Those three men who changed my life

Dear readers,

Over the years, I came to love and admire many people, either they were fictional or not. Some stayed with me, like Emma Watson who has been my role model since I was 5, and others simply disappeared. They have all been useful at a certain point of my life, like Kellan Kyle or Harry Styles, but the love I had for them wasn’t strong enough for me to keep admiring them as I used to do.

However, three men clearly stole my heart those past few years and made me a better person. I decided to talk about them today as I needed to express my love somewhere. I’ll talk about women later on the blog, as I wanted to focus on those three people who really changed me over the months.


Lin-Manuel Miranda

There was no way I could start this post without talking about Lin-Manuel Miranda and anyone who knows me just a little knew that I had to include him.

For those who don’t know who he is: Lin-Manuel Mirana is an American composer, lyricist, playwright, and actor best known for creating and starring in the Broadway musicals Hamilton and In the Heights. He co-wrote the songs for Disney’s Moana soundtrack (2016) and is set to star in their upcoming film Mary Poppins Returns. Miranda’s awards include a Pulitzer Prize, two Grammy Awards, an Emmy Award, a MacArthur Fellowship, and three Tony Awards. (Wikipedia)

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I came accross him at the very beggining of 2016 when I heard about Hamilton, an American Musical for the first time. It took me a second before I fell in love with him when I heard his voice in Alexander Hamilton. I didn’t know what he looked like, who he was, but my heart stopped nevertheless.

Of course, soon after that I did some research and everything I started to learn about him made me love him and admire him more and more. Lin is a genius who seems to be able to do anything. Time passed and I never stopped looking out for him.

He came into my life when I needed someone to tell me to rise up, to not throw away my shot, and for that I will always be grateful. Ever since I started to listen to his work my life completly changed: I was listening to Hamilton before going to my interview for my new school and for my job in a publishing house. I got them both and I like to believe that it was his words that inspired me to do it, even though I was terrified and close to give up.

Julian Blackthorn

I believe that everyone who follows me on social media saw that one coming. How could I write about men without even mentioning the one who made me feel better through 2017?

For those who don’t know who he is: Julian “Jules” Blackthorn is a Shadowhunter who has lived his entire life at the Los Angeles Institute. He lives there alongside his siblings and Emma Carstairs, his best friend and parabatai. (Shadowhunters Wiki) He belongs to the world created by Cassandra Clare.

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I met Julian Blackthorn in 2016 while reading the Mortal Instruments series but really got to know him when I finally read Lady Midnight (the first book in the Dark Artifices trilogy) in January 2017. Little did I knew that he would crush every other book boyfriends I ever had and even my expectations in men (I wish I could say I’m exaggerating, but I really am not).

Julian is calm, loyal to his family and friends, and knows when to be funny or serious. We share a lot of things, like being Slytherin, but the thing that really got me to love him that much was how Cassandra Clare described his point of view on relationships and attraction. Based on that, a lot of people understood that he was demisexual, which I also am. Being demisexual basically means that we “do not experience sexual attraction unless we form a strong emotional connection with someone” (see full description).

Seeing myself in someone else in literature made me feel good, as my sexuality troubles me a lot. It is not easy to see yourself not being attracted to anyone as you grow up, but Julian gave me hope and made me see clearer. He helped me accepting and loving myself, and I will always owe him this.

Tom Holland

Honestly, this blog post is going to seem very predictable for anyone who knows me a little.

For those who don’t know who he is: Tom Holland  is an English actor and dancer. He is best known for starring as Peter Parker / Spider-Man in the superhero films Captain America: Civil War (2016) and Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). (Wikipedia)

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I first heard about Tom Holland when he got casted as Spider-Man. As I didn’t see the movie Captain America: Civil War yet, I didn’t know much about him. (It’s my biggest shame as a Marvel lover. I really don’t know why I still haven’t seen it.) That is why it all really started when I saw Spider-Man: Homecoming for the first time. (To this day, I have watched the movie 7th times and will probably never stop.)

I wish I could explain what pushed me to love him, to admire him. Maybe it was his voice or his smile or his hair or the way he laughed. Maybe it was because he can dance and knows ballet and also used to sing in a musical at West End. Or maybe it was because he’s so close to his brothers or because he has a dog named Tessa. Honestly, I have no idea, but the fact is that he somehow became a huge part of my life.

As I suffer from anxiety, I discovered that watching a compilation of him dancing made me relax when I felt a panic attack coming. I then found myself watching videos of him more every day, until it became a daily ritual. Something about him made me feel better about myself, made me simply feel good. He inspires me to get better whenever I feel down and that isn’t something that a lot of people can do.


I can’t express how grateful I am to have those three men in my life. They each give me something special every day and they always make me feel better.

I must say that I have a weird relationship with celebrities, as I don’t feel as if I could love them since I don’t know them, but Lin and Tom made me feel different. As for Julian, it has somehow always been him.

Who changed your life in the best way?

Love always,

Clara

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Bookstagram, part I: Creating your account

Copie de Copie de Copie de Copie de Wanderlust GIFT IDEAS (1)

Dear readers,

You may not know but I have been on Instagram for a year now and my account has been growing really fast without me realising what was happening or how I got so lucky. Over the months, many people asked for my advice and even though I gave some, I felt silly because I had so much to say and never really had the occasion to develop my thoughts.

This is why I am bringing you today the Bookstagram Guide which will be devided in three parts: the first part will explain you how to start, the second one will focus on the editing part and the third one on how to progress through the months. I know those kind of posts have been done a lot so I’ll try to say new things and talk about my story as well. In no way I am assuming that I know everything about bookstagram – this is only to help, as those blog posts have been helpful to me when I began to be sure I wasn’t doing anything wrong.


HOW TO START
  • Find a name

Now that you decided that you wanted to join the bookstagram community, you need a username. This step may seems easy but is actually really important. It should reflect your account, your personality and actually be striking. It can be the first thing people will see about your account, so choose carefully. Many people told me they started following me because of my username, and I do give a lot of thoughts before following soemone: Seeing an account being called “b00ks4lif3” won’t make me want to click on it.

Many guides tell you not to choose a too long username and it’s true that short ones are somehow better but mine is long and it never bugged me. The only advice that is worth taking is that your username should be related to literature: it can be a reference to a quote, to a character, to a book or just be related to the act of reading, the pages, the book itself etc: That way people will know your account is a bookstagram without having to click on your profile to check.

  • Decide if you want to stick to a theme or not

Now that you have your username, you have to decide what you want your account to look like. All my social medias look alike: they’re all white and apparently minimalist. My bookstagram also follows those rules and I work hard to maintain a feed.

What is a theme or a feed: it's the aesthetic of your account. Having a feed means that all your pictures look great together - they do not have to look alike but they respond to each others because of the colours you use.

It’s okay if you don’t want to start a theme because I know they are hard to stick to but I won’t lie: it’s better if you do. Most people I follow have one. I started to follow them because when I went on their accounts the whole thing looked professional and thought.

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my instagram feed – @thebookwormofnotredame

I will talk more about editing and maintaining a feed on the second part of this guide.

  • Post on a schedule

A lot of people believe that posting once a week should be enough, but it’s not. You have to be constant in your posts and to give people something new at least every two days. When I started my account, I used to post twice a day and it worked. More people were joining every day. When I started to have a lot of followers, I decided to lower it to one post per day. Now, I post every day except on the weekend.

Many accounts still post twice or more, but you must be careful: do not over post (it can be frustrating for others and many won’t see them) and make sure you have enough pictures to do so. I highly recommend posted once to twice a day – it is enough and will make people want to see more of your work.

  • Talk to people and make friends

Now here is the most important tip I can give you. I started following many people because we started being friends, and not for their pictures. Plus, talking to people will make others commenting on your posts and talking about your account. So do not be shy: comment under others pictures, answer to stories, tell people you love their work.

I know how hard this can be but I can assure you that 95% of people on bookstagram are nice and welcoming. I suffer from anxiety but never felt unwanted there. Also, be sure to use the stories and to share about what you are reading, your life or anything on there. This is super useful to create a link between you and your followers.

SOME MORE TIPS
  • Do not be obsessed with followers, likes etc

I can see you rolling your eyes and saying, “Easy to say that when you have 13k followers”. But you know what? I also had 0 followers one day and I saw it growing. I was always thankful but never really cared about it – as I said, it came by surprise. All I know is that focusing on this will make you unhappy but I also know that it’s not that easy, that we all look to those numbers at the top of our accounts.

The thing is that we can decide how it affects us. It may take time for you to start seeing it in another way but you will eventually. I can assure you that your followers number does not define you nor your work – many of my favourite accounts don’t have much.

I also know that sometimes it doesn’t work. You may take beautiful pictures but you feel as if your work isn’t acknowledged enough and it’s okay. Your feelings are valid and you shouldn’t feel bad for being that way. So talk about it to your friends, you can even talk to me about it and we’ll find a solution.

The third part of this guide is dedicated on how to make people see your work.

  • Look for inspiration 

Pinterest will become your bestfriend in no time. If you are looking for inspiration, just log in and search for bookish pictures or else. I can assure you that it will come back. You can also scroll your Instagram feed until you have ideas again.

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But be careful: do not copy others pictures. You can be inspired by them but not do the exact same thing. If you feel as if your picture looks too much like another one, send it to the person and ask if it’s okay. Do not forget to credit them even if they say that it is.

  • Schedule your photoshoots

How many times have I seen people saying they didn’t have enough pictures? The only advice I have is to schedule your photoshoots and to stick to it. Do as many pictures as you need/can. Sometimes it won’t work, that’s for sure, but you still have to try. Try new things, new places, new angles, new props, but always plan most of your photoshoots and make the best out of it.

  • Write captions

I beg you: write captions and ask questions. This may seems really stupid and maybe even logical but it’s not for everyone. Many people just put quotes and got surprised when they have no comments. You have to make people wanting to comment under your pictures.

Many people talk about their days (which I used to do as well) and others do like me and use those captions as mini blog posts. I love to open a debate, so that people can answer and talk in the comments. I always talk about a bookish subject, then ask a question at the end. I feel close to my followers thanks to it, and it has been working amazing since I started. (I also write all of my captions in advance every Monday morning for the entire week. It can take me an hour or so but it’s worth it. If you want me to talk more about I organised myself, tell me and I’ll write a blog post about it.)

  • Put hashtags

Future bookstagrammers, use all the bookish hashtags. I usually put them at the end of my caption after three dots so it’s seperated from my text, or in a comment.

Here’s those I use daily:

#bookster #bookstagram #booknerd #book #bookphotography #booklover #pages #instabook #reading #lovereading#vsco #vscocam #bibliophile #bookish#bookstagrammer #igreads #bookaholic#reader #booknookstagram

You can also put hashtags for the author’s names, the title of the book etc. Do not be afraid to use them: It’s a great way to make your work visible.

I’ll talk more about it in the third part.

  • No need to have an expensive camera or editing software

Know this: I always used my phone and free applications to take and edit my pictures. I’ll soon have a camera for Christmas but I still got where I am without it. So no pressure: You don’t need anything fancy to start nor to keep running your account.

I’ll talk more about this in the second part.


Now that you know how to start, I can’t wait to see your accounts. Send me your usernames in the comments!

Love always,

Clara

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October wrap-up, favourites and other

Wanderlust GIFT IDEAS

“October extinguished itself in a rush of howling winds and driving rain and November arrived, cold as frozen iron, with hard frosts every morning and icy drafts that bit at exposed hands and faces.”

― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Dear readers,

October came and went by quickly and slowly at the same time. As it is my favourite month of the year, I was waiting for many things during it. It was my birthday, my best friend’s birthday, Halloween and I had a concert. I felt as if I was constantly waiting for something but at the same time everything happened too fast. However, for once, I made out the best of every day. My birthday was the best one I had so far, even though it had been disappointing for a part, and I had a lot of fun for Halloween.

October was still a hard month for me. My mental health has been at its worse and I kept feeling bad. I didn’t know what to do and let the sadness consumed me without realising it. I also went to the doctor and the whole thing made me feel both good and bad. I am not gonna lie – it was hard. But I made it and I can say that today I am working on getting better.


READING WRAP-UP

Because I felt so bad this month, I feel as if I read nothing. It’s a really strange feeling but I can’t see myself reading during October. I know I did since I remember all the books that I read but I can’t remember exactly when nor where, which is very unusual for me who has a way too big memory. In the end, I read 10 books but do not feel proud of this reading month.

Here’s what I read during October:

  • They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera, 4/5 stars
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker, 5/5 stars (reread)
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, 5/5 stars
  • Two on a Tower by Thomas Hardy, 5/5 stars
  • Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout, 4/5 stars
  • Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare, 5/5 stars (reread)
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 5/5 stars (reread)
  • Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi, 3.5/ stars
  • Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout, 4/5 stars
  • Sleepy Hollows and other short stories by Washington Irving, 3/5 stars
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taken by me for thebookwormofnotredame (Instagram)

My favourite book of the month, if we forget about all the ones I re-read, is Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. He is one of my favourite authors and he do not seems to let me down – every time I read something new by him, I fall in love a little more.

FAVOURITES
  • Stranger Things 2
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me in front of the STRANGER THINGS 2 posters, Saint-Lazare, Paris (2017)

We waited more than a year for this second season, and boy oh boy did they not disappointed us.

I watched the first season when it first came out and fell in love with it – all those retro vibes got me and I watched the whole thing in two days, which does not happen a lot for me. It has been my favourite tv show every since (along with That ’70s Show) but since it had only been one season I was afraid that we will be left out afterwards. Well, I was wrong.

The second season was just as good, maybe even better, and blew my mind. It got me hooked from the very first seconds and though I couldn’t binge watching it this time I still watched every episodes quite quickly. Noah Schnapp completly stole the screen in this season and his performance was incredible and breathtaking. Well, every actor casted was, as usual, incredible. They got me crying at every episode, which is something.

This tv show really is the best and it truly deserves all the hype.

  • Legion

tw// suicide, violence

Another tv show that I watched really quickly and that I started thanks to my very good friend Lucie who has been raving about it for months now! This Marvel tv show is mindblowing and extremely intelligent. I am so sad to see that not so many people are talking about it but it will still get a second season which is exciting!

  • My friends

That may sounds cheesy but I have the best friends in the entire world and they made this month, once again, magical. I do no have much to say but thought it was important for me to include them in my favourites since they are bringing me so much every day, and especially during October when I felt so bad.

I am happy to say that today I am only surrounded by safe, nice, tolerant and understanding people who make me feel love every single day.

  • Autumn

This may seems stupid, but Autumn made me feel extremely good once again. It is my favourite season and it may not be over yet but it is really cold in Paris right now and it feels more like Winter.

So, thank you Autumn for all those leaves on the ground, for those beautiful grey afternoons and all the Pumpkin Spice Lattes. You have been the best – as always.

MY GOALS FOR NOVEMBER
  • Write every day
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taken by me for thebookwormofnotredame (Instagram)

That was my goal last month and it still is for this one. With #NaNoWriMo, I have already started writing every day and am very proud of myself. I finished the first part of my novel and writing finally became exciting again. I cannot wait to see how much I will be able to write and if I will succeed in writing 50k words.

  • Start walking every Saturday

I used to do it when I was a little younger but I really need to get back at it. With the cold air, walking around will be a pleasure and will make me feel, hopefully, better about myself.

  • Get healthier

During October, we discovered that I was suffering from an eating disorder which makes me eat a lot without realising it. For this month, I am trying to eat less, at least not between lunches, and to eat better. I am also trying to take stairs instead of elevators. Since I don’t have the time to properly workout, I thought that doing small changes in my life may be easier for me and do the trick.

  • Prepare myself for Christmas

Last year, I totally forgot about Christmas and let it happened way too fast without enjoying it. This year, I intend on making everyday special and Christmass-y. It has always been an important holiday for me and I won’t let it go so quickly again. It is time to listen to Christmas songs all day long again!

  • Get better
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picture of me me for thebookwormofnotredame (Instagram)

The most important one. It is something that I already started and that is already working. I am trying to be more positive, confident, nice – and I do feel better today. Hopefully this will continue until I’m fully happy again.


I will now try to enjoy as much as I can those last two months of the year. This year went too fast but I did so much, grew up a lot and became someone better. I am proud of all I achieved in such a short amount time and will do my best to do even better this November.

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

Love always,

Clara

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The intimidating TBR tag

Copie de Copie de Wanderlust GIFT IDEAS

Dear readers,

I started 2016 with more than 70 books in my TBR pile. That, was intimidating. Realising that having such a huge amount of un-read books was stressing me out and messing up with my anxiety, I decided to start the operation Kill The Beast. And, surprisingly, it worked.

To this day, I only have 20 books on my TBR pile and it hasn’t been really growing much. I now love my small TBR; I have enough books to let me stare at them for hours before deciding which one to read but not enough to drive me nuts.

This is why I wanted today to do a tag about our TBRs and to present you in a not-so-funny way all the books that I have left to read.

(This tag was created by Jean Bookishthoughts but the original creator’s video is now private.)


1. What book have you been unable to finish?

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski.

I started this book with two of my friends before I realised that I wasn’t in the mood at all to read it. Since then, it has been staying on my TBR shelf and is looking at me with big sad eyes… but I still don’t pick it up. His time will come.

2. What book have you yet to read because you just haven’t had the time?

The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson.

It’s here, I know it is, I want to read it… but it’s staying on my TBR shelf no matter what.

The Bane Chronicles is the last book I have left to read in the Shadowhunter Chronicles saga and it doesn’t have amazing reviews. So, for now, it is staying un-read, even though I really read pick it up and just be done with it.

3. What book have you yet to read because it’s a sequel?

A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab.

I read the first two books of the series way too quickly and fell in love with them way too hard. So here I am today, waiting to pick up the finale book, but unable to do so because I do not want to leave the characters nor the universe. Of course, I know that this series isn’t done- Victoria announced a few months ago that she was working on another series based in this world. Still, I can’t seem to find the courage to read this one.

4. What book have you yet to read because it’s brand new?

If There’s No Tomorrow by Jennifer L. Armentrout.

This book is one of my newest purchase and I just can’t wait to pick it up. The only reason I am not starting it yet is because one of my friends got me the first two books of the Lux series and I don’t know which one to read first: am I in the mood for paranormal fiction or for a cute YA contemporary novel?

5. What book have you yet to read because you read a book by the same author and didn’t enjoy it?

My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Winter Romances by Stephanie Perkins, Holly Black, Ally Carter, Matt de la Pena, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link , Myra McEntire, Rainbow Rowell, Laini Taylor and Kiersten White.

I should love this. I mean, I love short stories, Christmas and romance. So why have I never read it? The real question here is: WHY HAVE I BOUGHT IT.

Even though several authors work on this project, it’s Stephanie Perkins who edited it and I do not really like what she writes. Well, let’s say that I really can’t stand what she writes, even though she presented us a sweet picture of Paris and parisians in Anna and the French Kiss.

Will I finally pick it up this Christmas? Only time will tell. After all, it has been on my shelf for two Christimas already…

6. What book have you yet to read because you’re just not in the mood for it?

Reason to Breathe by Rebecca Donovan.

I bought this book during a book fair because the author was there. Rebecca was adorable, funny and we shared a good laugh. However… well, it’s been a year since the book fair and even though I know that it is a well loved book, Reason to Breathe is staying un-read. Oops?

7. What book have you yet to read because it’s humongous?

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoï.

This book is almost 1000 pages long but mostly intimates me because two of my best friends absolutely loved it. What will happen if I don’t?

Anyway, it won’t stay un-read for a long time- I am dying to read it.

8. What book have you yet to read because because it was a cover buy that turned out to have poor reviews?

M.O.N.S.T.R.E. by Hervé Jubert.

This book has been auto-published, is written by a French author, actually is a complete collection of the whole series… but I bought it because the cover looked nice. Now, I am stuck with it- it doesn’t have a lot of reviews, it doesn’t seem to be a book I could enjoy, and it will stay on my TBR shelf for awhile, alas.

9. What is the most intimidating book in your TBR pile?

The Penguin Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

I already started this book and finished the first story in it but it still is huge and I won’t be able to read the whole thing at once- this is why this complete collection is intimidating me.


How many books do you have on your TBR pile?

Do you prefer big or small TBRs?

Love always,

Clara

Ps: BAM! you are tagged.

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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

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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).

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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

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