monthly wrap up: november, ’20 – the one in which i ask you to please ask me questions

monthlywrapupnovo

Hello, friends!

It’s already DECEMBER. I have no idea where 2020 went. I was looking back at my March/April journal entries, and it feels like a lifetime ago, at the same time that it feels like just yesterday. This is the weirdest year ever, and I’m so glad it’s about to end.

(Also, I am SO sorry at how terrible I’ve been about actually interacting with people aka answering comments & blog hopping. I’ll make it up to you soon!)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • I made a Bookstagram account! My best friend has one and he inspired me to start my own. I always said I’d never have Bookstagram, because I *suck* at keeping an organized feed and interacting with others, etc, etc, but he’s been helping me out a lot and I feel more comfortable now. My @ is the same as my blog, so @thebookishskies, but my content for now is in Portuguese. I still don’t know if I’ll make it a bi-lingual account or what, but I decided to start in Portuguese and see where I go from there.
  • Disney+ is finally here! Yes, this is my highlight because as a huge Disney fan, I‘ve been waiting for this moment for A WHOLE YEAR. I’ve been binge-watching so many different shows and movies and just thriving in general. I have a project that I’ll be watching a movie a day until Christmas and… yeah, it’s been great.
  • I completed NaNoWriMo! Granted, I already started ahead, because I decided to take NaNoWriMo to “finish” my project, which I was already 19k words in. I ended up not really finishing it, because I still have a few chapters to write before it’s done, but I got to the 50,000 word count, which is what matters. I know what I wrote sucks, but I’m happy that I have not given up halfway through, like I do with pretty much everything else.

BOOKS I READ

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★★★☆☆

I started out the month by reading a thriller, which is absolutely unheard of for me. The Guest List was really interesting – I liked the way the author built the characterization of our mains, so we got to know them slowly; I liked the atmosphere of this creepy island; and it was really different to read a whole book without knowing who’s been murdered. However, I think the reveal took so long to happen, I found myself losing interest halfway through and I didn’t find the ending satisfying because of that.

★★★☆☆

Autoboyography had been on my TBR for ages, but I finally read it. While I admire Christina Lauren for writing about homosexuality and religion – a very touchy subject -, I ultimately found that this book is too obviously written by people who have no idea how teenagers actually *are*. Our protagonist, Tanner, only thinks with his pants, and it always takes his parents aka the adults to give him the “voice of reason”. Because apparently he’s incapable of having actual *thoughts* by himself? This book also contained one of my least favorite tropes – the premonition sex -, and while it did move me to tears at one point, I still found that the teenagers’ voices were very poorly written.

★★★★☆

Gloria Chao’s Rent a Boyfriend was one of my most anticipated releases of the year and it absolutely did not disappoint. This book is CHAOTIC and you have to go into it prepared that you’ll be watching the craziest Chinese drama of your life – so beware of parents being ready to marry off their daughter’s pure vagina and stereotypical mommy’s boy who says: “Hello boys and girls” everytime he walks into a room. I laughed out loud with some scenes and, yet, was deeply impressed by Chao’s ability to also write the complicated family and community dynamics that these characters faced.

★★★☆☆

And, finally, last night I wrapped up the month by reading The Falling in Love Montage. I won’t lie: I loved the rom-com references throughout the book. I also liked our main character, Oliver and the trope of “this is just casual, I don’t actually like you” was done fairly well. However, I feel like the way this book discussed putting loved ones in institutions lacked SOOOOO much on nuance. It was implied numerous times that if you did so, you clearly did not love that person enough, when there are so many different things and circumstances that can lead people to make such decision. I hated how it felt like the author was shaming people who chose to do so.

MONTHLY PLAYLIST

Wallows released a new album in late October, but it’s definitely not my favorite release by them (it just sounds like a bunch of noise tbh, lol). However, beabadoobee’s new album compensated. I ended up not listening to a whole lot this month, but this playlist still has some gems.

LOOKING FORWARD

Everyone’s expecting a second round of lockdown in January, so I’ll probably use December to see some of my friends (in small social-distanced groups, of course) and study, since the semester is still going.

In December, I’ll also be celebrating my 2 year blogiversary and in honor of that, I’d like to do a Q&A! If you have any questions for me (or if you can just make up some so I don’t feel so unaccomplished if I have 0 questions to answer by December :/), leave them in this form!

How has your November been? Do you have any recommendations for me on Disney+? And if you have a Bookstagram, leave me your @, I’ll love to follow you all there too!

another round of the liebster award!

blog awards.

(intro)

Hello, friends!

First, I am sorry I have been so inactive lately. Between NaNo and school, life has been super chaotic and I haven’t found much time to blog.

I was nominated for The Liebster Award by Daria and I loved their questions so much, I just had to answer them!

ANSWERS

What’s a book you’ve been meaning to read for forever, but you still haven’t picked up?

I have SO many possible answers for this, lol. But I’ll try to answer with just three, so we’re not here forever.

AUTOBOYOGRAPHY. I finally have now a physical copy of this book and I hope to read it by the end of the year. But it feels like it’s been on my TBR for ages and it just needs to happen.

A REAPER AT THE GATES. Believe it or not – after TWO YEARS, this book has finally been translated to Portuguese and I’ll be able to catch up with this series! (I had read the first 2 in Portuguese, so I didn’t want to change to English halfway through the series). The covers have changed, though, meaning that they won’t match my past editions, not even in SIZE, which is a tragedy, but I’ll hopefully be reading it soon.

THE GREAT GATSBY. This is a classic I want to read since 2017 and I still haven’t, which needs to change already. I’m currently reading another classic, so hopefully after finishing this one, this genre will become less intimidating? *fingers crossed*.

Sun or rain?

gif cold herb dark flower flowers rain nature Magic autumn Twilight spring  Romantic Wind weather lavender raindrops magick gloomy pagan  bright-black-sunrise •

As much as I prefer gloomy weather over really hot weather, I also find that I can’t function outside when it’s raining, lol. So it’s kind of a big inconvenience, unless I know I’ll be staying indoors all day.

What genre you want to read more from?

I want to read more mysteries! I like the idea of teenage mysteries so much in my TV shows (Riverdale, Elite, Stranger Things), but I hardly ever pick up mystery books.

(Note the difference between thriller and mysteries, though. I find that thrillers typically have wayyyy to many triggers I can’t handle, such as sexual assault, graphic violence, domestic abuse, etc., so it would definitely have to be one that I can handle the subject matter).

If you were a writer, what story would you write?

Earthy Brand Moodboard Social Media Post

So, fun fact: I actually do have a WIP! I worked on it occasionally but I decided that this November, I’d take part in NaNoWriMo and finish it!

It’s a YA contemporary, with 8 (YES I KNOW IT’S TOO MUCH) different perspectives: 4 of them are best friends who are going on a road trip for the reunion concert of their favorite boyband; and the other 4 are of the members of said boyband, recounting their *glory days*.

It’s full of boyband shenanigans and it’s definitely gay. I lowkey love it, hahah.

What’s your favorite scent?

I don’t know if I necessarily have a favorite scent. I like anything sweet – vanilla, bubblegum, marshmallow, etc.

And since we’re here, my favorite smell is of books, which is sooooo cliché, but so true.

What’s a trope everyone seems to dislike but you love?

From what I recall, absent/bad parents is a trope a lot of people dislike and even I thought it was a least-favorite of mine for quite some time. But lately, I’ve been really enjoying stories focusing on a character either trying to rebuild a relationship with said bad parent or just focusing more on the main anyway, and not really having a proeminent parental figure at all. I think it makes more sense than forcing a relationship with a parent just for the sake of it, even when it doesn’t really add to the story in any way (cof cof Breath Like Water cof cof).

Who’s your favorite villain?

BLACK Panther Motivated — Medicine II (erik killmonger x black!reader)I was planning to write an entire post on it, but for now, I’ll just choose the same answer I talked to Daria about in her post: it has to be Killmonger, from Black Panther.

What I enjoy so much about him is how he’s such a well written villain for T’Challa. I feel like a lot of villains could be interchangeable, in the sense that it doesn’t really matter who they’re fighting, because they’re not a direct threat to our protagonist. But Killmonger is only fit for T’Challa – he represents things that T’Challa already thought about and confronts him with his own family and past, to question who’s he going to choose to be now.

It’s brilliant, really.

If your life would be turn into a book, who would you want to write it?

Nic Stone, absolutely! She’s one of my favorite authors because I think she’s able to handle very well dark/heavy topics, addressing their relevance, but still balancing it with light-hearted moments and witty banter.

What did you find the most shocking when you first started blogging?

I think I didn’t realize just how much blogging was going to impact my reading. Before I started blogging (and even after I did, but was still taking it very lightly), I read about 20 books a year, tops. Now, I’m reading around 50+ books a year, which is fantastic, and something I totally did not expect to accomplish when I took yet again *another* hobby.

Do you think you are a very analytical reader?

I think I’m slowly becoming ~more~ analytical, but not really, no. I don’t have enough brain cells to be truly analytical, but I do like to consider a lot of different things when reviewing my books and more than always, I have typically a lot of thoughts to share, hahah.

What’s your most anticipated release of 2021?

Since I shared three in the first question, I feel like it’s fair to share three again, right?

CONCRETE ROSE, BY ANGIE THOMAS. I still can’t believe we’ll be having a Big Mave story. I am so ready for the way in which this book is going to fuck me up.

MAY THE BEST MAN WIN, BY Z.R. ELLOR. All I know is that this will be like lovers to enemies to lovers, with a trans main and homecoming/high school shenanigans. I’m so hyped, I have no words.

THAT WAY MADNESS LIES, ORGANIZED BY DAHLIA ADLER. This is an anthology based on Shakespearean works, and we have K. Ancrum, Mark Oshiro and Anna Marie McLemore, and so many more amazing authors, I’m dead just thinking about it.

I won’t be nominating anyone, but let me know in the comments: what are your favorite villains, most anticipated releases of 2021 and your favorite most-hated trope?

what i’ve been watching recently #8

O da minha

Hello, friends!

Here’s me, again, talking about all the things I watched recently. I was supposed to have watched a completely different list of shows, but I decided not to keep a “to-watch” list and just go with the flow, so this is probably more of the same, but it makes me happy, soooo…

JULIE AND THE PHANTOMS (S1)

I’ve watched this show twice in less than a week. I’m simply so obsessed it’s embarrassing.

When I watched the trailer, I told myself I was not going to like it and there was no point in watching it. Julie and the Phantoms is inspired by a Brazilian Nickelodeon show that I used to watch as a kid, but it was very different aesthetically-wise and I was just?? What’s the point if the whole cast looks like they came out of Outer Banks and are not even goths?

But I was feeling bad as one does around their birthdays so I watched the whole thing, and then rewatched it again on my actual birthday. It’s just *the best*.

Julie and the Phantoms is just pure joy in 9 episodes. It’s wholesome, adorable and the soundtrack is uplifting and precious. It just shows how toxic masculinity, unnecessary competition and jealousy to cause drama are not necessary tropes for YA fiction to survive. I loved pretty much all the characters and have listened to the soundtrack nonstop for the past weeks. Love that for me.

EMILY IN PARIS (S1)

Emily em Paris": 7 curiosidades sobre a série da Netflix - Purebreak

Are you happy to be in Paris? Oui.

It’s hilarious to me that this show turned out to be “controversial” because of the European stereotypes. *laughs in Brazilian*. As if Latinx/South-American stereotypes haven’t existed in media for years, been incredibly more harmful and haven’t had at all the same amount of backlash. But I guess mocking third world countries is acceptable, just not colonizers. Anyways.

My thoughts on Emily in Paris can be summed up in:

  • Americans are annoying. We been knew.
  • French people are also annoying. Again, we been knew.
  • To be a white skinny attractive girl in Paris equals getting a new love interest every day.
  • Eiffel Tower can be a sexual position?
  • And the show would’ve been INFINITELY better had it been gay. (Camille x Emily > anyone else).

RIVERDALE (S4)

Look, I know this show is trash, ok. It honestly gets worse by the minute, and I don’t think I’ll be continuing watching after this season. The fact I’ve gotten this far is quite impressive, actually.

This season wasn’t all bad, to be honest. I cried during the entire first episode and episodes 13 through 15 left me absolutely hooked and I almost missed class one day because I couldn’t stop watching, lol. But that was pretty much it, though.

I hate how Riverdale is just incapable of developing more than a relationship at once, meaning that if we see the romantic relationships, the friendships and familiar relationships are completely forgotten. The writing is just as nonsensical as it’s ever been, but topped with the problematic representation and the lack of FP Jones in general, this is definitely my least favorite season and also my official goodbye to the show.

DASH AND LILY (S1)

Imagem

Y’all.

I cried watching the trailer, which I think says enough about how excited I was to watch this. I’ve been to NYC twice, both times around Christmas, so seeing all the different buildings and their Christmas decorations and the overwhelming Christmas soundtrack made me SO nostalgic.

Is this show perfect? Absolutely not. The ending is anti-climatic, it seems to have been directed by a different person in every episode and some are not really good, it’s quite slow and the characters are the epitome of “not like other kids”.

But this show captured my aesthetic perfectly: Christmas lights and Christmas songs, New York City, being an outsider/weird/a loner, bookstores and notebooks, pizza, even the JONAS BROTHERS. This was art, I was happy AF watching it and I highly recommend it to put you in the Christmas spirit.

What have you guys been watching recently? Any new favorites? If you’ve watched Julie and the Phantoms, let me know your favorite character & song!

monthly wrap up: september, ’20

monthlywrapupnovo

Hello, friends!

I feel like it’s been a while since I last shared a monthly wrap up, but that’s because in August I ended up sharing my Latinx Readathon wrap up instead. Not that much happened in these two months, tbh, but I still enjoy these posts a ton!

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Uni is back – all online. I dread online school. Not that I like in-person school any better tbh, I dislike studying in general. But I don’t think I can focus the best at home and I also miss the in-person interactions with professors and classmates. I also have two extra classes than I’d have normally, since I need the extra credits, and decided to take advantage of the bonus time as I’ll be home anyway. To be honest, hating past me really hard with the amount of school work I now have to worry about, lol.

BOOKS I READ

I read a lot in September, so I’ll try to keep my thoughts brief, though, considering *it’s me*, that will be unlikely.

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★★★★☆

I already have a full review up on my blog about Furia as I was part of the Colored Pages Book Tour for it. It was my first time ever being part of a Book Tour and while I don’t think it will be a reocurring thing in my blog, don’t worry, I loved the fact I had the chance to hype up Furia & also read it earlier which was surreal to me (my first time getting an arc, can you believe it?). I loved the book, by the way: the setting was relatable and wonderful, Camila was such a strong and phenomenal protagonist, and albeit the discussions on violence against women left me a bit disturbed, they were also immensely important.

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★★★★★

I also *finally* read the companion novella to The Wolves of Mercy Falls – Sinner. This one follows Cole and Isabel, whom we know from the original trilogy, and it’s set in L.A as Cole is recording an album and also a reality TV show. Maggie Stiefvater’s way of creating unique and quirky characters, as well as her fantastic writing, never fail to make me feel everything. I loved this book in ways I can’t even express, but it gave me a lot more feelings than I expected, considering how long I spent apart from these characters.

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★★☆☆☆

Take a Hint, Dani Brown was my adult romance of the month. I know it’s ridiculous to say I found this book to be too adult, when that is exactly what it sets itself to be, but I couldn’t bring myself to care about the things these characters were going through, like anxiously anticipating interviewing a professor, writing papers for your master’s degree, tutoring teenagers on toxic masculinity, etc, etc. Like, that’s all great, but my 19 year old self can not give a shit. I also found the dialogues to be really unrealistic and for a book about friends with benefits, it definitey lacked on sex scenes.

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★★★★☆

Also, all thanks to Adri, I was successfully convinced to read Cemetery Boys – a YA Latinx fantasy that truly *served*. I absolutely loved the characters – Julian Diaz was hilariously amazing and my favorite, but Yádriel also made me feel all the things. I really appreciated how, admist all the fantasy elements, we also got to see Yádriel’s growth as he recognizes he deserves to be seen for who he really is and he doesn’t have to compromise all the time. I loved the family, as well as the friendships. This really was just amazing all-around and I was so happy to have read it.

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★★★★☆

A Quiet Kind of Thunder had been repeatedly recommended by Marie and Olivia and I’m so glad I read it! I was surprised that this book also got to discuss friendships, family and grief wonderfully well, on top of disability and anxiety. Both of the characters’ motivations were incredibly fleshed out and, even though in any other scenario the spontaneous international trip without telling anyone would’ve annoyed me to death (it’s just the perfect recipe for things to go wrong), it made a lot of sense for these characters and I empathized with their reasoning. I’d say the only thing that bothered me was the fact that the sex scenes were just… the worst, lol.

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★★☆☆☆

I ended up falling into sort of a slump, so it wasn’t the ideal moment to be reading anything, but I pushed through and finished Breath Like Water. I feel like in other circumstances, I’d have enjoyed this a lot more. It was clear the author knew very well how to write about swimming, in a way that didn’t feel overly poetic or overly technical, and it was the perfect in between. I found both of the characters interesting, but that was pretty much it. I hated how unrealistic the dialogues felt (Dr. Phil much?), how they erased the character’s responsibility for his actions because of his mental health issues, and the ending was beyond unsatisfying.

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★★★★☆

I also finally picked up my first Emma Mills and Foolish Hearts ticked every single one of my boxes: enemies to friends, boybands and theatre kids. I’d say the only reason why I ended up not giving this one five stars was because I felt like the side characters were a bit meh, but I loved Claudia and Iris a lot and their friendship was the best. The concert chapter also made me cry – I miss going to concerts so much and it was the perfect reminder as to why I love music (and boybands) so much. I definitely want to read more of Emma Mills’ books after this one.

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★★★☆☆

Lastly, I finished Frankly in Love this morning actually and it was *a ride*. I still stand by the fact this is a good book – I loved the writing and the way the author crafted the dialogues. It was definitely a powerful and ambitious story, but it did leave a bitter aftertaste, as I felt like the racist behavior of his parents was not properly challenged on page, the romance absolutely sucked for everyone and the overall writing of the female characters was weird. I think the overall marketing of this book is very misleading – it seems to be a cute fake-dating story, but it’s not cute at all and the romance is by far the worst part of the book.

MONTHLY PLAYLIST

I’ve determined that September will be the month where my playlist titles have to reference Rocketman. We’re still very much in the Hamilton track, I am falling in love with other tracks from folklore, RBD got into Spotify – finally – as well as the Jonas L.A. album. It’s been a month!

LOOKING FORWARD

October is my birthday month! I am lowkey depressed because I’ll be turning TWENTY years old which is just outrageous. I don’t really love my birthday, but hopefully birthday presents?

what i’ve been watching recently #7

O da minha

Hello, friends!

I have to admit: the past few weeks have been rather slow and I only opened up NETFLIX to watch docummentaries and reality shows. I am afraid this won’t be the most entertaining of the posts, but I highly recommend all of these titles if they interest you!

DOWN TO EARTH

rebecca Tumblr posts - Tumbral.com

Granted: I only started watching this show because of Zac Efron, but I found myself completely interested and finished this in a weekend.

This is a documentary series, where in each episode, Zac and his friend, Darin Olien, visit a different country, exploring their initiatives on sustainability and other eco-friendly alternatives. It’s not the most original thing in the world, but I really liked their approach, as someone who’s honestly rather ignorant and uninstered in these topics – it didn’t feel preachy at all and was really respectful.

My favorite episode was the one in Costa Rica, where they visit a small village in the forest. I loved seeing the school they set up and how they were educating children there. Since this is the field I currently study about, it was really fascinating.

But I feel like all episodes were interesting and sparked a great discussion. Even if you’re not interested in the theme and only care about Zac Efron’s looks, I’d still recommend it, lol.

INDIAN MATCHMAKING

Cheers Indian Matchmaking GIF - Cheers IndianMatchmaking Toast ...

NETFLIX: keep the dating reality shows coming. Please.

As the name suggests, this one is going to explore the matchmaking practice, common in Indian culture. While I do understand this show was controversial among the community, I thought it was really interesting for shedding light on what matchmaking really is. Like, even my sister, who’s a very well-educated girl, thought that arranged marriage was still a “forced” practice, when, in reality, we get to see a lot of people who seek out a matchmaker as they’re not being successful dating through other routes. (We still see some people who are being pressured into marrying, though).

I really liked some stories (Vyasar and Nadia deserve EVERYTHING) and found all of them to be interesting, as the show really comitted itself to show people from different backgrounds who were looking for different things.

I still think it’s worth-watching, but definitely make sure to read “own-voices reviews” before or after watching it as I feel like they’re very important to shape your view on the show.

THE SPEED CUBERS

The Speed Cubers | Netflix Official Site

Y’ALL. This documentary. Honestly.

I did not expect to cry this much with a 40min documentary but it was the most wholesome thing I’ve ever watched. I don’t know if it was simply because I was on my period, though I’ve rewatched since, and it still brought me to tears.

Yes, this is a documentary about speed Rubik’s cubing. We follow mostly two people: Feliks Zemdegs – Melbourne-raised and who broke a lot of records while still a kid; and Max Park – a 17-year-old who’s been breaking Felix’s records since 2016.

Max is autistic and it was so interesting seeing the way his victories are not only about the records he breaks, but also about the small ways the competitions and the speed-cubing community allow him to improve his social skills.

It was so wholesome seeing the friendship between Feliks and Max – albeit rivals, Feliks is still Max’s idol and they have such a strong and beautiful bond. Honestly, this documentary made me so happy and emotional. Pleaseeeee go watch it.

LOVE ON THE SPECTRUM

Hug Love On The Spectrum GIF - Hug LoveOnTheSpectrum Netflix ...

Yes, yet again, another dating reality show. Is it noticeable already I really like them? Oh ok.

Anyway, this one is Australian and we follow people in the autism spectrum as they go on dates and try to find “the one”. Like Indian Matchmaking, I do recommend people who watch this show take some time to see the autistic community’s response to it, as it’s always important to take notice that what we see in a show like this, even if we’re following a number of different people’s experiences, can not represent the entire community and it’ll still have its faults.

I found it to be really interesting: dating is already a challenging thing, so it was nice seeing the different ways neurodiverse people interact, express affection, make small talk, etc.

As a neurotypical person, I admit: it was awkward and embarassing at times. But whenever I felt like that, I remembered myself that social skills are not easy for everyone, and that’s OKAY! I think we’re most likely to judge what we don’t understand/are not used to, so it was a learning experience as well.

I am currently watching some K-Dramas and I’ll probably talk about them in my next recap, but for now, I just wanted to recommend these titles. Thank you for reading!

 

monthly wrap up: july, ’20

monthlywrapupnovo

Hello, friends!

I realized I didn’t properly do a recap for June, because I ended up doing my wrap-up for the Olympic Games Readathon. Not that you missed much in my life because June was as eventful as all the months prior to that, BUT the beginning of the month was quite stressful, as my dad tested positive for covid-19 and we had to quarantine him at home. Thankfully, my mom, my sister and I all tested negative, but it was stressful nonetheless because I had to share a room with my sister as my mom slept in my room. My extended family has also been having some healthy issues and it’s just *a lot*.

But things perked up in July and the past month ended up being one of the best ones. Things are opening back up in my state, but getting worse in the rest of Brazil. I still don’t feel safe leaving the house and I wonder when I will start to feel, though.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • I finally watched Hamilton! Wow, I know, I’m super late to the game, but now that the whole musical is on Disney+ (and everywhere else in the internet ofc), my sister finally convinced me to watch it and it’s great! I loved the soundtrack and the characters (Burr is my favorite, btw). I know it’s kinda of a controversial musical, but personally, I was able to very distinctly interpret it as a very well done work of fiction.
  • I completed my Goodreads Reading Challenge. My goal for this year was to read 50 books and I’m really surprised that I was able to achieve if half way through the year. I won’t be changing it on Goodreads, but I have another lowkey goal which is to read 80 books by the end of 2020. I don’t know if I’ll make it, considering the only reason why I read so much this year was because of lockdown, but I’ll be trying my best!

One Direction also celebrated their 10th anniversary, which was emotional albeit underwhelming and not the reunion I expected, but oh well. Taylor Swift also released an entire new album, that I have yet to *fall in love with*, but I really like it so far, it’s just not my favorite yet.

WHAT I READ

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★★★★☆

While I definitely don’t think Let’s Call It a Doomsday will be for everyone, I was so invested in this book and this story! The representation is awesome: we follow Ellis, a questioning bisexual Mormon girl with anxiety, who’s fixated on the idea of the apocalypse. She meets Hannah, who’s a lesbian, and within Hannah’s friend group, we also have Tal, who was also bisexual and half-Brazilian (Katie Henry always comes through with the South-American rep). I did not love how the book ended without much of a conclusion of Ellis’ relationship with her family, but I adored the intense ride that we went through and loved the characters’ relationships, albeit incredibly flawed.

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★★★★☆

I think I may have finally found my favorite adult romance book: The Bromance Book Club was such a great read! I loved most of it, especially the interactions between the members of the Book Club. I liked both Gavin and Thea as characters and appreciated how the author made sure to highlight how both of the characters needed to grow and improve. However, I did not love Liv’s character, as it didn’t sit right with me how she’d be projecting her own insecurities and unpacked trauma into Gavin and Thea’s relationship and I felt like the book dragged a bit, especially towards the end, but it made me super happy and it’s one I recommend if you like the failed marriage trope.

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★★★☆☆

I really wanted to read The Sound of Stars, even though sci-fi is not my genre, mostly because the idea of a book that highlighted the importance of music and stories in changing the world felt like something I’d love. I indeed really liked the premise, the characters – both of their narrations felt equally engaging – and I feel like the book had both a really strong start and finish. But the middle dragged a bit, it felt repetitive and the writing made me feel like I was mostly being *told* these characters’ feelings, rather than being *shown*. Because of that, I could not 100% buy into their development individually or relationship.

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★★★★☆

Loveless was one of my most anticipated releases of the year and I plan on writing an entire review on it. This book follows Georgia, a freshman at university, who’s figuring out her identity as an aro-ace girl. I related *a lot* to Georgia’s character and there were moments where this book brought me to tears. I loved the highlight on the importance of platonic relationships and the supportive queer community around our protagonist. However, I did not like some of the side characters’ decisions and there were moments where I felt like we were mostly watching the rest of the cast, rather than Georgia, even though she was our main.

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★★★★☆

The Devouring Gray was for sure a pleasant surprise. Set in a small town, this YA fantasy novel had a lot of mixed reviews and I didn’t think I was going to like it as much, but I was proven to be wrong. Diversity-wise, this book has a lot of bisexual characters, which was really great to see. I was very invested in all the characters and their relationships, the mystery kept me intrigued and I really appreciated the setting. I am actually very much looking forward to continue on and pick up the second book, especially because I need more conclusion on the romance (!!!!).

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★★★★☆

10 Things I Hate About Pinky was another one of my most anticipated releases of the year, and I am not even surprised by how much I adored it. While it did disappoint me a little bit that Samir was more confident than I anticipated, from what he’d seen in the previous book (I was more excited to see Pinky being the straight-forward one in the relationship, not Samir), I still loved the angst and sexual tension and how well Sandhya Menon also adressed topics such as family relationships and social activism. This book was such an entertaining fake-dating summer romance, I really had a great time.

MONTHLY PLAYLIST

If you got the reference for my playlist title, let me know! There are a lot of old bops in here and definitely some One Direction too, so you could tell I was in a mood. Lauren also inspired me to listen to the Lightning Thief musical and I am so thankful! I loved it, and I really want to get more into musicals!

LOOKING FORWARD

The next university semester will be online, so August will probably look exactly like the same months until now. But Lobizona and Darius the Great Deserves Better are coming out in the next weeks, so at least there’s that to look forward to!

How was your July? Have you guys listened to Folklore and what are your thoughts on it? And if you’re a Hamilton fan, what’s your favorite song/character? Let me know in the comments!

 

what i’ve been watching recently #6

O da minha

Hello, friends!

Today’s post is going to be a mixed one. In the past few weeks, I watched some great things, and some very bad ones. I actually wondered if I should post this, as it would be more negative than I typically write my posts, but ultimately decided to do it, as it could potentially help other people out there on what to avoid on NETFLIX.

DRUCK (S1~S4)

druck rewatch party | Explore Tumblr Posts and Blogs | Tumgir

I watch way too many SKAM remakes for my own good and I am aware.

I thought I’d never watch DRUCK, because I’d already watched their season 2 at one point and it was really disappointing. But I am really glad I ended up going back and giving it a second chance, because the other seasons are actually really good.

I still stand by the fact S2 is a disappointment because I really disliked Mia as a main, as well as her dynamic with Alexander and Kiki. But I surprisingly adored Hanna as a protagonist in S1, even Matteo who I thought I’d hate in S3 turned out to be a lovely character, and I will never shut up about Amira’s season because it’s literally art.

The side characters are also lovely and this may be the first Eva/Jonas relationship I actually rooted for from the beginning, so yeah, we stan.

LOVE ALARM

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I’ve been meaning to get back into Korean dramas, as the last one I watched was in early 2018. I don’t know why I fell out of love with them for a while, but I really wanted to get back, so I decided to watch this one on Netflix because the trailer caught my attention and it was really short, so I felt like it would be the best way to ease myself back.

I was very wrong, lol.

This drama is just a compilation of all the tropes I hate in Korean dramas: inconclusive endings, rich guy/poor girl, bullies, main character with no agency, and dudes that have to save her constantly.

It was also even worse because the motivations are so unclear. I still have no idea why the characters made certain decisions, so I couldn’t buy none of the plot for that reason. I also hated how irresponsibly they dealt with topics such suicide and homophobia.

I am pretty mad about this one and if you’re looking into K-dramas to watch, I’d definitely say run from this one!

THE POLITICIAN (S2)

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I was looking forward to this season since the first one ended and I can’t believe how quickly we got it. I like the fact that this season has as much of the extravagance and over-the-top-ness of the first one, while still addressing a bunch of interesting and relevant topics.

The main conflict of this season was the generation conflict, and I liked their approach a lot. Even the voter’s episode, which I didn’t like as much in S1, was so well done in S2 and I think shows well how politicians are so far from the standards we tend to hold them to.

Still, I understand people who found this season disappointing, as there are *definitely not enough gays* and some of the character’s relationships and dynamics were pretty much all over the place. I loved the ending, though, and the acting is still gold.

CONTROL Z

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Trigger warnings: transphobia, graphic violence, bullying, public outing, self-harm

Everytime I think NETFLIX has learned something on how to *responsibly* address sensitive issues, they prove me wrong. This was 10x worse than anything they could’ve possibly done in Thirteen Reasons Why.

This show has a very cliché premise, similar to Pretty Little Liars, where an anonymous social media account is threatening the students with their secrets. Our main character is trying to investigate who could be behind the account.

The problem is that they also try to address bullying, transphobia and self-harm, but absolutely irresponsibly. All the discussions are surface-level, they serve literally for no purpose other than to shock the audience and create more drama. I mean, considering that the whole main conflict is triggered by a public outing – an incredibly traumatic event that serves no other purpose in the narrative but to perpetuate the drama -, I shouldn’t have been surprised by the outcome.

This also had some of the most graphically violent scenes I’ve watched in a while, and while it’s not targeted for teenagers necessarily, the fact it’s set in a high school makes me feel like a lot of teenagers will want to watch it and it can be such a harmful content.

Sorry that I ended up ranting so much on this one! If you’ve watched any of these shows, let’s discuss in the comments. And if you have actual good K-DRAMAS to recommend, also please let me know!

monthly wrap up: may, ’20

monthlywrapupnovo

Hello, friends!

May was probably one of the hardest months of the year. Quarantine depression is hitting STRONG around here and life is not even close to getting back to normal where I live. Our social isolation rates have been below 50% for weeks, the curve is showing no signs of slowing down, we’ll be reaching the absolute saturation of the health care system is less than 2 weeks now and the politics are talking about re-opening the city already! We love it here! *-*

Also, the news of the past few days have been terrible and incredibly triggering. I’ve pretty much stayed away from social media because some of the news are just horrifying. Regardless, I’ve definitely been trying my best to educate myself and helping as I can and I hope y’all are doing the same. 💛

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. I’ve started my yearly re-watch of Gossip Girl. I feel like watching Gossip Girl at least once a year has become a tradition for me. It is one of my favorite shows of all times and I decided to start in mid season two this time around, since I’ve already watched S1 sooo many times. It makes me happy to revisit my favorite characters and storylines, even if they’re all a mess.
  2. It’s finally getting coldddd! You know your life has had nothing nice to documment when one of your highlights is about the weather. But fall has finally hit and I’m currently writing this post wearing a hoodie under my blanket. It’s been delightful, as I love the cold! It is a bit depressing though, because I’ve always associated the cold with festas juninas (popular street celebrations in Brazil that happen around June and July, aka winter), but because of corona we won’t have any this year. ):

BOOKS I READ

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★★★★☆

The first book I finished was Not So Pure and Simple, by Lamar Gilles which dedicates itself to discuss double-standards, toxic masculinity and sex education. Our protagonist can be incredibly unlikeable, as he has a lot of sexist ideas, but it was necessary in order to tell such story and growth. This book was still really funny and intertwined well the use of social media and social issues. Not much happens, that’s true, but all the discussions are relevant AF so it compensates.

 

 

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★★★★★

Continuing my re-read of Harry Potter, I picked up the third one. The story is definitely becoming more intense and I felt much closer to the characters, especially to Harry. I love learning more about the marauders and the relationships between Harry/Remus and Harry/Sirius warmed my heart so much. Hermione is such a badass in this book as well. It was a really great time.

 

 

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★★☆☆☆

The Brightsiders is my second Jen Wilde book and centers around Emmy, drummer of the band The Brightsiders, who’s the best definition of bisexual chaos. She’s trying to repair her not-so-good reputation and making a bunch of other mistakes in the process. This book is very diverse, as I expected, with bisexual rep, Korean-American rep, gender queer rep, etc. I liked seeing the representation and, honestly, Alfie might be my new book boyfriend. He was SO swoony and attractive and awesome. But this book actually frustrated me more than anything – it felt repetitive, juvenile and the writing consisted of as many pop culture references you can make in 15 seconds.

 

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★★★☆☆

Yes, I will be reading an incredibly diverse & progressive book in one second and then picking up Twilight in the other. With the announcement of Midnight Sun, Twilight has been back on my radar. I even got back on twitter just so I could comment on it, lol. This book is far from perfect, but damn it was entertaining. I still find it to be way too slow and descriptive, but the banter is A+. Also, book Edward > movie Edward.

 

 

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★★★☆☆

The main reason why I picked up Tash Hearts Tolstoy was because of the ace rep, but there are a lot of other great elements about this book! I really enjoyed how realistic it was when it comes to the ~internet things~, the writing was really engaging too. and I loved the focus on friendship. However, I felt like the ending took a really unnecessary overdramatic turn, none of the characters felt particularly memorable (with the exception of Paul) and it annoyed me SO MUCH how this girl acted like her parents having a baby was the worst thing to ever happen to her.

 

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★★★☆☆

The Dangerous Art of Blending In was an interesting ride. Major trigger warnings in this one for domestic abuse (physical and emotional), homophobic slurs, public outing and homophobia. There were elements I really did not like in this story: first, the fact all female characters were decipted as villains was pretty bad and the fact there was no *actual* discussion on what’s helpful for someone who could be going through a domestic abuse situation made me frustrated. I did like the romance, though, and it was a very layered novel, but definitely not perfect. The fact it’s own voices also means a lot!

 

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★★★★☆

To Have and To Hoax is a really fun historical romance about a failed marriage. It was my first time reading historical romance and I really liked it, even if the writing style was hard to get through at first. I think there’s a lot of potential for this to be a series, as the side characters and side relationships were all really interesting. However, I do not think this book will be for everyone, as it is deeply about miscommunication and the characters making every thing too much of a drama than it actually needed to be. I still liked it a ton and would definitely consider reading more from this author!

 

LOOKING FORWARD

I have no idea what awaits in June. Maybe, things will really get back to normal. Or maybe things will simply get even worse! For now, I’m trying to keep a positive mindset and focus on what I know will happen – the Olympic Games readathon that I am already prepared for – and the return of Premier League, which will allow football to distract me, at last.

How was May for you? Any new songs/artists you recommend? What was the best book you read this month? Let’s talk!

what i’ve been watching recently #5

O da minha

Hello, friends!

Even though quarantine has hit, I’ve actually not been watching a lot of new things. I’ve been mostly binge-watching D-COMS and rewatching favorites. But I gathered a small pile of things I’ve watched that I had a lot of thoughts on.

I AM NOT OKAY WITH THIS (S1)

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Oh, friends, this show.

I don’t know what it is about Netflix lately where I genuinely don’t know if the shows are set in the 80s or 2019 until someone picks up a cellphone. The 80s aesthetic is so overwhelming is the weirdest thing. Every character also has to sound and look “quirky” and it gets pretty old pretty fast.

There is an entire monologue by one of the characters as he watches a highschool football game and he keeps saying how “it’s a tragedy, because all of these people will be miserable in five years time”. That’s an awful thing to say, period, but the fact they really think they’re better and special snowflakes because they only watch VHS and don’t like sports? Ew. Imagine being this far up your own ass.

It got a little bit better at the end, I think, because after spending enough time with these characters, they stopped sounding so annoying. But I feel like season two will have a very different feel than this one, so I’m not sure if I’m continuing on with this series.

NEVER HAVE I EVER (S1)

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As soon as I first watched the trailer of Never Have I Ever, I knew it was going to be amazing and I am so happy I wasn’t let down.

This show is not perfect, by any means. Even though it is incredibly diverse, the only fat character is still your stereotypical disgusting and dumb fat boy. The acting could definitely see some improvement and it will probably sound cringey in 3 years time, because a lot of the jokes are timely, but I still had such a great time binge-watching this.

It is refreshing to watch a show where the white characters are the minority. Where we can see a character going to therapy without that being shown as pointless. Where there are relevant discussions, but also hilarious dialogues. Where all the characters have interesting arcs, backgrounds and are not just cardboard cutouts waiting for our main character’s break through.

If you’re a fan of On My Block, there’s no way you won’t enjoy this, honestly. It had everything you could want – laughs, tears and definitely some cringe moments – and it’s diverse AF.

LOVE 101 (S1)

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This is a Turkish drama and I watched the trailer before it came out and it gave me insane Elite vibes. Since Elite is my favorite Netflix Original, I knew I needed to watch this one. I will say, though, it has nothing to do with Elite, but it was still pretty fun.

This is set in the 90s and centers around this group of troublemakers who are about to be expelled. For that, the board decision has to be unanimous, but one teacher stands up for them. This one teacher is about to move away, though, so the group decides to team up and find her a boyfriend, so she stays and they’re not kicked out.

In the process, they end up getting closer and realizing they have a lot more in common than they think. This one differs from Elite because it’s just a lot more PG-13 and doesn’t discuss as many taboo topics, but it still has some depth to it and the characters are definitely multi-layered and captivating.

I’d say there is a little bit of romanticization of mental ilness and abusive behaviors, but nothing major that I felt like took completely from the story. The ending is very inconclusive, though, and I’ll literally *die* if there’s no season 2.

What is your most recently watched show? Did you watch Never Have I Ever? If so, what are your thoughts on it? What’s your favorite show from your country? Recommend me in the comments!

 

what i’ve been watching recently #4

O da minha

Hello, friends!

The past few weeks have been really eventful, but I still found time to watch some things, of course. I’m very excited to share all my thoughts with y’all!

LOVE IS BLIND

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Of course I’d be watching Love is Blind, much like the rest of the internet.

I’ve never thought of myself as someone who is a fan of reality TV, but this one was incredibly addictive. My country has its own version of Big Brother and the latest season has aired over the summer and everyone I know was obsessed with it. But I find it to be really boring just following a bunch of random people trapped in a house together.

This one though, has a very specific purpose. The main goal of this reality is answer the question “is love blind?” After a series of blind dates, the couple who finds a match end up going for a romantic getaway in Mexico and then finally, to planning their wedding in the “real world” – with their parents’, family’s and societal expectations.

My friend recommended it to me and I pretty much devoured it in two days. I don’t know how realistic it is, even though it’s reality TV, but I liked seeing the couples come together when they were in a different scenario and how quickly their thoughts and feelings changed once they were seeing each other, and not only listening to the one’s voices.

ELITE (S3)

The last season of my favorite Netflix Original just aired and as I watched it all in one day. It was a really bittersweet one, but I still love all my trash children with my whole heart.

One of my biggest fears was that this season was going to be disappointing, and unfortunately, I think it was. First of all: NOT ENOUGH GUZMÁN. But, in general, the writing wasn’t as good as it had been in previous seasons. There were a lot of loose ends, some serious character assassination and I could predict everything that was going to happen, which I hadn’t been able to at all in previous seasons. I also didn’t care for the new characters and would’ve preferred if those storylines had never existed.

However, it’s Elite after all, and I’m madly attached to all the characters. The acting is great AF, I liked the overall ending and the messages and parallels that happened this season too. My Guzmán/Samu heart THRIVED this season and for that alone, I am happy.

So even though, sadly, this season wasn’t everything I expected, I’ll still miss these characters a bunch.

ON MY BLOCK (S3)

Another one of my favorite shows got a new season, that I also felt a little bit let down by.

On My Block is still hilarious and I loved seeing more of these characters. I did feel a bit disconnected from Monse, though; she had a lot of screen time in S2 but I feel like we barely saw her this season. It didn’t bother me as much because we got to see more of Jamal (my favorite character) and Jasmine, who’s the most confident woman I know.

This show never fails to make me laugh and for that, I’ll be forever thankful. But I think the season wrapped up in a quite anti-climatic way; the whole build up we had didn’t pay off. Basically, our characters weren’t directly involved in the resolution of the problem, and I couldn’t really feel the high stakes because of that.

The last few minutes of the last episode totally broke me, though.

I also love the heck out of Jasmine x Ruby. I’m sorry, Cesar and Monse, but THEY are the best couple in this show.

DESCENDANTS

descendants 3 | Tumblr | Descendentes, Desendentes, Decendentes

You know quarantine has really got to you when you start watching D-COMS unironically.

But, on all seriousness, Descendants was not even half as bad as I anticipated. I have so many question about who chose the outfits and the CGI does hurt the eyes, but it was just what I needed at this time.

What I love about Disney movies, and D-COMS in particular, is that no one has bad endings. Even the villains have a redemption at the end and *everyone* ends happy. Considering our current state, this couldn’t be more of a heart-warming watch.

I loved the characters: Ben is my favorite – as expected -, but Harry, Uma and Evie are sweethearts too. I loved the relationships and I have a number of headcanons (bisexual Harry), not gonna lie. Most of what happens is sort of absurd, but I enjoyed it a lot. My favorite out of the trilogy is the 2nd one, definitely. It had the perfect amount of action and cuteness and I loved being introduced to more VKs.

Let’s chat! What have you guys been watching? Have you watched any of those? What are your thoughts? Let’s talk in the comments!