August TBR: #ARCAugust and Tome Topple

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I have never posted a TBR before. I’m a mood reader, so I never know beforehand what I’m going to read next. But then I found out about #ARCAugust, created by Read.Sleep.Repeat. I currently have six ARCs I still need to review, even though all of those titles have been released yet. Because I’m so behind and my Netgalley ratio is looking dreadful at the moment, I decided I had to join this reading challenge.

I’d like to read these five ARCs in August:

optimists die firstcity of saints and thievesidainto your armstoo fat too slutty too loud

When I watched Thoughts on Tomes‘s announcement of Tome Topple, I was motived to join this read-a-thon as well. I won’t be able to finish A Dance With Dragons, but I’d like to read 500 pages this month. a dance with dragons


But, like I said, I’m a mood reader. I will try to stick to this TBR, but will I? We’ll see. Coincidentally, August is the only month in the year I can read freely without having to worry about work or college. But I can’t let that get in the way of reading these ARCs. I’ve postponed reading them too much already; it’s now or never.

Will you be joining any of these read-a-tons? Let me know so we can support each other ❤

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Popular book series I won’t read

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Hello, my fellow book lovers! Today, I’m going to talk about five book series I have no intention of reading. I know, I know, never say never…. but I’ll probably never pick these up!

I’ll only discuss five series, so obviously won’t be able to include all the series in the world I don’t want to read, such as Fifty Shades of Grey. Furthermore, I’m not going to discuss series I don’t want to continue, such as Throne of Glass and The Mortal Instruments.

These are in no particular.

the selection.pngThe Selection series was very popular when I first joined the book community. The plot never appealed to me – I’m not a big fan of books that are allocishet romance-driven – but I wanted to give them a chance because I liked the covers. I never actually bought these books, however, and I definitely don’t plan to anymore.

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I joined the book community around the time the Divergent movie adaptation was released. I watched the film, but I didn’t find it interesting enough to continue watching them or to pick up the book series. This genre doesn’t really appeal to me, except for The Hunger Games, which I do want to re-read and re-watch (again!).

infernal devices.pngI’ve mentioned this a few times already: I don’t plan on reading any of Clare’s books. I got rid of the entire Mortal Instruments series and a few of her other books a couple of months ago and I haven’t regretted it once. I read City of Bones and half of the sequel, but I wasn’t enjoying it. Furthermore, all of her books are set in the same universe, so I’d feel forced to read them all. I know many readers are a fan of her work, but I don’t feel as if I’m missing out on anything.LOTR.pngTolkien’s work is the biggest maybe on this list. I’ve watched The Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit trilogies a few times, but I can’t say I’m exactly a Tolkien-fan. Therefore, I don’t plan on reading these books. In a few years, I might feel differently, but for the time being, I’m much more interested in other fantasy novels. I prefer political intrigue and that’s probably what’s missing for me in his work.

twilight.pngWhen I was a teenager, the Twilight books and especially films were so popular. At first I was into the films, but after a while, I couldn’t even be bothered to watch them all. I think I skipped the last one or two. Anyway, there’s nothing about Twilight that seems appealing to me. Once again, this one is very allocishet romance-driven and I don’t tend to enjoy such books.


What are some series you don’t ever plan on reading?

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book chat: ratings + how I rate diverse books

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Hello, my fellow book lovers! Today, I am going to talk about book ratings. First, I’m going to discuss how I feel about them. Secondly, I’m going to talk about how I rate diverse books, since I’m reading such novels almost exclusively this year. This is not a post with advise on how you should rate books. I’m only going to talk about how I do it.

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At the beginning of 2017, I announced I would no longer rate the books I read. In my opinion, a star rating is a rather shallow way to express how you feel about something. There are so many things that a rating isn’t able to convey, such as whether a novel contains harmful content.

Another reason why I dislike book ratings, is because they mean something different to everyone. Especially three star ratings are tricky. People often consider that a low rating, while the reviewer might still recommend the novel.

However, I soon noticed that my Goodreads reviews didn’t receive as much love as they used to once I stopped rating the books I read. Furthermore, I started requesting e-ARCs on Netgalley, and you have to rate the books you receive there. That’s why I decided I would still rate books, but only on Goodreads and Netgalley. As you may have noticed, I don’t include my book ratings on my blog anymore. My reviews are more often than not very thorough, so if you want to know how I feel about a novel, my reviews are able to tell you that.

I won’t go into detail what my star ratings mean exactly. It’s mostly based on feeling, though, as you will find out soon, I have a different system when it comes to diverse literature.

I know that many people want Goodreads to had half star ratings, but I won’t bother with those anymore. I really don’t want my reviews to revolve around the rating, because my reviews convey my thoughts much better than a number of stars ever could.

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Confessing this might be controversial, but yes, I do rate diverse books differently. Like I said, ratings mean something different to everyone. If I were to rate a diverse novel three stars based on MY enjoyment and not whether or not it contains intentionally harmful content, a lot of people might not be interested to pick the diverse book up again.

As a reviewer, I think you have to be conscious of that. Especially if you have a lot of followers. A couple of weeks ago, a popular BookTuber rated a diverse F/F novella only one star, primarily because she disliked the writing. The author’s first language isn’t even English, but because this is the first review you see on the Goodreads page, so many people won’t buy this wonderful novella.

And that’s exactly why I rate diverse books much more mildly. If the novel didn’t contain much or any harmful content, I will rate it at least four stars, even if I personally didn’t enjoy it as much.

However, I don’t hide anything in my reviews. If I think a book contains hurtful material, I will discuss that. Diverse books are no exception when it comes to that.

I understand that some people might think that this is misleading, but there are enough trolls out there that rate diverse books harshly and unfairly just because they’re diverse books. If a book isn’t harmful, I don’t want to turn others away from reading it, even if I personally didn’t enjoy it as much as I had hoped to.


I’ve only been rating books like this for a few months now, so my opinion on book ratings might change one day. But this is how I feel about the matter for the time being.

Before I wrote this blogpost, there were many other things I wanted to discuss, but I forgot so many points I wanted to make 😦 I’ve been planning to write this blogpost for months and should’ve kept track of my thoughts better.

Anyway, what’s your opinion on rating books? Let me know in the comments 🙂

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Cover reveal: Ripped Pages by M. Hollis + my fan art!

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Hello, my dear book lovers. I have some very exciting news today: I’ll be revealing the cover of Ripped Pages, M. Hollis’ new novelette! Ripped Pages is a F/F retelling featuring a lesbian main character, bisexual love interest and a side M/M ship!

This is the book’s summary:

Princess Valentina lives a reasonably comfortable life, but after her mother’s death, her father gets tired of taking care of her and locks her in a tower. She spends years on her own, talking to the birds on her windowsill, and reading books with adventures she will never experience. Her plans of running away are usually left for another day because she knows the vast forest surrounding her tower is too dangerous to cross alone.

Until one day, another girl passes by on her horse and Valentina wonders if she’s finally brave enough to seize her chance of freedom.

Make sure to add this book on Goodreads!  And now, of course, the moment you’ve all been waiting for: THE COVER REVEAL!

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ripped pages fanartI absolutely adore the blue tones and how whimsical it looks! It definitely suits a retelling of Rapunzel. Because I wanted to celebrate this opportunity M. Hollis has given me once again (we already did an interview together a few months ago), I decided to get a little crafty and re-create this cover using my watercolours and Tombow brush pens. On the right, you can see the result. It’s not perfect, but I had a lot of fun creating it 😀

Ripped Pages is set to be released at the end of 2017 and in the meantime, I’d really suggest checking out her other novellas: The Melody of You and Me and The Paths We Choose. Both feature F/F relationships as well. If you’re usually not a fan of New Adult, I’d still highly recommend picking up Hollis’ work!


I hope I was able to convince you to check out this wonderful author’s work. What do you think about the cover? 🙂

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5 books with bisexual characters on my TBR

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Today I am going to talk about five books on my TBR featuring bisexual characters. Naturally there are more, but I decided to narrow this down to five. Because I am bisexual, I try to read as many books representing me as possible. I’ve – unfortunately – noticed a big difference between #OwnVoices books and authors who don’t identify as bisexual. I think all of the books I am going to mention below are #OwnVoices, but please correct me if I’m wrong.

These are in no particular order. I won’t go into detail much, as I like to go into books without knowing much.

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27 Hours by Tristina Wright

This book is set to be released in October and I am so excited to read it! Apparently, it’s filled with diverse characters and Tristina Wright is a wonderful person, so I already know I am going to love this, even though I am generally not a fan of sci-fi.

Far From You by Tess Sharpe

I also follow Tess Sharpe on Twitter and she seems like a wonderful person. I’ve been putting it off because it sounds like a very intense book and with my mental illnesses, I’m trying to stay clear from that for the time being, but I do want to read Far From You soon! As hard as such books can be to read, I generally love them as well.

Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee

I know NOTHING about this book, but it has received so much praise, I have to buy a copy soon!

The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia Ember

Before this book was released, everyone seemed to have read it already! It’s a F/F retelling of The Little Mermaid, which is one of my favourite fairytale!

I have to warn you though: This book might be harmful if you’re non-binary/ genderqueer/ genderfluid, so please do some research if you’re interested in reading this.

We Are Okay by Nina Lacour

I can’t believe I still haven’t read any of Lacour’s books yet! What am I doing with my life? I already own Everything Leads to You and I recently ordered a hardcover copy of We Are Okay, so I should pick one of her books up soon!


So these are some books featuring bisexual characters on my TBR. Feel free to recommend me some more books, preferably #OwnVoices!

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huge book unhaul!

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Happy Sunday, fellow book lovers! A couple of weeks ago, I decided I wanted to get rid of some books. I never knew how to do that – as not a lot of people read English books in my country – but the lovely Laura (@ Green Tea & Paperbacks) added me to a Facebook group for Dutch and Flemish readers, so I was finally able to unhaul these books.

There are various reasons why I’m getting rid of them: I have no interested in (re)reading them, I read them and didn’t enjoy them or they are problematic. Since I’m getting rid of over 40 books (!!!), I won’t go into detail about each of them, but I’m merely going to show you which ones I’m unhauling.

Some books have already been sold, but most haven’t. So if you live in or near Belgium and are interested in any of these books, feel free to let me know!

For a long time, I never thought I’d unhaul books. I want a big library and didn’t care that I didn’t like or don’t want to read some of the books on my shelves. Even though I still find it hard to get rid of them, I’d rather spend the money I earn by selling them on new books instead of keeping them just because.


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I read this trilogy back in 2015 and never plan on re-reading it. I didn’t like the last two book in this series, so the only reason why I kept them, were the covers.

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I only read City of Bones and tried to read City of Ashes, but I couldn’t stand Clary. And since she’s the protagonist of The Mortal Instruments, there’s no way I’d get through it.

To be honest, I have no interest in reading Cassandra Clare’s other books either. If I were ten years younger, I’d probably enjoy them, but I’m not, so: goodbye! 😀

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I enjoyed Maas’ series when I read them in 2015, but I won’t continue either. I never plan on picking up another one of her books again. It’s especially her fans I struggle with. They can’t seem to take any criticism and while these series don’t interest me anymore because they’re so heteronormative, misogynistic and white, the fans definitely have something to do with it as well.

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It has been YEARS since I’ve read If I Stay and I instantly knew I was never going to pick up the sequel. Even though it ends on a cliffhanger, I didn’t care to find out what was going to happen next. I didn’t hate If I Stay, but it never appealed to me. I don’t plan on reading another Gayle Forman book because of it.

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I’m mostly getting rid of some YA contemporaries (goodbye, John Green!) and some series I won’t finish.

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I didn’t realise I was getting rid of so many unread books. But truth be told: I won’t read these. I’ve had some of them on my shelves for years and have no interest in reading them.


Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that I’ve got rid of all the problematic books on my shelves. I for example didn’t unhaul the Outlander series and my hardcover copies of The Bone Seasons series, because I’d lose too much money selling those. I’d never be able to sell them for a decent amount, so I’m keeping those for the time being.

How about you

Have you ever unhauled books? Do you see any shocking choices on my list? Let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comments!

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Book Chat: books I won’t read

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Today, I am going to talk about some books I won’t read. A couple of months ago, I created a ‘not interested’ shelf on Goodreads (you can have a look at that shelf here). Its purpose is to keep track of problematic books, which I therefore won’t read. Since there are already over twenty books on that shelf, I won’t discuss them all today. I decided I’m going to talk about the most well-known ones and will hopefully be able to convince you why you shouldn’t support these authors or books either.

If you want to read these books for yourself because you refuse to believe what others have said: I don’t care. I’ve made up my mind that I won’t read these books, so don’t try to convince me that I should.

Anyway, let’s get started! These are in no particular order.

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Love Is Love: a comic book anthology to benefit the survivors of the Orlando Pulse shooting

Love Is Love is a comic book anthology dedicated to the victims and survivors of the Orlando Pulse shooting and the LGBTQ community. That sounds great, so at first, I was very interested in reading this. Unfortunately, this anthology was written by and for allo cis straight people, instead of the audience it’s supposed to be aimed at. Love is Love is an absolute mess: it’s is trans-, bi- and aphobic and much more and therefore fails to honour the victims of the shooting.

Make sure to read Mason’s and Leah’s reviews for more in-depth information.

The Graces by Laure Eve

The Graces has received a lot of mixed reviews on Goodreads. While a lot of readers complain that this book is cliché and dull, The Bookavid seems to be the only one who discusses the blatant racism, misogyny, ableism, homophobia and biphobia. Niral, the antagonist in this book is the only person of colour. She spreads a rumour that a side-character is a lesbian, because in this book, that’s apparently a horrible thing to be.

I could go on, but you should read The Bookavid’s review instead.

The Color Project by Sierra Abrams

I won’t read The Color Project because of the author. Sierra Abrams made a Twitter thread last year in which she discussed how platonic friendships are much more important than queer representation. She refused to accept that her favourite book series queer-baits and said that people shouldn’t headcanon characters as queer because once a male character has been with a woman, according to Abrams, they can only be heterosexual and certainly not bisexual.  She even said that Adam Parrish from the Raven Cycle was straight in the first book, which is incredibly biphobic.

I haven’t seen a lot of people talk about this and I am begging everyone to not read this book when it comes out. I will do everything I can to spread the word on this, but I can’t do it all by myself.

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

I unfortunately owned Nevernight, but once I found it is racist, I unhauled it. It’s one thing to appropriate the culture of Indigenous people, but to refuse to listen to criticism… I’m so done with Jay Kristoff. He’s one of the reasons why I won’t finish Illuminae Files either. On top of this, he also wants to read racist books to see for himself whether or not they are racist. So this white man actually thinks he can judge racism better than people of colour!

The Traitor’s Kiss by Erin Beaty

Another book with the dark-skinned aggressor trope. What is up with all these racists books?! Anyway, though The Traitor’s Kiss is marketed as a Mulan retelling, it absolutely isn’t. First of all, it’s whitewashed. Secondly, the villains are people of colour. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that this author supports The Continent by Keira Drake, which is another racist book (I will get to that soon).

Besides the racism, this book is also misogynist as there is an abundance of girl-on-girl hate.

Here’s my proof: x, x and x.

The Continent by Keira Drake

This review explains the racism in The Continent. Apparently, the release date of this book has been delayed to make revisions. That doesn’t mean anything, however. Harlequin Teen is also going to publish The Black Witch, which is yet another racist book. Harlequin Teen continues to promote that book on social media, even though it has received plenty of complaints by readers. So I don’t see how they are going to do better with The Continent. Clearly, this publisher doesn’t care about marginalized teens and continues to offer a platform to racist authors.

Furthermore, I think there are certain levels of problematic. Some books feature harmful lines. If those lines would’ve been taken out, the book would’ve been fine. Then there are some books that are build on harmful tropes. And The Continent sounds like the latter to me. No matter how much editing they do, the book is going to remain problematic unless they rewrite the entire thing.

The Black Witch by Laurie Forest

I won’t go into detail, since there is a review over 8.000 words that explains why The Black Witch is harmful. You can read it here. This book is not only racist, but also ableist and homophobic. Read this blogpost for prove that these kinds of books hurt teenager. It’s not “just fiction” and that’s why you shouldn’t support this book or author.

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

The chances of me reading The Hating Game were very slim to begin with. It doesn’t sound like it would be my cup of tea. But after reading this thorough review, I’m certainly never going to pick this book up. I’ve only seen raving reviews, but The Hating Game is fatphobic, racist, ableist and sexist. I don’t want to say I told you so, but those are the exact reasons why I don’t read (New) Adult romances anymore unless they are written by diverse authors and/or feature diverse characters.

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

I didn’t include the cover of Carve the Mark in my banner because it’s very triggering to some people. Ever since some bookstagrammers decided to recreate the cover on their arm and therefore romanticise self-harm, I have trouble looking at the cover myself. As you certainly know by now, Carve the Mark is not only ableist, but also racist. You can read more information about the racism here. I decided to unfollow everyone who continued to support Carve the Mark. I’m sad I lost some friends over this, but I can’t handle it anymore that some people don’t care about hurting others. When did reading a book become more important than supporting other – and especially marginalised – people?

Sad Perfect by Stephanie Elliot

Sad Perfect is a book about a girl with Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID). This reviewer, who struggles with eating disorders, found this book triggering. Furthermore, the author did not research this topic, as you can read in this interview. Just because her daughter had AFRID, doesn’t make the author an expert on this. This is not an #OwnVoices book! This book is written in second person, so I can totally imagine how harmful this book must be for people with eating disorders.

I also didn’t include the cover of this book as it can also be triggering for some people.


It’s absolutely appalling that this list includes less than half of the books on my ‘not interested’ shelf. On top of that, all these books were released in 2016 or 2017 (or will be released shortly). It saddens me that there are so many harmful books out there. Even though some readers continue to boost diverse authors and/or diverse books, problematic books are constantly being released.

You know what disgusts me the most, though? That there are readers who initially weren’t interested in these books, but once they found out they were problematic, they decided to add them to their TBRs.

Please, do not support these books and authors as they are incredibly harmful for some readers. Instead, I suggest you have a look at my diversity masterpost and pick up some diverse books instead.


How about you

What are some books you won’t read because they are problematic? Like I said, there are many more books on my list, but I’m not opposed to adding even more. We have to protect each other and discuss why books are problematic.

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Book chat: How do I write reviews?

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Hello, my dear followers! It has been a very long time since I did a book chat, so today I wanted to talk about the way I write reviews. When I read other people’s reviews on Goodreads and WordPress, I notice how different they all are. Some people use a lot of gifs, other people’s reviews are merely one sentence, there are those who have very elaborate rating systems, etc. This is not a “how you should write” reviews posts. This is merely a discussion about the different types of reviews and the way I write them. Anyway, let’s get started.

First of all, I think it’s safe to say that my reviews are elaborate, especially when I dislike a book. My review of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child for example is over two thousand words long, and it easily could’ve been a thousand words longer! I always want to explain why I liked or disliked a book.

Talking about disliking books: I find it so much easier to write reviews for books I hated. When that’s the case, I list the things I disliked. Even when I love a book, I will mention the problematic aspects in my review. As a result, my reviews always seem to focus much more on the negative aspects, rather than the positive.

The thing I struggle with the most while writing down my thoughts, is the order. I never know whether I should start with the positive or the negative. I think that’s my main issue I have to work on.

Some people write a synopsis. For some, that counts as a review. I don’t do that. If anyone wants to know what the book is about, they’ll have to read the blurb. Most of my reviews are definitely meant for people who have read the book, or at least know what it is about.

This year, I decided I no longer want to rate the books I read. In my opinion, star ratings are quite superficial and subjective. And like I’ve said, my reviews are elaborate, so they convey my opinion much better than a rating. Furthermore, I’m reading more diverse books this year. Even when I didn’t enjoy something (for personal reasons, not problematic aspects), I don’t want a low rating to put people off from reading the book themselves.

Having said that, I’m still rating books on Goodreads and Netgalley. My reviews didn’t get nearly as many likes anymore when I stopped rating the books I read. I put a lot of time and effort into them, so naturally, I’d like for people to read them. And when I review ARCs on Netgalley, I think it’s almost mandatory to rate them. But I won’t over-think the rating anymore. When a book isn’t problematic and I very much enjoyed it, I’ll probably rate it 5 stars even when it isn’t  my new favourite book. No more half ratings for me.

I don’t include any gifs or images in my reviews. I don’t enjoy to read those kinds of reviews, so why would I write my own reviews like that?

At the end, I always write a conclusion. It sums up how I felt about the book and says whether or not I would recommend it.

How about you

What kind of reviews do you write? And which ones do you prefer to read? Do you have any advise for me? I’m very interested to learn more about your reviews, so let me know in the comments!

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Bewaren

interview with M. Hollis!

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A few weeks ago, I read an ARC of The Paths We Choose by M. Hollis and I absolutely loved it! Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing the author. It’s the very first time I’m doing this, so I hope my questions are okay 🙂

Welcome, Maria!
Lily, the protagonist in The Paths We Choose doesn’t label herself, and you have mentioned on your blog that you find it very hard to dig into your own sexuality and labels. Do you have any advice for readers who feel pressured to label themselves?

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I think labeling yourself it’s a different experience for everyone. I have tried to use a few labels so far and there are some that I identify more with but I’m not ready to declare loud and proud my label just yet. Finding my attraction to women took me a long time and it was a hard process but now it’s definitely what most defines me as part of my queerness. I hope one day I can talk more openly about this. Right now, I’m only out for a few close friends and I’m choosing to protect my identity until the day I’m sure I can really talk about it without worrying if someone from real life will find out.

Using a label can also be limiting for people who aren’t completely sure where they fall on the spectrum. Heteronormativity is damaging for many of us and plays a big part on our process of figuring out our identities. I’m making this choice now but tomorrow everything can change.

My advice for people who are still unsure is not to pressure yourself or feel like you don’t belong just because you can’t claim a label. We have our right time to do things after all. Just try to figure out if a label is what you need or if you don’t want one at all, like Lily. For some people, a label is something concrete and for others, it can be fluid. There isn’t a right way to figure things out, do what makes your feel safe and happy.

Which character from the Lillac Town series was your favourite to write?

So far, I’ve enjoyed writing both Chris and Lily’s POV. I think since Lily and I have the same personality it was a bit easier to get into her head. But I’m excited to write about Karen and Hope since they have very interesting stories.

I don’t think I can choose just one favorite! I love all of them so much. When you write a book, you have to really love this story and these characters because you’re going to spend a long time with them. Some books take years to be finished and if you get tired of it, you won’t be able to get it done. So, I learn to love my characters as they are. If I don’t like something I’m writing I just stop and try to think what I’m doing wrong that is bothering me so much.

Which songs should be on a soundtrack of the Lillac Town series?

I made playlists for each one of the books, here are some of my favorite songs:

The Melody of You and Me

  • Closer – Tegan and Sara
  • She will be loved – Leah Louise
  • Take me as I am – Au revoir Simone

The Paths We Choose:

  • Don’t Wanna be Your Lover – Vanessa White
  • Heart Won’t Forget – Matoma & Gia
  • Ingrid Michaelson – Maybe
 The Melody of You and Me and The Paths We Choose are both New Adult contemporary romances. Do you have any plans to write something entirely different, such as a fantasy novel?

This was actually my first time writing contemporary romance for New Adult! My favorite genre to write is paranormal but I also like to explore apocalyptic worlds and retellings. I’ve written a little bit of everything.

I don’t think I’d write a whole fantasy novel because it’s a genre I don’t read a lot. But I do have a few short stories in my drafts involving dragons. I just love writing about vampires, ghosts or about magic worlds.

There’s a YA that I’m working on for a few years now and I’m finally writing down about this society of girls in a boarding school that I really hope to get published. It’s an interesting story and probably my favorite so far.

Almost all the characters you write, including the side characters, are queer women. And I absolutely love that! Do you ever plan on writing e.g. a bisexual woman who’s in a relationship with a man? Or do you prefer to write F/F romances?

Again, finding out and accepting my attraction to women is all new to me. If you told me years ago that my first published stories would be Femslash I’d not believe you at all! So writing this is part of my healing process. I love writing about women falling in love with other women and I have no shame in that. I’ll keep doing it for a really long time, no doubts.

I may consider writing M/F with LBTQIA+ characters one day, but I don’t know when or if that’ll happen. My priority is to keep writing F/F and that’s what I’m comfortable writing right now.

What’s your biggest dream as a writer?

This may sound so little but I just hope to be able to support myself with my writing so that I can keep writing. It’s not easy to write and it’s not easy to make enough money in this area. But I’m going to keep writing and trying to bring stories that’ll make people happy.

 Why did you want to become an author? Did you feel like there was a lack of F/F romances, and did you want to change that?

I have answered this a few times now, but I always loved creating stories and had my dreams of publishing them one day in the future. Writing F/F is something still new to me. Fanfic helped me a lot and it’s where I started to explore both my sexuality and my character’s experiences as LBPQ+ women. At some point last year, I just had this moment where I realized I couldn’t see myself or my friends sometimes in books being published with F/F content so I decided to add my voice to it.

I’m trying to publish stories in Portuguese here in Brazil because we don’t have many of these yet and it can be hard to find an audience. But my friends who don’t speak my language wanted to read my things and they told me I should just start publishing something that they could read. So, it was a surprise to have readers so interested in my stories in English. I’m still getting used to it.

I think there’s so much to explore and I hope more of us bring their own stories because many intersectionalities are still lacking. There is never enough of F/F. Maybe someday we can reach a point where every person will be able to open a book and find themselves in stories but for now, we need to keep working and making space for everyone.

You’re not only an author, but you also design book covers. What cover designs are you jealous of?

I love the cover of The Unforgettables by GL Tomas, it’s such a fun and original concept. Also, Not your Sidekick by C.B. Lee has a beautiful cover art!

How do you come up with the titles? Do you find it a difficult process?

Titles are literally the hardest part for me. I’m just not good at them and I’m jealous of everyone who can come up with a title right away. Everyone else seems to do it better than me. For The Melody, it was way easier because I knew I wanted the music to be the important part of the story for the two protagonists. The Paths took me a longer time. First, because the original titles I wanted were being used by other authors (including one of my friends!). I played around with a long list of titles, sending them to my many betas until we decided on this one.

Which author had the biggest impact on you?

Catherine M. Wilson wrote this trilogy called When Women Were Warriors that is mainly a story about a matriarch society. It’s such a beautiful love story full of wonderful and complex women. I remember reading these books recently and thinking I was dreaming because it was everything I ever wanted to read.

Has a reader ever reached out to you and told you that you changed their lives?

I think “changed their lives” may be too much, but I definitely received a few messages from readers telling me how much they love my stories and how much these characters mean to them. It’s always a nice surprise to get these.

Something that caught be my surprise was how many young people related to Chris dropping out of college. It’s one of the things people seem to like more about the story. I wasn’t expecting that it’d mean so much and I’m glad I included this now. No one should stay in a major they hate or get into a university just because other people are doing it. We should be able to follow our dreams and to live our lives in our own time. We are so young when we have to choose a career for the rest of our lives and it shouldn’t be like that. It’s okay to change your mind, it’s okay to take a little longer to figure things out.


The Paths We Choose will be released on April 6th. You can pre-order a copy here! The Melody of You and Me is available in paperback and Kindle, which you can find here. I absolutely recommend these novellas!

Thank you very much Maria for allowing me to interview you!

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Winter 2017 reading update!

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Hello, book lovers! Today I am going to talk about the best books I read this winter and let you know how my Diversity Bingo 2017 progress is doing. I know, I know, March isn’t technically winter, but I am going to talk about the books I read from January 1st 2017 to March 31th 2017.

The Books I read

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During the first quarter of this year, I read a lot of great books. There were only two I didn’t enjoy: Girl Hearts Girl and Three Dark Crowns. I also didn’t finished one novel, See You in the Cosmos. I would recommend all the other books I read!


My Five Favourites

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli ➳  review
Amazon | Wordery | Book Depository

The Upside of Unrequited was hands down my favourite book I read this winter. I loved everything about it and can’t wait to get my hands on a finished copy. I’m so protective over this book. Whenever I see someone who didn’t love it, I cannot help but disagree so much. The Upside of Unrequited is definitely one of my all-time favourite books!

We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson ➳  review
Amazon | Wordery | Book Depository

This book deals with very heavy topics such as suicide, depression, bullying, sexual assault, etc. Still, We Are the Ants was a heart-warming and funny read. I definitely had to put it down from time to time because it was emotionally very consuming, but I certainly plan to re-read We Are the Ants one day.

Noteworthy by Riley Redgate ➳ review
Amazon | Wordery | Book Depository

It was Noteworthy by Riley Redgate that made me realise that I do like Young Adult contemporaries, I just wasn’t reading the right ones. Noteworthy was the very first ARC I’ve ever read and I plan on getting a finished copy once it’s released!

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas ➳ review
Amazon | Wordery | Book Depository

The Hate U Give is probably going to be on everyone’s favourites lists. It absolutely deserves the hype it has received. Just like We Are the Ants, it deals with a very serious topic (police brutality), yet Angie Thomas still managed to write a heart-warming and funny book. I can’t wait to see what she writes next.

A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin ➳ review
Amazon | Wordery | Book Depository

It took me forever to read A Feast for Crows, but once I dedicated my time to it, I loved it! I was planning on reading A Dance with Dragons right away – actually, I’ve already started it – but once again, I’m neglecting this series and reading shorter books instead. I’m hoping to include the fifth book in my Spring wrap-up, so please make sure I read it!


2017 Reading Challenge

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I want to read fifty-two books this year (one book a week) and I’m pleased to see that I’m ahead of schedule. I’m so happy I’ve loved nearly all the books I read so far and I’m not behind on my challenge. Let’s hope it stays that way 🙂

Having said that, I’m (hopefully) going to graduate in June. Which means that I have no idea what is going to happen then. I don’t know whether I’ll find a job right away, so I don’t know whether I’ll have time to read…


Diversity Bingo progress

I’ve read 14 books so far, and 12 of those fit in a category of the Diversity Bingo sheet. Some books fit in multiple categories, so the progress below is not at all final. If you want to know which books fit in which category, you should check out my monthly wrap-ups!

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I didn’t enjoy Girl Hearts Girl and Three Dark Crowns so I definitely plan on reading other books for the categories ‘diverse non-fiction’ and ‘book by author of colour’.

I’m very surprised that I already completed 1/3 of the challenges. I didn’t expect to succeed in Diversity Bingo, but since I’m doing so well and keep buying diverse books, I definitely want to complete the entire grid by December!


Did you like this reading update? It’s the first time I’m doing this and I’m wondering whether it adds anything to my monthly wrap-ups. Is there anything else I could talk about in these quarterly updates?

How many books did you read in January, February and March? If you’re doing Diversity Bingo, how much progress have you made?

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