Get to know me BOOK TAG

While I was browsing on WordPress I found this nice book tag and I thought why not! It’s been a while since my last “personal” post, so I think introducing myself once again through books might be a great idea! Unfortunately I can’t seem to find the original creator of this book tag, so if you happen to know that please let me know!

What’s your favorite color? Do you have a book in that color?
My favorite color is pink and the first book that came to mind in pink is Princess Academy by Shannon Hale in the Italian edition. It’s such a charming book and I’m so glad I got to read it, even though it was by chance!

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Describe yourself in three book characters.
1. Madame Bovary (Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert)- I’ve always thought I’m affected by bovarisme and I hate it so much!
2. Matilda (Matilda by Roald Dahl)- I remember the first time I’ve seen the movie – I was a little girl – and thinking “oh this is me!”. It’s been ten years or more since I’ve read the book for the last time so I can’t clearly remember the details, but her love for books alone can describe me so well.
3. Hermione Granger (Harry Potter series) – I was pretty unsure about the third character to insert here. I don’t know if me and Hermione are actually so similar, but in the end I didn’t feel it okay not to include her. What we have in common is that we both love books, we’re both excellent students (even though I don’t really like studying and THAT is the biggest difference between us) and we’re both a bit bossy and it’s easy to find us disagreeable. At the same time she’s a character who inspires me to do my best and for this reason I keep her so close to my heart.

Hyped books yay or nay? If yay, what was the most hyped book you ever read? If nay, what was the most hyped book you decided not to read?
I’m usually late to the party but totally yay! I actually have no idea on which book I read was the most hyped, but Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was pretty hyped, I think? Either that, or A court of Thornes and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, I keep hearing about it everywhere.

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Recommend one book per season. Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter.
Spring: My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
Summer: Battle Royale by Koushun Takami
Fall: The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff
Winter: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
There is no reasoning behind these choices, I just think the atmosphere of the book kind of fits the season.

Name one book that wrecked you emotionally.
Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi. This book deals with mental health and trauma and it was a neverending emotional rollercoaster.

Name a book that you always recommend to everybody you know?
I always encourage reading Harry Potter if you already haven’t and especially if you liked the movie but didn’t give the books a chance.

What is your guilty pleasure book?
I don’t think I have a single guilty pleasure book, but I admit that when I’m not feeling well (because I’m sick or tired or stressed) I like reading books I know will be stupid and will make me rant about plot holes and inconsistent character development. I really don’t know why I like to make myself suffer like that.

Physical book or e-book?
I’ll always love a good physical book to hold and sniff and hug, but when it comes to reading… as long as I can read, it doesn’t matter. I’m using my Kindle more and more because it’s so convenient when I’m travelling and also when I read before sleeping I love that I can just relax in the darkness – I fall asleep much more easily.

Can you read while listening to music or watching tv?
While listening to music, yes no problem. I do it often. While watching tv.. that’s a bit tricky. I think if there isn’t anything particularly interesting in tv I can focus on the book no problem, just keeping the tv turned on to keep me company. I used to do it often when I couldn’t fall asleep and the deep silence of the night made me feel anxious.

Are you a procrastinator? What book have you procrastinated reading?
I am the master of procrastination. I am even procrastinating right now. As for reading, I’m procrastinating so many books that I can go on writing for hours, but I just want to say that I have two eARCs I received from Netgalley months ago and I feel so bad about procrastinating – I really don’t know why and I’m so sorry about it. They will be next on my TBR, I promise.

I hope you liked this tag, see you _apple__by_ebonred-d51uswt

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Some Overdue Book Reviews…

Hello everyone! Long time no see!
It’s been about ten months since I’ve started living in Japan, and I only managed to forget my English and give up on everything I was doing back in Italy. Problem is, I received some books from Netgalley and I really want to review them even though it’s been a while since I read them. For this reason, I apologize if the review sounds vague or inaccurate, as most of my memories are starting to fade.

The first book I want to talk about is Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi.

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Ada begins her life in the south of Nigeria as a troubled baby and a source of deep concern to her family. Her parents, Saul and Saachi, successfully prayed her into existence, but as she grows into a volatile and splintered child, it becomes clear that something went terribly awry. When Ada comes of age and moves to America for college, the group of selves within her grows in power and agency. A traumatic assault leads to a crystallization of her alternate selves: Asụghara and Saint Vincent. As Ada fades into the background of her own mind and these selves–now protective, now hedonistic–move into control, Ada’s life spirals in a dark and dangerous direction. (from Goodreads)


I remember finishing this book just in time for its release, so it was back in February 2018. It was hectic, as I was both studying hard and preparing for my year abroad. I really wanted to publish this review because this one was a fantastic read, which completely caught me by surprise.

The reason why I requested this book was the fact that the story deals with mental health (in particular multiple personalities) and I was really adamant to read about it. On the other hand I was quite scared about it because the book has an unfamiliar setting and I wasn’t sure I would have enjoyed it. But oh boy, it was amazing.

It wasn’t the easiest read either. Starting with the fact that I’m not 100% comfortable with reading in English, it involves lots of ethnical and mythologic details I wasn’t prepared for. But at the same time I find it was a great representation of the chaos the main character, Ada, was dealing with. This book is filled with raw emotions and I managed to emotionally connect with it; I ended up reading with tears filling my eyes, something that rarely happens.
At times, I couldn’t figure out what was happening and this is my only complain with this book. But at the same time it totally makes sense: in this story, things are unclear and open to interpretation, left to your imagination or simply don’t make sense at all, as the mind itself doesn’t make sense most of the time.

My rating: 4.5/5 stars

Next up we have Firebolt by Adrienne Woods.

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Dragons. Right. Teenage girls don’t believe in fairy tales, and sixteen-year old Elena Watkins was no different.

Until the night a fairy tale killed her father.

Now Elena’s in a new world, and a new school. The cutest guy around may be an evil dragon, a Prince wants Elena’s heart, and a long dead sorcerer may be waking up to kill her. Oh. And the only way Elena’s going to graduate is on the back of a dragon of her own.

Teenage girls don’t believe in fairy tales. Now it’s time for Elena to believe – in herself. (from Goodreads)


Okay, let’s start with the (unfortunately few) good things. This book is fast paced and it has some funny jokes inside that made me smile from time to time. But sometimes what made me giggle was the story itself and its shallowness.
The characters had no depth nor development and the book was so filled with clichés it was completely predictable. The world building wasn’t so bad but it wasn’t good enough to be mentioned either. I think the only reason I managed to finish reading this novel was that it was fast and easy to read. The descriptions were minimal, lots of action and dialogue, and I don’t particularly love long and detailled descriptions but this time the lack of it was too much.

My rating: 1.5/5 stars

Lastly, I want to spend two words for A Kind of Justice by Renee James.

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Against all odds, Bobbi Logan, a statuesque transgender woman, has become one of Chicago’s most celebrated hair stylists and the owner of one of the city’s poshest salons. She is finally comfortable with who she is, widely admired in her community, about to enjoy the success she deserves.

Then her impossibly perfect life falls apart.

In the space of a few weeks, the Great Recession drags her business to the brink of failure, her beloved ex-wife needs help in facing a terrible tragedy, and a hateful police detective storms back into her life, determined to convict her of the five-year-old murder of John Strand—pillar of the community—and a sexual predator.

As the detective builds an ever more convincing case against her, both of them will be shaken by revelations—about themselves, about their own deeply held secrets, and about the bizarre ritual murder of John Strand. (from Goodreads)


I DNF this one at 13%. I don’t usually DNF books because it happened so many times that I changed my opinion on something when I reached the middle or the end of it. I feel really bad about it. I wanted to like this book so badly and I wanted to seriously give it a chance but I couldn’t bring myself to read anything more.
I expected something centered about LGBT+. I found a book that takes LGBT+ only to the background. I read very few pages, but I couldn’t help but feel that the LGBT+ elements weren’t used at all to contribute to the story and they were just… there. So yeah, most of the problem wasn’t even the story itself, but the fact that it wasn’t what I expected it to be. But the main point is that even though the story was different from what I imagined, it didn’t manage to make me care about what was happening at all. I simply didn’t care. I didn’t care about the characters, I didn’t care about what was happening and what would happen next. And of course it’s in English, which required an amount of concentration and effort from me that I wasn’t willing to give.

So we reached the end of this post and I feel so much better with myself. I still have a pair of books from Netgalley that I still need to read, but I plan on doing it soon as I’m really anticipating them!

See you soon! _apple__by_ebonred-d51uswt

The Zanna Function || Book Review

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Note: I received an eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Author: Daniel Wheatley
Expected publication: March 20th 2018
Pages: 304

When fourteen-year-old Zanna Mayfield gets an acceptance letter from St. Pommeroy’s School for Gifted Children, she jumps at the chance to put her considerable intellect to good use. But nothing can prepare her for the first day, when she discovers that she is a Scientist —one able to see and bend the basic functions of the universe like velocity, gravity, and chemical reactions to her own purposes.

As Zanna struggles to make friends and learn how to use her abilities at her new school, her troubles multiply when a mysterious stranger begins stalking her, dead set on keeping Zanna out of St. Pommeroy’s. If Zanna has any hope of finishing her first year, she’ll need to master every function she can get her mind around—including the one that defines Zanna herself. (from Goodreads)


When I picked up the book, I didn’t remember at all what the story was about and it took me completely by surprise. I liked the main character, Zanna, from the first moment. She’s a smart and unique girl, who was searching for her “right” place in the world to stay; it gave me strong Harry Potter vibes, with her starting to attend the new school and learning everything about how to use her own abilities. There were a lot of similarities with Harry Potter, and this is part of what made me enjoy this book so much, because I could experience a bit of that excitement I felt when I first dived into the Wizarding Wold.

I loved the world built by the author. It was so fascinating and refreshing from the usual fantasy or magic world. Sometimes I admit I struggle understanding how things work and are built in fictional worlds; in this case, however, everything was clear and new and exciting at the same time. I also think the characters were very well portrayed, Zanna in primis, as we learn a lot about her and her way of thinking while we read the novel. The other characters are all endearing and funny.

There’s one thing that left me thinking though, as one of the characters is simply portrayed as an “Italian”. Now, as an Italian person myself, what should that mean? I didn’t get that honestly, but I appreciated that various types of characters were into the story. And also, it was funny to see how this Italian girl was depicted (and she was one of my favorite characters along with Zanna!).

I enjoyed every moment I spent reading Zanna’s story. It warmed my heart multiple times and it also made me stay in suspense and eager to know what it would happen next. The only thing I didn’t really like is the way everything resolved in a short time. I think there was much more space to deepen characters and relationships and some things were left there hanging. As far as I know, this is a stand-alone, but I really think this would have worked better as a duology or as a series. There is much more to tell about this world and about Zanna’s future and I really hope that maybe, in the future, a sequel is announced. All in all, I think the ending was pretty good, I just hoped to see more development.

I really think this book should get more attention. This really was a lovely read, that cheered me up and I enjoyed it so much. I’m so happy and grateful I was given the chance to read it in advance.

My rating: 4.5/5 stars

2018 Reading Challenges (and my failure in 2017)

Hi everyone!

Last year, I wrote a post about the various reading challenges I was going to join, but I specified that I wasn’t basing my reading on that. As you could expect, my challenges were a complete failure and I’m here today to make a re-cap and to introduce you to the reading challenges I decided to undertake this year!

2017 Reading Challenges Recap

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge
This is probably my favorite challenge ever (I’ve been doing it every year since 2015), but in 2017 I completely failed it. In fact, I only managed to complete 18 out of the 45 “normal” prompts, plus 5 out of the 12 “extra” prompts.

2017 Around the year in 52 books
Another awesome challenge; I found the prompts really entertaining and unique. Unfortunately, I completed only 34 prompts out of 52.

2017 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge
As the title says, this challenge was based on the alphabet, so you had to read a different book for each of the letters. I managed to read only 15 books out of 26.

Retellings Reading Challenge 2017
I was aiming to the easy level (1-4 books) and I’m glad to announce that I actually read one retelling this year, so… I’m not satisfied anyways.

2017 Dystopia Reading Challenge
I got to the Recruit level with 2 dystopian books read this year, which was the level I was aiming at. I hoped to do better as I really love dystopia, but this year I picked books so different from my usual genres…

2017 Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge 2017
This is actually a genre I didn’t read often in the past but this year I read 4 books qualifying for this, so I conquered the 1st base of this challenge.

2017 Victorian Reading Challenge
Complete failure with only one read book. The minimum to complete this challenge was four books.

Back to the Classics 2017
Out of the twelve categories, I only completed four of them.

Banned/Challenged Books Reading Challenge
I didn’t really know which of the books I read was banned or challenged in the past, so for this I’m only counting two books but I might have read more. With two books, I actually managed to reach the second level of this challenge, the “Creeping” level.

Mental Illness Advocacy (MIA) Reading Challenge
I think I only read two books qualifying for this, so I failed to reach even the lowest level of this challenge.

All in all, the only reading challenge I completed is the Goodreads Reading Challenge, with 53 books out of the 52 I wanted to read during 2017.


Now, back to 2018. This year, I decided to put my reading goal on Goodreads at 40 books, which might be a bit high but I’ll explain below why I chose to do so. As for the other reading challenges, we have:

2018 Popsugar Reading Challenge
As I said before, I love this challenge and I want to do it properly this year. It has 40 prompts + 10 extra prompts, so this is the reason why I decided to put my Goodreads goal at 40 books. I don’t know if I’ll actually have enough time to read 40 books this year, but I’ll do my best!

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2018 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
So, my Victorian reading challenge was a failure, but I think I can do better with a broader historical fiction challenge! My goal for this is reading at least 2 books so that I can reach the first level, 20th Century Reader. I’d be happier if I can reach the second level though, which is Victorian Reader (5 books).

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Mount TBR 2018
This challenge is really something I need to do this year because my TBR stack grew immensely during 2017. I’ll aim to the lowest level, Pike’s Pike (12 books), as always hoping to fare better.

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2018 Finishing The Series Reading Challenge
This is another challenge I really need to undertake, because at the moment I have around 10-15 ongoing series and for most of them I’ve only read the first book. #shameonme I will aim to the lowest level, C-Series Finisher, which goes from 1 to 4 completed series. Honestly I’d be happy to complete even only one series because I feel like I have too much things going on and some of these series were awesome and I need to finish them.

That’s all for this year! I’m really excited for these challenges, because I feel like they really encourage me to read as much as possible. I just hope that this year won’t be a complete failure like the last one.

2017 Books Statistics Survey

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Hello everyone! Let’s see how my 2017 went in terms of reading!
In 2014 Brittany from The Book Addict’s Guide and Andi from Andi’s ABC came up with their first annual Statistics Survey, inspired by Jamie of The Perpetual Page Turner. They brought it back once again in 2017 and I’m ready to do it now!

I’ve done this once already in 2016 and if you’re interested you can check the post here.

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  • Number of books read…
    • Under 250 pages: 13
    • Between 400-449 pages: 2
    • Between 450-499 pages: 2
    • Over 500 pages: 8
    • Over 1000 pages: 2
  • Number of…
    • Audiobooks: 2
    • Re-reads: 8
    • DNFs (did not finish): 0
  • Number of books rated…
    • Five Stars: 8
    • One/Two Stars: 6 two stars, 4 one star
  • Number of authors met in 2017: 0
  • Number of book events attended in 2017: 0
  • Number of books you read in one day: 3 during Dewey’s 24h Read-a-thon
  • Number of books that made you cry: I remember 2-3 books being particularly emotional, but I don’t remember if they actually made me cry.
  • Number of 2018 books you have on pre-order: 0 (I don’t usually preorder)

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  • Book read furthest away from home: The Austere Academy (A Series of Unfortunate Events #5) by Lemony Snicket, in London.
  • Book that took you the longest to read: The Vampire Diaries (10 in 1) by L.J. Smith
  • Book that you personally connected with the most: Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
  • Book that made you love the villain: Kushiel’s Avatar by Jacqueline Carey
  • Book you said you’d come back to but still haven’t picked up again: The Complete Stories and Poems by E. A. Poe; I don’t remember if I started it this year or last year, but I have big problems with short stories; I don’t want to DNF it but I don’t feel like reading it at the moment either… Maybe I’ll keep it for next Halloween.
  • Book you read waaaay before it’s publication date: No one
  • Book you read on your birthday: I didn’t read anything on my birthday because I was in London. I went to King’s Cross tough!
  • Book with a character who shares your name: I don’t remember anyone having my name, but Mélisande in Phèdre’s Trilogy by Jacqueline Carey may be close enough.
  • Book you weren’t entirely truthful about when rating (Fluff up any ratings? Rated even though you didn’t finish?): Maybe Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy #6) by Richelle Mead. There were better books in the series, but as it was the last book and as I binge-read (and loved) the whole series in a few days, I was really involved emotionally.
  • Book you read in 2017 but already want to re-read: I’d love to re-read Wonder by R. J. Palacio in the future, but not next year.
  • Book you borrowed from a friend a long time ago and still have: No one.
  • Book you wish you could go back and read for the first time again: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
  • Most books read by one author this year: L. J. Smith with ten books.

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  • Happiest & saddest: Pollyanna by E. H. Porter // Too many sad books this year honestly.
  • Longest & shortest…
    • By page number: The Vampire Diaries (10 in 1) by L. J. Smith at 1464 pages (It by Stephen King at 1116 pages for a single book) // The Little Red Wolf by Amélie Flechais at 80 pages
    • By title: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton // It by Stephen King
    • From buying to reading: Gente in Aspromonte by Corrado Alvaro (bought before 2014) // Wonder by R. J. Palacio (I finished it in a few days)
  • Best & worst…
    • Average rating on Goodreads: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling (4.45 avg rating) // Nightfall, Part II (The Vampire Diaries: The Return #1) by L.J. Smith (2.73 avg rating)
    • Books you read/your rating: Excluding Harry Potter because it was a re-read, Battle Royale by Koushun Takami // Shadowland (The Immortal #3) by Alyson Noel
    • Series enders: Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy #6) by Richelle Mead // Midnight, Part II by L. J. Smith (The Vampire Diaries: The Return #3)
  • First & last…
    • Reads of 2017: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry // Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
    • Books on your bookcase (1st book on the top left and last book on the bottom right): //
  • Most disappointing & biggest pleasant surprise: The Vampire Diaries series by L. J. Smith was quite good at beginning and awful at the end. // Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey, I didn’t have big expectations but it was great! One of my favorite books ever.
  • Fandom you joined & one you abandoned: I don’t follow bookish fandoms lol
  • Series you picked up & series you quit: (I have several answers for this, but I’m going to pick only one) the Shatter Me series by Tahere Mafi // The Immortal series by Alyson Noel
  • Most lenient & harshest ratings: I’m usually pretty lenient with my ratings but this year I was strangely strict. The harshest one was Shadowland, with only one star.
  • Most hyped & furthest under the radar that you read: Harry Potter is always the most hyped. Fire by C.A. Harland (The Ninth Circle #1) is definitely the furthest under the radar.

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  • Book you read that is red: Battle Royale by Koushun Takami
  • Starts with X, Y, or Z: No one.
  • Book you hugged when you finished it: Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey; Wonder by R.J. Palacio; Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan.
  • Book you wanted to throw across a room: The Vampire Diaries (10 in 1) but I could have killed someone if I did so.
  • Food you craved while/after reading a certain book: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone always makes me hungry with all the descriptions of food inside it.
  • Book that became an instant go-to recommendation: Battle Royale by Koushun Takami.
  • Furthest out of your comfort zone: Gente in Aspromonte by Corrado Alvaro
  • Read on a recommendation (that you may not have picked up yourself): Phèdre’s Trilogy by Jacqueline Carey, in a sense.
  • Forced yourself to finish: Gente in Aspromonte by Corrado Alvaro
  • Series or author’s works you binged (whether all at once or throughout the year): The Vampire Diaries (10 in 1) by L. J. Smith; Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead.

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  • First…
  • Last…
    • Post of 2017: This one I think
    • Review of 2017: same as the first
  • Number of posts in 2017: five, counting this one.
  • Number of reviews posted this year: one.
  • Least coherent review: //
  • Post with the most views (posted in 2017): 2017 reading challenges
  • Post you wish you could re-write: Posted this year? No one.

The House at 758 || Book Review

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Note: I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Author: Kathryn Berla
Year: 2017 (first published in 2014)
Pages: 250

The House at 758 is a peaceful reading. It offers a peek in the daily lige of Krista, a teenager who is still suffering for the loss of her mother. She’s depressed and refuses help; she’s trapped in her thoughts and she’s living only a half-life ever since her mother died.

She feels betrayed by her father, who managed to move on and build a new daily life with a new girlfriend. She feels alone, because she thinks no one can understand her. She feels like everyone else look at her with pity and she can’t bear it.

And then, there’s the house at 758. She can’t stop going there, even if the police warns her not to go there ever again.

She thinks she’ll spend this summer alone, grieving and stalking the house at 758. But her grandfather is coming to visit, and she has to take care of him, even though she thinks he’s a complete stranger.

Also, there’s Jake, a classmate who doesn’t seem as bad as the others. For once, he doesn’t look at her, or talk to her, like she’s about to burst into tears. And maybe, that’s just what she needs the most.


In this book, a variety of themes are addressed. There’s Krista’s depression and her struggles to move forward; there’s her growth and the new relationships she establish with Jake, her grandfather and other characters near her. And there’s the story of his grandfather, who experienced the Holocaust.

This mixture of themes is the strongest point of this novel. Unfortunately, it’s also its biggest flaw. In fact, I feel like no theme has been adressed with completeness. For this reason, at the end of the novel you might feel a bit empty, like nothing has really been solved. Krista’s growth starts in this book, but it doesn’t stop here: when we reach the ending, it’s like we’re only at the very beginning.

I’m not saying that as a bad thing; I think it’s awesome that it makes you feel that Krista has still room to grow, that the story doesn’t end there with a happily ever after. I’m not the biggest fan of open endings, but I think it’s the perfect one for this bitter sweet story.

The narration is what I liked the most. It managed to stay simple but at the same time to convey so many different feelings. Moreover, the mystery surrounding the house at 758 is well built and capable to surprise you even at the very end. Although I hoped it would have been the main focus of the novel, something that solves it all. But as I’ve already said before, this novel is the result of a mix of things just like in real life.

The fact that this novel is so realatable and near the reality makes it so enjoyable. The author doesn’t try to explain you how the different pieces come together. Simply, stuff happens and you have to take it and react to it at your best. As a reader, you’re discovering what Krista experiences and it’s up to you to draw the conclusions.

The only thing I wished it was better intertwined with the other things going on was the story of Krista’s grandfather and the development of their relationship. I feel like they strengthen their bond almost out of the blue; in this case, I think that some deepening was necessary. Also, as much as I appreciate the presence of the Holocaust theme, its relationship with the main points of the plot isn’t well explained. I mean, there’s a noticeable connection, but it’s not highlighted and doesn’t find its right place in Krista’s growth.

In conclusion, I’d totally recommend this book for the variety of feelings it conveys. I found it realistic, bitter sweet and peaceful, although the themes it deals with aren’t the easiest.

My rating: 4/5 stars

2017 reading challenges

Hey everyone!

This year I was interested in a looot of reading challenges, so I thought… why not?

I’m going to join eleven different reading challenges, but opposed to previous years I won’t be basing my reading on them. So, at the end of the year, I’ll see if I did well and if I have to widen my reading zone! I hope to be able to make monthly updates, but I don’t promise anything!

Here are the challenges I’ve chosen:

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge
Every year, I look forward to the prompts of this fantastic reading challenge. It offers lots of idea on what to read next and in the Goodreads group you can find a lot of books recommendations! You don’t have to read a book for each category, but I like doing so. I don’t expect to complete it, but I’ll do my best!

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2017 Around the year in 52 books
Here is another prompt challenge! I like the idea of reading a book each week on average and I think it gives you lots of ideas to what to read next as well! Since I won’t be basing my reading on challenges I don’t know if I can complete all the topics, but I hope so!

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2017 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge
For this challenge, I need to read one book that has a title starting with every letter of the alphabet, for a total of 26 books! I’m very curious to see which spoonfuls I’ll complete and for which ones I’ll need to pick up a specific book!

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Retellings Reading Challenge 2017
I’m really excited to join this one, as I love retellings! I will aim to the easy level (1-4 retellings) but I will move up a level if I complete it ahead of time! I should write some thoughts on the books I read for this, so I really hope I’ll be able to make monthly wrap-ups or something like this (since full-length reviews aren’t my thing).

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2017 Dystopia Reading Challenge
Two years ago I was a big fan of dystopian novels, but last year I didn’t read many of them. For now, I will aim at the recruit level and move up a level if needed! I won’t be completing the Bingo because I have way too many prompts already with the Popsugar and the Around the year challenges.

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2017 Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge 2017
Ah, romance books. Often I feel like a warm, bubbly romance novel would be exactly what I need. But I don’t read this genre really often and I lack good books in my bookcase (so, if you have recommendations, please tell me in the comments!). Once again, I aim at the first base (1-5 books) and I’ll aim higher if I can!

victorianreadingchallenge

2017 Victorian Reading Challenge
Here is another challenge I’m really looking forward. I love Victorian Era and Victorian Literature. I hope to read a good bunch of books. To complete this challenge, I need to read a minimum of 4 books. In addition, there are 32 prompts. Sadly, I don’t think I will be able to complete all of them, but some of them are really stimulating and I might just search specifically some titles to complete those ones.

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Back to the Classics 2017
The goal for this challenge is to read 12 different classics, one for each category. I really like classics, so I’m happy to have something that pushes me to read them! There are several interesting examples in the sign-up posts and I hope to be able to read the ones that inspire me the most.

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Banned/Challenged Books Reading Challenge
This is a topic I’m really interested into. As in the other challenge, I will aim at the lowest goal, which in this case is only a book, but I surely hope to be able to read more!

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Mental Illness Advocacy (MIA) Reading Challenge
This is another topic I’m really interested into. I really want to read more about it. The first level of the annual challenge, acquainted, is only of four books. In the sign-up page there’s a great list of recommendations that I totally plan to use.

Last, but non least, I set my Goodreads Reading Challenge at 52 books! A book each week is a good average and I absolutely want to complete it (and maybe read even more).

What do you think about those challenges? You can sign-up for any of them if you’re interested! Just click on the titles to be redirected to the sign-up pages. Happy reading! _apple__by_ebonred-d51uswt

Hello!Project Awards 2016

Hey everyone!

I wanted to do something like a recap / review for the whole year, but talking about each release / member is too time consuming (I tried last year and I failed tumblr_inline_mto5g32IQF1qid2nw) so I’m going to show you only my favorites of 2016!

There are six categories:

  1. Best song
  2. Best choreography
  3. Best MV
  4. Best outfit (singles / albums)
  5. Top 10 members
  6. Top 3 kenshuusei

Please note that this is based purely on my tastes!

BEST SONG

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Dou Datte ii no (Country Girls)

A lot of good songs came out this year! It was really hard to choose only one of them. I really liked Dou Datte ii no from the first listen, because it’s upbeat and full of energy and I really like the meaning of the lyrics!

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY

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Mukidashi de Mukiatte (Morning Musume’16)

Mugen Climax (°C-ute)

A tie! I’m not an expert in terms of dance, so this was an hard category for me. The ones I chose are cool and have an interesting concept behind them. Too bad I can’t dance at all, I would love to learn and dance them too!

BEST MUSIC VIDEO

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Ranrarun ~Anata ni Muchuu~ (Country Girls)

The quality of MV has increased this year and we have several gems in terms of effects, concepts, entertainment… But I love this one SO MUCH! I love that it is tied to the lyrics and it tells a story; there are a lot of cute and funny moments and… it’s simply awesome!

BEST OUTFITS

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A tie, again! We have the outfits of Mugen Climax, which are simply gorgeous; I love the gothic style and they go so well with the song! Then, we have the outfits of Otona no Jijou, which is a digital only releasy and has no MV, but they wore it for the drama and in concerts. This one is also really beautiful, something you rarely see in H!P; it’s really idolish and I love checkered patterns! Finally we have the outfits used for the MV of Kedakaku Sakihokore. Well, I kinda cheated on these because they were actually the outfits of the Countdown Party 2015, but they are so beautiful that I wanted to include them. The lace decoration are really cute and lady-like and I’m so glad they decided to use them not only for concerts!

TOP 10 IDOLS

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Basically, to do this ranking I made an average of their positions during my monthly rankings – so it doesn’t reflect my December top ten. This is more like a “how they did during the year in my rankings” tumblr_inline_mg16go8gBg1qdlkyg Soo, let’s see. First spot, obviously, my H!P oshi, Kudo Haruka. She ranked first in every monthly ranking this year. Then we have Ogata Haruna and Hagiwara Mai. They are basically on the same level, so it’s interesting to see that on average Haachin ranked better than MaiMai! Then we have Hamachan! I liked her from the first time I saw her, so yeah, she’s always pretty high. Sayubee, Maachan and Murotan usually rank in my top ten, while Sasaki Rikako and Oda Sakura don’t, so it’s nice to see they ranked well throughout the year. As 9th, we have Yanagawa Nanami. She’s my new Country Girls oshi after the departure of Manakan (who would have been there if she hadn’t left, sigh) and she started rank in my top ten around mid-year, so that’s probably why she’s lower than Rikako. It will be interesting to see how this will change next year!

TOP 3 4 KENSHUUSEI

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This is the same as the regular members, I just did an average of their positions in my rankings :3 Takase Kurumi is my favorite kenshuusei. She has replaced Kaga Kaede sometimes this year. Kaga would have been there too, but she’s a member of Morning Musume’17 now, so she’s not a kenshuusei anymore (yay!). I was expecting Ruru to be on my top three since she’s pretty stable in my rankings. And… surprise! A tie! I quite like both Sakiko-chan and Kirara-chan and actually this is a perfect result because I can’t tell the one I like the most between them!

This is it for my 2016 Awards! Did you agree with some of them? Which ones would you change? Let me know in the comments! _apple__by_ebonred-d51uswt

2016 Books Statistics Survey

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Hello everyone! Let’s see how my 2016 went in terms of reading!
In 2014 Brittany from The Book Addict’s Guide and Andi from Andi’s ABC came up with their first annual Statistics Survey, inspired by Jamie of The Perpetual Page Turner. They brought it back once again in 2016 and I’m ready to do it now!

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  • Number of books read…
    • Under 250 pages (not including novellas): 8, counting Goosebumps. If they don’t count, only one.
    • Between 400-449 pages: 3
    • Between 450-499 pages: 2
    • Over 500 pages: 12
    • Over 1000 pages: 0
  • Number of…
    • Audiobooks: 0 (don’t usually read audiobooks)
    • Re-reads: 7
    • DNFs (did not finish): 0 (yay)
  • Number of books rated…
    • Five Stars: 22
    • One/Two Stars: 2 two stars
  • Number of authors met in 2016: 0
  • Number of book events attended in 2016: 0 (actually I don’t know about any book event near my town)
  • Number of books you read in one day: I don’t know actually. I binge-read a lot of Goosebumps this year since I had them on my Kindle. Excluding them, since the other books were pretty big, I’d say 1 for sure (I did it for my readathons), maybe two.
  • Number of books that made you cry: Usually I don’t cry while reading, but if I’m not mistaken 2 or 3 books got me teary-eyed.
  • Number of 2017 books you have on pre-order: 0 (I don’t usually preorder tumblr_inline_mto5g32IQF1qid2nw)

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  • Book read furthest away from home (vacation reads?): Uhh, Anne of Green Gables. I was in vacation near Switzerland.
  • Book that took you the longest to read: Well… Gone with the Wind? I guess. Since I stopped midway to join the Make Me Read it Readathon and I picked it up again like three months later…
  • Book that you personally connected with the most: None on a personal level.
  • Book that made you love the villain: I re-read Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and in that book there’s a great part about Tom Riddle which I think it helps understanding him a bit more.
  • Book you said you’d come back to but still haven’t picked up again: In 2015 I didn’t finish Madame Bovary because there were some pages missing. I wanted to find those pages and pick up the book again but I still haven’t done so.
  • Book you read waaaay before it’s publication date: None, I think.
  • Book you read on your birthday: None I think, since I was busy with my friends all day! I think I was reading one of Anne of Green Gables novels at that time.
  • Book with a character who shares your name: None, but I share a nick-name with Melinda from Gone with the Wind (Melly)!
  • Book you weren’t entirely truthful about when rating (Fluff up any ratings? Rated even though you didn’t finish?): Harry Potter and the Cursed Child I think, since I gave it 5 stars only because it’s a Harry Potter book. It obviously isn’t on the same level of the other books in the saga.
  • Book you read in 2016 but already want to re-read: None at the moment, but I might re-read something if I pick the sequel too late.
  • Book you borrowed from a friend a long time ago and still have: None I think, I usually give back books right away, because I hate it when other people don’t return my books.
  • Book you wish you could go back and read for the first time again: Any of the Harry Potter books I re-read this year.
  • Most books read by one author this year: R.L. Stine, but I don’t know exactly how many, 9 at least.

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  • Happiest & saddest: Happiest – Anne of Windy Poplars; Saddest – Gone with the Wind (I didn’t read anything really happy or sad this year, everything is so… sadly hopeful?)
  • Longest & shortest…
  • Best & worst…
  • First & last…
    • Reads of 2016: First – Roots; Last – Un Nuovo Regno
    • Books on your bookcase (1st book on the top left and last book on the bottom right): I don’t have a bookcase right now
  • Most disappointing & biggest pleasant surprise: Disappointing – The Grove; Pleasant surprise – Roots
  • Fandom you joined & one you abandoned: None?
  • Series you picked up & series you quit: I picked up Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children and I’m not going to quit anything!
  • Most lenient & harshest ratings: Lenient – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child; Harshest – Allegiant
  • Most hyped & furthest under the radar that you read: Most hyped – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child! Furthest under the radar – quite a lot actually!

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  • Book you read that is red: Il mio angelo segreto
  • Starts with X, Y, or Z: None
  • Book you hugged when you finished it: I can’t remember, but I definitely did that!
  • Book you wanted to throw across a room: Insurgent and Allegiant.
  • Food you craved while/after reading a certain book: Nothing in particular
  • Book that became an instant go-to recommendation: Kafka on the Shore
  • Furthest out of your comfort zone: None, I decided to stay in my comfort zone the whole year.
  • Read on a recommendation (that you may not have picked up yourself): Roots, recommended by my mother
  • Forced yourself to finish: The Grove (thankfully it was short!)
  • Series or author’s works you binged (whether all at once or throughout the year): R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps; I was in need of something easy to read

blogginglife

The Christmas Song Book Tag

Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog!

It’s been a while! I pretty much gave up on frequent updates and I was just thinking about posting something once in a while when Angie tagged me! Thank you so so much, I think this is the first time someone tags me? I’m not 100% sure because I didn’t get any notifications, luckily I’m following her Blogmas/Blogcember!

Well, time to switch Christmas mode on! To check out Angie’s answers, click here~

1. You’re a Mean One Mr.Grinch : Name a villainous character you couldn’t help but love
This might be a bit weird, but I’d say Tom Riddle. We were able to know so much about him during the 6th book that I feel some kind of bond with him. Well, maybe saying he is a character I LOVE is a bit too much, but I think he is the only legit villain I don’t simply hate.

2. All I Want for Christmas is You : Which book do you most hope to see under your Christmas tree?
I would be happy with anything, really. But I don’t think I will receive any book at all tumblr_m7gk4gyuEK1r86b3d I would be super happy if I get Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard because I want to read it so badly! I would also be happy with a Murakami novel, because I really like his style of writing and I would love to read more from him!

3. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer : Name a character that overcomes major obstacles and learns to believe in themselves.
This is a tough question. I can’t come up with a name right away. Uhm… Maybe Tris (Divergent) would fit. Born into Abnegation, she chose Dauntless and she faced a lot of obstacles due to it. She had to learn to believe in herself and acknowledge her strengths to be able to fit in the faction she chose.

4. Santa Claus is Coming to Town : a) Which character do you think would be on the top of the naughty list?
b) Which character do you think would be at the top of the nice list?
Actually, I have quite a number of names for the naughty list 8D But at the top of the list there would be for sure Professor Umbridge, and I don’t think I have to explain myself! As for the nice list, I think fairy tales and children classics main characters cannot be beaten! If I have to say a name, I’d go with Beth March (Little Women). She’s such a nice and caring girl!

5. Frosty the Snowman : Which book just melts your heart?
Pollyanna. She’s such a sweet girl, you can’t help but love her. This novel was able to teach me a lot and made me feel so happy and grateful about my life.

6. Feliz Navidad : Choose a book that takes place in a country other than your own.
I live in Italy, so almost every book I read is set in a country different from my own. I’m going to stick to the Christmas theme and say A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, which is set in England.

7. It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year : Which holiday themed book do you use to spread Christmas joy?
I haven’t read much set during Christmas, so I’ll go with Little Women. I think this novel might teach people to be selfless and grateful and might remind everyone of the importance of family. Maybe it may help you living a different, more valuable Christmas.

8. Sleigh Ride : Which fictional character would you choose to spend the holidays with? (Doesn’t have to be a love interest)
Hermione Granger! I would love to spend the holidays with her! We would chat for hours, sing and spend the time reading on the sofa, with a hot chocolate and a warm blanket!

9. Baby it’s Cold Outside : Which book that you didn’t like would you sacrifice to a fire to warm yourself up in the cold?
I would never actually do that obviously, because I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself, but I wouldn’t feel any regret sacrificing The Grove by John Rector.

10. Do you hear what I hear : Which book do you think everyone should read?
Maybe it’s a bit obvious coming by myself, but… The Harry Potter series! I’ll never be tired of recommending it to everyone!

That’s it! I’m just going to tag everyone who wants to do this tumblr_inline_mjs1ks9CPX1qdlkyg See you next time!

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