Cosy Fall Books

Cosy Fall Books

Do you have a favorite reading season? I do! For me it’s fall. Cause I love the cosiness of the rain tapping against the window, wearing a big sweater and burning some candles. I can already smell the warm hot cocoa or the feeling of having a big cup of tea in my hands. While the days get shorter, my books get bigger and I read and read. Here are some cosy fall book recommendations from graphic novels to a mystery.

Graphic Novels

Heartstopper – Alice Oseman

Ever read a story so cute that you have the feeling your heart grows bigger? Well if that hasn’t happened yet to you, then I am sure it will happen when you read Heartstopper.

Charlie, a highly-strung, openly gay over-thinker, and Nick, a cheerful, soft-hearted rugby player, meet at a British all-boys grammar school. Friendship blooms quickly, but could there be something more…?

Charlie Spring is in Year 10 at Truham Grammar School for Boys. The past year hasn’t been too great, but at least he’s not being bullied anymore. Nick Nelson is in Year 11 and on the school rugby team. He’s heard a little about Charlie – the kid who was outed last year and bullied for a few months – but he’s never had the opportunity to talk to him.

They quickly become friends, and soon Charlie is falling hard for Nick, even though he doesn’t think he has a chance. But love works in surprising ways, and sometimes good things are waiting just around the corner…


Jen Wang weaves an exuberantly romantic tale of identity, young love, art, and family. A fairy tale for any age, The Prince and the Dressmaker will steal your heart. 

Paris, at the dawn of the modern age:

Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride―or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia―the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion!

Sebastian’s secret weapon (and best friend) is the brilliant dressmaker Frances―one of only two people who know the truth: sometimes this boy wears dresses. But Frances dreams of greatness, and being someone’s secret weapon means being a secret. Forever. How long can Frances defer her dreams to protect a friend?

Contemporary

Made in Korea – Sarah Suk

Frankly in Love meets Shark Tank in this feel-good romantic comedy about two entrepreneurial Korean American teens who butt heads while running competing Korean beauty businesses at their high school.

There’s nothing Valerie Kwon loves more than making a good sale. Together with her cousin Charlie, they run V&C K-BEAUTY, their school’s most successful student-run enterprise. With each sale, Valerie gets closer to taking her beloved and adventurous halmeoni to her dream city, Paris.

Enter the new kid in class, Wes Jung, who is determined to pursue music after graduation despite his parents’ major disapproval. When his classmates clamor to buy the K-pop branded beauty products his mom gave him to “make new friends,” he sees an opportunity—one that may be the key to help him pay for the music school tuition he knows his parents won’t cover…

What he doesn’t realize, though, is that he is now V&C K-BEAUTY’s biggest competitor.

Stakes are high as Valerie and Wes try to outsell each other, make the most money, and take the throne for the best business in school—all while trying to resist the undeniable spark that’s crackling between them. From hiring spies to all-or-nothing bets, the competition is much more than either of them bargained for.

But one thing is clear: only one Korean business can come out on top.

Mystery

The Inheritance Games – Jennifer Lynn Barnes

You won’t be able to put this book down and before you know it you are trying to solve all the riddles and puzzles. This reads like a Cinderella story with deadly stakes and thrilling twists. Oh, and the main character becomes all of a sudden a millionaire, but there is a catch of course.

Avery Grambs has a plan for a better future: survive high school, win a scholarship, and get out. But her fortunes change in an instant when billionaire Tobias Hawthorne dies and leaves Avery virtually his entire fortune. The catch? Avery has no idea why–or even who Tobias Hawthorne is. To receive her inheritance, Avery must move into sprawling, secret passage-filled Hawthorne House, where every room bears the old man’s touch–and his love of puzzles, riddles, and codes.

Unfortunately for Avery, Hawthorne House is also occupied by the family that Tobias Hawthorne just dispossessed. This includes the four Hawthorne grandsons: dangerous, magnetic, brilliant boys who grew up with every expectation that one day, they would inherit billions. Heir apparent Grayson Hawthorne is convinced that Avery must be a con-woman, and he’s determined to take her down. His brother, Jameson, views her as their grandfather’s last hurrah: a twisted riddle, a puzzle to be solved. Caught in a world of wealth and privilege, with danger around every turn, Avery will have to play the game herself just to survive.

Fantasy

Grishaverse – Leigh Bardugo

The Grishaverse starts with the book Shadow and Bone and after the first trilogy my all time favorite duologie, Six of Crows, follows. If you want to read a lot of books, then I highly recommend you readinging the Grishaverse. Consisting of 1 trilogie, 2 duologies and two companion novels you will have lots to read. 

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

Do you have a favorite hot beverage you like to drink while reading?

The Kawaii Halloween Subscription sticker box

The Kawaii Halloween Subscription sticker box

Do you remember our awesome limited sticker boxes from last year? Well, we are gonna bring it back. But not just for one time only. What do you think about every month? Let’s make our agenda’s, bullet journals and other things super cute and kawaii!

Hi, you! You are probably here because you want to know more about our sticker boxes. If you read our latest blog post “A very fun and big update” then you already know that we wanted to bring the sticker boxes back, but what we didn’t knew back then… was that we won’t bring it back every season, but we are going to bring it back every month! 
Thanks to you lovely followers, your enthusiastic reactions and your wish for more… we want to tell you we heard you. That’s why we’re gonna release a sticker box each month.

Spooky season, but make it cute 

For most people, Christmas is their favorite celebration, but for us, Team CutieSquad, it is Halloween! That’s why it makes us even more excited that we launch our very first monthly sticker box with the theme Halloween. Are you ready for the spooky season? 

Let’s get to the facts

The costs of the CutieSquad sticker box: Halloween edition will be €10 (free shipping in the Netherlands, shipping fees to other countries can be found here). 
What can you expect from the sticker box? An overfilled stickerbox (worth €25) including:

2 x Sticker Sheet
2 x Sticker Set
2 x Specials (retro/fanart/holographic/planner kit/huge sticker, etc.)
1x A5 Art Print

The presale for the sticker boxes will start 16 September CEST and they will be shipped after the 30th of September. Please keep in mind that shipping can take longer because of the current state of the world. 

A very fun and big update | Behind the scenes

A very fun and big update | Behind the scenes

The last few months have been absolutely… actually we are lost for words. It was hectic, busy, lots of fun, lots of meetings, lots of testing, new people joining the squad, long days of working, etc. But we are so proud to give you a very big update of everything that has been going on behind the scenes!

First things first

The CutieSquad is growing in multiple ways. You all know Gladys by now, if not… well she is the genius who created the CutieSquad. Jacky, Jess, Mo and Ray formed a squad thanks to her imagination. Even though the squad already made a good team, there was a lot of work to do. Actually, it was a bit much.

So two years ago Denise joined the squad! She works behind the scenes with social media, always brings sparks to words (everything sounds better thanks to her!) and she is always there for Gladys to brainstorm. 

The squad became even bigger last April when Katja (Hi, that’s me! The person who is writing this blog.) joined the team. Originally I was asked to do PR, but I ended up also doing various marketing jobs behind the scenes and I honestly love it.

So that’s that, let’s talk about some amazing projects we have been working on!

Subscription box stickers

There might be a possibility that I, Katja, screamed during the Zoom meeting with my colleagues when Gladys revealed she wants to launch a subscription box for stickers. Yes, you read that right! A box filled with stickers that will be sent every season to your house. I’m not gonna lie that I was very glad that I was on speaker and no one was wearing headphones so I hopefully didn’t damage their eardrums too much. (I’m so sorry guys!)
Anyhow, we are very happy to tell you that we start with spooky season. Yes, the first sticker box will be Halloween themed. More information will follow later this September. So follow us on Instagram or Facebook for the latest updates. 

Printable shop

It’s September, that means we launched the printable shop! Come craft, draw and color with us. Besides coloring pages you can also find calendars, to do pages and of course our very loved wallpapers. Oh, and don’t forget the A4 sized prints, perfect to cute up your life! Everything in the printable shop is a digital file. Your printable files will be available to download immediately after checkout. You can print this file at home, a professional printing shop, or online.
Fun should be for everyone. That’s why we decided that a part of our collection will be free of charge. We can’t wait to see how you cute up your life!
(Pssst, share your creations on Instagram by using the hashtag #cutiesquadclub.)

A lot of exciting news and we are so happy that we get to share this with you. We’ll keep you updated on the latest in blogs and on our socials. But for now we wish you an amazing day and don’t forget to keep spreading cuteness in the world!

Lots of love from Team CutieSquad

Book Lovers Day | CutieSquad style

Book Lovers Day | CutieSquad style

It’s Book Lovers Day! We couldn’t be more excited to spend all day reading. With a big cup of tea, iced coffee or bubble tea. But what to read? No worries, we got you covered! Get it? Because books have covers? Okay, let’s move on to the books. From Japanese mythology to contemporary and also some lovely travel reads.

Fiction

Shadow of the Fox – Julie Kagawa

Ready for a Fantasy meets mythology meets Japan? Then this book is something for you!

One thousand years ago, the great Kami Dragon was summoned to grant a single terrible wish—and the land of Iwagoto was plunged into an age of darkness and chaos.

Now, for whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, a new wish will be granted. A new age is about to dawn.

Raised by monks in the isolated Silent Winds temple, Yumeko has trained all her life to hide her yokai nature. Half kitsune, half human, her skill with illusion is matched only by her penchant for mischief. Until the day her home is burned to the ground, her adoptive family is brutally slain and she is forced to flee for her life with the temple’s greatest treasure—one part of the ancient scroll.

With an army of demons at her heels and the unlikeliest of allies at her side, Yumeko’s secrets are more than a matter of life or death. They are the key to the fate of the world itself. 

Tokyo Ever After – Emiko Jean

Princess Diaries meets Japan is the crossover we never knew we needed, but we obviously do. 

Izumi Tanaka has never really felt like she fit in—it isn’t easy being Japanese American in her small, mostly white, northern California town. Raised by a single mother, it’s always been Izumi—or Izzy, because “It’s easier this way”—and her mom against the world. But then Izzy discovers a clue to her previously unknown father’s identity… and he’s none other than the Crown Prince of Japan. This means outspoken, irreverent Izzy is literally a princess.

In a whirlwind, Izzy travels to Japan to meet the father she never knew and discover the country she always dreamed of. But being a princess isn’t all ball gowns and tiaras. 

Izzy soon finds herself caught between worlds, and between versions of herself—back home, she was never “American” enough, and in Japan, she must prove she’s “Japanese” enough. Will Izumi crumble under the weight of the crown, or will she live out her fairytale, happily ever after? 

XOXO – Axie Oh

From stories mostly taking place in Japan we move over to South Korea for this book, because this story sounds so much fun! K-pop fans, this book is probably your cup of (bubble) tea. 

Cello prodigy Jenny has one goal: to get into a prestigious music conservatory. When she meets mysterious, handsome Jaewoo in her uncle’s Los Angeles karaoke bar, it’s clear he’s the kind of boy who would uproot her careful plans. But in a moment of spontaneity, she allows him to pull her out of her comfort zone for one unforgettable night of adventure…before he disappears without a word.

Three months later, when Jenny and her mother arrive in South Korea to take care of her ailing grandmother, she’s shocked to discover that Jaewoo is a student at the same elite arts academy where she’s enrolled for the semester. And he’s not just any student. He’s a member of one of the biggest K-pop bands in the world—and he’s strictly forbidden from dating.

When a relationship means throwing Jenny’s life off the path she’s spent years mapping out, she’ll have to decide once and for all just how much she’s willing to risk for love.

Non-Fiction

How to Live Japanese – Yutaka Yazawa

Want to know more about Japan? This is the ultimate insider’s guide to the country of Japan, full of inspiration and insight to help you experience the very best of Japanese design, cookery, philosophy, and culture.

From Miyazaki to mountains, sake to sparking joy, find your Zen and make time to learn about how to live Japanese. Whether it’s the cutting edge of film-making, revolutionizing the whisky market or competing with parents on lunchboxes, you’ll all learn about it with ‘How to Live Japanese’.

 Japan is not only the mother of all metropolises but with two-thirds of the country covered in forest, there is still much respect and celebration of the natural world, with people perfectly placed to make the most of the green space around them. From the art of making tea, to going for a hike, or celebrating imperfections, there are ceremonies the Japanese have been honing for centuries that thrive alongside modern traditions and practices of well-being.

Cool Japan Guide – Abby Denson

Travelling to Japan has never been so much fun! Visit the land of anime, manga, cosplay, hot springs and sushi!

This full-color graphic novel Japan guidebook is the first of its kind to explore Japanese culture from a cartoonist’s perspective. ‘Cool Japan Guide’ takes you on a fun tour from the high-energy urban streets of Tokyo to the peaceful Zen gardens and Shinto shrines of Kyoto and introduces you to:

  • the exciting world of Japanese food – from bento to sushi and everything in between.
  • the otaku (geek) culture of Japan, including a manga market in Tokyo where artists display and sell their original artwork.
  • the complete Japanese shopping experience, from combini (not your run-of-the-mill convenience stores!) to depato (department stores with everything).
  • the world’s biggest manga, anime and cosplay festivals.
  • lots of other exciting places to go and things to do – like zen gardens, traditional Japanese arts, and a ride on a Japanese bullet train.

Whether you’re ready to hop a plane and travel to Japan tomorrow, or interested in Japanese pop culture, this fun and colorful travelogue by noted comic book artist and food blogger Abby Denson, husband Matt, friend Yuuko, and sidekick, Kitty Sweet Tooth, will present Japan in a unique and fascinating way.

How to be a kid again

How to be a kid again

As a kid, you can’t wait for the day to be an adult, but as soon as you turn an adult you wish to still be a kid. Do you recognize yourself in this? Adulthood feels draining with days filled with working, paying bills, taking care of our families and so on. Yes, it can be fun, but it can also be stressful and a little boring at times. Maybe the dream of being a kid again starts to creep up on you. 

Honestly we from CutieSquad get it. For most of us, our childhood fell as a safe place where everything was practically done for us and we had little to no worries. Our days existed of playing and exploring with a fearless attitude. We believe you can be a kid again to an extent. Of course, we have to pay the bills, but that doesn’t mean that the play has to stop. Children provide amazing examples of ways to get more enjoyment out of life even as an adult. Let’s have a closer look at the lessons we can learn from kids. 

See life through the eyes of a kid

As an adult, it sometimes feels like we have seen it all. The flowers, the smell of delicious food being cooked, etc. And for some reason, it doesn’t bring us joy like it used to. Place yourself in your younger self… how did you react to things when you were a kid?
It’s no secret that children see things differently than adults do. Everything is new and fills them with wonder and curiosity. They take the time to just sit and look at something and find joy out of little things. 

Lesson: practice looking at things from a new, fresh point of view as if it is the first time you are seeing them.

Let go and have fun as a kid does

As an adult, it’s easy to feel tied down by responsibilities. That’s the point in life we take everything too seriously and forget how to let loose. The fear of being judged by others with the feeling that there is only one way to grow up is holding us back to live our own life. If we are not careful we put a “mask” on to feel more protected. Children do not have these “masks” in place yet. They feel free to enjoy life as they are and do not much care what others are thinking of them.
So let us ask the question: are you more protected with a “mask” on? By living life too seriously it’s easy to forget who you are. Losing yourself in the process of pleasing others seems like a waste of time, don’t you think? People who judge you for letting loose, trust us, don’t have as much fun as you. Besides that, do you actually want someone like that to like you?

Lesson: drop the “mask” and let the fun side out no matter how silly it may seem to others. 

Things you could do: dance and sing at the top of your lungs in the car or at a concert, blow bubbles, build a sandcastle, skip down the street. 

Be honest with yourself

If there is one trait that kids do that stand out is that they are brutally honest. Nobody can point out flaws like a child. We shouldn’t focus only on our flaws or that can lead to a lack of self-confidence, but we can all benefit from being brutally honest with ourselves. If we aren’t where we want to be in life, we need to take a good, hard look at what we have been doing. Be honest and see where you can improve. Don’t let life pass you by because you kept a blind eye to all that you could do or be.

Lesson: be honest with yourself and reflect from time to time. 

Stay in touch with your inner child  

Learning doesn’t stop the moment you leave school and play doesn’t need to stop when you’re an adult. We believe that if you learn to see through the eyes of a kid, let go and have fun like a kid does, and start being as honest with yourself as a kid is, then you can definitely bring more joy and excitement to your life. Stay in touch with your inner child, always.