The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet (Bernie Su and Kate Rorick)

>>>>  Nº 49 on My 2015 Reading Challenge – A book based on or turned into a television show <<<<


Based on the Emmy Award–winning YouTube series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.

Twenty‑four‑year‑old grad student Lizzie Bennet is saddled with student loan debt and still living at home along with her two sisters—beautiful Jane and reckless Lydia. When she records her reflections on life for her thesis project and posts them on YouTube, she has no idea The Lizzie Bennet Diaries will soon take on a life of their own, turning the Bennet sisters into internet celebrities seemingly overnight.

When rich and handsome Bing Lee comes to town, along with his stuck‑up friend William Darcy, things really start to get interesting for the Bennets — and for Lizzie’s viewers. But not everything happens on‑screen. Lucky for us, Lizzie has a secret diary.

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet takes readers deep inside Lizzie’s world and well beyond the confines of her camera—from the wedding where she first meets William Darcy to the local hangout of Carter’s bar, and much more. Lizzie’s private musings are filled with revealing details about the Bennet household, including her growing suspicions about her parents’ unstable financial situation, her sister’s budding relationship with Bing Lee, the perils of her unexpected fame, and her uncertainty over her future—and whom she wants to share it with. 

Featuring plenty of fresh twists to delight fans and new readers alike, The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet expands on the web series phenomenon that captivated a generation and reimagines the Pride and Prejudice story like never before.

Have you seen The Lizzie Bennet Diaries?

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Ok, so technically this is actually a Web Series and not a television show, but what the hell, it counts, right?! So here it is, a book based on a TV Show Web Series.

They are an absolute gem, a retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in vlog form. I only discovered them a couple a months ago – I know, talk about being late for the party – but I devoured them, they’re just that good. So, when I found out that the authors had published a book based on the web series I was anxious to get my hands on it!


The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet fills in the blanks in between the videos and we get to read about the events that Lizzie talks about in the videos, as well as a deeper description of everything (mainly her feelings).


I really enjoyed the book, though, much as the original Pride and Prejudice, the first part of the book is a slow read with not much action, but from the moment that Lizzie starts to shadow the companies and her interactions with Darcy become more frequent, the book develops much faster.


It’s funny and it reads just like Lizzie’s voice – I think I read the whole book listening to Ashley Clements in my head. She writes the way she talks! So, it was wonderful to “reconnect” with the series :-).


Oh, obviously, I also cried a little, specially in the last month or so – if you saw the series you know what happens then…


Rating: 4 Stars


The Flash: Fast Enough

Let me start by saying that I was consciously putting off watching this episode because I knew it was going to be heartbreaking and then I would have to go through a lot of months without this show, and I’m still not ready for that!


The Flash did everything right this season, but that finale, oh boy, that was something else.

  • First of all, the acting. This cast took it out of the park, especially Grant Gustin, Jesse L. Martin, Rick Cosnett, Carlos Valdes and John Wesley Shipp. When the episode ended, I was all tears.
  • This episode shows so well that in this show (or at least in this season), the focus was much more on Barry and his fathers, than on Barry and his love interests, and that is amazing. More so because Barry and his dads are AMAZING!


  • Each time Barry has a scene with Joe it’s probably gonna be my favorite of that episode – they’re just that good. But on this one, it was the Barry/Henry scene that made me lose it completely. What Henry tells his son is just so profound, he rather be in jail than see his son become something less than what he is… come on, that’s love!
  • But Joe is not behind, he rather lose Barry as a son, in order for him to grow up with both his parents… more tears – what was the game plan here, Flash writers?!
  • I loved Dr. Stein on this episode, how determinant he was for almost everything. I liked especially of his talk with Eddie!!! I’m looking forward to see more of him in Legends of Tomorrow.


  • Cisco and Wells… I could watch more of them. I’m kind of hoping that now that the Reverse Flash has ceased to exist, that it somehow means that the real Harrison Wells never died, and that somehow he and Cisco might bond. But that’s asking a lot, because if they go there, they would have to erase and change a lot of things, and I guess that’s more of a parallel timeline or something like that. Though Tom Cavanagh is confirmed for season 2, so…

The Flash -- "Fast Enough" -- Image FLA123B_0040b -- Pictured (L-R): Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon and Tom Cavanagh as Harrison Wells / Reverse Flash -- Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW -- © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

  • Cisco is on his way to becoming Vibe, while Caitlin is seen as Killer Frost when Barry is trying to create the wormhole.


  • I was really ok with Eddie taking control of his destiny and going to get the girl – though we knew it was doomed from the start. But he was right, the universe in which Iris bears the name Allen, is not their universe, so in reality they could have happened.
  • If it wasn’t of course for the fact that Eddie needed to stop existing… he had to go and be a hero… I will miss him dearly!!! But ultimately he did what he had to do to completely erase the Reverse Flash. Well done… you were a real hero Eddie.
  • There’s one thing that I’m not 100% convinced about: Ronnie and Caitlin. I love Caitlin. I like Ronnie. I do not like them together! I did not like that wedding. At all! Sorry…


  • Grant Gustin is amazing! Have I said that already?! This show has been so great because he inputs a heart to Barry and the Flash, while maintaining a comedic side… He has been wonderful and should truly be commended by the success of this series.
  • Oh… and that scene with Nora Allen?! WOW!

Oh… I’m gonna miss you Flash!

Shadowhunters: Jon Cor cast as Hodge

For many of us who saw the movie (and I watched it before I read the book), the idea of Hodge is a middle age man. In the book however, despite being a bit run down, Hodge is described as the youngest in the circle, so, younger than Luke, Valentine and Jocelyn.

So yesterday, when ABC Family announced that Jon Cor was going to play Hodge Starkweather in Shadowhunters, I was overjoyed!


Yes people, Hodge is hot! And YOUNG!!! So, he’s a bit younger than in the book, but it’s all a question of makeup, because the weight of his “condition” should come from the inside.

I mean…

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I think this will be the last one I’ll do, but hey, the pictures are just so good, I could not pass them up.

First we finally have a picture of the Lightwood siblings and they look nice.

Then, Clace talking in Pandemonium. WOW, let’s agree that Dom Sherwood is much more like Jace than Jamie Campbell Bower ever was. And there’s that smile…

Let’s go on now to the Java Jones scene… here we have a light checking (how adorable does Simon look?):

And finally a whole lot of Simon and Clary 😀

His shirt even says “Made in brooklyn”, how perfect is that?

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda (Becky Albertalli)

>>  Nº 36 on My 2015 Reading Challenge – A book set in high school <<


Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

Oh My God! This book is so damn cute and amazing and I can’t get enough of it. I just liked this book so damn much!!!

The story is so funny and heartwarming, the relationship between Simon and all the people in his life is great, and his relationship with Blue is beyond great, it’s beautiful and cute and Simon’s parents are so great and… maybe you should just read it.

The alternation between Simon’s narration and his exchange of e-mails with Blue makes the book not only very easy to read, but it also makes the story move along and allows for a deeper understanding of those feelings. I could read a book just with all those e-mails…

I’m not going to say who Blue is, that’s the mystery throughout the whole book, and I think that the author did a great job at maintaining that mystery, with little hints here and there. But I have to say, I was over the moon when it was revealed, and the way it happened was beyond perfect!

I just really adored this book!

Rating: 4.5 Stars


Shadowhunters BTS 2 (Malec & Izzy!)

Yesterday, some more photos on set were released…

First we had Emeraude Toubia Isabelle in white, for the Pandemonium scene, and I have to say, I’m really liking her vibe, I feel is very Isabelle-ish. Yes, in the book she wears a long dress, but just to cover the runes, which here are shown considerably faded (which I’m sure they will explain on the episode).

Then, a photo of a photo of Magnus was shared… And I’m starting to get curious, because from all the photos I would guess that they were shooting the Pandemonium scene, where we all know, Magnus wasn’t present, but hey, we have a picture of Magnus!

Then we had a glimpse of Kat and Alberto as Clary and Simon at Pandemonium:

After that, McG teased on twitter that he would show a Malec picture… if we behaved…

And now we have it!!!!

=D It’s kind of incredible that a Malec photo had more hype about it than the Clace one, but hey, Malec is everybody’s big ship, so I’m super cool with that. I actually think they both look nice. I’m a bit disappointed with the eyes… Magnus eyes are not catlike, and they really have to be, obviously this is a BTS, not a still, so it’s probable that this is not their final product. Alec’s eyes should be blue, but hey, Matthew Daddario has gorgeous eyes as it is, so I’m ok with that.

And now this… wow…

Shadowhunters BTS

Just because these are too good not to share. Since they all arrived in Toronto, we have been fed with several rehearsal pictures from the cast, producers and so on. But filming began 3 days ago, and now BTS photos are showing up with the cast as their characters and it’s amazing!

Book Haul (this month has been a bit crazy)

We’re still not at the end of the month but I’m already drawing a line: NO MORE BOOKS! (until the next month, of course)

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I bought 19 books this month, not even kidding, 19! Let me explain, I did not buy them all at the same time… that would be nuts. So let’s start with the beginning…

When I got to Portugal, having just arrived from Brazil, I went to a concert with my niece and her cousin. There, at the shopping mall, I wondered around and bought my first 2 books of the month:

1. Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination by J.K. Rowling (already read!)

2. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

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A few days latter I went to another shopping mall with a friend, and while she was dead set in a book with all of Jane Austen’s novels, I went and picked up 2 more books:

3. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

4. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

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The next day I went yet to another shopping mall with my mom, and while she was cutting her hair, I went to the same shop to exchange something, that’s when I got:

5. Girl Online by Zoe Sugg

6. One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

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(and I’m already at six!!!)

I got to Barcelona and started to read a few reviews and watching a few videos and suddenly my shopping bag at Amazon was overflowing, but I hold it out for a while, thinking “I can wait ’till next month”… turns out I really couldn’t, one and a half week of looking everyday to my shopping bag, I finally reduced it down to 9 books and completed the order:

7. Landline by Rainbow Rowell

8. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz (already read)

9. The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Sue and Kate Rorick

10. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

11. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

12. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

13. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

14. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

15. Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (already read)


OMG! by now I had 15 new books this month, but they weren’t yet at my house when I went again to a shopping mall and got one more… shame on me (but it was just so precious):

16. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman


That was it! No more books for this month… and maybe the next!!!

But when the Amazon order came I was a bit disappointed… see, the Stephanie Perkins books, 2 came from the british editor and the other came from the US editor… they’re not the same size exactly, so it was just driving me crazy! At the same time I found out that there are 2 bookshops in Barcelona that sell exclusively books in English (hurrayyy!!!), and online, one of them had the book in question in the right size, so I thought “I’ll go have a look, if the book’s there, I buy it and return the Amazon one, simple, just that one book!”…

Are you guessing yet?! The first bookstore I went is amazing, seriously people, amazing (by Iberia Peninsula standards). I saw a LOT of books in my wishing list, a lot a lot, but I kept my mind on the prize… except that they didn’t have the book on stock, so I ended up picking up 2 books, one of them I really wanted for quite a while, and the other one I just couldn’t resist…

17. The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (this was a great buy, 5 books in one!)

18. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

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At this point I really thought that I should just go home, it was unlikely that the other bookstore would have the book, but still… so I went! They didn’t, what they did have was a hardcover of a very recent book that I really wanted…

19. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir (hardcover… what was I thinking?! but it’s so shiny….)


Here they are (minus 4 that stayed back in Portugal)… see what I was talking about the Stephanie Perkin’s books?!


Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek (Maya Van Wagenen)

>>>>  Nº 26 on My 2015 Reading Challenge – A memoir <<<<


Stuck at the bottom of the social ladder at ‘pretty much the lowest level of people at school who aren’t paid to be here,’ Maya Van Wagenen decided to begin a unique social experiment: spend the school year following a 1950s popularity guide, written by former teen model Betty Cornell. Can curlers, girdles, Vaseline, and a strand of pearls help Maya on her quest to be popular?

The real-life results are painful, funny, and include a wonderful and unexpected surprise-meeting and befriending Betty Cornell herself. Told with humour and grace, Maya’s journey offers readers of all ages a thoroughly contemporary example of kindness and self-confidence.

I so wanted to like this book, the reviews were great, the premise sounded good, so I dived into this memoir and I was fairly certain that I was going to enjoy it… I didn’t!

Ok, let’s start with the good: Maya is clearly a talented young lady when it comes to writing and I hope she has a bright future ahead of her. The story is sometimes funny enough and sweet, it’s practically impossible not to like Maya’s family or shed a little tear when her professor dies.

However, man, I did not like the project. Maybe it’s because the American Middle School reality is so different from my experience in Portugal… there we have set class of students of around 20 to 30 kids per class in each year, and that class is usually maintained throughout all of Middle School. So, when Maya describes the different popularity ranks, I can’t see it, because it doesn’t exist quite in the same way here…

But still… besides that, it bothers me that she follows a book from the 50’s without adapting it to her reality, because let’s get honest, if your goal is to make a social experiment about popularity, are you really thinking that dressing like a grandma is going to help?! And the first chapter is a 13 year old going on a mostly crazy diet because she’s fat… is she though? Because if you look at her photos from before the diet, that girl should not be losing any weight, none at all!

Moving on. Most of her months are spent working on her exterior, only to find out that the true change comes when she changes her behavior… well, duh! But Ok, those months allowed her to gain confidence, which lead to her being able to change her posture towards other people.

I don’t know. Can’t quite put my finger on it. It just felt weird and forced and not real. I didn’t quite enjoy it…

Rating: 1.5 Stars


Tiny Pleasures #4

Hello, I’m gonna join the last couple of weeks, because nothing significant went on on the first one…


1. Phinally Done

During the week of 11 to 17 of May, two of my colleagues and friends defended their PhD Dissertations, one in Coimbra and the other one here in Barcelona. I’m beyond proud of both of them and so very happy. It was the perfect beginning and end of that week.

2. “Bacalhau com todos”

This might not seem like a big deal, but when you’re away from home, it’s so nice to eat typical food! In Portugal we use a lot of cod fish, but we use it dried and salted and not fresh like most countries. So this (cod fish, egg, vegetables, potato and chickpea) is my traditional Christmas food.

3. Movies

Going twice to the cinema in a week. This is not that abnormal for me, but it hadn’t happened in a while. Wednesday I decided to take advantage of the cheapest day to see a movie, a spanish movie, that I had wanted to see for a while but was already only in selected theaters. So I needed to go to Barcelona and took advantage of that…

4. And more movies

The second movie I saw was on Friday, my “rest” day! I was totally alone watching Pitch Perfect 2 and it was awesome!

5. Amazon and books

Thursday I came home and found my Amazon box!!!! Yupppiiiii! Unboxing books is the best thing ever. 😀

6. English Bookstores?!

Speaking of books, after a little research online, I found out that there are 2 English bookstores in Barcelona!!! I’m so HAPPY!!!!

7. Magnificent Reads

I finished 4 books in the past 2 weeks, but two I LOVED! Eleanor & Park (Rainbow Rowell) and Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda (Becky Albertalli) are awesome, gorgeous books and I never want to let them go.

(Tag created by A New Life Wandering, go check it out).