Why I rarely re-read books

I`m not much of a re-reader, truth be told. I like to go back to Harry Potter every now and then, cause that`s comfort for the soul. When everything goes wrong in your life, it`s easier to blame it on the postman who lost your Hogwarts letter. Another book that I like to pick up often is "To Kill a Mockingbird". And no masterpiece messes with me more than "The Idiot" by Dostoyevsky. Every time I re-read, I notice something new. But other than that, it`s all quiet on the re-reading front. Not because I`m lazy, I actually have some decent excuses.

1. So many books out thereeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
I get a panic attack every time I look at the fantasy section in Waterstones, let alone think of all the books in the world. Ancient literature, classics, modern classics, contemporary. Fantasy, Biography, Non- Fiction, Poetry, Sci-fi, etc. English or translated fiction. All these books are out to get you and prove you`re a dilettante. 

For instance, I adore Russian literature. And yet I`ve not read "War and Peace" or "Anna Karenina". I`m such a fraud. I`m sure I`ll pick them up at one point, but it will be a struggle to finish them, let alone re-read them. 

2. New Releases
On top of all the books that already exist, authors are out to get us too, with all those magical new releases. And again, think of the genre. Let`s say there are 30-50 YA releases monthly. You might be interested in 10. But then there`s non-fiction or literary fiction. Everything adds up, and you don`t have a social life anymore.

3. I read it to sound smart
This is the moment when classics make a grand entrance. Along with some scientific books that I probably did not understand, but I did not want to be the Penny of the bookish community. There are some classic authors that I adore, like Charles Dickens. He knows how to create drama, and make me feel bad for the privilege of eating Ferrero Rocher, whilst those orphans are struggling. On the other hand, I find Jane Austen`s novels so boring! I`m not denying their value, but there`s more to life than a good marriage. And yes, I know those were the times - but give me some real, emotional conflict. Chances are I`ll never re-read anything by Jane Austen, and I`m fine with that.

4. It hurts too much
Most of the books I read tend to be heartbreaking and soul-searching. First example: I cried like a baby after finishing "A Monster Calls". The same thing happened with "History is All You Left Me" or "The Fault In Our Stars". Those are three of my favourite books, but chances are I won`t pick them up again. As I`m starting to see my first wrinkles, I can't afford puffy and red eyes on top of that.

5. I forget?
I have terrible time management skills and a bad memory. Sometimes I say I`ll re-read a book, and then I completely forget about it. I don`t know if it`s because the book is hiding behind other books, or I`m just getting older, but it happens.

Do you like to re-read books? If not, what are your excuses?

TTT: New Book Releases and Impossible to get ARCs

I`m probably misleading you with this title, as some of you are lucky enough to have the ARCs for these books. And believe it or not, I`m happy for you. Sadly, I`m a small blogger and I`m not that lucky (yet). I know there`s the option of NetGalley, but I always forget to review the books there...
and I have a low rating. Hey ho, that`s life. Here are my most exciting 2018 mid-year releases:

1. "King of Scars" by Leigh Bardugo
If anyone has an ARC, I`ll hunt you down and rob you. I`ll be quick, and I`ll probably leave chocolates on your pillows, but I`ll steal this precious baby. Because I adore Nikolai and I need his witty remarks like I need air or coffee.

2. "What If It`s Us" by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera
A collab between two of my favourite YA contemporary authors, this book will take the world by storm. Will it be hilarious (Becky) or will it be heartbreaking (Adam)? Who knows? I just need it in my life!

3. "My Plain Jane" (The Lady Janies)
I recently read "My Lady Jane", and it was so much fun! "My Plain Jane" is a Jane Eyre retelling, and although I haven`t read the classics yet (shameeeeeeeee), I`m positive I`ll love the quirky story. The Goodreads synopsis is hilarious, so I`m pretty pumped for this novel.

4. "The Winds of Winter" by George R.R. Martin
At this rate, I`ll probably die before I can read this book. Sorry for the morbid joke, but enough is enough.

5. "Semper Augustus" by Mackenzi Lee
A historical fiction featuring queer female characters, written by the brilliant Mackenzi Lee? Which is also set in 1637 Holland? Count me in! I expect sarcastic characters, crazy scenarios and a swoon-worthy romance.

6. "Kingdom of Back" by Marie Lu
A historical fiction novel based on the childhood of Mozart and his sister? What is this sorcery? I have only read "Batman: Nightwalker" by Marie Lu, which is not her best work, but I am willing to give this author another chance.

7. "The Blood of Stars" by Elizabeth Lim
This book is pitched as Project Runaway meets "The Wrath and the Dawn", and I`m intrigued. It might be trashy or incredibly good, who knows? The Goodreads synopsis sounds good, but I have not read that many reviews so far.

8. "Sea Witch" by Sarah Henning
This is retelling that centres on the Sea Witch from "The Little Mermaids", and the events that made her into a villain. I love retellings, especially the ones that focus on villains, so I`m very excited to read this book.

9. "The Supervillain and Me" by Danielle Banas
As I just mentioned, I prefer a complex villain over a plain hero. Though, I`ll admit that the Goodreads blurb confused me a bit. Does it focus on the villain or the hero? I guess I`ll have to wait and see.

P.S. Whoever has an ARC please let me know

10. "A Thousand Beginnings and Endings" edited by Ellen Oh
Anthologies are a bit of a hit and miss; I might love a couple stories and hate the others, so I`m always confused when it comes to rating the book. But these anthology features stories by Renee Ahdieh, Cindy Pon and Melissa de la Cruz amongst others, so I have high hopes for it.

Let me know in the comments what ARCs you`d love to receive. And whoever has that Leigh Bardugo ARC, don`t forget to leave me your address. So I can bring you the chocolates, obviously.

* TTT is a weekly meme/ feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

TTT: My favourite Shadowhunters

I`m sure it`s no secret that I have a complicated relationship with Cassandra Clare`s books. I rant about how much I hate her self-entitled, Mary Sue main characters all the time (here`s proof). Then why do I continue reading her books? Because I like the world, and I love some of her characters. And since today`s TTT theme is "characters I liked that were in disliked books", I wanted to do something nice. And mention some of my favourite characters from the Shadowhunters world. Now I know it`s shocking, but the whiny Tessa and Clary won`t be here. Neither will the brooding jerks with a terrible past (that acts as an excuse to be a terrible human being).

Jem Carstairs
Jem is so precious and sweet! He`s a complete gentleman, with refined tastes (besides falling for Tessa, but oh well). He`s compassionate and always sees the best in people. I just love him!

Magnus Bane
Bane the Bae! I am cheating a bit on this one. I mean, I like him in the books. But I adore him in the TV show. Harry Shum Jr. was born to play this role! Magnus Bane is funny, charistmatic...and oh so glamorous!

Simon Lewis
Simon is such a nerd, you can`t help falling in love with him! He`s sarcastic remarks are pure gold.

Isabelle Lightwood
Izzy is such a fierce character! She`s incredibly loyal and would do anything to protect those she loves. Again, I prefer the TV version, but she was cool in the books as well.

Luke Garroway
Luke is the father figure we all need. I also thought it was very sweet that he loved, and waited to be with Jocelyn for such a long time.

Charlotte Branwell
The feminist in me was so happy with Charlotte. She was a woman ahead of her times and proved that she can do a man`s job. She was also sweet and caring.

Henry Branwell
I couldn`t help cracking every time Henry was around. He was this funny and albeit weird inventor, that was so lost in the real world. Bless him!

I would like to give a quick shout out to Alec and Raphael, the TV versions. At the time I`m writing this post, I`ve only read "Clockwork Angel" and the first three books in the TMI series. I`m sure I will continue with The Mortal Instruments because I really like the TV show. It`s not by any means a masterpiece, but it`s entertaining. And Malec have the best relationship! I`m not sure I`ll continue with The Infernal Devices, cause I have a feeling they`ll kill my precious just so they can put those two self-absorbed idiots together. But we`ll see. I also want to give "Lady Midnight" a chance because I`ve heard it`s different. But if I meet one more Mary Sue character, I`m done!

TTT is a weekly meme/feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

March Book Haul

Hello, everyone! Today I have a little book haul to share with you, composed of mainly Penguin Modern Classics. It`s one of my bookish resolutions to own all of the books in this collection, and also the ones in the Penguin English Library collection. Slowly, but surely I am getting there, and one of the reasons I love these collections so much is because of how affordable they are. Add in the Book Depository discount, and you`ve got yourself some pretty good bargains. I also couldn't resist, and I had to get some new releases because if there`s one thing a bookworm can`t resist, it`s a shiny new book. Or two or three, depending on your budget.

I`m going to start with the books in the Penguin Modern Classics collection. First, we have "Animal Farm" and "Nineteen Eighty-Four" by George Orwell, which are two of my favourite books of all-time. I`ve read both of these in high-school, but I think I`m due for a reread. I remember the general idea, but not much of the plot. Another book that I`ve read and enjoyed was "The Crucible" by Arthur Miller. Although I had some issues with the way women were portrayed, I did enjoy the moral of the story. Mass hysteria is a terrible thing, and it`s something that happens so often even today. People will quickly jump to accusations without hearing the facts.

I`m not that familiar with the next two books, but I`m hoping to get to them soon. The first one, "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich", has been on my radar for a long period of time. We have so much literature about the horrors of WWII and Nazism, but not so much about Stalinism and Communism. And because Romania was under communism for decades, I`m very interested in reading more books that deal with those crimes. Last, but not least, I got "Siddhartha" by Hermann Hesse. All I know is that this book is about a wealthy Indian who forsakes a life of privilege in order to gain spiritual fulfilment.

Moving on to the new releases, I had to buy "Hero at the Fall" by Alwyn Hamilton. "Rebel of the Sands" is one of my favourite trilogies, and I can`t wait to see how everything wraps-up. I also couldn't say no to one of the most talked about YA books, "Children of Blood and Bone". If you remember, this book made an appearance on my most anticipated books of 2018 list, and I`m so thrilled about the glowing reviews. I also can`t wait to read "To Kill a Kingdom" by Alexandra Christo. It`s a Little Mermaid retelling, and it`s badass! Or so I`ve heard.

These are all the books I`ve got last month, and I know it`s not much, but I`m trying to diminish my TBR shelves. Sadly, I`m also not the granddaughter of a rich millionaire, though God knows I`d love to be some lost Anastasia and buy all of the books with my inheritance. 

Book Review: "The Poet X" by Elizabeth Acevedo

"The Poet X" is a raw and powerful coming of age story, that will give you chills whilst reading it. It follows 15-year-old Xiomara, who uses slam poetry to navigate her feelings towards religion, her oppressive mother, love and body acceptance. I did not have much experience with novels written through verse prior to this book, but I was hooked from the first page. When you highlight 50% of the book, you know you`ve connected with a story. 

"It`s not any one thing that makes me wonder about the capital G.O.D. About a holy trinity that don't include the mother. It`s all the things. Just seems as I got older I began to really see the way that church treats a girl like me differently. Sometimes it feels all I`m worth is under my skirt and not between my ears. Sometimes I feel that turning the other cheek could get someone like my brother killed. Sometimes I feel my life would be easier if I didn`t feel like such a debt to a God that don`t really seem to be out here checking for me."

Like I mentioned earlier, this book addresses topics that will make people uncomfortable. I`m not that religious, but I wanted to see how some Christian reviewers felt about the book. And the response on Goodreads has been absolutely positive. Because at its core, this book is by no means an attack towards religion (in case some people might wrongly get offended). It`s the journey of a girl trying to figure out her relationship with God. A girl that deals with a tyrannical mother and an absent father.

Xiomara has to be one of the most precious characters I have ever encountered. There have been so many moments when I almost cried because I just wanted her to be feel loved (yes, I know she`s fictional, but I deeply felt for her). It was heartbreaking to read about her troubled relationship with her mother. It was also sad to see that at such an early age, Xiomara is so familiar with rape culture:

" When your body takes up more room than your voice you are always the target of well-aimed rumours, which is why I let my knuckles talk for me. Which is why I learned to shrug when my name was replaced by insults."

Xiomara is more developed than other girls, and she is used to unwanted attention from boys and even men. Quiet in class, she fights when she feels there`s no other solution. Until she discovers slam poetry, and she learns how to cope with her anger. And when she meets Aman, she starts to fall in love for the first time, and let her guard down. Their romance is sweet, and it allows Xiomara to see herself in a positive way. Their relationship makes her realize that she`s more than a body to boys. 

Despite the fact that this book is emotional and thought-provoking, there are some sweet moments in there. I loved the relationship between Xiomara and her best friend, Caridad. Unlike X, Caridad is completely devoted to God. But she never judges Xiomara, and she`s always there for her. I also adored the complicated relationship between Xiomara and Xavier, her twin. She`s the black sheep of the family, whilst he`s the Golden Boy.

" And I wonder if Twin and I are keeping each other small. Taking up the space that would have let the other grow. "

However, little does Xiomara know that her brother hides a secret of his own. He`s gay, something that their parents/community would never understand. Twin was a multi-layered character, that I`ve grown to love more and more throughout the book. He`s talented and smart, with a bright future ahead of him. Like his sister, he's quiet and likes to keep things to himself. Twin and Xiomara fight a lot, but they also love each other unconditionally and have a bond that does not need words.

As you can see, there`s not one thing that I disliked about this book. It had such a positive message about accepting yourself and standing up for what you believe in. If I could, I`d give this book more than 5/5 stars. Absolutely brilliant!

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