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. 🙂

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

Review// Those Who Leave & Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante

Author: Elena Ferrante
Series: My Brilliant Friend #3
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Book Length: 418 
Publisher: Europa Editions
Review: 3/5

Goodreads Synopsis:

In this third Neapolitan novel, Elena and Lila, the two girls whom readers first met in My Brilliant Friend, have become women. Lila married at sixteen and has a young son; she has left her abusive husband and now works as a common laborer. Elena has left the neighborhood, earned her college degree, and published a successful novel, all of which have opened the doors to a world of learned interlocutors and richly furnished salons. Both women have pushed against the walls of a prison that would have seen them living a life of misery, ignorance, and submission. They are afloat on the great sea of opportunities that opened up during the nineteen-seventies. Yet they are still very much bound to each other by a strong, unbreakable bond.

My Review:

“A community that finds it natural to suffocate with the care of home and children so many women’s intellectual energies is its own enemy and doesn’t realize it.”

Okay yes, I know the cover to these books are really ugly, but I promise you, what’s inside is golden.

However, for the first time in the series, I’m a bit torn about how I feel about this book, mainly because the one juicy part of the whole thing consists of something that I hate: insta-love / a love subplot that comes randomly out of nowhere. On the one hand, I like that it happened because it gave me something to to keep turning the pages for, but on the other, I hate that it happened because it felt so out of place.

This book takes place in the 60s and 70s, mentioning a lot about the university and worker strikes that happened during that time in Italy, which was really interesting. I love all the historical aspects of the book and how they always tie together so well with the characters’ lives. Not only do I feel like I’ve learned something through the historical events, but it also drives the plot along, which is nice. People’s ideas of the role of women in society also begin to change in this book and I thought it was fascinating to read the progression.

The girls are in their 20s and 30s now, and Lila is as stubborn as ever, but Lenu surprised me. At the end, it felt like she became an entirely different person, and it kind of bothered me because her actions were so out of character. Though they are all grown up, it’s evident that their lives in the neighborhood have shaped – and continue to shape – who they are, even if they’ve both moved away from it.

If I could change one thing about this book, it would be how obsessed everyone is with Nino. There is no one that I know who still fantasizes about their elementary school crush, and honestly, I think Lenu needs to grow up and get over it. It kind of annoyed me that she constantly tried to find ways to bring him up and how she’s still bitter about things that happened in their childhood between him and Lila. These girls are constantly comparing each other and trying to one-up the other, and while it makes for an interesting story, sometimes it just gets so childish.

But anyway, now that I’m down to the last one, I can’t wait to see where the plot takes these characters as Ferrante always ends her books on a cliff-hanger and this one was no different!

– Catherine

Let’s connect! Goodreads | Twitter

Joy of Christmas Book Tag 🎅❄️

I found this tag over at Jennzah and Erin’s blog, but it was originally created by Samantha on her booktube @ Novels & Nonsense.

1) Anticipation: The Christmas excitement is real, what book release(s) are you most anticipating?

Admittedly, I haven’t done much research into all the new releases coming out soon and in to 2021, but I do have my eye out for Twice Shy by Sarah Hogle. I loved her debut novel, You Deserve Each Other, so I’m really excited for this one set to come out April 6, 2021.


2) Christmas Songs & Carols: What book or author can you not help but sing it’s praises?

Taylor Jenkins Reid – I’ve loved everything I’ve read by her so far.

3) Gingerbread Houses: What book or series has wonderful world building?

I only read the first book of the series, but The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss has excellent world building!

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4) A Christmas Carol: Favorite classic or one that you want to read

A classic that I really want to read soon is Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. I’ve had it on my TBR forever, but I’m going to use this post as a promise to myself to get to it next year. 🤞

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5) Christmas Sweets: What book would you love to receive for Christmas?

To be honest, I would be happy to get any book for Christmas that someone thought I might like!

6) Candles in the Window: What book gives you that warm fuzzy feeling?

Even just the thought of City of Girls gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. It was one of the best books I read in 2020.


7) Christmas Trees & Decorations: What are some of your favorite book covers?

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8) Christmas Joy: What are some of your favorite things about Christmas And/Or some of your favorite Christmas memories?

I love the time with my family; the baking; watching the snow fall; Christmas movies; egg nog; and hot chocolate!

I’m not going to actually tag anyone to do this, but if you’d like to participate in the tag, feel free to go for it!

– Catherine

Let’s connect! Goodreads | Twitter

Book Covers That Remind Me of World Famous Paintings #2 🎨

This post was really fun to write and informative for me to research the first time, so I decided I wanted to do it again!

Here are some book covers that remind me of famous paintings. If you missed the first one, you can find my original post here!

The Night Watch by Rembrandt van Rijn

Recreating Rembrandt's 'Night Watch' with 3D printing and photography » 3D  Printing Media Network - The Pulse of the AM Industry

The Night Watch is an oil painting done in 1642 by Dutch painter, Rembrandt. The title of the painting is misleading, as this scene is not meant to have taken place at night, but rather by the time the title was given to it in the 18th century, so much dirt and varnish covered the artwork that it gave the appearance of having taken place at night. The painting was commissioned by the city of Amsterdam and depicts civic guardsmen whose job was to maintain order in the city. This painting kind of reminds me of the cover of Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. This book is about a man who turns into a beetle over night; I haven’t read it, but it sounds like an interesting concept! 🤔 There are definitely not as many people on it as in the painting, but I can see parallels between the depiction of light in the middle, the dark colours people are wearing, as well as all the people looking in different directions.

The Ninth Wave by Ivan Aivazovsky

A Brief History of the 'Ninth Wave'

The Ninth Wave is an oil on canvas painting done in 1850 by Russian marinist painter Ivan Aivazovsky; this was his most famous work. What is known as the ‘ninth wave’ is actually a legend which says that the ninth wave in any storm is the strongest and most dangerous. In the painting, although the ninth, destructive, wave is approaching the sailors who are holding on to what is left of the mast for safety, there is also a depiction of hope through the colour scheme of the bright sky. The dark contrasting the bright reminds me of the cover for Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren. This book is on my TBR and I’m really excited to read it for the slow burn romance. I’ve loved Christina Lauren’s books so far so hopefully this one is no different!

Have you read either of these books? What did you think? I’d love to know!

– Catherine

Let’s connect! Goodreads | Twitter

Ideal Inspiration Award💫

Thank you so much to Alicia @colorfulbibliophile for tagging me in this award! Go check out her blog and her Etsy store that has the cutest greeting cards!

Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award


  • Thank the person who has nominated you and provide a link back to his/her blog
  • Answer their questions
  • Nominate up to 9 other bloggers and ask them 5 new questions
  • Notify the nominees through their blog by visiting and commenting on their blog
  • List the rules and display the “Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award” logo
  • Provide the link of the Award creator of the Ideal Inspiration Blogger award as Rising Star from:

Alicia’s Questions:

  1. Who would you rather live with the three little pigs or the three brown bears?
    I would rather live with the three pigs. The three bears made dinner and then for some reason immediately left the house without eating it – that’s not the kind of household I want to be in.
  2. You’ve stumbled upon an ancient city that was thought to be lost and want to see if the legends are true. What is the legend?
    This is a tough one! The only thing coming to mind right now is Legend of Zelda, and that’s probably because I’ve been playing Breath of the Wild a lot lately. So, it would probably be a legend about a princess in trouble, and I’d like to see a woman save a princess for once!
  3. You’ve been gifted access to the Universe’s library, what are you going to look up?
    I know this is going to sound crazy, but a part of me wouldn’t want to look anything up! It’s frustrating at times, not knowing all the answers, and I often find myself thinking “why” about a lot of things, but at the end of the day, those “why’s” are what make life interesting 🙂
  4. A Celestial being has befriended you but they can’t look like their true self, what do they look like to you?
    They’d look like a small fairy, the size of a finger – just like from the Danish fairytale Thumbelina. I always did think that movie was underrated.
  5. What would you do if an alien crashed landed in your backyard?
    I would do what Elliot did in E.T – befriend it!

My Questions:

  1. What other hobbies do you have besides blogging?
  2. If you had to compare yourself to one fictional character, who would it be?
  3. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
  4. If you got to name a new country in the world, what would you decide to call it?
  5. If you came back in your next life as an animal, which would you be?

I Nominate:

Maya @herbookishdesires

Richa @unshelvedly

Siena @booksophobias

No pressure to do the tag if you don’t want to! 🙂