Want
Listen, Taemin is an absolutely king. This MV is fantastic, and the song is so good! I’d like to have a talk with the one in charge of editing this music video though, because I think I might be in love with them.


How was your February? Have you seen any of the movies or shows I mentioned, or listened to some of the songs? What did you listen to, watch or do last month?

February Prompts

At the start of the year, I wrote my first ‘monthly prompts’ post, called January PromptsIt was a new way for me to tackle regular to-read/TBR piles because I am the worst at following through with them. I love making to-read lists for readathons, and fitting them together with the challenges provided. But when left to my own devices as I make a monthly (or even seasonal) TBR, I end up reading every book except the ones on my list.

So I decided to create my monthly TBRs for 2019 in a similar manner to the ones I create when participating in a readalong: by following prompts and challenges. I use the Popsugar 2019 Reading Challenge‘s 40 challenges as prompts. Through a random number generator, I pick 3 or 4 prompts per month I want to complete. It allows me to be flexible enough to switch books around that fulfill the prompt, but gives me some direction too.

It appears to really work for me, because I managed to fulfill all 4 prompts for January! I read so much last month, and am glad to have read some books that had been on my to-read list for a while.

So here are the prompts that will guide (some of) my reading throughout February!

Read a book by an author whose first and last name start with the same letter

 

For this prompt, I have 4 books on my physical TBR that could fit.

The Mime Order (Bone Season #2) by Samantha Shannon
I started this series in 2016, and still haven’t continued. I have no idea why because I absolutely adored the first book, The Bone Season. Maybe this will be the push I need to finally continue the series!

Noteworthy by Riley Redgate
If I’m not feeling up to reading a dense SFF book like The Mime Order, I could decide to pick up Noteworthy instead. This is a YA contemporary in which a girl disguises as a boy to join an all-male a cappella group in order to finally get a prominent role and showcase her talent.

His Majesty’s Dragon (Temeraire #1) by Naomi Novik
Another one that could complete this challenge is Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series. If I’m not mistaken, this series is a mix of historical fiction and fantasy and is set during the Napoleonic Wars but with dragons. That sounds absolutely epic, and once again I have no idea why this has been on my shelf for so long and I still haven’t read it.

The Valiant (The Valiant #1) by Lesley Livingston
I actually have a translated copy of this book, which is called Onverschrokken. I bought the Dutch translation in a book sale last year (or the year before? what is time) but somehow reading a translated version intimidates me. Ridiculous, considering Dutch is actually my first language. This is a YA historical fiction novel set in the Roman Empire during Caesar’s rule.

Read a book that takes place in a single day

 

The Dinner by Herman Koch
I’m not entirely sure this takes place in one day, but that’s what a list on the internet told me. I guess I’ll find out when I read it? This is about two families who have dinner together at a fashionable restaurant in Amsterdam. Behind their seemingly normal conversation hides a conflict; their 15-year-old sons have committed a horrifying act.

Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl
If I’m not mistaken, this novel follows 5 friends who are stuck repeating the same day over and over again. I loved Night Film by Marisha Pessl, and I’m really excited to read more of her works. I don’t own a copy of this myself, but Scribd has the audiobook! I’m hoping to make this my audiobook of the month in February.

Read a book about a hobby

To be honest, I’m not quite sure what to make of this topic. Should I read a nonfiction book about one of my hobbies? Should I read a book in which the main character shares a hobby of mine? Or should I read a fiction book in which the character simply has a prominent hobby? I don’t know.

 

How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry
I have a copy of this novel on my Kindle – actually, all the possible reads for this prompt are ebooks. I seriously need to start reading the endless amount of books I have on my ereader. I tend to forget about them since they’re not staring at me from my shelf. This novel follows a woman who returns to her Cotswold hometown the rescue her family’s bookstore. Obviously, since you’re reading this blog post, you know that reading is my #1 hobby.

From Twinkle with Love by Sandhya Menon
From Twinkle with Love follows two films geeks who are making a movie together for the upcoming Summer Festival. While the characters want to become filmmakers and movies are not simply a hobby to them, watching movies is most definitely a hobby of mine. One I need to explore more in 2019 as I watched a sad amount of movies last year.

The Girl from Everywhere (The Girl from Everywhere #1) by Heidi Heilig
I know, this book is kind of a stretch for this topic… We’re going with it anyway! The Girl from Everywhere follows Nix who has spent her entire life aboard her father’s ship. Together they travel the world, across the centuries. It’s travel + time travel! Now, time travel clearly isn’t a hobby of mine because unfortunately I’m incapable of doing so. Regular travel, however, is one of my favorite things on Earth. A lot of my happy and joyful memories are from trips I’ve taken around the world. That counts, right?

Reread a favorite book

 

Shadow and Bone (Grisha #1) by Leigh Bardugo
January marked the release of King of Scars, which is a novel set in the Grishaverse focused on Nikolai. Although I’m really excited to read it, and sincerely hoping to avoid spoilers, I feel like I’m not ready to pick that book up yet. It’s been years since I’ve read the Grisha trilogy, and I feel like I’m due for a reread first.

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1) by Robin Lafevers
Another trilogy I want to reread this year. In 2019, Courting Darkness will be released which is a continuation of this series. When I first read the 3 books currently out, they were simply a trilogy. Now they’re adding more books, which I find really exciting! I remember adoring this series about assassin nuns in 15th century France!


I’m really excited about this month’s prompts! I was so happy when the random number generator gave me the ‘reread a favorite book’ challenge, since it’s the perfect time to do so – with the release of Courting Darkness and King of Scars, that is. Have you read any of these books? Which should I read first? Do you know of any other books that take place in one day?

February Wrap Up | What I Read, Watched and Listened to (2018)

Can I be honest and say I’m glad February is over? I know it’s not a very long month, but it sure was a punch in the face…

what i read 80c8b0

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur // ★★.5 // I listened to the audio book of Milk and Honey at the start of the month. I had wanted to read it for ages, but I’m not very familiar with reading poetry. So I figured listening to Rupi Kaur read her own poems was the perfect way to go. And I would recommend the audiobook. I was just sort of indifferent about the poetry itself. I guess it just wasn’t for me. I know that her poems will resonate with a lot of other people, which is why I didn’t want to give it a lower rating. It just didn’t with me. 

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli // Re-read // ★★★★★ // A re-read! I first read this book in 2015 and absolutely loved it. It’s been a few years now, and the movie adaptation is almost here. I wanted to re-read this before watching the movie in June, and reading the new companion novel Leah on the Offbeat this year. I’m so glad I did, because I’d forgotten so much already! Still loved it though. 

Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie // ★★★★ // I saw a copy of this at the library, so decided to take it with me. As you can see from the cover, I read the Dutch translation. I think this is a great little book, and wonderful as a (starter) guide to feminism. Do I think that there are many things left out? Yes. I would like to read more about trans women, LGBT+ women and toxic masculinity too. But this is a great place to start already; to listen to women’s experiences outside of Western Europe/North-America.

That’s all I read… I know, I didn’t read much in February. Dear Ijeawele is such a short book, and so is Milk and Honey. Like I said, February was a kick in the face at times and I just didn’t have the energy to read.

what i watched 80c8b0

Raw (2016) // Original title: Grave // ★★★★ // First, I’d like to thank Inge for getting me through this movie. This movie is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. It’s a French-Belgian film called Grave (the french word, not the English one…) about a girl who goes to vet school. She’s been a vegetarian her entire life, until she’s forced to eat raw rabbit liver (or something like that) during initiation. Shit spirals out of control afterwards. DO NOT watch this movie while eating. SERIOUSLY, DON’T. 

Lucifer // I watched the first 8 episodes of Lucifer season 3 this month! I’m slowly catching up. Emphasis on slowly.

Dark // I watched the first episode of the German Netflix show called Dark. It was creepy and weird, and I’m definitely going to continue the series. 

Altered Carbon // I also watched the first episode of Altered Carbon. To be completely honest, I forgot I even watched this before writing this post. Yet I still enjoyed it, and would continue watching? I think it’s too soon to say whether I’m into it. It’s one of those shows that will take me a while to get into. 

what i listened to 80c8b0

SEVENTEEN – Thanks

This song… SEVENTEEN has become one of my favorite K-pop groups now. Maybe even my ultimate favorite? I’m just in awe of them. They’re all so talented: producing their own music, raps, choreography, etc… They get visibly better and better with every comeback, and this is no exception. I would also really recommend watching the choreography version of this. Their choreo is insane. 

The Rose – Sorry

I discovered The Rose through DAY6 (who were in last month’s wrap up), and then noticed they were holding a concert in Belgium in February! I was so excited. I think they were the first K-pop group to really hold a concert in Belgium? At least, to my knowledge. So I went to see them live, and it was absolutely fantastic. They are so talented, and were so happy to see the crowd of fans! It was adorable.

Stray Kids – Hellevator

I’ve been listening to this song for about a week, I think. I really like its flow, and it always manages to put me in a productive mood. I believe they wrote this song about their life as trainees, which makes me really sad for all the idols and the terrible and hard times they must have gone through.

Pentatonix – Havana

If there’s a new PTX song, you just know it’s going to be on my list. I LOVE THIS. I don’t like Mich’s mustache, but okay. Their songs are always on point. A warm welcome to Matt, the new PTX member!

Weekly Wrap Up | February n° 4

what i read 80c8b0

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson // DNF // This book just wasn’t for me. I made it to page 133 before deciding to continue. I think I can actually see why people love it as I think the writing is really unique, but it just wasn’t for me. I wasn’t invested in the story, nor in the characters, and once put down I didn’t feel the need to pick it back up. 

A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #3) by V.E. Schwab // ★★★★★ // I read this immediately when it was released, to avoid all spoilers. I took my time though, as I read it in 3 or 4 days. I absolutely loved the conclusion of this trilogy. Yes, it was long, but it never felt dragged out -in my opinion. I’m excited to see what V.E. Schwab will do next.

Wicca: Guide for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham // Read in translation – Dutch // ★★★★ //  An interesting non fiction pick, right? I was never raised in a religious manner, and know next to nothing about it. I’ve also never been attracted to any of the biggest religions, as I feel no connection to them. While I didn’t agree with everything in this book, I did find a lot I could relate to, understand and get behind. I’ll definitely be reading more on Wicca, (Neo)Paganism, Druidism, etc. If you have any recommendations, feel free to let me know!

what i watched 80c8b0

I didn’t really have any time this week, so I just watched the new Shadowhunters episode, and rewatched some of my favorite Skam ones. 

in real life 80c8b0

I had an interesting week at work today, as the event we’ve been working on for 2 months finally happened. I’m quite happy and proud with the way it turned out! 

Other than that, not much happened this week!


So that was my week! How was yours? Did you read, watch or do anything? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

Weekly Wrap Up | February #2-3

what i read 80c8b0

Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin // ★★★★.5 // I truly enjoyed this mystery book. I feel like this is a great one for people used to reading YA, and who want to pick up more adult books too. It has two timelines: one set in 1995, when Tessie is a teenager, and one in current times. So you have both her adult and teenage perspective, which I found really interesting!

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman // ★★★★★ // This will be on my favorites of the year list, I can already tell. It’s one of (if not the) best contemporary book I have ever read. I ended up watching Alice Oseman’s YouTube videos too, about her writing process for her third book (which comes out this year and I am SO EXCITED). I have a review for this one coming up soon.

All the Rage by Courtney Summers // ★★★★★ // Another YA contemporary that blew me away. I have a full review of this coming soon too, but I’ll just say that this should be required reading in high school.

The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui // ★★★★ // I went on Netgalley for the first time in a while and request a bunch of stuff again. (Someone stop me, by the way). This was one of those I requested. It’s a graphic memoir of Thi Bui’s life as a Vietnamese-American woman, and her parents’ lives in Vietnam and the US. It’s honestly so good, and I’ll have a full review for it up this week.

what i watched 80c8b0

I watched Captain America: Civil War for the first time last weekend! In retrospect, I should’ve watched The Avengers: Age of Ultron before because SPOILERS in the Marvel Cinematic Universe are aplenty. I did enjoy it though. I’ve always loved Captain America, but I can’t help but side mostly with Iron Man here. For the most part here, Cap was being a giant asshole and Tony just trying to do the right thing -which wasn’t always actually the right thing, but at least he was trying.

I also went to the cinema with one of my friends to watch La La Land. I’d heard so many incredible things about it so I knew I had to see it. We both really enjoyed it. I think I may write a full movie review on this one, if that’s something you’d like to see.

I’m still keeping up with Shadowhunters. I’m going to be honest: Simon, Magnus & Alec truly make that series for me. I like the others too -but those especially. 

I also watched a few episodes of The Magicians (although I’m still on season 1). And I watched a few Supergirl episodes, but I’m not caught up yet. 

I also watched the first episode of Santa Clarita Diet, which I thought was really funny. And I’ve watched the first 3 episodes of Riverdale, which I’m really enjoying so far! I have never read any of the Archie comics, so I’m unfamiliar with the source material. And I might just watch episode 4 tonight.

in real life 80c8b0

What happened in real life? 

I had a ‘foodfest’ one evening last week in support of the badminton club of someone we know. I had my first veggie burger, and it was actually really nice! We’re not going to talk about the second one though… 

I had a lovely evening with a friend, where we had the biggest ice creams ever (mine had whipped cream, brownie chunks and chocolate sauce on it) and afterwards we saw La La Land. It was great!

I booked an Airbnb for #YALC this summer, and I’m really excited about it. 

I bought a new pair of glasses! I am in love with them.

I’ve started the hunt for a apartment to rent. Which is an entire nightmare on its own.


So that was my week! How was yours? What did you read, watch and/or do? I hope you’ll all have a lovely week to come.