Writing update, part I: my story with writing

Copie de Copie de Copie de Wanderlust GIFT IDEAS

tw: suicide, coma

Dear readers,

For as long as I can remember, I have always loved writing.

I remember my aunts giving me white books so I could write and drew in them— I let my inspiration talks and wrote about cats, princesses, dogs, families. I was not 7 yet, but I still loved the exercice, even though it was more of a game to me.

I remember sitting to the big computer in our living room to write novels when I was 9 or 10, knowing that this time it was serious. I loved thinking of new stories to tell, finding a title and meet my characters. I wrote about twins, sisters, music, books, friendship— basically all I knew at this age.

I remember my 11th birthday and having my very first own laptop. The first thing I did was to start a new story— it was set in London in the 19th century and a man found a way to travel through another word with only a mirror. I re-read it a few months ago and even though it is, of course, bad, it was also sweet, pure and good enough for a 11 years old girl.

I remember being 13 and spending nights on the Internet to read more and more dramione fanfictions, until one day I decided to start my own. The whole thing grew fast and I had 1k readers in a few months— it was scary but exciting and I loved it. I let my French teacher read it and she told me that I was good, that I should keep writing, that I had something. And so I did it. And I created another blog, dedicated to Emma Watson, on which I wrote everyday because I couldn’t stop. That was all I was doing— I wrote during classes on a piece of paper and spent my nights re-writing the whole thing on my laptop and creating, writing, again and again.

And I remember when we discovered my diabetes when I was 14 years old. It’s a long story but I was in the South with my grand-parents and I spent awhile in a coma. When I finally woke up, I had to wait before being able to sit and to take a plane to go back to Paris in a wheelchair. I was scared, angry, didn’t know what was happening, but the only thing I asked my parents to bring me was my laptop so I could explain to my readers why I have been inactive. I didn’t want to eat nor spend times with the other children, so the nurses came to my room and let me talk about the books I was reading and my fanfiction. They were happy for me and they loved reading me.

When I left the hospital, everything started to change. And I remember stopping writing. Because I couldn’t. Because I was too tired and unable to understand what was happening to me. Because I was too depressed anyway to think about anything. Because I was too little to live this and that my emotions were too big, not letting me creating anything at all. And so I joined a Role Playing Game on Facebook which lasted two years. I was playing Lily Luna Potter and it felt good to write again, but mostly to be someone else. To play someone who was pretty, funny, intelligent, and not diabetic.

I tried after all of that to write again. I had tons of ideas but I couldn’t seem to sit down and think. My cyclothymia became impossible to handle and I tried to kill myself before turning 18. I didn’t want to be who I was and if I couldn’t play someone anymore, then I’d rather just disappear. But I survived and I did better. I am better.

I remember starting writing again and thinking about this project I started when I was 11. The one about an English man who travelled through words with a mirror. It took me years before finding the real story, the one I’m working on today, but I finally did. At first, I had some ideas there and then. I never really wrote but thought about it a lot, trying to meet my characters. And then, something happened. And I could write again. And I knew where I was going and I knew I could make it.

I’ll remember this day when I’ll be done writing my very first novel. I’ll remember being full of hope but also insecurities, having too many ideas in my brain, this feeling when you have to write or your mind could explode.

And then I’ll start another one.

And another one.

Because I will always remember to keep writing again and again and again.

Love always,

Clara

téléchargement

Advertisements

Review: They Both Die At the End by Adam Silvera

THIS REVIEW CAN SPOIL YOU THE BOOK.

You will love this book if you like:

  • young adult,
  • love stories,
  • sad stories.

You should read it during:

  • autumn,
  • halloween (mostly because it’s about death),
  • a day you feel calm and relaxed so you won’t cry too much.

More informations:

  • quick and short read,
  • easy to understand and to follow.

Representation:

  • Ownvoice,
  • LGBTQIA+ (one of the main character is gay, the other bi),
  • POC (one of the main character is Puerto-Rican, the other is Cuban).

Copie de review (1).png

TW: death, sickness, coma, fights + it has been brough to my attention that this book presents an ableist language, which can be very triggering for people (I tried to find reviews to illustrate this but people only mention it, so I can only recommend to be careful while reading it).

THE PLOT

On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure and to live a lifetime in a single day.

via Goodreads

MY REVIEW

When I first finished this book, I decided to give it 5/5 stars. Why? I didn’t know myself. I just knew that I loved Adam Silvera and that I loved this book— still, I could feel that I was disappointed with something but I couldn’t quite put a name on it.

For this review, I will first present you all the things that I loved about this book. Then, I will move on to the things that got me thinking if I was disappointed or not. Finally, I will explain what I wish could have been done differently, and so why I decided to lower my grade to 4 stars.

WHAT I LIKED
  • The main idea

As soon as I knew about this book, I had to have it. Regardless of my love for Adam Silvera, the title was simply brilliant— I never read a book spoiled by the own author. It got me really intrigued and it quickly became one of my most anticipated releases of 2017.

When we got the plot, I was even more excited. An app to find a last friend on your dying day? A love story between two men? Sign me in. And it is true, even after reading it, that this book was simply brilliant. I have never read anything like that before and am glad I read it for it truly was impressive.

  • The characters

This was to be expected. Adam Silvera knows how to create and write characters. He also knows how to make the reader falls in love immediatly. Of course, it happened once again while I was reading They Both Die At the End.

From the first chapters, I was hooked and way too attached. Even though the narrator kept saying that no matter what, they both die at the end, you start to hope that it won’t happen.

But if it doesn’t happen, then it will fail the title and be disappointing.

But if they die, that will break your heart.

Do you see the problem?

WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN DONE DIFFERENTLY
  • Too many point of views

That’s the first thing that got me confused. After a few chapters, we began to have more point of views added to the story. All starts with the same sentence, saying that this character won’t die today, and presents you in a few pages what they are doing, thinking or else. Some are related to the main characters, some aren’t.

At first, I thought it must have been to add more thoughts about death and life, to see how people reacts differently when they learn about the death of someone or when they simply live in this world. However, some point of views felt really useless to me and unecessary to the story. I read some reviews before posting mine and noticed that a lot of people felt that way too.

  • Everything was happening too fast

Here we go— now that was the main problem.

The whole book is short— the hard cover edition is only 384 pages long. It may seem long for some people, but it still is written in a pretty big font and few words were on the pages.

The fact that everything happenes too fast does make sense in a way since the story starts at midnight and ends later that day. That’s more or less 24 hours for the author to make his two characters meet, know each other, fall in love and eventually die.

But because of this 24 hours rule, the whole thing felt rushed to me. I know that if you have one day left you wouldn’t care about anything else and would fell in love in a second. But, as I read the book, it felt weird. Mateo and Rufus got closer but it was never really described. And when it did happen, I was happy but it still felt weird— no feelings were detailled. I wasn’t surprise because I knew it was a love story but someone who wouldn’t know anything could feel off when they both starts saying “I love you to each other” after meeting a few hours earlier.

And that’s the problem: the book was already short and the feelings were never really developed. You couldn’t really understand that they were starting to like, well love, each other and that’s what disappointed me. Based on History is All You Left Me, I know that Adam Silvera is able to write something beautiful and deep— here, something was lacking.

  • Lack of depth

And now this is why the emotions were never really detailled— because the whole book lacked of depth.

Besides from the emotions, a lot of things weren’t as detailled as they should have been, as such as the world and the consequences of this one day rule.

The world, though  interresting and intriguing, was never really described. It took me a while to understand that it was happening in the future and not just in an alternate version of our time. I know that this book isn’t a sci-fi one, but things could have been described a little bit more. For example, the author presents throughout the whole book different kind of technologies but never really explained them— they were there when the characters needed it and that was it. I really felt as if something was missing while reading.

And the same thing happned with the consequences. I cannot imagine a world in which people know when they will die, and yet there is no violence. Well, that can be— but in that case, the author needs to explain why and how. Here, it was never described. More, the author added point of views but they didn’t add anything to the story nor to the world. This new technology necessarily have consequences on people, on the world. Some may go mad, some may become violent. I wish the whole thing was more developed and thought.

WHY IT SOMEHOW MADE SENSE AND WHY IT FELT WEIRD

As I said, it still made sense— the one day rule made the whole thing rushed. Feelings had to go quick, events too. Nobody could lost time, because they simply had no time left. And it is this rule that somehow ruined the book for me.

WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN DONE TO AVOID THIS

To avoid all of these things listed above, one solution came to my mind: change the one day rule to a one week rule. A week isn’t too long (I first thought of a month) and would allow the characters to truly get to know each other. Mateo and Rufus will be able to fall in love, quickly but not too much, and share many things. The book will, of course, be longer, which will allow the author to describe more scenes, more about the world, build something around it, and more importantly— describe the emotions, and not just the ones the characters felt when the learned they were going to die.

IN CONCLUSION

In the end, this book would have been better if it was:

a) a novella (in which all of what I talked about would be useless),

b) 200 pages longer.

No matter what, it truly was a good book and even though I didn’t cry like I did at the end of History is All You Left Me, it still made me feel something and made me have a good time. The whole story was beautiful, makes you think a lot (about what you would do if this would happen to you, what is life to you, what is death etc) and will make you fell in love with the two main characters. It’s a quick read and won’t take you too much time, but it can break your heart.

WHERE TO BUY IT

Love always,

Clara

téléchargement

Mental health, part I: anxiety, cylothymia, social media and me

Dear readers,

As today is #WorldMentalHealthDay, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to start posting about mental health. If you don’t know, I suffer from cyclothymia and anxiety, and talking about it is important to me. It would have helped me a lot when I was younger to find those kind of articles, and this is why I decided to start posting about it.

For this first post, I will talk about the impact of social media in my life next to my anxiety and cyclothymia.

TW: hospital, suicide, coma

Copie de Copie de Copie de Copie de Wanderlust GIFT IDEAS
HOW IT ALL STARTED

Since I got my very first laptop at 11 years old, I have always been on the Internet but it’s only when we discovered my diabetes that I started to use it in a different way.

What happened to me was rough and I won’t talk a lot about it on this post but I still have to develop some parts for you to be able to understand the whole thing.

After weeks of losing weight, drinking tons of water, being unable to eat because my tongue was hurting me, I went on vacations with my grand-parents in the South of France. That’s when everything started to get worst— and when I stopped breathing. They took me to the hospital and I was in a coma for awhile. When I woke up, it took me days to be able to finally sit on my bed and it’s only after that my familyt booked a plane for me to go back to Paris in a wheelchair with a doctor. When I finally arrived in this new hospital next to my family, I started seeing a psychiatrist: they told me that what happened to me will make me feel the same thing I would have go through if I lost my mom, and so that I would have to go through the stages of grief.

A few years later, two months before turning 18, I tried to kill myself. There’s no way to sugarcoat it.

That’s when the psychiatrist talked to me about cyclothymia, anxiety etc. It was hard but I took it anyway— it felt good to put a name on what was happening inside of me. So I decided to get better, and that’s what I did.

That’s when I was introduced to the Role Playing Game world on Facebook. If you don’t know what it is, it’s a game in which you have to create an account for your character and then simply play them. There’s a plot created by the moderators and you decide every move of your character by writing their stories with others. It’s like writing a novel with tons of point of views and writers.

And so I played Lily Luna Potter (from the Harry Potter world). And it felt good.

I was somebody else— prettier, smarter, funnier. I had friends there, my character had a boyfriend, and more importantly she wasn’t diabetic. At some point, I lost myself in the game. I didn’t want to be who I was. But the game had to stop and so I joined another one which made me feel better, but somehow even worse. The relationship I had with the person I was playing with was abusive but I let it happened because I couldn’t be myself, I couldn’t bear living with who I was and I didn’t want to be me.

Next to that, I joined Twitter again. That’s where I used to talk about my real feelings. How I felt trapped, lost, bad. How I wanted to disappear, how I hated myself. It may seem stupid, the whole thing, but it did help me. But as my psychiatrist said, it couldn’t last forever. The game couldn’t last forever. It was like a crutch and I’ll have to let go at some point.

WHEN IT TURNED BAD

“This was just a sad invention. It wasn’t real, I know. But we were happy. I guess I couldn’t let that go. I guess I couldn’t give that up. I guess I wanted to believe ’cause if I just believe, then I don’t have to see what’s really there. No, I’d rather pretend I’m something better than these broken parts, pretend I’m something other than this mess that I am ’cause then I don’t have to look at it and no one gets to look at it. No, no one can really see…” Words Fail, Dear Evan Hansen (musical)

Even though it made me feel better, it was all a lie.

The character I was playing wasn’t me and talking about my problems online wasn’t helping me neither. I was making myself feel more miserable everyday and it all became an obsession.

Soon, I couldn’t stop using my phone.

I needed to play,

to tweet,

to do something else than being by myself.

I couldn’t even go out and spend some time with my friends because I was embarassed for them to be seen with me and because I couldn’t miss a chance to play.

I was online non-stop. It was impossible for me to miss a day, an hour, even a minute.

And I think I realised how bad it turned out when I did try to kill myself and that the first thing I asked my mom to do was to take my phone and text the person I was playing with where I was.

Because I didn’t want them to think I was inactive.

Because I wanted to play but I had to stop.

HOW I STARTED TO CHANGE

When I came out of the hospital, I decided to do something about it, mostly because they wanted me to go to a psychiatric hospital and I didn’t.

I promised my mom and myself three things:

  • I will go out more, at least once a week to start with;
  • I won‘t spend so much time on my phone anymore;
  • and I will only be positive online.

And that’s what I did.

At first I only went out every Sunday with my best friend. Then we started to do it more, and now I’m almost always out (even though my body can’t always take it, but that’ll be for another post).

I played less and the person I was playing with didn’t take it well. A year later we stopped it and I never felt better than the day it was all over, the day I stopped talking to them and pretending I was somebody else.

I started to share positive thoughts on my Twitter instead of negative ones and to even help people, be nice. Instead of saying what was wrong, I talked about the things that made me happy. It was hard at first but soon it made me feel better because I was only surrounded by happy thoughts everywhere. I still felt bad, but it was getting better.

I think that the most important thing I have ever did, beside of all that, was going out by myself and stopping using my phone when I was with my friends. It was hard, even scarry at first, but I did it and it worked for me.

I don’t remember when I started to feel better exactly but something really important happened to me when I left the hospital this day.

I came out as someone new, ready to fight and to live my life properly. To love myself and to use social media in a way that would make me feel good.

No matter what, I loved social media. I was the one who used them to hurt myself, but I could change all of that and see them as something else, as a way grow up and accept who I was.

WHERE I AM TODAY

A few months ago, I realised that texting a lot was stressing me. That was something I used to do while playing online and somehow I couldn’t do it anymore.

And so I just stopped.

I told my friends how I felt, they understood and they now know that I won’t necessary answer immediatly or all the time. I barely answer to pictures sent with Snapchat and it can take me a day to answer to a text (obviously, non important) even though I saw it, but that’s okay. I now know myself and how to handle this. I don’t have to answer to people right away and my mental health should be my priority.

I also realised that the notifications were making me feel bad. Each time I got one I was mad and sad.

And so I cut them off.

I only kept the ones for the text messages in case something happens, but I am now free from all of this. And it really makes me feel better. I don’t feel like I can’t breathe anymore, I don’t feel overwhelmed by all those new informations that can be useless sometimes. I am now free to read whatever I want whenever I want to.

I also stopped giving attention to social media, texts and notifications in general. To this day, I am surrounded by amazing people who are understanding and who love me for who I am. I don’t need to wake up with tons of messages to feel loved and I can go a week without receiving anything without freaking out. I do understand that some people see notifications as a sign of recognition, of love, and it’s totally okay to feel that way. Unfortunately, I had to change this for me to get better.

WHERE I AM NOW

Today, I feel good but mostly at peace. I love social media because they helped me to get through some dark times, they made me meet most of my best friends and taught me a lot (even about my sexuality). Even though I love social media, I still learned to get some distance with them and to use them in my own way.

Starting my bookstagram account a year ago really helped me too and made me feel more confident. I have no notifications turned on for it, I answer to messages and comments when I can and feel like it but do not pressure myself— for now it’s working well.

It is important to say that I want to become a publisher or a community manager in the future. Yes, I do want to work with social media. They are a huge part of my life and I am sure that they can save people if we know how to use them and if we remember to spread love on them, to be kind.

“Every time you post something online, you have a choice.
You can either make it something that adds to the happiness levels in the world—or you can make it something that takes away.

I tried to add something by starting Girl Online.

And for a while, it really seemed to be working.

So, next time you go to post a comment or an update or share a link, ask yourself: is this going to add to the happiness in the world?

And if the answer is no, then please delete.

There is enough sadness in the world already. You don’t need to add to it.”
Zoe Sugg, Girl Online

WHAT I LEARNED FROM ALL OF THIS

Dealing with cyclothymia and anxiety is hard, but we can find ways to make it easier. If something is making you feel bad, ask yourself if you truly need it and/or if you can improve it, change it. It will take time for you to find the right solutions but remember that your mental health should be your first priority. You deserve to be happy and if, like me, social media is a source of stress, then cut it out. You can still use them but in a safer way.

Ps: Do not ever be afraid to unfollow people. You should be surrounded by people who are safe and understanding. If not, let them go. It took me years to understand this but trust me, it works.

Love always,

Clara

téléchargement

Review: Ultimate Sacrifice by S.E. Green

I recieved an e-ARC copy in exchange for a honest review!

You will love this book if you like:

  • young adult,
  • horror.

You should read it during:

  • autumn,
  • halloween,
  • a cold and rainy evening in your bed.

More informations:

  • quick and short read,
  • easy to understand and to follow,
  • can be triggering for some people who can’t take violence (trigger warnings below).

Copie de review.png

TW: violence, blood, death, sex, racism (the author goes against it)

THE PLOT

Vickie has always lived a quiet, ordinary life in an equally quiet and ordinary small town. Yet one fateful night a child turns up dead in the woods behind her house in a ritualistic slaughter. Vickie and her family are suddenly thrown into a national spotlight. But as the investigation unfolds, she begins to realize her family isn’t so ordinary after all. Evil is inching closer to those she holds dear and Vickie isn’t sure who she can ultimately trust.

via Goodreads

MY REVIEW

I read this book last month, as I recieved it early from the publisher, and gave it 3/5 stars. If you aren’t aware of my rating system, it basically means that I enjoyed the book, would recommend it to people who love its genre but still thought it had some flaws— it was good, but didn’t meet all of my expectations.

Before starting this review, I must say that over the last few months my reading tastes have changed a lot. I am reading less and less YA books, not because I don’t like this genre anymore (I will always love it) but because I somehow felt the need to read more classics, and not for university this time but for me, and realised how much those books make me happy. So when I started reading Ultimate Sacrifice, I knew it wouldn’t be exactly what I wanted to read at the moment— plus, it is a horror story, which is far away from my comfort zone. I think that never in my life I have ever read a horror book. This is why I can’t totally judged the whole thing because it’s something that I don’t know about.

To cover the whole thing, I’ll start this review with the things I loved, and will then explain why I only gave it 3 stars by sharing what I think could have been done differently.

WHAT I LIKED
  • The story

As soon as I opened the book, I was hooked. Indeed, you are immediatly immersed into the story and you want to know what is happening and what happened. So you keep reading, hoping to finally understand the whole thing and overall, you aren’t disappointed. I personally read this book in one setting, in less than two hours, and it isn’t because I am a fast reader (well, there’s some of that) but because you just can’t stop reading. It’s not the kind of book that you can put down and pick up later— the whole plot makes you feel like you need to keep reading, as if you could save the main character from all of this.

  • The main character

As I said, I felt the need to save the main character, Vickie, from all that was happening. In fact, I truly cared about her, which doesn’t happen a lot with me. Vickie is a young and nice girl, and I started to be scared for her from the beggining. She was only sweet, pure and strong— honestly, I couldn’t have gone through half  the things she had to live. It felt good to actually care about her, for the story would have been hard to follow if I haven’t. She was the reason I kept reading and loved this book.

  • The writing style and length

I am not gonna lie, it was pretty simple. But, as a matter of fact, it worked here. If the writing style would have been heavy, I would have simply gave up— the story was hard enough by itself. However, it was easy to follow and to understand. As I said, you were immersed in the story the minute you start reading the book and the fact that the author was explaining the whole thing with simple words, brief sentences and short paragraphs made the whole thing more enjoyable. It also makes you want to keep reading the whole book in one setting, which is great for those who can’t bear the suspense (like me).

Plus, the book is quite short and that’s what also makes it such a short read. If you are looking for a quick read for Halloween, then definitely go for this one!

  • The atmostphere

You may have seen the publisher promoting this book as “an episode of Supernatural” and, well, it is true. Of course, there’s no (gorgeous) demon hunters, nor a real investigation since we aren’t following the policemen but a teenage girl involved in the story. However, the whole atmosphere was close to the tvshow.

I must say that I was scared throughout the whole book, but that’s mostly because I am scared by anything. Still, the whole thing was mysterious and disturbing, and since it was such a quick read it truly felt as if you were watching an episode of a tvshow. Plus, it is so easy to read that you can picture everything that is happening quite easily in your head and the book really felt cinematographic.

WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN DONE DIFFERENTLY
  • Lack of development

Even though I loved how short it was, I still believe that the author could have developed more things in her novel, and add more depth or perspective to her characters. The whole thing somehow felt rushed for me, and I sometimes couldn’t understand the characters’ motivations. I know that it was part of the mystery but some characters weren’t described enough and made them instantly guilty to me. I wish they would have been all grey so that they would all have looked convicted.

Plus, I loved the fact that Vickie had a boyfriend who was black, even though their family was against it, but once again it wasn’t developed enough. Of course, the story wasn’t about it but I would have loved if this novel would have been disturbing in many ways: describing racism and violence against persons of colour could have add something to the plot and make the whole thing even more unsettling.

  • The end

Of course, I won’t spoil it but I didn’t completly buy it. Why, you may asked. Well, because of all the things I just said: it felt rushed and many things weren’t explained. You can see that the author wanted to surprise us, and she did, but she did it way too much. When I finished it, I couldn’t believe it because it made no sense according to where the story was heading. Without making it too obvious, she still could have done it differently and make us suspect more people by letting us truly know everyone. We maybe could have had more point of views or maybe the author could have add flashbacks. Indeed, we knew practically nothing of the characters past and it seems impossible that everything was going so well before the whole thing happened. I wish the whole town would have been weird and every character would have had something strange about them; again, I wish the novel was disturbing in so many more ways, maybe something more subtle and psychological. Something that will make you truly scared and not only disgusted by what was happening.

In conclusion

If you love YA and horror stories, then this one is for you. It definitely is a quick and enjoyable read that I recommend for a Halloween morning reading. Even though it has its flaws, I still liked it and truly cared about the main character. I believe that this book wasn’t entirely for me even though I had a great time reading it, but can please many people out there!

Where to buy it

Love always,

Clara

téléchargement

My #Victober TBR | 2017

Copie de Wanderlust GIFT IDEAS (3)

Dear readers,

I cannot believe that it finally is October. You may not know, but it actually is my favourite month of the year. As for someone who hates the heat and who is literally allergic to the sun (I swear, I am a nightmare), Autumn is my paradise. Seeing all the leaves on the floor, being able to wear my sweaters again, walking home while it’s dark outside and working with the sound of the rain make me more than happy and I now feel alive again. In a few days, it’ll be my birthday then Halloween and I can’t wait to properly enjoy this month.

This year, however, October is even more special to me, and it’s because I’m participating in #Victober.

What is #Victober?

#Victober is a Victorian readathon, which is happening throughout the whole month of October during which you have to read as many Victorian novels you can/want to.

There are some challenges, but you don’t necessarely have to complete them. As for me, I don’t intend to do so, but here is the list anyway for this year:

  • read a Victorian book by a Scottish, Irish or Welsh author;
  • read a lesser-known Victorian book (less than 12.000 ratings on Goodreads);
  • read a supernatural Victorian book;
  • read a Victorian book that someone recommended to you;
  • and read a Victorian book by a female author.

It is hosted by four booktubers, who are: LucyKatie, Kate and Ange.

What am I going to read during #Victober?

Since I do not really intend on completing any challenges, I went to my TBR pile and take out every Victorian novels. I decided to try to read them all, but to focus on five novels first, which can actually work for the challenges as well.

Here is what I want to read:

  • Dracula by Bram Stoker (re-read) (can complete challenges 1 and 3);
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (can complete challenge 4);
  • Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon (can complete challenge 5);
  • The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins;
  • and Two on a Tower by Thomas Hardy, my love (can complete challenge 2).
How am I going to proceed?

Reading 10+ books per month, I am not intimidated by this TBR but mostly excited. However, I will also read other books from my TBR pile which aren’t part of the Victorian literature. To highlight my #Victober readings though, I will post a review for each Victorian novel read on both Goodreads and my blog.


Now that you all know everything about #Victober, I hope that many of you will join this readathon and have fun with us. The Victorian Literature is amazing and I can’t wait to finally read and reread those five novels.

Tell me in the comments if you are joining or what books you want to read during October!

Love always,

Clara

téléchargement

September wrap-up, favourites and other

Wanderlust GIFT IDEAS

“Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first September was crisp and golden as an apple.” 

― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Dear readers,

I feel as if September lasted way too long― my anxiety was at its worst, I had several financial problems, something happened at my job which made me feel extremly bad and going back to university reminded me that it was my last year and that I was basically about to play my whole future. In a few words, let’s say that September didn’t go so well.


Reading wrap-up

Despite the fact that I went back to university and started working again, I still managed to read 11 books. This seems good but somehow I am disappointed with myself― I know I could have done better and read way more. Now that I go to a university next to my house, I am lacking of time to read in the subway and even though I only go there on Thursdays and Fridays, that means that I don’t read at all during those two days. Plus, I’m usually really busy during the weekends and I can’t read more than 50 pages in four days. Four days. This is why I could have done so much better.

Nevermind, here is the list of all the books I read during September:

  • Ultimate Sacrifice by S.E. Green, 3/5 stars (this e-arc was sent to me by the publisher, my review will be up on Goodreads on its release day)
  • A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 4.5/5 stars
  • Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, 4/5 stars
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling, 5/5 stars (reread)
  • Nos Âmes Tourmentées by Morgane Moncomble, 5/5 stars (Wattpad fiction)
  • Viens, on s’aime by Morgane Moncomble, 5/5 stars
  • Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon, 5/5 stars
  • The Secret History by Donna Tartt, 5/5 stars
  • Till Death by Jennifer L. Armentrout, 5/5 stars
  • Our Dark Duet by V.E. Schwab, 4.5/5 stars
  • Emma by Jane Austen, 5/5 stars

I am still happy because most of those books were quite big, such as Dragonfly in Amber and The Secret History, which made me think that we maybe shouldn’t count how many books we read during the month but the number of pages we read.

Copie de review.png
taken by me for thebookwormofnotredame (Instagram)

Anyhow, my favourite book of the month definitely was The Secret History for which I wrote a review (you can find it both on Goodreads and my blog). I highly recommend you to start this book without knowing what it’s all about, which makes the experience even more amazing. All I can say is that this book was simply incredible and brilliant.

Favourites
  • That ’70s show

I started watching this tv show on Netflix when I was on vacations because I needed a new tv show to watch before going to bed. Little did I know that it was going to take over my life― I now care about every one of the characters who I love dearly and more than anything. I am so sad to see that I only have two seasons left before being done with it― I will miss them all so much but I know that I will rewatch it times and times again.

  • Les Misérables

At the end of September, my friend Lucie came to my house and made me watch Les Misérables, the movie adaptation of one of my favourite musicals and books. Well, let’s just say that I can’t stop listening to it now and that it made me want to reread the book a lot. I first read it when I was a child and I’m excited to see how I will understand it this time, now that I am 21 years old.

  • Writing

It’s in September that I started writing again like I used to do when I was younger. More than anything, it made me feel good― as I said, this month was hard but being able to forget everything for a few hours and being in my own world helped me a lot. This is also why I started this blog all over again, because I want to write everyday and keep practicing no matter what. I now promise that I will never stop writing ever again.

  • @booksandpeonies

Sans titre 3

During September, Franziska has been my biggest inspiration. Her cosy and clean feed made me feel good and helped me when I was lacking of motivation to take pictures. I also started to talk to her and met an adorable and talented young person who is extremly brave and intelligent. I highly recommend her bookstagram account and blog to anyone.

My goals for October
  • Write more

Of course, this is my main goal. As I said, writing made me feel so good during September and since I am hoping on finally doing NaNoWriMo right this year, October will be my training month― to do so, I’ll write everyday and will keep working on my novel by putting myself different goals every week. Hopefully this will all work out.

  • Catch up on my tv shows

If you don’t know this about me, I can’t really watch tv, a movie or a tv show without getting bored pretty easily. I can’t stand still very long and even though I love all the tv shows that I am currently watching, I somehow took the habit to not watch them every week. That is why I now have tons of episodes to catch up, so I can start the new seasons with everyone else. If everything goes well, I should succeed this goal.

  • Exercice

Ah, working out. Something that I have never done in my life. Well, it is time to change that. Since I keep complaining about my weight and the way I look, I decided to start exercicing by doing some work outs at home and maybe by running every Saturday― I’m saying maybe because I can’t seem to find time. Anyhow, I am working out with a friend and it makes it easier. I hope that I will follow the schedule and won’t give up.

  • Read more classics

During September, I realised that I was growing out of YA and actually needed more and more classics in my life. For this month, I decided to let my love for classic literature shines― it also is #Victober this month so it’s a perfect excuse to read more Victorian literature.

  • Take care of my diabetes

This is totally personal but it feels right for me to put it here.

I am diabetic but never really cared about it and always did nothing about it, which is pretty bad. This month, I want to prove myself that I can take care of it and myself and act like an adult about it.

  • Enjoy the autumn
Sans titre 4
taken by me, les Champs Elysées, Paris (2017)

This may seem pretty stupid but it may be one of my biggest goals for October. Last year, I let my anxiety eat me up and didn’t enjoy at all Autumn, Halloween, Winter and Christmas, which made me very sad. This year, I intend on doing something related to Autumn every day until the end of the season and will do something Christmassy every day until January after that. There’s no way I will let them go so fast once again.


It is now time to enjoy my favourite month of the year, October. My birthday is coming, along with Halloween, and Autumn is finally here. I can wear sweaters and turtle necks  again, drink PSL at Starbucks every morning, watch the leaves fall during class and read in the train while it’s raining outside. I promise to fight everyday against my cyclothymia and anxiety to let myself be fully happy and truly enjoy this month.

I wish you all to have a beautiful month and to keep being your amazing selves.

Love always,

Clara

téléchargement

Review: The Secret History by Donna Tartt

review.png

“Beauty is terror. Whatever we call beautiful, we quiver before it.”

Wow. What did I just read? I finished it a few hours ago but I still feel like I don’t have any words worth this book. It truly is an intense experience that I highly recommend to everyone– serioulsy, go read this bookPlease. And no need to know what it’s all about– it also is what makes this reading experience so special.

“I suppose at one time in my life I might have had any number of stories, but now there is no other. This is the only story I will ever be able to tell.”

You have to know this about me: I am obsessed with novels that take place in college. I have no idea why, I just do. And when I realised that this book was one of them, it made me the happiest. However, The Secret History is very different from what you may usually read– at least, I know it was for me. Little did I know that this book will go this far, will push the characters so much, will make me feel so manythings and experience so much.

What I may have loved the most is Donna Tartt’s writing style. I believe that a few but intense things happen throughout this novel (well, truly intense) but still, she manages to get us hooked from the first page. There may be a lot of narration and the whole plot may be slow, you still cannot put this book down. Also, even though we know from the first page what the main event will be, it doesn’t ruin the whole book. On the contrary, the author creates a tension which grows more and more through each chapter until the whole thing somehow explodes. It is amazingly well-done and I wish I was as talented as Donna Tartt is. Trust me, you really don’t know where this story will take you.

When it comes to the characters, they were all flawed and, let’s be honest, ominousThe main character, Richard, isn’t really the main character– it’s the whole gang that creates the story and he is just here, not doing much but doing enough to let us see correctly through his eyes everything that is happening. Following him allows the reader to totally be in the story and to see everything from inside. As a reader,we somehow become a witness of this Secret History and that is why the whole book is so captivating. You can truly see, witness, how the tension is created, where everything started, when it changed, where some made a mistake, why it went in this direction…

As for who was my favourite, I may have to say Francis but I didn’t really give much thoughts about it. Every member of this Greek gang was special and interesting– they were all peculiar, unique, disturbingeven but oh so fascinating, dazzling.

“Are you happy here?” I said at last.
He considered this for a moment. “Not particularly,” he said. “But you’re not very happy where you are, either.”

I wish I could write more but I’m afraid I will end up spoiling anyone. All I still need to say is that this book is beautiful and disconcerting. It is deep, somehow completely crazy, but also completely captivating. And the ending… well, let’s say that I still don’t know what to say. I put a hand on my mouth while reading it, as if it was happening in front of me, and even though I know how it went this far, I still feel aghast.

So please, read The Secret History. Do not wait any more minute, do not do like me and let it stay in your TBR pile forever– it is a pretty book but it is so much more than that. The story will stay with me for a long time and it definitely is one of my favourite book of the year (well, maybe ever).

téléchargement