August & September Wrap-Up: Continuing to Barely Read, but hey, I Got a Job! And Moved into an Apartment!

monthly wrap up

Whoops, long time no see! I just realized that it’s been nearly a month since I last posted. In my defense, life has been pretty hectic for me lately. In the middle of August I got hired as a receptionist for a doggie daycare. Then in September, my parents decided to sell our house, so I had to quickly find an apartment and move out! But I’m now living on my own! Of course under the supervision of two of my cats though–they have no problem screeching at me if I attempt to be a couch potato and bail on responsibilities.

Because of everything and the reading slump I was already falling into, I didn’t manage much reading nor blogging these past months. In August I managed 2 books (though one was a novella) and in September I read two books (both of which were rereads and one I just barely finished before the month ended). Fingers crossed I can fight my way outta this slump before the year ends.

August Reads:

1. Lobizona by Romina Garber

Rating: 4 stars

I was extremely honored to be offered the opportunity to participate in the Wednesday Books’ blog tour for Lobizona! This book was an addicting read and the perfect blend of staying true to the YA voice while also touching on so many important subjects. You can check out my full review here!

2. Laid Bare by Anna Stone

Rating: 2.5 stars

I can’t believe it took me this long to read this novella by my new favorite romance author! This is a prequel/novella in the Mistress Series. It’s about two women who fall in love after being trapped in an elevator together. A fun (and of course smutty) read!

Needless to say, I failed my ARC August plans

September Reads:

1. The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill

Rating: 5 stars!

After reading The Tea Dragon Festival earlier in the summer, I decided to go back and reread the first one! As many of you already know, O’Neill’s work is beautiful, cute, and inclusive. Now I just need to get my hands on the recently released third book…

2. The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

Rating: 4.25 stars

September was apparently a month of rereads for me! I also buddy read this novel with Sammie @ The Bookwyrm’s Den! Did I binge-read the second half of the book while falling sleep in order to count it in September? MAAAAAybe.
Nonetheless, I’m still excited to see the characters again in the sequel! (I’m currently a few chapters in and already hooked).

Random Life Updates:

  • I got a job! I’m now working as a full-time receptionist for a local doggie daycare! It’s basically a minimum wage job, so definitely not a career or long-term job, but it’s a job!
    • It’s fun to see a bunch of different doggos everyday, but wow going from doing nothing to working full-time has been an adjustment!  
    • It’s actually already been 2 months since I started, which is so crazy!
  • I moved into an apartment! Given the above, my mother is currently helping me with the rent, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed I can convince someone to be my roommate.
    • I’ve never moved before (excluding packing for college) and wow I didn’t realize how much stuff I had and how exhausting it was to box it all up. To be honest, I had a couple of breakdowns during the process.
  • Given the exhaustion for the things above, I’ve continued to struggle with motivation and finding the energy to do things outside of the bare minimum. I’m hoping over the next couple of weeks as I start to check things off my list and maybe actually unpack my things, my stress will chill out. Fingers crossed.

Posts By Other Bloggers I Loved:

I wish I had something to put here and I’m totally ashamed that I don’t, but blog-hopping was also one of the things I fell off of during these last couple of months.

So if you have any posts of your own that you’re proud of or posts of others that you loved from August and September, please link them below in the comments! I would love to read them!

October TBR:

The Silvered Serpents– Buddy read with Sammie @ The Bookwyrm’s Den!

Kissing DoorknobsRecommended to me by my writing buddy! We’re trying this new thing where we assign each other books to read each month (and to keep ourselves accountable you get fined if it takes ya longer than the month). This is my October book! It follows a girl with OCD and I’m excited to pick it up!

The Girl in Red– This seems like the perfect spooky season read, right? Don’t know how likely I am to get to it but I wanna try!

How was your August & September? Anyone else going through some life changes?

Seriously, if you have a post that you wrote or adored from the last couple of months, don’t be afraid to drop the link in the comments!

Top Ten Tuesday: Fall 2020 TBR

This week’s TTT topic is “Books On My Fall 2020 TBR.” I’m ecstatic it’s time for a seasonal TBR because I love compiling book lists! (Even though I haven’t been reading much lately and I completely failed at my summer TBR list aka only read 1 of 10. BUT we’re not gonna talk about that.) Ahhhh, it feels like it’s been so long since I’ve participated in a TTT (according to WordPress it’s been nearly 2 months?!?! crazy). I’ve definitely been in a weird funk and reading slump lately so fingers crossed this post helps me claw my way back into reading (and blogging tbh).

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

1. The Deep by Rivers Solomon


Here for all the stories about mer-people and sapphic romances. I finally got my copy in early August and I can’t believe I haven’t read it yet! (Yes, this is a repeat from my Summer TBR.)

2. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

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Still repeatedly mentioning this book (yes, this was also on my Summer TBR). Really need to get on this reread though, because the end of the year and the release of the 4th book is coming upon us quickly!

3. Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

This year especially, I have been continually obsessed with and craving romance books. I’ve heard great things about this book and author, so I actually purchased a physical copy of this novel for myself recently and I’m excited to get to it!

4. The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi

Meant to have this read before its release date today, but alas, the reading slump is real. I’m currently in the middle of rereading the first book in a buddy read with Sammie @ The Bookwyrm’s Den and we’ll definitely be moving onto this one soon! (well, hopefully)

5. The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson

My writing buddy recently started reading this book, reminding me that I actually own this book and haven’t read it yet?!?! Definitely wanna hop on this book soon so we can discuss. I also don’t read enough MG and really need to change that.

6. The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Been meaning to read this book for YEARS since I picked it up at a local bookstore as a underclassman in college.

7. The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

Political intrigue fantasy, a sapphic romance, rave reviews…why haven’t I read this up yet??

8. Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Whoa, how did this come out a year ago? And how am I still slacking on Leigh Bardugo books??

9. Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

Thriller, another genre I need to read more of. Also, still really need to read this so I can return it to my grandfather’s wife since she kindly loaned me her copy, oh, almost over a year ago.

10. The Girl in Red by Christina Henry

With the spooky season approaching, it would be fun to pick up a horror fairytale retelling, right? Even though I’m not sure I’ve ever read a true horror book before?!?

Wow, I’m really proud of myself for incidentally creating a TBR list with a wide range of genres and age categories.

That’s it for my Fall TBR! Fingers crossed I actually get around to most of these!?! What books are you hoping to read this fall? Have you read any of the ones I mentioned above? If so, which ones do you recommend I start with? PLEASE, give me all the encouragement and motivation to kick this reading slump!

Also, if you participated in TTT this week, feel free to link up your post in the comments below–I would love to check them out!

Tour the World in 30 Books Blog Tour | Twelve Reasons You Should Pick Up The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill

Welcome to my stop on the Tour The World in 30 Books Blog Tour! Today I’m gonna take you all to a beautifully crafted and fantastical realm: the world of The Tea Dragon Society!

Tour The World in 30 Books is a blog tour hosted by Sammie @ The Bookwyrm’s Den in support of her local public library’s Diverse Book Drive. The CCPL—a small, rural library in an area with a high poverty rate and a very homogeneous population, where people rarely have the means to travel or experience new perspectives. However, the library doesn’t believe that should stop people from learning more about the world around them, so they’re running a Diverse Book Drive through the month of September in an attempt to bring the rest of the world to the county instead. With a focus on MG and YA books, the CCPL aims to expose especially its young patrons to new and diverse perspectives and cultures.

Wanna help out Sammie’s library?

Blog tour book wishlists:

Hardcover books are preferred, but not required.

Other ways to donate:

CCPL’s general Amazon book wish list
Monetary donations: PayPal to
Gently used or other new book donations mailed to:
Sammie Betler
Casey County Public Library
238 Middleburg St.
Liberty, KY 42539

Please note that if you order a wish list book from Bookshop, we ask that you please send a message to so the book can be removed to avoid duplicate purchases, as the site does not seem to automatically remove the book from the list.

Please also note that book donations are used at the discretion of the library.

The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill

Title: The Tea Dragon Society
Author/Illustrator: Katie O’Neill
Publisher: Oni Press
Year of Publication: October 2017

Number of Pages: 72
Age Category: Middle-Grade [9-12 years]
Genre: Fantasy
Format: Graphic Novel

From the award-winning author of Princess Princess Ever After comes The Tea Dragon Society, a charming all-ages book that follows the story of Greta, a blacksmith apprentice, and the people she meets as she becomes entwined in the enchanting world of tea dragons.

After discovering a lost tea dragon in the marketplace, Greta learns about the dying art form of tea dragon care-taking from the kind tea shop owners, Hesekiel and Erik. As she befriends them and their shy ward, Minette, Greta sees how the craft enriches their lives—and eventually her own.

Twelve Reasons to Read The Tea Dragon Society:

1. Literally some of the CUTEST artwork you’ll ever see!

2. A cast full of people who are BIPOC.
(since it’s a fantasy world, technically most of the characters aren’t completely human, but basically what I’m saying is most of the characters display a variety of skin tones.)

3. Various disability and LGBTQIA+ representation seamlessly woven in throughout the series. Everything is normalized and nothing is flashy or demanding of praise for the inclusion.

4. Multiple characters’ occupations and attire challenge gender stereotypes and the gender binary.

5. Explores the concept of tradition in changing times.

6. Tea dragons are some of the coolest and cutest creatures you’ll ever read about. The novel even includes a fun little guide in the back to learn more about all the different tea dragons!

7. Focuses on cherishing shared memories and time spent with loved ones. CAN YOU IMAGINE not only having a tiny cute little dragon, but also one whose leaves brew a tea that invoke shared memories?!?

8. Features a cute found family!

9. The Tea Dragon Society is the first in a series!

10. This short graphic novel is an easy and quick read! So not only can you easily consume it, but it will help you feel more accomplished! (especially if you’re struggling on your GR goal which tbh I totally feel right now)

11. Despite its intended younger audience, this story can easily be enjoyed by readers of all ages–I’m an adult and I am now determined to read every book in this series and that Katie O’Neill ever produces.

12. Provides glimpses into a world you won’t want to leave–which again, is awesome that it’s the first in a series of 3 so far!

Tour Schedule:

September 1: Sammie @ The Bookwyrm’s Den – Introduction, Paola Santiago and the River of Tears
Leelynn @ Sometimes Leelynn ReadsDating Makes Perfect

September 2: Lauren @ Always MeThe Epic Crush of Genie Lo

September 3: Toya @ The Reading ChemistFelix Ever After

September 4: Michelle @ Carry A Big BookSharks in the Time of Saviors

September 5: Shenwei @ READING (AS)(I)AN (AM)ERICAThe Astonishing Color of After

September 6: Maria @ A Daughter of Parchment and PaperPatron Saints of Nothing

September 7: Bri @ Bri’s Book Nook – True Friends (Carmen Browne)

September 8: Bec @ bec&booksLobizona || Jorie @ Jorie Loves A Story – diverse TTT

September 9: Sienna @ Daydreaming Book LoverLoveless

September 10: Kerri @ Kerri McBookNerdRaybearer

September 11: Noly @ The Artsy ReaderThe Name Jar

September 12: Jacob @ The Writer’s AlleyForest of Souls

September 13: Keri @ Are You My BookThe Tea Dragon Society

September 14: Shannon @ It Starts at MidnightThe Space Between Worlds

September 15: Melissa @ Ramblings of a Jedi LibrarianGirl in Translation

September 16: Livy @ Shelves of StarlightClap When You Land

September 17: Crystal @ Lost in StorylandAmerican Born Chinese

September 18: Lili @ Lili’s Blissful PagesA Wish in the Dark

September 19: Leslie @ Books Are The New BlackThe Poppy War

September 20: Noura @ The Perks of Being NouraLove From A to Z

September 21: Crini @ Crini’sA Pale Light in the Black

September 22: Rachelle @ Rae’s Reads and ReviewsDear Haiti, Love Alaine

September 23: Dini @ DiniPandaReadsWicked As You Wish

September 24: Madeline @ Mad’s BooksSpin the Dawn

September 25: Tessa @ NarratessBrace Yourself

September 26: Kimberly @ My Bookish BlissTruly Madly Royally

September 27: Rena @ Bookflirting 101Anna K: A Love Story

September 28: Susan @ Novel LivesBurn the Dark

September 29: Arina @ The Bookwyrm’s Guide to the GalaxyA Song of Wraiths and Ruin

September 30: Maya @

Have you read The Tea Dragon Society before? If so, what did you think? If not, did I convince you to read it?

Do you use your local library? Do you feel that its collection is adequately diverse? If you could change one thing about your library, what would it be?

A VERY BELATED Mid-Year Freak Out Tag + 2020 Goals Check-In

2020 reading goals banner(1)Yes, I hardcore procrastinated on this post, so I guess it’s now a two-thirds-of-the-year check-in and freak out!? Eh, I guess it at least fits my theme this year of procrastinating on all my wrap-up posts, right? Bonus points for staying on brand? Or at least for making ya take a second look when you saw the notification pop up in your email and making ya wonder “doesn’t this child know it’s nearly September??!?”.

I do indeed know it’s August and now nearly September, but I refuse to not write this post. Fingers crossed I don’t embarrass myself too much with my progress (or there lack off) on my goals. Originally I was going to only look at the first half of the year, but that sounded like extra work, and for the sake of making myself feel more accomplished 💪, I’m going to factor in everything I’ve done so far in 2020.

Also, I have no clue which version of the tag I’m doing. I pulled most of the questions from the tag I did last year, then added a few other cool ones I saw from other blogger’s posts this year.

Mid-Year Freak Out Tag:

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2020.

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The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

This novel was one of the most unique, incredible, and thought-provoking books I have ever read. It tackles grief, trauma, science fiction, spirituality, and Christianity/religion (and you most definitely don’t have to be religious or Christian to read it–it challenges religion repeatedly). This book also features a great found family, and aaahhhh, it was just so amazing.

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2019.


The Tea Dragon Festival by Katie O’Neill

Technically more of a companion than a sequel, but I’m counting it! This series is so cute, beautiful, and includes a lot of diverse representation! I can’t until I can get my hands on the third one!

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to.

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A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow

I ordered this from a local bookstore because I had heard great things about it and tbh because I wanted that gorgeous cover! Contemporary fantasy is not usually the subgenre I gravitate to, but I can’t wait to dive into this one! (please appreciate that cliche, minor pun)

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.

How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories by Holly Black

Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur

Oooh, it’s so hard to pick only one! My cliche answer would be How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories, but my hopefully less stereotypical second answer would be Written in the Stars. Of course I’m excited for more Cardan, but I’m also dying to get a hold of this sapphic P&P retelling!

5. Biggest disappointment.


Telling Secrets by Frederick Buechner

I had to read this memoir for class. Though memoirs aren’t my go-to genre, I’ve found that I’ve enjoyed them more and more lately, but this one was such a struggle to get through. Which was especially aggravating because the book itself was only 106 pages!

6. Biggest surprise.


Ash by Malinda Lo

This was technically a reread for me (though I technically read it like 9 years ago so I had forgotten most of it), and I know I’ve said this before, but wow, how did baby teen me not appreciate this book?!?!? It’s sooooooooo good.

7. Favorite new author. (Debut or new to you)

Anna Stone! She writes f/f BDSM erotic romances. I discovered her during my KU trial and devoured all of her books. They’re such light and fun (and smutty, of course) reads and honestly just what I needed to get through the end of college and these weird times. You can now bet your biscuits I’ll read everything she ever writes! I think I would have to say that my favorite of hers so far has been Behind Close Doors, which is a sexy office romance with a slight mystery twist!

8. Newest fictional crush.


Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Ooooh, this is hard. Probably Nathaniel from Sorcery of Thorns. What a sassy, charismatic sorcerer…

9. Newest favorite character.

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Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann

Alice from Let’s Talk About Love! I’ve already raved about her multiple times, but ughhhhhh, I want her to be my friend so bad.

10. Book that made you cry.


A Million Junes by Emily Henry

I’m not a big crier, but I was definitely tearing up at the end of this novel! It’s a whimsical and atmospheric book with a cute romance that also tackles grief and dealing with the realization that your idealized memory of someone doesn’t live up the reality of them.

11. Book that made you happy.


House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas

Of course I couldn’t get through this post without mentioning a SJM book! This book was such a fun read and honestly a great distraction when America finally realizing we were in a pandemic back in March.

12. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received).

The Deep by Rivers Solomon

Circe by Madeline Miller

Picking a single book for an answer is so hard! The Deep has one of the most mysterious and intriguingly beautiful covers I’ve ever seen. I also finally bought myself a copy of Circe this year so I can reread it in the future and ughhhh, it’s also such a pretty book.

13. Favorite Book to Movie Adaptation.

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Oooh, either Little Women or The Witcher. Though I haven’t actually read any of The Witcher books, so I guess I’ll go with Little Women! I finally read the classic in February for my book club and then my friends and I saw the adaptation right before it left the theaters! I won’t give any spoilers, but how they framed the ending…so amazing!

14. Favorite 2020 Blog Post of Mine.

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So far, I think I’m most proud of my post about motivating yourself to write during a pandemic. *waves arms pathetically* Writing and motivation are so hard, so I made an attempt to inspire both myself and others!

15. Favorite Review I’ve Written in 2020.

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Ohhh, this is hard. I’m pretty proud of my (gushing) review of Girl, Serpent, Thorn!?

16. What book(s) do you need to read by the end of the year?

Ermmmm, so many. But the first ones that come to mind are the An Ember in the Ashes series by Sabaa Tahir. I STILL need to reread the first book and then continue on to the second and third in preparation for the fourth book releasing at the end of this year.

2020 Reading Goal Check-In:

1. Read 50 books!

As of August 25th, I’ve read 37 books, which Goodreads says is 5 books ahead of schedule! Though I was hoping to be a lot more ahead, I’m still technically on track, so I’m counting it as a success. ✅

2. Read as many of my already owned books as possible.

By ‘owned books’ I mean books acquired prior to 2020 (and that are copies that I haven’t read before). So far I’ve managed 5 books, which is not ideal, but better than none. With covid/quarantine and whatnot, I was hoping to focus more on my owned books, but alas, that still has yet to happen. 🤷

And of the 36 (physical & electronic) books I’ve acquired this year, I’ve only read 8. 😬

3. Read at least ten 2020 releases

Including a novella I just finished the other day, I’ve read 10 2020 releases, so I’ve actually already completed this goal! ✅✅

4. Reread at least 5 books

So far I’ve reread 2 books, which is pretty impressive for me! Usually I get distracted by new-to-me books, but I’ve been feeling nostalgic lately, so hopefully I can reach 5 by the end of the year. I even made a TBR of books I wanna reread the other day, so fingers crossed I continue to feel inspired to reread!

5. Finish at least 4 series

Currently only at 1, but hey, it’s better than none? In case you’re curious what the series was, it was LOTR, because my Tolkien class read the entire trilogy. Thank you college for helping me with my reading goals! 😆

6. Read a variety of genres (and age categories)!

genre breakdown of books read so far in 2020 (as of August 2020)

As you can see, Fantasy is still my main genre, but romance (specifically erotic romances lol) have really been helping me get through the year!

Age category breakdown of books read so far in 2020

I think this is the first time ever that YA isn’t the highest section? But I guess it makes since with all the romance books I’m reading (which are very much adult/NA).


I also had some other writing/blogging/life goals for 2020, but ya know…we don’t need to check-in on those. 😅

How are your goals going so far? Have you read any of the books I mentioned?

Pssst, if there are anyone you out there who also didn’t do the mid-year freak out tag earlier, and still want to, I tag you!