Hi! How are you? Happy book day! I almost forgot the date, can you believe it?!

Let’s just say life is a bit hectic lately, between anxiety, insomnia, Brexit and everyday life! I feel like I never really get a second to breathe! I’m ok tho, I have plenty to look forward to!
Also, an upside of this stressful period is the amount of books I’m reading!
Books have always been the best cure for my anxiety. Call it avoidance, but when I dive into a book I get to forget my own life and live the one of someone else, it’s pretty miraculous if you ask me!

 last year when I hit 30 books, it was around october and having to lower my Goal 50 seemed like the only way to win that damned Goodreads challenge.  This year I’m at quota 29 books and It’s barely the beginning of march! Am I proud of myself? Yes, but not for the reason you might think!

Let’s just say that a book Is a book, you are not better because you read classics instead of young adults or whatever, and certainly it’s not a race and quality over quantity always and foremost! But I’m an extremely fast reader and I know that the amount of books I manage to read in a short period of time is a mirror to the level of enjoyment I get from reading. When I went back to Bookstagram – but If I’m truthful a couple of year before that too! I fell, without noticing, in a bit of a trap. I was blinded and fell in love with pretty covers and popularity and I kept on diving into books that weren’t really my cup of tea even if they were wildly loved. Some of those turned well, don’t get me wrong, but others would pan into me being into a slump all over again.

If there is something this valentine’s day has taught me is loving a bit of your own book for your own sake. I’m a romantic, I love romantic books and I’m not ashamed of it, not anymore.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a bit of diversity, but romance will always be the biggest drive that brings me to devour a book, cheesy? Hell yeah! I had already released last year that my reviews mainly consisted in romance books, but I never really thought on why I was avoiding diving full-on on romance. We talk a lot about the stigma around YA but hardly ever about the one around Romance books!  Well, the stigma is there, and it’s mainly due to books like 50sog! Romance is often associated with pornography and, even if some ( maybe the majority) of books can be considered steamy, there is a big difference between erotica and porn!

What I’m trying to say is… nothing! I love romantic books and I can not lie! And my blog will reflect that even more now that I kind of realised I was shying myself away from a genre that I so thoughtfully enjoy!

Be aware tho, I’m picky, hella picky! See you on the next review!
And happy book day!

[ Disclaimer: this arc was gifted to me by the lovely people at Ink Road. I apologise for the different review from my usual self but I might have just re read the book for the second time and cried my eyes out once again and have just a tad bit of a migraine <3 ]

img_5867Have you ever had so many options and ideas in your head not to be able to sort it through? So many emotions, so many thoughts that the clutter becomes indistinguishable? How can you put down on paper in a linear and clear way what you feel about something, and analyse that something for people to understand what goes on in your head? I finished The year after you almost a week ago, I read it in less than Four hours and I honestly am still struggling to bring this review to you. I feel like words– no, I feel like my words and my vocabulary is not enough in the four languages I can speak to sort through the level of love that I have for this book.

The year after you managed in so many things for me that in those three hours I sobbed my heart out and fell in love and was born again. This book managed to make me fall in love with a female character, things that didn’t happen since I was 14 and that made me realise maybe my path was not properly a straight line. This book made me fall in love with a genre that I thought I was maybe getting too old to find relatable. This book managed to position itself in a timeless moment in my heart and gain a position into my favourite pile and I’ve already propositioned it to so many people I lost count. It’s the book I twitted about mid-reading ( things that I rarely do because of obvious reasons – first among them my peculiar relationships with endings and how I seem to never be satisfied with them, but not with this one! ) …

So what makes it so special? What makes this simple newborn not yet published young adult into this gem? Well, This book and its characters are like a diamonds, pressed by the weight of their guilt they’ll find a way to polish themselves and shine… in other words:

character growth.


S Y N O P S I S:

dxiqvmmxgaafwnvNew Years’ Eve, San Francisco. The most promising party of the year ends in a tragic accident. Cara survives. Her best friend Georgina doesn’t.

Nine months later, Cara is struggling, consumed by guilt and grief. Her mum decides a Swiss boarding school will be the fresh start Cara needs. But Cara knows that swapping sunshine for snow won’t make a blind bit of difference. Georgina is gone, and nothing will bring her back.

Up in the Alps, Cara’s old life feels a million miles away. At Hope Hall, nobody knows about her past. And she intends to keep it that way. But classmates Ren and Hector have other ideas. Cara tries to keep her distance, but she’s drawn to the offbeat, straight-talking Hector, who understands her grief better than anyone. Her new friends are determined to break down the walls she has so carefully built up. And, despite it all, Cara wants them to.

The closer Cara grows to Hector, the more Georgina slips away. Embracing life at Hope Hall means letting go of the past; of her memories of that fatal New Year’s Eve. But Cara is quite sure she doesn’t deserve a second chance.


 

R e v i e w :

This book is not simply a journey, doesn’t only have representations, isn’t simply about teenagers in a boarding school in the Alps. this book is about grief, about guilt and self-hatred. This book is about touching the ground and realising you have the strength to push back up. You can’t grasp that possibility while you are falling, gravity will pull you down, but once your feet hit the ground, once you have something to leverage onto you can push through the pressure and come out of it anew. The pain will always be there when you lose someone so important they will always be a hole in the frame of your life, but that guilt, that pain will slowly fade away and you are left with memories. You need to keep on pushing or you’ll die with them.

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This book surprised me, and I’m not easily surprised, every turn every discovery, every piece of honesty was raw and real as a punch in my feels and I felt like I could breathe again only at the epilogue. Feeling for others is easier than feeling for yourself, running away is all good on paper but you need to face things to actually grow, and this book helps you go through a daunting process, feeling every bit of it but without triggering anything that might make my anxiety spike up! It’s a story about acceptance, about people that love with the tools they are given, about teenagers that become adults maybe a tad bit too early. It’s a story about hope, a hope that you didn’t even dream of on the first page.

Would I love another book? Hell yeah! Tell me all about Rae babe! But in general, I’m glad about how this book is, and I’ll treasure it forever.

 

C o n c l u s i o n s: 

what to say, Nina de Pass is now definitely one of my favourite authors and currently my only favourite young adult writer. Her character is vivid and flawless. You start her book and think you see typical tropes but soon you discover that there is so much more.
The ending was flawless, the middle was superb, I love the communication and the total absence of stupid “misunderstanding” Just for the sake of it. This book is outstanding, The cover is amazing, the writing is enchanting, I just want to go on the alps and open a boarding school for kids who might need it now!

 

Would I recommend it?!?
I will personally walk you to the bookshop on the 14th of February
and force you to buy and read it!
Now that’s what I would call a Valentine’s date 😉
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨
goodreads

 

Have you ever felt in love with a book at first sight? Well, I saw the Binding in a promotional picture on twitter and I knew it needed for it to be mine. I get all the ” don’t judge a book by its cover” but this one turned out being equally amazing on the inside as it is on the outside.


s y n o p s i s :

39964740Imagine you could erase your grief. Imagine you could forget your pain. Imagine you could hide a secret. Forever. Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a letter arrives summoning him to begin an apprenticeship. He will work for a Bookbinder, a vocation that arouses fear, superstition and prejudice – but one neither he nor his parents can afford to refuse. He will learn to hand-craft beautiful volumes, and within each he will capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory. If there’s something you want to forget, he can help. If there’s something you need to erase, he can assist. Your past will be stored safely in a book and you will never remember your secret, however terrible. In a vault under his mentor’s workshop, row upon row of books – and memories – are meticulously stored and recorded. Then one day Emmett makes an astonishing discovery: one of them has his name on it. 


I requested the advanced copy of the Binding on Netgallery and forgot all about it. I just kept lusting on that amazing cover that promised wonders and I knew that I had to add it to my collection; then one day I received an email stating that I had been somehow granted the e-book copy of the book I was… torn! Excited, for sure, but torn!
Surely some of you can relate, wanting a book so much, expecting so much from it but also knowing it’s not probably going to be your cup of tea because of personal taste, experience and ones actual state of mind. But if you knew that, why want it so badly?
I guess I wanted a taste of it. I wanted to see if the book was really as good as the cover, to feel the author’s words on my skin, to see with my eyes their choices, their plot devices and to try to get myself out of my own comfort zone.

The truth is, I know myself, I know what it takes for me to like a book. Books are art and as such they need to make you feel something, to trap you into them and that’s what the Binding did to me; the fact that the feeling I ended up having was of deep anxiety has nothing to do with the book and only with my own personal triggers. Nevertheless,  I’m grateful. I’m grateful to this book because it made me feel something. Will I probably enjoy it better the second read around? Sure, but I wouldn’t trade that first experience with anything else.

This book it’s simply spectacular: the ideas, the characters, the world that Bridget Collins created are so vivid, colourful, and magical; they reverberate in your ribcage like hummingbirds needing to burst free from you and make you feel their full power. And you’ll gladly whether through, word after word, page after page, needing more, never having enough. And when the last page will be turned, you’ll mourn the loss of such a beautiful story and invite your friends to have that same experience, right before you’ll dive, once again, right into it.

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C o n c l u s i o n s :

Would I recommend this book? Yes, hands down, absolutely. I would add some disclaimer tho: if you are in a bad place, have anxiety and feeling powerless or not in control of your destiny is one of your triggers… Buddy read this book with a friend. Don’t give up on it.  If you are into high fantasy, LGBT characters, medieval-like settings and magic, GO. BUY. THIS. BOOK!  you’ll love it, you’ll devour it or maybe it’ll devour you!

“The Binding is so vivid and seamless, that it can’t be categorised as simple literature.
It’s a hit, a new classic! It must be the work of a binder because a story so vivid can’t be imagined, it can only be thread into pages from a memory of a faraway world.”

4.5/5★A MUST READ

(with disclaimers)

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