Shadow & Bone Trilogy | Character Mood Boards

I just recently finished the Shadow & Bone trilogy in anticipation for the upcoming Netflix series based on the books, so I thought it’d be fun commemorate that by creating some character mood boards from the books!

I did this before for Simon vs. The Homosapien’s Agenda as well, which you can find here if you’d like to check that out. πŸ™‚

Alina Starkov:

Alina, otherwise known as Sankta (Saint) Alina, is the protagonist of this series. At the beginning, she is described as a quiet, odd, and pale girl – almost sickly. Once she realizes she has magical Grisha powers, the colour returns to her face as she’s no longer suppressing the power she was born to exhibit, and she really grows into a strong character who sees her worth.

The Darkling:

As the name suggests, The Darkling is the antagonist of the series. I thought he really had potential in the first book to be that evil character that I couldn’t get enough of, but as time went on, he got worse and worse, to the point where I didn’t really like him anymore. He and Alina had that like, one steamy scene in Shadow & Bone, but in the other two books that kind of faded. Part of me wishes that continued though because I found it so thrilling.

Mal Oretzev:

Mal is a childhood friend of Alina’s as they grew up in an orphanage together, and later, he is her love interest. He is also a tracker and Soldier of the First Army. Personally, I didn’t like Mal that much because I found him to be really boring, and at times, possessive. I feel like if they had better communication skills, so many problems in these books could have been avoided!

Overall, I enjoyed the series, though if I am being honest, I think book twitter really hyped it up a lot so I think my expectations were much higher. However, I’m excited for it to become a T.V. show – I’m curious as to what the similarities and differences will be!

Have you read the Shadow & Bone trilogy? Did you enjoy it? I’d love to know your thoughts!

– Catherine

Let’s connect! Goodreads | Twitter


Light Academia Book Aesthetic | Classic Reads πŸŒΈπŸ°πŸ’—

Light Academia is a term I hadn’t heard of until recently, which is quite shocking considering Dark Academia is a term that I’ve seen everywhere. In contrast, Light Academia is more emotionally positive, brighter, and focuses on self care and appreciating the little things in life. Some common aspects of this aesthetic include: nature, poetry, learning, architecture, and art.

If you are looking for books that exhibit this theme, here are some quintessential classics that just might capture your heart:

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Though I’ve not personally read Little Women, I just had to include it because the cover is so cute and screams Light Academia to me.

Loosely based on the life of the author and her three sisters, this book is about the March sisters – Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy as they learn to navigate the world as young women, each with their own personal moral challenges during and after the Civil War.

Jo is a writer, and Amy studies painting, Beth is described as musical, and Meg is the governess for a wealthy royal family – need I say more?

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The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett is another on my list! This book is about an orphan girl, Mary Lennox, who goes to live with her uncle on the Yorkshire Moors (which, if you are like me and don’t know what that is, you can check it out here, it is absolutely stunning!).

There, she finds a magical boy who can talk to animals, and a secret garden that had been forgotten for years. Honestly, this book sounds really cute!

When I went to look it up, a lot of Goodreads reviews were raving about how beautiful the writing is, and how joyous it made them feel. What a perfect book to represent Light Academia! πŸ€—

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Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery – definitely a must-read classic!

The synopsis alone touched my heart: Anne Shirley, an orphan girl, goes to live with the Cuthburt’s – Marilla and her brother, Matthew – on the Green Gables Farm in Avonlea, Prince Edward Island. The pair wanted a boy from the orphanage, but eventually, Anne’s charm wins them over. This book is about all the adventures Anne gets up to at Green Gables.

I might be biased, but I love that this book is set in Canada, and Prince Edward Island is such a beautiful province that so deserves the attention this book gives it!

If anyone has any more recommendations, or has read any of these, I’d love to know your thoughts! πŸ₯°

– Catherine

Let’s connect!Β GoodreadsΒ |Β Twitter


Dark Academia Book Aesthetics πŸ’€β˜•οΈ | Read and TBR

As described by Wikipedia, dark academia is an aesthetic centered on higher education, writing, the arts, and classic Greek and Gothic architecture, as well as romantic longing and death — think 19th and early 20th century at private schools in England; bitter black coffee; blazers; vintage jewelry; and dark colours.

Today I will be talking about some books I’ve read with this theme, as well as books I want to read.

If We Were Villans by M.L. Rio

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If this cover does not scream dark academia, I don’t know what does; that skull is making me think that this book will be eerie and mysterious. I haven’t read this one yet, but it has a really good rating on Goodreads and the plot sounds intriguing. The protagonist, Oliver, is an actor studying Shakespeare at an elite arts college. One of the actors in the play ends up dying, an the other actors have to convince the police that they didn’t do it. However, Oliver had gone to jail for 10 years for the crime, so it sounds like we as the reader have to figure out if he actually did it or not.

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

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Whoa, skulls on the cover again. I guess skulls are a thing for dark academia, which would make sense if death is part of it. I have read this book, and I feel like this might be a controversial opinion, but personally, I wasn’t a fan. However, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that it exudes allll the dark academia vibes. This is the story of college roommates, Victor and Eli, who in their senior year start conducting experiments surrounding near death experiences. Victor goes to jail, and when he gets out, tries to find Eli, who is now his enemy. I guess jail is another dark academia thing, because both this book and If We Were Villans seem to have that going for them. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

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So this book is one I started ~ a year ago, haven’t finished, but plan to start over and complete. From what I’d read, it was really good! I think the intimidating part is that I own an e-copy but don’t own a kindle, so I had to read it on my phone, and given the fact that it is 771 pages in paperback, it was a little daunting to read on such a tiny screen 😬 but anyway, that’s besides the point! This book is about a boy named Theo who survives a tragedy that kills his mother. Theo clings to a small painting that reminds him of his mother, and that draws him in to the world of art. Ultimately, this book is about love, identity, and art – all at the forefront of dark academia.

Has anyone read any other good books with a dark academia vibe? Have you read any of the ones I mentioned? I’d love to know your thoughts πŸ™‚

-Catherine