Posted in Wrap-up

May Wrap-up!


Another month has come and gone. May was filled with news, good and bad, achievements, big and small, and the usual sleep-deprivation.


This month again, I broke my personal record of purchased books. 14 books in 31 days? What was I thinking? It would take me approximately 2 months to read them all. This being without work, studies, or any other activity. That one-click buy from Amazon makes my bank account a lot lighter than it used to, and my schedule a lot busier! But you know what?


Dead White Female (The Sam Jones Mysteries Book #1)
, Lauren Henderson

I did not remember getting this book. My order receipt says I got it for free. I kind of like the title. It probably will be one of those random picks on a rainy Thursday afternoon.

The Second Chance Shoe Shop, Marcie Steele
I decided to buy it after reading a couple of reviews from bloggers I trust. The title has a happy and lovely sound to it.

Murder in The Genes: The Trilogy, Jams N. Roses
Another free bargain from Amazon.

My Best Friend’s Girl, Dorothy Koomsom
I first saw this book on a This Week In Books meme post (I can’t remember who posted it, I’m sorry! Let me know if it was you) and I really like the blurb. And the cover. I had the same kind of rubber boots when I was a kid.

The Raven Boys, Maggie Stiefvater
Gotta love Amazon bargains! I could not resist getting a copy of this book at $1,99. I was hoping it would be the next book of the month for the Hype or Like Friday meme. I am glad I got it because we will indeed be reading The Raven Boys in June.

The Real Book Thief, Ingrid Black
I was so shocked when I learned about this story that curiosity took over and I had to learn more about it. I haven’t had time to pick it up yet but it is on my June reading list.

See How They Run, Tom Bale
Do I need to say anything about this book? It has been everywhere, and all reviews praised the story and the writing. I did my best to resist but the hype and my urge to get it was too strong. I will wait a little before reading it, though. I want all the reviews to fade from my memory to give the story my fair and unbiased focus.

Someone Else’s Skin, Sarah Hillary
Pure blurb love.

The Scorch Trials and The Death Cure, James Dashner
I have been waiting for those two since I read the last word of The Maze Runner. I loved the first book so much that hubby thought it would be a good gift idea to get the complete series in physical copies. I have to refrain myself from rushing to the desk and starting them right away.

The Book of You, Claire Kendal
One can never have enough psychological thrillers. I read the blurb and I knew I had to read it.

Gracie’s Song, Michelle Schlicher
Another recommendation from a fellow book blogger. I was very happy to get it because it had been on my wishlist for some time now, and I was afraid it would get buried under the dozens of books I add every week.

The Big Lead, Libby Kirsch
I found this book thanks to Inge’s review of another book in the same series @ the Belgian Reviewer. The comparison to my beloved Stephanie Plum series made the trick and I jumped on the opportunity to get the first book of the series free during the tour on Amazon US.

The Silent Twin, Caroline Mitchell
The intriguing (in a creepy way) cover and the name of the publisher convinced me to buy it without even reading the blurb. I said I had a thing for twins anyway.


I was lucky to win three giveaways this month. I can’t complain about my bad luck anymore. Many thanks to Jill @ Rant and Rave About Books Tara St. Pierre, Abby Vegas, and Michelle @ Book Adventures


The Fourteen Day Soul Detox,
Rita Stradling

The Little French Guesthouse, Helen Pollard
One of my favorite books of the month. Many thanks to Boukouture for approving me for this little slice of holiday. The review will be published on Thursday, 2nd June.

The Last Billable Hour, Susan Wolfe
Did I ever mention I can’t resist a good story involving lawyers? When I saw this on NetGalley, I thought it was just what I wanted.

The Dali Deception, Adam Maxwell
I was contacted by the author to read this book. I find the blurb very promising and even though I am not art-sensitive, I was attracted to the story.


In the mess that was May, I managed to read 7 books, which is one book more than the month before. Only two turned out to be major disappointments, but overall it was a great reading month.

Also, this happened:

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Thank you, David!
I had set it to 30 books because I had no idea how many books I would be able to read. Never had I imagined I would get totally immersed in this blog project and actually read 30 books. I won’t change my goal, because I like signing in and have the full bar remind me that I succeeded.

(Clicking on the title will take you to my review if it is available)

The Reflections of Queen Snow White, David Meredith Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Fourteen Day Soul Detox, Rita Stradling Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Sister, Louise Jensen Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Black Widow, Chris Brookmyre Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

What Pretty Girls Are Made Of, Lindsay Jill Roth Rating ⭐️⭐️

The Winner’s Curse, Marie Rutkoski Rating : DNF

The Little French Guesthouse, Helen Pollard : Rating and review on Thursday, 2nd June


I am slowly getting used to scheduling posts. I have decided to devote my Sundays (and Thursdays if needed) to writing, so that I can manage enough time to interact and read your posts daily without having to worry about my own. This way, I hope to manage my time well enough to study and work.

I am happy with my blogging for May, I managed to write between 3 and 5 posts each week.

Hype or Like Friday


About me

This Week In Books

Discussion post

That’s all for me for now! How was your May? Let me know in the comment or leave a link to your wrap-up! 🙂 

Posted in Tags & Awards

New York by The Book Tag

Hello and welcome to SunTag!

Thanks so much to Louise at @ geniereads for nominating me for this fun tag. Go check her blog, you won’t regret it!

new yorkby the book tag

What book is on your nightstand now?

Officially, I don’t have a nightstand.. I use an old wastepaper basket turned upside down with a lamp on it. You know what they say, student life is all about having no furniture and eating pizza or pasta every night. But my iPad is next to the bed, and it currently contains 40 books. Nope, I am not listing them.

What was the last truly great book you’ve read?

I finished The Little French Guesthouse earlier this week, and let me tell you, if you can’t afford the travel to France, this book will take you there. It transports you right in the middle of the French countryside to enjoy a few weeks with warm and funny characters. You get all the benefits of the trip, without the stupid mosquitoes, the rude French drivers and the language struggle. I must thank Helen Pollard for reminding me holidays can be so good and change your life. That is how great this book is.

If you could meet any writer – dead or alive – who would it be? And what would you want to know?

Okay, a couple of months back, I answered that question by saying I was never really interested in meeting authors. But now that I have been book blogging for a while, I realize how such a meeting could be awesome. I would probably bore them with stupid questions, I have never been great at asking things, but when I truly love something, I want to know everything there is to know. I won’t give names but I have changed my mind about the subject. One step at a time!

What books might we be surprised to find on your shelf?


I own some mangas, both in French and in Japanese, from the time I thought it would be fun to read this format. I never got used to it, but I kept them as souvenirs. I don’t know if I should blame the format or the actual stories for my lack of interest. We never got along.

How do you organize your personal library?

Like any proper control freak.

I don’t have any bookcases or bookshelves yet (work in progress!) but I use the upper part of my old desk to store my books. I cannot wait to get them a proper home. Until that happens, they are perfectly aligned 5 centimeters away from the edge, and in alphabetical order by author.

What book have you always meant to read and haven’t gotten around to yet?


I have always wanted to read all of Shakespeare’s work. But it is a very intimidating challenge. I studied A Midsummer Night’s Dream in English Class, and Romeo and Juliette in French version in high school, and I remember it being pretty hard. Don’t assume the French version was easier, my teacher was a witch and put all those crazy meaning and metaphors in my mind that kept confusing me. Anyway, I am very curious about everything I haven’t read from him but the difficulty of the language makes it hard for me to really enjoy it yet.
Now that I think of it, that would make a great summer challenge. A Shakespeare Summer! I’ll think about it … next year. Still a little too intimidated.

Disappointing, overrated, just not good: what book did you feel you are supposed to like but didn’t?

I had heard so many great things about We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves that I was absolutely sure I would love it. Boy, how wrong was I! Annoying characters and a story both weird and boring. I wanted my money back but the bookstore was not okay with it.

What kind of stories are you drawn to? Any you stay clear of?

I love dissecting human relationships so I am happy whenever a book explores what happens when you throw people in a certain situation that forces them (and me) to feel strong emotions. But I guess that describes every good book in some way. More specifically, I am thriller fan. Psychological thrillers are my favorites.

Do you see that gloomy book on the floor? Yes, the one hidden by the big plant and the candles. The one whose cover yells “I am a sad story”. Well, I am never reading this book. I like to stay as far as bookishly possible from anything that would make me cry. Of course, sometimes a story takes me by surprise and I end up in a flood of tears, but it’s uncommon enough that I still feel safe when choosing my books.

If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be?

Gosh, I love that question.


I don’t know if you are aware of the happenings in France, and it doesn’t really matter, because all French presidents, past and future, would benefit from reading it anyway, but I think the government really needs a copy of Politics for Dummies right now.

What do you plan to read next?

As soon as my blog duties are over, I will settle on the couch with Portmanteau by Paul T. Beardow.


It’s tag time!

Nephele @ Night Train Books

Fatima @ NoteablePad

Eleanor @ Real Tasty Pages

And anyone who is in the mood for a tag 🙂 Also, feel free to ignore, as usual.

Posted in Hype or Like Meme

Hype or Like Friday: Why I DNFed The Winner’s Curse

Hype or Like Friday is a meme created by Larkin, Britt and Jill . Check out the Goodreads group to know more about it and stay up to date with the weekly discussions and book of the month.

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Friday, May 27th: Review of The Winner’s Curse or a review of a Hyped-Up book of your choosing.

the winner's curse

I did try. I swear. But some books are just not for you. I cannot review The Winner’s Curse because I could not bring myself to finishing it. But I can tell you why I chose to DNF if.

First of all, The Winner’s Curse was never my favorite choice for the book of the month. I did not let that bother me, though, because I recently learned I could enjoy book that screamed “I’m not your type!”. I try to implement the same rule I apply to covers. Love at first sight is uncommon, a cover, a genre or a -meh- blurb should not prevent you from giving a book a try, even though the better the blurb, the higher the chance I pick it up. But that’s a subject for another post.

So, why did I give up at page 101?

#1 No connection whatsoever with any character.

I can’t say the characterization is so bad that I did not care for anyone, but I found it superficial enough for me to miss an element that would have made the magic happens. I never warmed to anyone, nor did their actions spark any reaction in me.

The auction felt rushed and I could not figure out the motivations behind Kestrel’s decision to buy a man. I would have appreciated knowing Kestrel a little better to fully understand what happened and how it affected her.

#2 The blurb promised me a richly imagined new world, but I only caught a glimpse of it, the story being more focused on the beginning a love story than a proper world building. Maybe it comes later in the book, but it was too late for me. I wanted more explanation, a better description of the world they were living in. I was expecting a fantasy with a bit of romance, not a love story with bits of fantasy around.

#3 Nothing happened. Playing cards, wandering around a market and attending parties was not enough to keep me interested. I expected some action, but all I got was a girl playing the piano.

It might feel a little light to DNF a book, but if you cannot find a reason to like any character or care about the plot, I don’t see the point in reading the story.

Did you read The Winner’s Curse? Did you find it worth the hype?

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Black Widow, Chris Brookmyre – or the book that kept me up until 3 a.m

Black Widow

Title: Black Widow
Author: Chris Broomyre
Publisher: Groove Atlantic
Release date: November 1st 2016

Format: eARC
Pages: 407
Rating: 5/5

The Story

There is no perfect marriage. There is no perfect murder.

From Scottish crime master Christopher Brookmyre, Black Widow tells the potent story of a woman who thought she was too late for love, the man who falls for her ambition, and the secret selves that are poised, at any moment, to end everything.

Diana Jager is clever, strong, and successful, a skilled surgeon and fierce campaigner via her blog about sexism in medicine. Yet it takes only hours for her life to crumble when her personal details are released on the internet as revenge for her writing. Then she meets Peter. He is kind, generous, and knows nothing about her past—the second chance she’s been waiting for. Within six months, they are married. Within six more, Peter is dead in a road accident, a nightmare end to their fairy-tale romance. But Peter’s sister Lucy doesn’t believe in fairy tales, and tasks rogue reporter Jack Parlabane with discovering the dark truth behind the woman the media is calling the Black Widow.

Still on the mend from his own relationship wounds after a turbulent divorce, Jack’s investigation into matters of the heart takes him to hidden places no one should ever have to go.
Continue reading “Book Review: Black Widow, Chris Brookmyre – or the book that kept me up until 3 a.m”

Posted in This week in books

This Week In Books (May 25th 2016)


This Week In Books is a weekly update on what you’ve been reading hosted by Lipsyy Lost & Found . A similar meme is hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

The last week has been eventful, which never leaves much room for reading. My holiday ends with May, so I’ll try to make the most of it by reading and changing my blogging habits a little.

∧ Then ∧ What Pretty Girls Are Made Of, Lindsay Jill Roth

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Envision Lauren Weisberger’s The Devil Wears Prada in the high-drama, estrogen-infused world of cosmetics, and you have What Pretty Girls Are Made Of—a hilarious debut novel from a writer who’s lived it.
In the make-up world, life and love are never cruelty-free…
After living in New York City for four years and reaching a dead end on her acting career, Alison Kraft needs a new role—time for a career change. When she reads about the world-famous Sally Steele Cosmetics studio, Alison quickly swoops in to make a good impression and lands a job as an assistant to the diva herself.
Surrounded by fantastic new hues of blushes, eye shadows, and glosses, Alison loves her new job and the new swag. Even better, she discovers she’s actually really good at it! But in the midst of juggling her love life, crazy family members, and the grueling demands of a jealous, flaky boss who could put Miranda Priestly to shame, Alison starts to question her choices. How long before the pretty face cracks for good?

Big disappointment. From now on, I will only listen to my lovely bloggers’ recommendations. There is no way I am listening to an actor when it comes to books ever again. You can find the review here.

The Winner’s Curse, Marie Rutkoski

the winner's curse

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.
One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.
Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

I really wanted to like it. Or at least find one thing that would keep me reading, even though I couldn’t find the story all that interesting. But I don’t feel like forcing myself any longer. I managed to read 100 pages, which is an exploit because I did not connect to the characters or the plot. I won’t go any further because there are a thousand books I am dying to read and I hate wasting time. I am only sorry I won’t be able to review it the for Hype or Like Friday meme.

≈ Now ≈ The Little French Guesthouse, Helen Pollard

the little french guest house

Sun, croissants and fine wine. Nothing can spoil the perfect holiday. Or can it?
When Emmy Jamieson arrives at La Cour des Roses, a beautiful guesthouse in the French countryside, she can’t wait to spend two weeks relaxing with boyfriend Nathan. Their relationship needs a little TLC and Emmy is certain this holiday will do the trick. But they’ve barely unpacked before he scarpers with Gloria, the guesthouse owner’s cougar wife.
Rupert, the ailing guesthouse owner, is shell-shocked. Feeling somewhat responsible, and rather generous after a bottle (or so) of wine, heartbroken Emmy offers to help. Changing sheets in the gîtes will help keep her mind off her misery.
Thrust into the heart of the local community, Emmy suddenly finds herself surrounded by new friends. And with sizzling hot gardener Ryan and the infuriating (if gorgeous) accountant Alain providing welcome distractions, Nathan is fast becoming a distant memory.
Fresh coffee and croissants for breakfast, feeding the hens in the warm evening light; Emmy starts to feel quite at home. But it would be madness to walk away from her friends, family, and everything she’s ever worked for, to take a chance on a place she fell for on holiday – wouldn’t it?

I am now putting a lot of pressure on this book. It has the difficult task to entertain me while I supervise the renovation of our place. So far, it’s doing a great job!

∨ Next ∨ Portmanteau, Paul T. Beardow


The First Harry Macadam Novel: After a body is pulled from the river Aire, what seemed like a straightforward missing person’s search becomes something much more dangerous for psychic investigator Harry Macadam.

Harry and his team from the Portmanteau Investigations Agency are rapidly drawn into a web of intrigue and find themselves being watched by both the police as well as a darker, more mysterious adversary.
The hunt for the missing woman leads them towards a criminal underworld that few people know about. Anyone that gets close to the truth doesn’t live to tell and a similar fate awaits an unknowing Harry as he uses his uncanny mental abilities to peel away layer after layer of secrets and lies.
To prevail against the utter evil that lurks in the shadows around him, Harry must not only discover a horror beyond anything he could imagine, but also confront the demons that hide inside him.
For Harry has his own secrets. Ones that he himself doesn’t even understand the full truth of and on those hidden truths rest the fates of dozens of souls.
Who is the real danger? The killer that he seeks, or Harry himself?

I came across this book thanks to Inge @ The Belgian Reviewer, whose review had me extremely intrigued. I am a very down-to-earth person but there is something about this story that attracts me, so I am willing to give it a try. My will won’t disappear as long as I don’t look at that creepy cover for too long.

What are you reading this week?:) Do share in the comments!
Happy reading!

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: What Pretty Girls Are Made Of (is absolutely not discussed in this book)

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What Pretty Girls Are Made Of
Author: Lindsay Jill Ross
Publisher: Pocket Star
Release date: August 3rd 2015
Format: eBook
Pages: 284
Rating: 2/5

the story

Envision Lauren Weisberger’s The Devil Wears Prada in the high-drama, estrogen-infused world of cosmetics, and you have What Pretty Girls Are Made Of—a hilarious debut novel from a writer who’s lived it.

In the make-up world, life and love are never cruelty-free…

After living in New York City for four years and reaching a dead end on her acting career, Alison Kraft needs a new role—time for a career change. When she reads about the world-famous Sally Steele Cosmetics studio, Alison quickly swoops in to make a good impression and lands a job as an assistant to the diva herself.

Surrounded by fantastic new hues of blushes, eye shadows, and glosses, Alison loves her new job and the new swag. Even better, she discovers she’s actually really good at it! But in the midst of juggling her love life, crazy family members, and the grueling demands of a jealous, flaky boss who could put Miranda Priestly to shame, Alison starts to question her choices. How long before the pretty face cracks for good?
Continue reading “Book Review: What Pretty Girls Are Made Of (is absolutely not discussed in this book)”

Posted in Tags & Awards

Sunday Tag: The Book Courtship Tag

Sundays are great for tags.

Sundays are boring. Sundays like to make fun of you by ruining your plans with the worst weather of the week. Sundays are long.
Tags are fun. Tags are a great excuse to sit in front of your shelves and stare indefinitely at them in search of the right answer. Tags make time fly so fast that once you hit the publish button, it’s 7pm and people are yelling at you because they’re starving and you’re the only one who knows where the oven is.

For all those reasons, I am declaring Sundays to be Tag days! I will post a tag every Sunday until A) I catch up with the huge backlog sitting on my draft B) run out of tags

Thank you to The Bookish Underdog for nominating me!

1. INITIAL ATTRACTION – A book you bought because of the cover?



I was drawn to Passenger because of its cover. This was before I started taking risks with my book choices so I was very hesitant about buying it. Thankfully, it was chosen as the book of the month for the Hype or Like Friday, which was the final push that helped me make the decision. Regardless what you think of the story itself, that cover is beautiful.


2. FIRST IMPRESSIONS – A book you bought because of the summary?

All of them? Even if I like the cover of a book, I always check the synopsis, but I guess we all do. Recently, I came across 3.00am. The blurb is short but so efficient that I had to buy it. Now I need the time to read it…



The average person is awake for sixteen hours a day.
Henry Bins is awake for one.
He wakes up each day at 3 a.m. then falls asleep at 4 a.m.
Life is simple.
Until he hears the woman scream.
And sees the man leave the house across the street.
But not just any man.
The President of the United States.


3. SWEET TALK – A book with great writing?

The reflections of queen snow white


David Meredith’s writing is so lyrical it transports you right to Snow White’s castle. I loved the images, the sound of the words ringing in my mind, everything about it.




4. FIRST DATE – A first book in a series that made you want to pick up the rest?

the maze runner


It has to be The Maze Runner. I am dying to read the next books. Hubby bought them this week and we’re expecting the book mail to arrive very soon.
This reminds me I still have to write my review for The Maze Runner. Oops.




5. LATE NIGHT PHONECALLS – A book that kept you up all night?

Black Widow


Black Widow. I just could not put it down. It was totally worth looking terrible the next day. I may have had puffy eyes in the morning but there was a smile on my face. I swear. Even though no one could see it from beyond my tea mug.



6. ALWAYS ON MY MIND – A book you couldn’t stop thinking about?

extremely loud



This story about a little boy who lost his father moved me so much that it stayed with me for a long time. I kept many quotes from the book. Some of them are on post-its over my desk. It is filled with so many emotions, it is impossible not to feel anything while reading it.



7. GETTING PHYSICAL – A book that you love the feel of?



This is my very first edition of Harry Potter. The 1999 French version of the story who touched so many of us. Yes, I am being emotional today. But the point is I love the yellow pages and the old scent of this book. I used to carry it around everywhere so I am surprised it is still looking pretty good.



8. MEETING THE PARENTS – A book you’d recommend to family and friends?




I’d recommend the slap, to remind everyone that all families have problems. I really enjoyed witnessing that bunch of family and friends struggle to cope with the events. Did I mention I love books studying human relations? I love them. Very very much.



9. THINKING ABOUT THE FUTURE – A book/series you know you’ll reread many times in the future?



 I have already used my Harry Potter card, so I will go with my all-time favorite classic, 1984. I am pretty sure this is the only mandatory book I have actually enjoyed reading. In fact, I loved it so much I did not want to return it to the library. It looked great on my desk. Note to myself: buy a copy and reread it twice a year.


10. SHARE THE LOVE – Who do you tag?

Helen @

Marie @

Louise @

Posted in Uncategorized

Life Update

I am taking a break in commenting and reading all the Wednesday post to inform you of a very important change in my life. (You can’t know this because I am typing, but I am using my most formal voice right now)

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This morning, I received confirmation my wish has been granted! For my final year as an undergraduate, I will be majoring in English!

This is a huge step for me. If you were around when I started blogging, you might remember changing majors was among the goals I was hoping to achieve in 2016. Now that it is happening, I don’t know how I feel (I stopped jumping on the couch only a few minutes ago), but I wanted to share it with you.

For the story, my former degree involved both the English and the Japanese languages, the emphasis being on Japanese and a series of minors such as Law and Economy. It was fine until I realized my passion for the English language was only getting bigger and the only time I was really happy to study was when I was working on it. It is quite uncommon for a student to be allowed to change majors for their final year at university. At least in France. This is why I am celebrating today!

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Before I get all excited again and run out the door to let the world know about this big news, I wanted to say thank you to all the bloggers who have been extremely supportive and nice to me. It can be difficult not being an English native speaker in a community where the majority of people are, but you have never make me feel out of place, and your kind words dismissed the insecurity I felt sometimes. So, I am sending virtual hugs as a token of my appreciation. I am aware waffles would have had a greater effect, but I have yet to find a way to send food through WordPress.




Posted in This week in books

This Week In Books (May 18th 2016)


This Week In Books is a weekly update on what you’ve been reading hosted by Lipsyy Lost & Found . A similar meme is hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

Flooding does not get along with reading. My mom’s hot water tank broke last weekend, forcing us to cut short our stay in the countryside and drive back to Bordeaux. We got home to find a pipe had broken, turning our floor into a tiled swimming pool. I now believe I am cursed and will not go near any source of water. I said goodbye to my bathroom and to my reading time. As I am writing this, nothing is fixed, and I’m about to lose it!
Continue reading “This Week In Books (May 18th 2016)”