a trip to my home country: my favorite time of the year!

myhomecountry

Hello, friends!

I’m sorry that all of my posts have been starting out with an apology, including this one. It’s just that, truly, life has been chaotic lately. I’ve announced before that I have now kind of a side-job that has been taking a lot of time; plus all the school work that comes with the end of a semester; and I’ve also decided to plan a surprise party for one of my best friends, so to say I have my hands full is an understatement.

Because of that, I haven’t been reading at all and I’ve also been pretty absent here too. I also apologize if I’m not able to get to everyone’s previous posts, but I’ll try my best!

However, this post is not only to talk about the fact I’m incredibly overwhelmed with life. It is actually time to discuss my favorite time of the year, aka: FESTA JUNINA SEASON.

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How do I even begin to explain festa junina?

During the months of June and July, my country celebrates “Saints Season“. A lot of Catholic saints are celebrated during this time of the year, including Saint John the Baptist, Saint Anthony and Saint Peter. And since Brazil is a predominantly Catholic country, a lot of parties happen all around.

Originally, Festa Junina was a celebration that happened on the countryside, and around churches. People ate traditional food and got around the bonfire to sing and dance. Throughout the years, though, the party has changed a lot, but some things remain the same.

Not only Catholic churches celebrate Festa Junina. Most schools do as well, and it’s now considered a time of the year where you can gather around with your community, so it can happen literally anywhere – even in someone else’s backyard.

IMG_0666 2The food is mostly traditional, but it’s just a pack of delicious street food all around. My favorite one is definitely tempura. It’s actually a Japanese dish, but it’s absolutely delicious and commonly served during Festa Juninas. I know this one doesn’t look that appetizing, but I swear it’s delicious, especially when it comes with shrimp.

Because Festa Juninas originated and were more popular in the countryside, it is a tradition to dress alike and play country songs. We mostly see kids going around in plaid shirts, high waisted jeans and boots. There’s a lot of sertanejo playing in the background too.

Bonfires are not that common anymore, though, but because it happens during Winter for us, there are a lot of hot foods and beverages to make us feel warm, since most of the parties happen outside.

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But why do I love it so much? Simply because the food is delicious. I am obsessed with street food and it’s literally everything I can want in one place. Plus, it’s always nice to be surrounded by your community. These photos I took were from the Festa Junina happening in my high school, which I am no longer enrolled at, but I was able to go and see a lot of my old friends and teachers.

Overall, I like festa junina more than I like Christmas or any other celebration, to be honest. It’s truly my favorite time of the year.

Now, please, share down in the comments: what’s your favorite time of the year? And which celebrations only happen in your country? I’d love to know!

 

Anúncios

the harry potter book tag!

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Hello, friends!

Today, I’ll be answering the Harry Potter Book Tag. I was tagged for this one by the lovely Zoie @ Whisked Away By Words, which is by the way the nicest blog title ever – and she’s super nice too, which is fitting.

This tag was created by Trang and Lashaan @ Bokidote, whom I’m very thankful for spending such a long time gathering all these spell names and creating the graphics!

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A BOOK YOU FOUND THE THEME INTERESTING, BUT YOU’D LIKE TO REWRITE IT.

Man, is it bad that I’m already going for a MAJORLY CONTROVERSIAL START?

But I’ll have to answer RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE, BY CASEY MCQUINSTON. I know, I know.

Probably many of you are screaming at your computer right now, saying: “HOW DARE this girl think she can re-write this already perfect book?”. But we just didn’t click at all.

Casey McQuinston’s writing style is quite descriptive, with very long paragraphs and humongous chapters. I much prefer my contemporaries short and sweet and dynamic, full of dialogues, preferably. I really liked the premise and I overall appreciate what the book was trying to do, but I had such a hard time getting through it.

alohomora

THE FIRST BOOK IN A SERIES THAT GOT YOU HOOKED.

TRULY DEVIOUS, BY MAUREEN JOHNSON was a *good* first book in a series.

Even though it’s been a while since I last read it, it’s a book I think about frequently. I really like the characters and the setting and the overall writing style, even if it was hard for me to get into it at first.

(Actually, I just learned recently that it is being translated to Portuguese, which means that I overused my last two brain cells trying to read this in English when I could’ve just waited a couple more months. That’s nice).

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A BOOK YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE RIGHT NOW.

I think about JACKPOT, BY NIC STONE approximately 5 times a day. I just need that book so bad.

I’ve recently established Nic Stone as one of my favorite authors and the premise for her most recent release just sounds SO GOOD. I’m so ready.

avadakedavra

A KILLER BOOK. BOTH SENSES. TAKE IT AS YOU LIKE.

I love this question.

VICIOUS, BY V.E. SCHWAB was pretty much both. It was killer, in the sense that it was one of the best written books I’ve ever read; and also there were quite a lot of deaths going on too. It was a great time.

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A BOOK THAT YOU FOUND REALLY CONFUSING.

Every time I think about confusing books, I can only picture THE SQUARE ROOT OF SUMMER, BY HARRIET REUTER HAPGOOD.

There were some things to like about that book: the family relationships were nice and I liked the main character. But a lot of the book had to do with physics and wormholes and time-travel, but not really, and I was just a big ball of ?????????? throughout the whole read.

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YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL BOOK.

(This is my favorite spell, by the way!)

I mean, ARI & DANTE is the type of book that is everything I’ve ever wanted to be and everything I already am just put together, so is there any other possible answer for this one?

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A DARK TWISTED BOOK.

Time to bring back and old favorite: THE DREAM THIEVES, BY MAGGIE STIEFVATER.

I still haven’t re-read this one this year, which is a crime that needs to be fixed soon. It’s one of my favorite books ever, but most of it is about stealing things, and dreaming, and getting high, and being bad.

It’s SO. MUCH. FUN.

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A BOOK THAT SURPRISED YOU IN A GREAT WAY, REVEALS TO BE MORE THAN IT IS.

A recent book that surprised me a lot was THE BRIDE TEST, BY HELEN HOANG, that turned out to be a lot more than just a romance novel.

When I first picked it up, I was just looking for a great and steamy time, but Helen Hoang punched me in the face several times. It discusses identity, immigration, family and feelings so well. I was so pleased that this turned out to be a lot more than I thought.

 

Friends, that was the tag! But, since it is a Harry Potter tag and I feel like I haven’t even talked that much about Harry Potter itself, let’s chat:

What’s your Hogwarts House? (I’m a Slytherclaw, because I can’t choose). Who’s your favorite character? (I love Cedric Diggory and Dumbledore the most). What’s your favorite book and movie? (Prisoner of Azkaban – Goblet of Fire). Let me know your answers in the comments!

 

my favorite & least favorite romantic tropes

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Hello, fellow bloggers! And Happy Brazilian Valentine’s Day!

In Brazil, we actually celebrate Valentine’s Day in June 12th! It’s the eve for Saint Anthony’s Day. My country is very catholic, and therefore we celebrate a lot of saints during this time of the year. But the reason why we associate Valentine’s Day with Saint Anthony is because he’s considered the saint of marriage, as he’s reconciled a lot of couples in legends.

In honor of the fact that we’re celebrating Valentine’s Day here today, I want to share my five favorite & least-favorite romantic tropes in fiction.

Let’s get started!

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STAR CROSSED LOVERS

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I live for a good and old Romeo & Juliet trope. This is my type of angst, really. I love the idea of two people loving each other but having the world work against them; stopping them from being together. It honestly sets the best romantic storylines, but most importantly, the most beautiful dialogues.

“These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triump die, like fire and powder
Which, as they kiss, consume”

I do understand not everyone is into this trope. It’s kind of overdramatic, but what is to love about fiction if it’s not overdramatic? This is not the type of love you’ll see anywhere but in a novel or a big screen, and I find it entertaining AF.


FAKE-DATING

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The Proposal is the best rom-com with the fake-dating trope. That’s it.

Ohhh, the good and old fake-dating. “Let’s pretend we’re boyfriend and girlfriend” and then also pretend that we’re not clearly falling in love with each other for real.

Peter Kavinsky & Lara Jean, from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, is the #1 bookish example for this trope. And probably my only one too! I have read The Wedding Date, by Jasmine Guillory, but the fake-dating didn’t last for long enough to satisfy my *needs*. I really want to read as many books with this trope as I can. For me, it never gets old.


FRIENDS TO LOVERS

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Friends to lovers is soooooo superior to enemies to lovers. Don’t @ me.

Growing up, I’ve always dreamt about these types of relationships. (Granted, growing up, I also didn’t know much about what it was like *being* in a relationship). Nonetheless, I always thought that relationships that start as friendships are always so much more comfortable. You already know the other person so well.

Ari & Dante are my babies for this trope. They grow up together, and slowly find their way back to each other.


“IT’S JUST CASUAL”

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Fun fact about me: my favorite fictional couple of all times, the one with the true crown, is the one from the gif above – Mickey & Ian, from Shameless US. I’ve never even watched the show in its entirety, only *their* scenes for about 5 years, which I think shows my commitment.

ANYWAY. I love their banter, because they like to pretend they’re just casual sex buddies. They have nothing more than that. Needless to say, they’re absolutely in love with each other.

I think this is sort of a friends-with-benefits trope, but it’s so hard to find good ones these days? I think most are either way too sex-centered or just don’t give me any feels at all (hello, No Strings Attached). Nonetheless, I still like to believe I can find more from this trope that will finally get in Gallavich’s level for me.


POOR GUY/RICH GIRL

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This is a very specific trope, but boy, if it doesn’t work for me every time.

When I first found Korean Dramas, I’d mostly find poor girl/rich guy narratives. And I really, really don’t vibe with those. There’s something about my feminist side that just can’t stand how the girl has to be constantly inferior, even in her financial situation, which kinda makes the guy this hero that will save her from all her worries. Uh, no, thanks.

The poor guy/rich girl, though, gives me just my type of favorite dynamic. The guy is typically full of pride, and doesn’t want to take the girl’s help. They have a lot of angst. It’s glorious, truly.

Kestrel and Arin, from The Winner’s Trilogy along with Aspen and America, from The Selection series are some of my favorites from this trope. (Adam/anyone in the Raven Cycle is also pretty much this trope in a nutshell and it’s amazing).

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YOU BELONG WITH ME

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I don’t know what else to call this trope. It’s basically centered around the one nerdy-weird character, that “wears sneakers” and “sits on the bleachers”, dreaming about the day when their love interest will wake up and find that what they’ve been looking for has been here this whole time.

It also typically involves the “cheerleader” with “high heels” that just “doesn’t get your humor like I do”.

Now, as you can *clearly* tell: I freaking love You Belong With Me. My biggest dream is to sing this song off the top of my lungs to a whole crowd. It’s my karaoke go-to. But when it’s taken seriously in a book or show, it makes me want to pierce my eyes with a fork.

Stiles and Lydia, from Teen Wolf, are the best example of it. Probably one of the many reasons why I can’t stand them.


HATE TO LOVE

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Even though I’m not a fan of this trope – at all -, I do recognize some couples that work well with it. But my problem with hate to love or enemies to lovers or whatever you want to call it is that it exhausts me by page 2.

I know that typically people adore this type of banter. It’s the “will they, won’t they” that makes the story entertaining. But it’s also with this trope that comes a lot of toxic behavior, unrealistic attraction, etc.

Ron & Hermione weren’t exactly enemies when they met, but they certainly weren’t the best of friends either. And I just really can’t stand the idea that if a guy treats you poorly, he’s actually in love with you. Or that you can’t really hate a person, otherwise it means you’re secretly falling for them. Ew.


ALL OVER EACH OTHER

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As much as I enjoy reading romance, I just can’t stand when that is everything the characters live for. They need to have a personality and a life before they have a love interest.

I also hate when the relationship takes up pretty much everything that these characters live for. The friendships they used to have, the things they used to do, it pretty much vanishes as soon as they find their significant others. Like? How?

It’s so beyond unrealistic and quite unhealthy as well. There’s more to life than romantic relationships, friends. Just stop.

Jason and Piper, from the Heroes of Olympus series, were that annoying couple that people consider a unit because they never let go of each other and can not shut up about how the other looks good or how much they like them. It was unbearable going through their POVs when reading this series.


IRRESPONSIBLE LOVERS

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This trope is the reason as to why I hate teenagers. I don’t even care that I’m technically one of them.

The things teenagers do believing that “they’re in love” is frankly ridiculous. I feel like there’s a very important line and I’m so bothered when it’s crossed. Like, your health is definitely more important than a guy in a cute hairstyle, but you know, go off.

I also hate when the main couple decides to do something reckless together and then, when it backfires, take no responsibility for it. That’s probably why I hated Isla and the Happily Ever After, by Stephanie Perkins so much. The characters just make the dumbest decisions ever but do not owe up to them. My eyes hurt from rolling so much.


INSTA-LOVE

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I’m really sorry, all your Notting Hill fans out there.

I don’t even feel like I need to explain much about this trope, because we all find it annoying. It takes all the fun out of the book.

My favorite thing when reading or watching a romance is to see how the characters will fall in love. To follow how they get to know more about each other, to feel the sexual tension as they’re getting closer and closer, but still not quite there. It’s the magic behind a romance after all.

But if by chapter 10, they’re already kissing; and by chapter 15, they’re already saying ‘I love you’, then this was all fun and no play and I can’t accept that.

I Have Lost My Way, by Gayle Forman, sadly gave me all the insta-love & insta-friendship vibes and I was not happy about that at all.

Friends! Now it’s your turn to let me know: which are your favorite & least-favorite tropes? Do you agree with my choices? Have you got any recommendations for me? And, most importantly, what’s your favorite rom-com? Let’s chat in the comments!

discussion: how do you use goodreads?

discussions

Hello, fellow bloggers!

Once again, I apologize for the fact I’ve been a mess lately. I’m taking the weekend to write blog posts, reply to comments and blog hop, so hopefully you guys don’t mind if you see my face popping up on two-week old posts, because, as I’ve stated before, I am a mess.

Because of that, I felt like it was the perfect opportunity to share about how do I use Goodreads and discuss with you guys more about it as well. You’ll soon learn that, much like every other aspect of my life, my presence there is also messy af.

Goodreads is this online platform where you can track all the books you’ve read, give them ratings, organize them by shelves, see other people’s comments about it and so on and so forth. By the way, you can follow me there if you want *shameless self promo*.

As for how I use my Goodreads:

1. I track all the books I’ve read, but not necessarily the time it took me to finish them.

I can not understand only adding books to your Goodreads *a month* after you’ve read them. Like, no. I read books solely so I can see the little bar on my Reading Challenge move. That is my source of motivation.

I will say, though, that I do not add books as soon as I start reading them, so the time it takes me to finish a book is definitely a loooot longer than typically showed in my Gooderads. I’ve been trying to better about it this year, but I almost always forget to add the day I start a book.

2. My TBR shelf is a mess

I do not use my TBR shelf as an actual TBR shelf at all. I don’t know why I’m like this, honestly. But the Goodreads interface is not the most user-friendly and so I’d much rather have phone-notes on the books I want to read, other than adding it to a shelf.

There are books on my TBR which I owe physically, others I don’t. There are books I owe physically and haven’t added there yet.

So, yeah, it’s pretty much a mess, much like my life.

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3. I do have different shelves for different genres and representations

I’ve only done this recently, but it’s been a life-saver. If I’m writing a recommendations post under a specific genre or rep, I can just go for that specific shelf and see all the books I’ve already read that could go for that post.

Since I’ve been tracking how diversely I’m reading this year, this also has come in handy. I’m tracking it in a separate notebook I have, but I’ve been using these shelves a lot, just in case I forget the specifics for each book.

4. I do not write lengthy reviews for every book I read

I know! Probably the biggest crime of having a Goodreads account is not writing reviews, but I just don’t care that much.

I’d much rather white a lengthy review for my blog, where I feel more comfortable sharing my thoughts and being able to format the way I want to. Also, the response on my blog is much better than it would ever be on Goodreads, so I’d much rather share it here than anywhere else.

I do write one-sentence thoughts for each book I read, but that’s about it. I end up always going deeper in my monthly wrap-ups anyway, so I don’t worry that much.

Plus, I don’t think every book deserves a lengthy review. Sometimes, it was just mediocre, and I don’t have that many thoughts on it, so I don’t stress trying to find words for something I don’t even want to talk about on the first place.

I do appreciate Goodreads reviews, though! Every time I’m interested in a book, I end up reading some reviews and especially after I’ve read it, I always look at people’s thoughts and see how we agree or disagree. I just don’t have the same level of diligence, truly.

5. I do have a Goodreads challenge – and this may be the first year I’m closer to achieving it

I know many people do not have Goodreads challenges and don’t care about them, which I do not judge at all. Last year, I didn’t set a number for the challenge either, and it was freeing in a great way.

This year, though, I wanted to work my motivation and aim for something that was high for my previous standards, but still achievable, which is why I chose 40 books as my initial challenge.

We’re halfway through the year, and I’m 70% into it already. It makes me super happy to know I’m much closer to achieving it than I’ve ever been before.

I’m 11 books ahead on the challenge, where in previous years, I’ve only been around two books ahead and probably many behind.

Despise being close, I do not think I’ll be raising the number. I don’t want to get overconfident and ruin it by the end of the year, so I’ll just stick with 40 and see where I can go from there.

 

That is all I wanted to share with you today. Now, I ask for you guys to continue the discussion in the comments: how do you use Goodreads? Do you write reviews there or in your blog only? How do you shelf your books? Do you use the challenge feature and how close are you to achieving your goal? Let me know! 😌

monthly wrap up: may, ’19

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Hello, friends!

I feel like I need to start this post by apologizing for my lack of interaction this month. I still have a lot (a lot) of blog posts to get to, so excuse me if you see a comment by yours truly in a post that is already two weeks old. College hasn’t been treating me well and my side job has been taking a lot of my time lately, plus all the reading & writing I’ve been doing.

Hopefully, by the second week of June, I’ll have sorted things out and will be able to get back on commenting & blog-hopping as usual.

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. I went to my first ever student march! Last year, a lot of marches happened in the US, such as the Women’s March and even the Students March as a result of school shootings. In my country, though, the protests happened for a different reason. Basically, our government has cut investments for our public universities, with the excuse that “students are just there to party and do nothing else”. Literally. (Our president is so stupid is laughable). As a public university student, I felt the need to be there. It was pretty crowded and it was quite scary, but I’m still overall very glad I was able to go.
  2. I finally watched Aladdin and I’m in love with it. I’ve even added the soundtrack to my monthly playlist for June already. Aladdin has always been one of my favorite animations, and I was very much looking forward to it. Despise the controversy when the casting was first released, I think it’s truly worth watching. Will Smith is amazing as the Genie, and by far my favorite character. I also loved Mena Massoud as Aladdin; he was the perfect balance between charming and awkward, lol. I’d 10/10 recommend it if you like the animation as well!

WHAT I READ

All the books I read this month (except for one) talk about mental health issues in some way, in honor of May being Mental Health Awareness Month.

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★★☆☆☆

First book completed this month was I Have Lost My Way, by Gayle Forman, which deals with depression. I re-read Where She Went by the same author earlier this year and I was excited to catch up with her most recent release. And, typically, I’d trust Gayle Forman with books set in one day. She’s still able to write three-dimensional characters and flesh out relationships, but not in this one. I really didn’t like how quickly the connection between these characters was formed, especially considering how little they knew about each other. Nathaniel, especially, was a character who had about two lines throughout the book, and yet Freya was falling head over heels for him. Harun was the only one whom I truly sympathized with and I definitely wish he wasn’t so much of a third-wheel. I still recommend the audiobook, though, especially because you get to listen to a song that is very important for the narrative and the full cast makes it super dynamic.

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★★★★☆

My re-read for May was A List of Cages, by Robin Roe, that has ADHD rep. I wanted to re-read this and take my time, since I read it in one sitting the first time around. I also took the chance to highlight some of my favorite quotes and really appreciate the writing. I still find that this book has some minor plot holes and things that fall too conveniently into place, but it’s a beautiful story nonetheless. Adam is, by far, one of my favorite characters in the world and I just wish he could be turned into a real person so we could be best friends. Julian is a sweetheart too and his relationship with Charlie never fails to break my heart and put me back together. Despise this book’s problems, I’d still recommend it to everyone I know.

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★★★★☆

Then, I was craving desperately some romance, and I thought it was the perfect timing to pick up The Bride Test, by Helen Hoang that came out this May, 7th. I thought it was okay to make an exception for my themed month, because this book still has a lot of great representation, with two Vietnamese leads & an autistic main character. Overall, I enjoyed this book much more than I enjoyed The Kiss Quotient. It was refreshing, because Khai’s character takes some time to understand his own way to cope with feelings, and I wasn’t exhausted of the miscommunication like with Hoang’s previous book. I also found Esme to be such a powerful main character; she was badass and hardworking, and definitely not your typical protagonist, but that’s exactly what made her so endearing to read. (The author’s note at the end!!!!!!) I still hate having to read romance and especially sex scenes from a male perspective, so if you have any romance books recommendations that are written from one perspective only, let me know!

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★★☆☆☆

I also finally picked up Eliza & Her Monsters, by Francesca Zappia, that includes anxiety and selective mutism rep. This book was sort of a ride. I didn’t connect to it at all at first and was so frustrated because of that. Eliza was desperate to be edgy, in that “I don’t fit in but I don’t want to fit in” kinda way that I find so annoying and trope-y. Her parents were very understanding & supportive and she still complained about them 24/7. Even though she grows and learns, I still feel like the book could’ve gone further in showing how her behavior was unacceptable. Her relationship with Wallace also got borderline abusive and manipulative at the end and it was a no-no for me. I also did not connect to the fandom aspect of the story as much as I thought I would. I was excited to fall in love with Monstrous Sea as much as I loved Carry On, when reading Fangirl, but I didn’t understand the plot for that series *at all* and I was very much let down. Even though this was not a horrible book, I’d still take it as a disappointment.

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★★★★☆

At least, my expectations were met with Darius The Great is Not Okay, by Adib Khorram. This one has depression and Persian rep. I loved so many things about this book. First and foremost, the whole talk on identity was so remarkable and I’m pretty sure will touch a lot of people out there. I also loved the friendship element; Sohrab and Darius had the purest of the relationships and it was very heart-warming. The one thing that stood out the most for me was definitely the family aspect. Darius’ relationship with his father mirrored a lot my relationship with my own father and I was already in tears only 20% into the book. Also, the whole talk on body-image was so important! I have yet to read more books with fat MC, but this one made me feel everything. Even though this book deals with a lot of different topics, it never once felt like it was *trying too hard*. Instead, it felt like a very natural way to tell this story, and I’m just so so so happy that I’ve read this. (ALL THE STAR-TREK REFERENCES!!!!!!!!!)

The last book I was able to finish for the month of May was Challenger Deep, by Neal Shusterman, with schizophrenia rep. The book doesn’t actually label the character’s feeling, but it is mentioned to be within the schizo-spectrum. This book was so smart and well done. It was able to, through the writing, show you what it was like inside Caden’s head, in a way I had never seen before. This being a first person novel felt like a true personal ride down the mental illness hole. I also learned that Caden (our main character) was very much inspired off of the author’s son, who also deals with similar disorders, and the book has exclusive illustrations made by him when he was first diagnosed at the age of 15. Because of that close experience, I think the book was able to handle the subject in a very personal and realistic matter, and it was truly heart-wrenching.

Currently, I am reading The Weight of Our Sky, by Hanna Alkaf, that has OCD and anxiety rep. I’ll carry on this read to the month of June and talk to you guys about it in my next monthly wrap up.

ON THE BLOG

MONTHLY PLAYLIST

My May playlist has been sort of a weird ride. Even though there are some great artists I’m glad to have found out, such as Wallows and Rex Orange County, I still didn’t feel as inclined to listen to it in a regular basis, as I did with my previous playlists. I still think it’s a fun one, if you want to give it a listen. And I’d highly recommend Wallows, by the way!

LOOKING FORWARD

June is Pride Month so I obviously have plans to read all them queer books. There are a couple I’m super excited to get to, such as Red, White & Royal Blue and A Song of Achilles, because people have been talking non-stop about these two titles and the reviews are all incredibly positive. Hopefully, I’ll love these two just as much as everyone else.

I’m also excited because June is a birthday month for a lot of people close to me. And the day this post comes out is also Champion’s League final and I don’t know why I’ve been anticipating this so much, but I low key am, lol. (GO, LIVERPOOL!)

Let me know in the comments: how was May for you? And what are you’re mostly looking forward to in June? Are you doing any themed reads for Pride Month? And if you care for soccer at all, are you excited for the match?

book review: eliza and her monsters, by francesca zappia

IMG_0435Her story is a phenomenon. Her life is a disaster.

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, she’s LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves the online one, and she has no desire to try.

Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea’s biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and as he draws her out of her shell, she begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile.

But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart.

Eliza and Her Monsters was an incredibly hyped book. Absolutely everyone in my Goodreads feed has given this book either 4 or 5 stars. As a book that has been compared many times to Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell, which I love, I definitely had very high expectations. And I feel like I was ultimately let down.

Perhaps, having this book not be so hyped, I’d have let some things slide. But I was anticipating a perfect novel, one in which I’d fall in love with the characters almost instantly and relate to it a lot. This wasn’t what happened at all, but let’s discuss it here.

COISAS BOAS

  1. Fandom positivity! I love when I can read books that talk about fandom in such a nice and positive matter. Growing up as a fangirl and having it be such a big part of my life, I’m always happy to see it being discussed in books. The entire world around Monstrous Sea was very interesting to read about; how people memorized specific quotes and cosplayed as their favorite characters. It was all fascinating and super relatable.
  2. The way it talked about being a content creator with anxiety. I feel like, especially at this age, where anyone can have a public online life and share it with others, it’s a very important topic to be discussed. I’m sure many people, being bloggers or YouTubers or Instagrammers feel the pressure to post more, keep their relevance and the relationship with their audience. I’m sure it can be very overwhelming. I’m glad people will be represented in this one and feel connected to this aspect of our MC.
  3. Eliza eventually grows, thank God. As you’ll see by the end of this review, I had a very hard time connecting with Eliza. But I do need to acknowledge her growth. She starts out the book being quite selfish, but ends up being confronted with a much harder narrative than hers, in a way that she grows to be more grateful. Her development on her anxiety was impressive too and I think it can be a very hopeful story for people who relate to her on this level.

COISAS RUINS

  1. Eliza trying too hard to be edgy. I swear to God, there’s a line in this book that actually goes: “I have no friends. But that’s okay, I don’t want to be friends with these people anyway”. It was giving me Jughead vibes, with that whole scene: “I’m weird. I’m a weirdo. I don’t fit in. And I don’t want to fit in”. Ugh. Having no friends it’s not fun and definitely says more about who you are as a person rather than about your entire class. It would be understandable if Eliza acknowledged that she had a hard time making friends because of her anxiety or shyness, not because she felt like she was a special snowflake misunderstood by society. This trope should’ve died in 2010. Resultado de imagem para jughead i'm weird gif
  2. The family relationship. If you know anything about me, you know I die for great family dynamics in YA books. But this one was so messy. Eliza’s parents were truly just trying their best. Their daughter did not communicate with them and so they were just trying to understand her in the best of their abilities. It’s not easy, obviously, but it still bothered me so much how the book tried to paint them as villains for trying to take Eliza out of her room. She kept complaining about them when they were actually very nice parents. The fact that there was no proper apology at the end just bothered the heck out of me.
  3. Wallace and Eliza’s relationship by the end. I was feeling pretty neutral about Wallace and Eliza’s relationship, but by the end, they were just giving me very weird feelings. No spoilers at all, but it felt incredibly manipulative, from both sides. It was borderline abusive at some point, and I did not vibe with it at all.

  4. I didn’t care for Monstrous Sea at all. Because this book was compared to Fangirl so much, I was anticipating to fall in love with the fandom as much as I cared for Simon Snow, for example. But the thing is: I didn’t understand Monstrous Sea. The plot was very complex, there were so many characters and I was just lost completely. By the end, I was even skipping the chapters from Monstrous Sea, because I knew they weren’t adding to my understanding of it at all. It was quite disappointing, because I always love the idea of falling in love with two stories at once.

IMG_0438Despise my hard feelings, I can still understand why people like this book. As I mentioned above, it talked about anxiety very well. I truly felt Eliza’s struggles, especially towards writing the ending of her story and producing more content. I think for other artists dealing with anxiety, this book will be very important.

But, still, I was very much let down by this one. I didn’t expect to dislike it as much as I did, so I’m reluctant in sharing this review, but it didn’t feel right hiding my opinions just because they’re unpopular.

2 ESTRELAS

I know many of you love this book, so I hope there’s no bad feelings after reading this review, lol. Let’s discuss in the comments! 😊

top 5: female authors

top5

Hello, fellow bloggers!

One remarkable trait of mine is that I tend to care a lot for male characters. I don’t know why, but I’m more drawn to them than by female ones and I feel like, sometimes, I am only talking about men in my blog. Even if they’re fictional men. And I am not really about that.

So, I decided to finally share my favorite *female* authors and soon a female characters list too. Basically, let’s have me hyping up all the amazing women in the bookish world who deserve so much more.

ONE. RAINBOW ROWELL

Imagem relacionadaHa. We’re already going for a controversial start.

Now, honestly, I adore Rainbow Rowell. Don’t take that as personal offense if you don’t. I know she has released problematic things in the past, but I still love all of her stuff with my whole heart. She wrote the first fat character I had ever read about in YA. Or at least the first fat character who was not there for a comic relief or as a bully. (I’m talking to you, J.K Rowling and Dudley Dursley).

I find she has one of the most unique writing voices ever. Considering she has YA and adult books, a fantasy one and contemporaries, it’s phenomenal to me that her voice pops in every single one of them. Her dialogues are also always hilarious and the way she describes romance tugs in my heart strings everytime.

(And she also taught me that Oklahoma is a state!)

TWO. NIC STONE

Resultado de imagem para nic stoneGranted, Nic Stone is still a new author, and has only released two books. But when I tell you that she’s an autobuy author and I’ll get whatever else she releases, I mean it.

Her writing style is phenomenal. So engaging and so fast-paced, like you’re just having a regular conversation at her kitchen’s table. And, yet, she’s able to intertwine all these powerful and important topics.

Dear Martin is one of my favorite books of all times, because despise being a super short-read, it holds a punch. There are a lot of meaningful discussions and hilarious dialogues too. The same goes for Odd One Out. While the book touches on sexuality in a very messy, but relatable way, the narrations were always funny and endearing.

I am SO excited for Jackpot. I simply can not wait to have this book in my hands.

THREE. STEPHANIE PERKINS

Imagem relacionadaGranted, my relationship with Stephanie Perkins has always been a bit of a hit or miss. We haven’t seen eye to eye in every single book, but I still know that I’ll buy any contemporary she releases in the future, because, deep down, I’m just her bitch.

I think my favorite trait in her writing is just how quirky it is. And not in like: “I’m desperate to be edgy” way, but just in an unique way I had never seen in YA before. Like, in Anna and the French Kiss, where Anna is taller than her boyfriend. Or how Lola wears colorful wigs depending on her mood. Her characters aren’t exactly relatable, but that’s okay.

I sometimes look at people around me and I label the ones who look like fictional characters. They’re typically the most different ones, with crazy hairstyles or funky shoes. I think standing out is very much a fictional character trait and I love how Stephanie Perkins writes the best ones.

(Plus, the way she describes sexual tension. Ugh. Always a great time).

FOUR. GAYLE FORMAN

Resultado de imagem para gayle formanGayle Forman and I have a similar relationship than the one before. We have our fall outs every now and then, but we’re still connected deep down. (Why has this post turned into me discussing my non-existent relationship with book authors? Jesus).

I think my favorite thing about Gayle Forman is that she likes writing about music a lot. And I love books about music. So, we’re pretty much the perfect match.

She also tends to write a lot about New York or amazing places I’ve never been to but desperately want to and I am always prepared for a solid great time with her. Plus, she’s one of the few people whose set-in-one-day books generally work for me. (Except for I Have Lost My Way. That was sort of a disappointment).

FIVE. MAGGIE STIEFVATER

Resultado de imagem para maggie stiefvaterImportant to note that even though I’m including all these authors in my favorites list, I know very little about their persona behind their books. Like, I am aware Maggie Stiefvater has a very big online presence and I’ve read some of the things she said and completely disagreed with, but I’m still adding her to this list because I love her books to death. It’s a problem. I don’t think she’s ever made any huge problematic statement, but let me know if that is the case, so I can re-think this list.

Obviously, The Raven Cycle series is a huge deal and I am thankful for this amazing world she created. I also have to acknowledge The Wolves of Mercy Falls, because even though this is not her most popular series, I still adore it. I’m always grateful for people who are writing about werewolves, because few are BRAVE ENOUGH.

Her characters are always torn and broken and probably went through something very traumatic that either made them the softest beans (Gansey, Noah, Sam) or snarky and rude badboys with a good heart beneath it all (Ronan, Cole). She also gave me the gift that is Joseph Kavinsky and I’ll never be able to repay that.

 

Yayyy! Those are all my choices for today. I am definitely a fan of Leigh Bardugo and Jenny Han as well, but I haven’t read as many books by them as I have by these other authors. Let me know in the comments some of your favorite female authors too! 💛

book tag: books i want to read but don’t want to read

booktag

Hello, friends!

Today, I’ll be answering this tag created by Jamieson @ JamiShelves. I was tagged by Laura @ Laura Herondale. Go check out her blog, because she’s amazing and super friendly and creative!

ONE. A book that you feel you need to read because everyone talks about it

31931941This excuse doesn’t really work for me, because if there’s something I love is ignoring what everyone else is doing. I am an Aquarius rising after all, so my need to be the odd one out is kinda alarming sometimes.

BUT, Eliza & Her Monsters has a lot of hype around the bookish community, even from people who are not fans of contemporaries and I definitely feel the need to read it. I will admit, though, I’ve already started the first chapter and Eliza already annoys the heck out of me, so… This shall be interesting.

 

TWO. A book that is really long.

38746485I’ll have to give this one to Becoming, by Michelle Obama. Now, the physical version isn’t really *that* long but the audiobook is NINETEEN hours long. 19 hours. It’s almost a whole day.

I already struggle through audiobooks that are 9h long, so add 10+ more to that and I’m likely to take about a month to listen to the entire thing. Which is why I’ve been putting it off so much, even if I’m desperate to read it because I’m Obama’s family biggest fan.

 

THREE. A book you’ve owned / had on your TBR for too long

6413788It seems like all the books I’ve had on my TBR the longest have already been read this year (YAY!), but Last Night I Sang To the Monster, by Benjamin Alire Saenz is still there.

I do hope to move it to my read shelf by the end of the year. I know I can trust Benjamin Alire Saenz to write the best and most heartbreaking stories and this is one of his backlist titles that interests me the most, so hopefully I’ll love it as much as I did with Ari & Dante.

(Plus, can we talk about how this book’s title is so incredibly creative and beautiful? Ugh).

FOUR. A book that is ‘required’ reading

18135Ha. I don’t do required readings, so I have absolutely none on my TBR. I am a rebel like that.

I didn’t do a single required read back in high school (okay, I did ONE!). I have never liked the idea of being forced to read something and most books didn’t have interesting plots at all. Most of the required reads we have back in high school are written by white dudes in the 1800s and somehow I’m supposed to relate to that, lol.

I am interested in picking up Romeo & Juliet, though, because apparently Shakespeare is the only white dude with ancient English I can stand.

FIVE. A book that intimidates you

39863498I really want to read The Gilded Wolves, but I am so intimdated! First: it’s a fantasy book. Second: I’ll only be able to read it in English. (And though I am confident on my English, I still struggle with any vocabulary beyond a YA contemporary). Third: it’s historical fiction too. My two brain cells are already struggling.

Plus, I’ve heard from people that it is quite confusing and it is only piling up the intimidating level.

 

SIX. A book that you think might be slow

34273236Little Fires Everywhere is a book that has been getting a lot of positive reviews, including ones from my country, so I am looking forward to picking it up. And, it touches on matters such as adoption and family, and you all know how that makes me feel.

However, it sounds very slow. I’ve heard reviews saying that it is a very slow-paced, character-driven story and I am not sure how to feel about that.

SEVEN. A book you need to be in the right mood for

37584991I definitely need to be in the right mood for romance, because I can be a mean b*tch. Just watch me as I roll my eyes to every straight couple that shows up in front of me. I am constantly existing between: “I love all ships and I’ll die watching rom-coms!” and “Straight people disgust me and I don’t know how they do it.” It’s hard being inside my head sometimes.

Therefore, I’ll have to find the right moment to read The Proposal, by Jasmine Guillory. I read the first book in this companion series and really liked Carlos, so I am excited to read this one and hopefully enjoy it more than The Wedding Date.

EIGHT. A book you’re unsure if you’ll like

37880094The Lady Guide’s to Petticoats and Piracy is one I am torn about already. I have read mixed reviews – some people love it, others hate it. I didn’t like Felicity‘s character in the first book, Gentleman’s Guide, so I wasn’t exactly looking forward to this one. But it does have asexuality rep, so I feel like it’s my *duty* to read & review it.

I’ll probably read it soon enough, since the audiobook is available on Scribd and I did like Mackenzi Lee’s writing style A LOT, but I don’t have high expectations for it whatsoever.

I loved answering this tag and sharing some of the intimidating books in my TBR. Let me know in the comments if you’ve read any of these books and what is your opinion on them and which other books you’re a bit scared about! (And, once again, thank you so much Laura for tagging me!) 😊

 

 

my favorite bookish names

top5

Hello, fellow bookworms!

I am very excited about today’s post, even if most of you are considering it very random. I first saw Xandra @ Starry Sky Books listing bookish names she’d give her children, and then recently Caitlin @ Caitlin Reads did it too. I thought it was just fitting if I did the same, because it’s always a great day to rave about names.

The fact I’m obsessed with names is definitely a little weird. Sometimes, I find myself creating plots in my head solely because I want to be able to name my characters. I don’t have kids or pets, so until now, I’ve only been able to name my phone – Baz – and my computer – Skandar.

And because we’ll spend a lot of time in this post talking about pronounciations, I just want to clarify that my name is pronounced as: lah.ees. It’s very hard for English native speakers to pronounce it, so everytime I went to Starbucks and fitting rooms in the US, I’d tell them my name is Lola or Violet or whatever I felt like. It’s less of a burden than trying to make them spell it right.

(I also apologize that this list is so full of male names. I do like more masculine and gender neutral names in general, so that’s probably why).

  1. ELIAS

I’ve mentioned this before SEVERAL times, but I love this name. Elias, from the Ember in the Ashes series definitely solidified my love, because he turns out to be a phenomenal character too.

There are two ways to pronounce this: as E-lee-yas (which is closer to the Portuguese pronounciation) and E-lai-yas. I kinda like both, to be honest. The second one is my favorite because then it works if I want ‘Eli‘ for short.

Elias is a very traditional name in my country, so I know a total of zero people who are named it. But then again, that’s the beauty of fiction, after all. Being able to name your characters whatever the heck you want, because no one can tell you otherwise.

2. LARA-JEAN

Resultado de imagem para lara jean gifLara-Jean is one of the prettiest names I’ve ever heard – and I don’t even like pretty names. I am more into traditional and masculine or querky and edgy names. I’d probably name my daughter Logan if I could.

But despise Lara-Jean being super feminine and girly, I still adore it. I heard it for the first time in To All The Boys and fell in love with it afterwards.

I think it’s so fun to have double-barrelled names. My sister has a double-barrelled name, but my parents never prolonged the tradition. It reminds me of super hero names, which is so adorable – and likely to give you superpowers too. (My sister’s would probably be to be annoying as heck).

3. MATTHIAS

No, I’m not including this name here only because I adore Matthias Helvar with my heart and soul. I also happen to think this is a gorgeous name.

As you can see, I have sort of a crush for biblical names. The hebrews were killing it with their name game, ok? (Actually, after a quick Google search, I found out that Mathias actually stands for Matthew in English. BUT STILL.)

It’s pretty hard for me to even pronounce Matthias, because in Portuguese we’d say Ma.tee.yas (and spell it as Matias too). When I read Six of Crows for the first time, I was pronouncing his name like this in my head for the entire time, until I watched reviews on Booktube and people were saying at as Ma.tai.as + a weird sound on the t as in “the”.

At first, I was weirded out and couldn’t roll my tongue right. But now, I actually find it to be a beautiful name. I’ve never cared for the name Matias (it’s kinda like Elias around here; probably too traditional and out-dated), but figuring out the way people pronounce it in English made me find it unique and really beautiful too.

4. KAI

Yes, I have thought multiple times of naming my future kid Hezekiah solely so I could call him Kai for short. Someone please stop me already.

Prince Kai, from Cinder, became my favorite character just because he was named Kai. And also because he was a handsome looking prince with a phenomenal personality, but the name for sure helped.

The Bride Test, by Helen Hoang, is about to come out, and I already know, for a fact, I’ll love this book more than The Kiss Quotient and tha’ts because our protagonist’s name is Khai. (Okay, slightly different pronounciation and spelling here, but STILL.)

It is a gorgeous name. I’ve always liked the name Kai, even before I found out there’s a K-idol with the same name that also happens to be the most handsome man I’ve ever laid eyes on. Conclusion: name your son Kai for a bright, handsome future.

5. MINHO

Imagem relacionadaThe first time I heard this name was in The Maze Runner series, way before I started to like K-Pop and found out it’s a popular name in Korea. I didn’t even know Minho was Korean until I saw the movie casting, lol. I was an uneducated twelve-year old, okay. I’ve grown.

I just love the sound of this name, truly. Minho being my favorite character in TMR series just added to the charm. It sounded like a warrior name, which fits him very well indeed.

It’s funny that now everytime I think about this name I just picture Dylan O’brien screaming MINHO! at the top of his lungs at any given moment in the movie trilogy, because these movies are stressful as heck and the characters are constantly close to dying. It’s a great time, I promise.

Now that I’ve practically rambled about bookish names for about 1k words, let me know in the comments: do you have any favorite bookish name? And do you agree with any of my choices? Let’s chat! 😊

a trip to my homecountry: dancing to brazilian music

myhomecountry

Hello, friends!

I feel like this month, my blog has been filled with posts about music. It wasn’t really my intention, but things ended up working this way. I’m excited to be sharing this one, nonetheless, because music is very important to me as I’ve stated multiple times before.

I do want to clarify, though, that I’m not an expert on this topic at all. I listen to very few Brazilian artists, and I’m not that much interested in Brazilian music in general. I’d be bothered by that, but my choices as far as music goes, are very conscious. I don’t feel like I’m only listening to American artists because that’s what everyone else is listening to, which is what matters the most, after all.

Today, I’ll be presenting to you five exclusive Brazilian genres (Brazil does have pop & rock & punk, but these genres weren’t originated here) and some of my favorite songs from it. Again, this is all from the perspective of a white 18-year-old girl, so take it with a grain of salt.

I also ask you guys to please share in the comments some of your favorite artists from your homecountry; I love listening to music whatever the language, but I never know exactly how to search and approach artists from different countries, so your recommendations will be deeply appreciated!

ONE. FUNK

Even though you may feel like you’ve already heard this name before, funk is the most Brazilian thing I know. It’s very unique and exclusive to my country’s reality. It’s probably the most popular genre nowadays, especially amongst young people, and is the one to be played exhaustively at high school/college parties.

Funk is mostly associated with people living in favelas and poor conditions, even though nowadays it is consumed by people from all over the financial spectrum. In a lot of ways, funk allows young people coming from slums to breakthrough and become celebrities. Funk artists are called MCs.

The songs are typically associated with sexual content, using vulgar vocabulary or slurs, which is what makes it such a controversial genre. In funk music videos, you’re likely to find girls showing their bodies and twerking away in very short shorts.

If you want to get a grasp on funk music, I think this music video explains it pretty well. However, it’s important to note that this is by Anitta, who is a HUGE artist who has collaborated with Diplo & Snoop Dogg before. This is a representation of most funk artists and a glimpse on how Anitta first started as an artist, but it’s definitely not how she *herself* lives or produces her music anymore.

It’s definitely my least favorite music genre; not much because of the content, but because it is a genre for people to *dance*. There’s a lot of choreo and twerking and all of that and I am not a fan of dancing, so it doesn’t work for me in the slightest.

TWO. SERTANEJO

Resultado de imagem para chitãozinho e xororó

big mood tbh

Country music is so great that it really is a part of every country’s culture, lol.

Sertanejo = country. It’s a genre popular in the countryside, and back in the day, the artists wore boots, high-waisted jeans and cowboy hats. A lot of the OG songs also talked about the rural lifestyle, with a lot of nature-based lyrics, the simplicity of the time, etc.

Originally, it was a very male-dominant genre, much like country in the US, I think. Only recently, women started to break through. There’s also a very big thing about two people singing together in sertanejo. It’s what we call “duplas sertanejas” (a country duo). They’re usually brothers, and at least one of them has to play either an acoustic guitar or an accordion.

Now, though, the genre has changed quite a bit. Even though it’s still more popular in the countryside, the lyrics are mostly relationship-related nowadays, with a lot of melodramatic love songs as well.

This is what sertanejo looks like these days. As you can see, very different from the picture I inserted up there. I still like it, though. Not every song and definitely not every artist, but there are still some great hidden gems.

THREE. MPB

MPB is a very OG music genre. It’s definitely more popular amongst elders – very few teens would listen to it. It’s also not a genre to have new artists or songs being released regularly. Its’ moment of most hype was around the 1960s, but there are still a few artists who identify with it.

MPB stands for Música Popular Brasileira – Popular Brazilian Music. The best way I can describe it is: very chill songs, with deep and meaningful lyrics and a lot of soft instruments – mostly the acoustic guitar. The genre was developed after Bossa Nova – a music genre from the 1950s, that put samba and jazz together.

The most iconic and internationally acclaimed Brazilian artists are all MPB artists: Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Tom Jobim, etc. If you’re a teenager, then I don’t think you would recognize these names, but I promise they’re known worldwide!

FOUR. SAMBA

Samba is how Brazil is known internationally, but not a lot of people listen to it nowadays.

Samba was first created as a derivation of African dances brought by African slaves. It’s definitely, still to this day, a more popular genre amongst black people, but it is appreciated from people all over. We listen to samba mostly around Carnaval, because it is the music layed in those massive Carnaval parades every year.

There are two different ways to describe samba: the more chill version of it and the *hardcore* one. By hardcore, I mean they add a lot of percussions intruments, such as loud drums and large rattles. Even though I do not listen to samba at all, I find this version very fascinating, because the sound of the instruments truly reverberates through your body.

This is a very interesting song, because it was written during Brazil’s dictatorship period, that lasted from 1964 to 1985. Back then, most songs were censored, especially the ones that tried to criticize the government in any way. This one was approved, though, because they used a lot of metaphors, but when you analyze it deeply, you realize it’s a big f*ck you to the government, lol.

Samba is not known anymore as a genre to express political opinions, but I think, in a lot of ways, every song has a bit to it. If you analyze funk, for example, even if most songs talk about sexuality, it is still a big political statement, considering so many of these songs were written by people from marginalized communities.

 This is all I have to share for today, friends. Once again, please share in the comments below some of your favorite artists from your home country. I’d love more music recomendations! 💛