giovedì 14 febbraio 2019

My favourite fictional couples in books | #valentinesday2019

Even though I’m not the biggest fan of Valentine’s Day (I know some people might say that’s because I’m not in a relationship and to that I say yes maybe that’s why) I’m the biggest romance novels fan, particularly YA novels. You’ve probably guessed it by now if you’ve read any of my previous blog posts: like my latest book haul or the one about the books I want to read this year. Even my book reviews are proofs of how much I love a good romance novel. 

So despite my stance on Valentine’s Day, I thought today I could share with you my favourite fictional couples in books (and yes you guess it right they’re mainly from YA romance novels). Also I’m not sure if I should say that this post might contain some spoilers, but you know I’m talking about couples that may not be coupled up at the beginning of these books so keep that in mind. In no particular order here they are: 

Lara Jean and Peter K from ‘To all the boys I’ve loved before’ by Jenny Han: how could I have not included the fictional couple of the year 2018 thanks to the movie adaptation? I absolutely loved all three books of this series and Lara Jean and Peter are just the loveliest couple ever. Their relationship didn’t really start like many, let’s say they played pretend for a while, but along the way the fell in love with each other. 

Loveday and Nathan from ‘Lost for words’ and Ailsa and Sebastian from ‘The curious heart of Ailsa Rae’ by Stephanie Butland: these two books are some of my favourite books of all time and the only ones that aren’t YA novels included in this list. Both couples are so unique thanks to their extraordinary stories. Despite the challenges of a difficult past for Loveday and those of an unexpected present for Ailsa, these two incredible women found their way to two loving relationships. 

Molly and Reid and Cassie and Mina from ‘The Upside of Unrequited’ by Becky Albertalli: two couples from the same book. If you’ve read my review of this one you know how much I loved reading it and all these characters held a special place in my heart. I felt such a strong connection to Molly and all her struggles, as an introverted teenager that longs for love, and I couldn’t have been happier that she found Reid. With Cassie and Mina, they’re obviously not the main characters of this book but we still get to enjoy their happiness and how they found their way to each other. 

Emily and Frank from ‘Since you’ve been gone’ and Andie and Clark from ‘The unexpected everything’ by Morgan Matson: you should know by now that Morgan is one of my favourite authors of all time and the way she tells the stories of these characters and of these couples makes these books even more special. I particularly loved how Emily had to learn to open up to Frank and let her guard down and I also particularly loved how unexpected but surprisingly amazing Clark has been for Andie. 

Amelia and Grady from ‘Stay sweet’ by Siobhan Vivian: these two didn’t really like each other at first, and I’m a sucker for this kind of stories. They thought they were the opposite of each other and that they would never get along, but slowly they realize that they have a common goal in mind and that working together is not that bad after all. 

What are some of your favourite fictional couples? 

(This post contains affiliate links, buying these books through these links means I'll receive a small percentage from it but it won't cost you anything more.)

venerdì 8 febbraio 2019

Book haul: February 2019

I’ve nearly read all the books I bought back in December, can you believe it? Always fearful of being left without anything new to read I had to place a new book order. I had to right? Not even a couple of weeks ago I browsed my digital TBR on Goodreads and picked a few books I really wanted to read. Let’s be honest I want to read them all but since I can’t buy them all I had to make a choice and so I picked the ones that had been on my list the longest or that I really really wanted to read. 

They came in the mail today, so I thought for my Friday’s post I could share them with you and maybe you’ll find something you like and haven’t read yet. We could be reading buddies! This is going to be my first ever book haul post, so bear with me whilst I give it a try. Here they are in no particular order: 

“Second Chance Summer” by Morgan Matson: as I told you in my post about books I want to read in 2019 I love Morgan Matson’s books and as I also told you in that post this is the only book from her that I haven’t read yet. So with this one my collection is complete. This book was first published in 2012, but I purchased the 2015 paperback Simon & Schuster edition. Here’s what it’s about: Taylor’s family isn’t the closest-knit but they get along, until her dad gets a devastating news and they decide to spend one last summer in their old lake house. There they have the chance to get to know each other better and Taylor discovers things haven’t changed much around there, specifically her former best friend and her first boyfriend, who’s now much cuter than when he was twelve. 

“Landline” by Rainbow Rowell: similarly to the aforementioned book I also talked about this one in my post about books I want to read in 2019. So far I’ve read two books by this author and I loved them so much that I want to read more, so I picked this one out. This book was first published in 2014, but I purchased the 2015 paperback Orion edition. Here’s what it’s about: Georgie and Neal love each other very much, but maybe that’s not enough because something isn’t right in their marriage. When Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go with him to Oklahoma to visit his family for Christmas she certainly doesn’t expect him to take the kids and go there without her. But that night Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past and maybe that’s a new opportunity to save her marriage. 

“Another Day” by David Levithan: there seems to be a theme here, because I also talked about this book in the aforementioned blog post. Funnily enough this book is the second in a series and the first book, “Everyday”, was the first ever book that I read in english (and I talked all about that in my last blog post). This book was first published in 2015 by Ember, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books. Here’s what it’s about: every day of Rhiannon’s life is the same, she thinks she deserves her distant boyfriend and she acts accordingly. Until one day Justin seems different, for just one day it seems like he finally sees her and that day is perfect. But the next day Justin doesn’t remember anything about it and Rhiannon is sad and confused, until a stranger tells her that that day it wasn’t Justin at all. 

“The summer I turned pretty” by Jenny Han (series): carrying on with what is apparently the theme of this post, I also included this in the aforementioned post. I absolutely loved the “To all the boys I’ve loved before” series and that’s why I want to catch up with everything Jenny Han has written prior to that. The first book of the series was first published in 2009, but I purchased the 2010 paperback Puffin edition, that contains the full trilogy. Here’s what it’s about: every year Isabel spends her summer at her family friends’ house, between going to the swimming pool at night and the private stretch of beach with two boys. One is the unavailable Conrad, who she’s loved all her life, and the other is the friendly Jeremiah, who’s never really paid attention to her, but this summer something is different. 

“The book ninja” by Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus: funnily enough I also included this book in my post about the books I want to read in 2019, so it seems like I might be able to complete my list sooner than I thought. This book was first published in June 2018, but I purchased the August 2018 paperback Simon & Schuster UK edition. Here’s what it’s about: Frankie is desperate for love, but it’s not like she hasn’t tried, she’s the master of online dating. But she’s tired of that, so she decides that she’s going to start a dating experiment: she secretly places copies of her favourite books on train and buses hoping to find the right man through a mutual love of books. One kiss later Frankie begins to fall for Sunny, but their book tastes couldn’t be more different. 

Have you read any of these books? If so what did you think? 

(This post contains affiliate links, buying these books through these links means I'll receive a small percentage from it but it won't cost you anything more.)

martedì 5 febbraio 2019

The first book I read in english: ‘Everyday’ by David Levithan

As you probably know, especially if you’ve read the about me page on my blog, I’m from Italy so Italian is my mother tongue, but here we start learning english as a second language from a very young age. Even though I started learning english when I started school I obviously wasn’t able to read books in english for years. Reading a full novel in your second language if you are not fluent in that language is pretty hard to be honest, as anyone who has tried reading a book in another language knows. 

At some point during my high school years I realized I wanted to know my second language better, that what I was still learning in school wasn’t enough. So I started learning by myself, by watching youtube videos of British youtubers (at first many times just to understand the content of one video) and reading articles and blog posts in a language that wasn’t my first language. Slowly but surely I got better and better. I’m now at a point where I can confidently write, read and speak in english without any problem, sure I still don’t know every single word in the dictionary (but I don’t know every word of the Italian dictionary so I think I’m doing ok).

Right now it’s pretty normal for me to pick up a book either in english or Italian, actually in the last four years I think I’ve read more books written in english than Italian (that’s for a few different reasons that I can maybe talk about in a future post). But today I want to talk to you about the first ever book I’ve read in english, why I picked that one and how that went. 

That book is “Everyday” by David Levithan, first published in 2012. It’s a YA fantasy novel that follows the life of A, a person that every day wakes up in a different body of someone that has the same age as them. When A spends the day in Justin’s body he/she feels a connection with Justin’s girlfriend Rhiannon. From that moment on the book follows A’s life as he/she tries to be close to Rhiannon every day even though he/she is in a different body every single time. 

When I picked this book I had been thinking of reading a book in english for a while but I didn’t feel confident enough to do so, I was afraid that I wouldn’t understand the full story and that I would feel like a failure, like I didn’t know the language as well as I thought I would. But then I stumbled upon “Everyday” and at the time there wasn’t a translated version available and I really wanted to read it after hearing so many good things about it online. I was intrigued enough to challenge myself to read it in english. I’m so glad I did, first of all because I adored this book and I still list it as one of my favorite of all times (I still haven’t read the next two books in the series because up until recently I didn’t know they existed, I don’t know how that happened). 

Reading a full book in english for the first time wasn’t as easy as it is now and it wasn’t as easy as it was to read in Italian (obviously), but I managed to do it. I didn’t know every single word in the book but I knew most of them and with a bit of research on those I didn’t know reading it turned out to be easier than I thought. It was definitely the boost I needed, from that moment on I knew that I could read in english quite easily and I had a newfound confidence in my abilities and my knowledge of the language. 

Do you speak more than one language? And do you read in more than one language? If so what was the first book you’ve read in your second language? 

(This post contains an affiliate link, buying the book through this link means I’ll receive a small percentage from it but it won’t cost you anything more)

Il primo libro che ho letto in inglese: "Everyday" di David Levithan

Come sapete, soprattutto se avete letto la pagina ‘about me’ sul mio blog, sono italiana e quindi l’italiano è la mia prima lingua, ma qui in Italia iniziamo a imparare l’inglese in prima elementare, se non prima in alcuni casi. Nonostante questo precoce inizio nello studio di una seconda lingua per molti anni non sono stata in grado di leggere un libro interamente in inglese, per ovvie ragioni. Se non parli una seconda lingua molto bene risulta logicamente molto difficile leggere un intero romanzo in quella lingua. 

A un certo punto, però, durante gli anni del liceo mi sono resa conto di voler migliorare il mio livello di inglese andando oltre il livello scolastico. Per farlo ho iniziato a guardare video su youtube di youtuber inglesi (a volte riguardando lo stesso video moltissime volte per riuscire a capirne tutti i contenuti) e leggendo articoli e post di blog in inglese. Lentamente sono riuscita a migliorare e oggi sono in grado di scrivere, leggere e parlare in inglese senza nessun problema (come avrete intuito dal fatto che il mio blog è prevalentemente in inglese).

Oggi leggo libri in entrambe le lingue, senza pormi molti problemi al riguardo, anzi negli ultimi quattro o cinque anni ho forse letto più romanzi in inglese che in italiano (parlerò delle ragioni di questa scelta in un post futuro). Ma oggi vi voglio parlare del primo libro che ho letto in inglese, perché abbia scelto proprio quello e come è stata quell’esperienza. 

Quel libro è “Everyday” di David Levithan, tradotto in italiano con il titolo “Ogni giorno” nel 2013. Si tratta di un romanzo fantasy young adult che racconta la vita di A, una persona che si risveglia ogni giorno in un corpo differente, di persone che hanno la sua stessa età. Quando A passa una giornata nel corpo di Justin sente una strana connessione con la fidanza di Justin Rhiannon. Da quel momento in poi il libro segue A mentre cerca di restare vicino a Rhiannon mentre si ritrova ogni giorno nel corpo di un’altra persona. 

Quando ho scelto questo libro volevo leggere un libro in inglese da diverso tempo ma non mi sentivo abbastanza sicura nella mia conoscenza della lingua per farlo davvero, avevo paura di non comprendere a fondo la storia e di sentirmi un fallimento per non conoscere l’inglese bene come credevo. Ma poi ho scoperto questo libro, ho letto numerose recensioni online positive e sentito molti online parlarne, la sua trama originale mi ha subito incuriosita. Quando sono andata alla ricerca della sua versione in italiano ho però scoperto che non era stato ancora tradotto, ma avevo così tanta voglia di leggerlo che ho deciso di provare a leggerlo in inglese. Sono incredibilmente contenta di averlo fatto, innanzitutto perché lo considero ancora oggi uno dei miei libri preferiti (ancora non ho letto i due libri successivi perché non sono come fino a poco tempo fa non ne ero a conoscenza) e poi certamente perché ha aperto le porte a molte altre letture in lingua inglese che forse non avrei fatto senza aver prima letto questo libro. 

Leggere un intero libro in una lingua che non è la tua prima lingua non è facile, soprattutto all’inizio, ma ci sono riuscita. Ovviamente non ho subito compreso tutte le parole, ma ne ho capita la maggior parte e con una breve ricerca per conoscere il significato delle altre sono riuscita a terminare tranquillamente la lettura. Esserci riuscita mi ha dato allora la fiducia in me stessa che avevo bisogno, da quel momento in poi avevo la conferma di riuscire a leggere un intero romanzo in un’altra lingua e i dubbi sulle mie capacità si sono affievoliti. 

Conosci più di una lingua? Se si leggi libri scritti in una lingua che non è la tua madrelingua? Qual è stato il primo libro che hai letto nella tua seconda lingua? 

(Questo post contiene un link affiliato, questo non comporta alcun costo aggiuntivo ma significa semplicemente che se acquisti il libro attraverso questo link io riceverò una piccola percentuale)

venerdì 1 febbraio 2019

My favourite series on Netflix

In today’s post I thought I could switch things up a little bit and talk about something that has nothing to do with books. I’m a self-confessed book lover and avid reader, I admit it, but I’m also passionate about a lot of other things and I particularly enjoy a good tv series. And that’s why today I want to talk to you about my top favourite Netflix series: 

“Grace & Frankie”. This one is my absolute favourite and it’s currently on it’s 5th season. It stars Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda, together they are the funniest people ever. Their characters, respectively Frankie and Grace are very different and they’ve never gotten along, but something unexpectedly pushed them together: their husbands are in love with each other and want a divorce. This is exactly what brings the two very different women together. This series tackles a lot of serious topic but in such a funny way that you’re gonna love it too. Don’t be put off by the idea of not enjoying a series where the main characters are elderly, because you’re gonna miss out on one of the greatest series.

“The Crown”. Now do I even have to say anything about this one? Are there still people who haven’t watched it or at least heard about it? I’m a fan of anything related to the Royal Family, like many around the world, so you can imagine my excitement when I found out about the series. The third season should come out this year and the expectations are very high, considering how amazing the first two seasons have been. If you have never heard of it (even thought I highly doubt it) this series follows the life of Queen Elizabeth II, each decade of her reign corresponds to each season. I even own the book of the first season titled “The Crown. The Inside Story” by Robert Lacey which contains extensive research and additional material.

“The Ranch”. This one is structured a bit differently compared to the others, three seasons are currently available to watch but each season consists of two parts of ten episodes each, so it’s basically like there are six seasons. This series follows the life of the Bennet family, they live on a ranch in a fictional town in Colorado and they are for sure a very dysfunctional family. I have to say that the first four parts were mainly funny with some serious content here and there, but I found that the last two parts have been more and more serious and a bit less funny. Also to note: after the accusations against Danny Masterson, who played Rooster, Netflix removed him from the series so in the latest part he is not in the series anymore.

“Alexa & Katie”. I started watching this one because I was in need of something light and funny to watch, like some sort of comfort show. And this series provided that and so much more, thanks to the many serious topics that underline each episode. This series follows the life of Alexa and Katie (respectively played by Paris Berelc and Isabel May), two lifelong best friend and neighbours, that are about to start their first year of high school. But things aren’t smooth for these two, Alexa is diagnosed with cancer and they’re left navigating high school whilst dealing with this scary illness. 

Have you watched any of this series on Netflix? If so what did you think? And what are your favourite series to watch on Netflix? 

(This post contains an affiliate link, buying the book through this link means I’ll receive a small percentage from it but it won’t cost you anything more)

Le mie serie tv preferite su Netflix

Nel post di oggi ho pensato di fare qualcosa di diverso e cambiare un po’ le cose, non parlerò di libri ma di serie tv. Sappiamo tutti che sono una grande amante dei libri e della lettura, ma ci sono tante altre cose che mi appassionano e che adoro fare, tra cui guardare serie tv su Netflix. Ecco perché oggi voglio parlarvi delle mie quattro serie preferite: 

“Grace & Frankie”. Questa serie è la mia preferita in assoluto ed è attualmente alla sua quinta stagione. I due personaggi principali sono interpretati da Lily Tomlin e Jane Fonda, rispettivamente Frankie e Grace, e sono due donne molto diverse l’una dall’altra. Non sono mai andate d’accordo ma si ritrovano inaspettatamente vicine quando i rispettivi mariti rivelano loro di volere il divorzio perché innamorati l’uno dell’altro. Questa serie affronta diversi temi importanti ma lo fa in maniera così divertente che sono sicura piacerà anche a voi. 

“The Crown”. Non credo sia neanche necessario spiegare di che cosa parla questa serie perché credo che ormai quasi tutti l’abbiano vista o ne abbiano almeno sentito parlare. Sono una grande fan di tutto ciò che ha a che fare con la famiglia reale inglese, come molti nel mondo, per cui potete immaginare la mia felicità quando ho letto di questa serie per la prima volta. La terza stagione è in uscita quest’anno e le mie aspettative (e non solo le mie) sono molto alte, considerando quanto siano state fantastiche le prime due stagioni. Se non ne hai mai sentito parlare questa serie ripercorre la vita della Regina Elisabetta II, una stagione per ogni decennio di regno. Ho addirittura il libro della prima serie, intitolato “The Crown. The Inside Story” di Robert Lacey, che contiene materiale aggiuntivo e ulteriori ricerche. 

“The Ranch”. Questa serie ha una struttura un po’ diversa dalle altre, attualmente sono disponibili tre stagioni, ma ognuna di esse è suddivisa in due parti da dieci episodi l’una, per cui è come se fossero sei stagioni di fatto, invece che tre. Segue la vita della famiglia Bennet che vive in un ranch in una cittadina di finzione in Colorado, una famiglia molto disfunzionale. Devo dire che le prime quattro parti le ho trovate estremamente divertenti, mentre le ultime due hanno affrontato temi sempre più seri e per questo le ho trovate meno divertenti.   

“Alexa & Katie”. Ho iniziato a guardare questa serie perché ero alla ricerca di qualcosa di divertente e leggero, ma questa serie porta con sé anche tanti temi più seri. Segue, infatti, la vita di Alexa e Katie (interpretate rispettivamente da Paris Berelc e Isabel May), amiche da una vita nonché vicine di casa, che stanno per cominciare il primo anno di liceo. Ma le cose non sono semplici per queste due amiche, infatti, ad Alexa viene diagnosticato il cancro e così si ritrovano a navigare la vita da liceali insieme a questa terribile malattia. 

Avete visto qualcuna di queste serie? Se si che cosa ne avete pensato? Quali sono invece le vostre serie preferite su Netflix? 

martedì 29 gennaio 2019

My favourite book as a child: 'Fairy Oak' by Elisabetta Gnone

I received the first book of this fantasy series as a gift from a family member and I still to this day treasure that gift. As a child I was an avid reader, much more than I am now, sometimes I even read more than one full book in a day. I was always on the hunt for the next best book to read and I had never read any fantasy books before I got this one. 

I was hooked from page one. The story is told so beautifully and the illustrations dotted around the pages are so gorgeous that I was obsessed in an instant. You can imagine the look of joy on my face when I found out that there was more than just one book. Over the course of the years I collected and read all seven of them and I still think of these books as some of the best books I’ve ever read. 

This series started off as a trilogy (the first three books are the ones with a dark green cover) but then the author, Elisabetta Gnone, carried on writing other four books, that form kind of a collection within this series. I think these books are the perfect gift for any children in your family, but I also think that they are highly enjoyable by adults too. 

The love I have for these books and the fond memories of reading each of them are a testament to how much great books shape our lives as readers from a very young age. Books are still the first thing that comes to my head whenever someone asks what is my biggest passion or what I enjoy doing. And I think it’s thanks to books as great as these ones that reading is still my favourite thing in the entire world. 

I’m pretty sure they have been translated in english (and many other languages as well) but the english version is currently unavailable on Amazon, but you can buy them on the Fairy Oak’s website.  

Here’s what the first one is about: this story is told by Telli, a young fairy called by the witch Lilac Tomelilla to be a fairy nanny to her two nieces Lavender and Vanilla. The witch and her family live in an ancient and magical village, hidden in the depths of a timeless past, built around Oak, a big talking tree. Here the Nonmagicals live in peace with the Magicals, that are divided into Magicals of the Light, with life-enhancing powers, and Magicals of the Dark, with the power of destruction and death. These two factions live in peace and they are complementary to each other. Fairy Telli is not just a common nanny, she has the special and difficult task of protecting the young twins. Lavender and Vanilla were born twelve hours apart and that’s the exception that will allow them to inherit their magical powers (the Witchlike Code, in fact, states that twins can’t inherit magical powers from their uncles or aunts like other children can). But on the day that the twins reveal their powers an old evil enemy comes back, he is known as the Terrible 21st because he always attacks on the 21st of June.

What was your favourite book when you were a child? Have you read this one? If so what did you think?