February Wrap-Up: Started a Trial of Kindle Unlimited and Now I’m Reading All the Smutty Romances, whoops

monthly wrap up

Dang it, I really meant to have this up at the beginning of March–where did the time go? I mean, I know where the time went…but I guess bonus points for me that it’s still March when I’m posting this?? (even tho it’s only barely still March)

So yeah, even tho this is super late, I am happy to say that I read a lot more in February than I did in January (7 books compared to January’s 2!). We’re half of them super smutty romances I got off Kindle Unlimited?? YEP, but smut books are still books, and thank goodness for them, because otherwise I’d be struggling with my GR goal (yes, I’ve been binge-reading them that much).


BOOKS READ:

book cover

1. What I Want You to See by Catherine Linka

Rating: 3.5 stars

I participated in the FFBC blog tour for this book in the beginning of February! It was an interesting read and definitely not like one I’ve read before. You can see my full review here.

two books on a light blue background surrounded by fake white flowers on a vine
Guys, I’m so proud of this image. Like, I actually took a bookish pic that I think looks pretty??

2. Blankets by Craig Thompson

Rating: 4.25 stars

We covered this graphic memoir in my Senior Seminar class! It was very intense, emotional, and captivating. And also SUPER LONG for a graphic novel (582 pages!). There are a lot of potential triggers in this memoir tho, so make sure to read with caution if you pick it up!

3. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Rating: 4 stars

If you haven’t noticed yet, my lit class is working our way through JRR Tolkien’s works. The Hobbit was such a fun adventure and I’m so glad I’ve finally picked up this fantasy classic!

little women cover

4. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Rating: 4 stars

I actually picked up a classic?! Who am I? Well, actually my book club voted to read this book, so I didn’t really have a choice. ๐Ÿ˜… Though it definitely dragged it some places and was heavily ladled with morals, I was surprised to find myself growing to adore the March sisters and Laurie (especially Jo). The writing was easy to listen to (yes, I also actually listened to an audiobook!) and it was great to see the characters grow up. Shortly after finishing, my friends and I went out and saw the newest movie adaptation and omg, it was INCREDIBLE! I highly recommend it–it’s a definitely must see if you’ve read the book.

5. Being Hers by Anna Stone

Rating: 3 stars

6. Her Surrender by Anna Stone

Rating: 2.75 stars

7. Hers to Keep by Anna Stone

Rating: 3.25 stars

Immediately upon starting my Kindle Unlimited Trial, I found myself binge-reading Anna Stone’s BDSM f/f erotic romance series, Irresistibly Bound. I literally binge-read all four of these books within a week (I technically finished the last book in March, so you’ll see it in my next wrap-up!). I won’t deny that these books are very simplistic and formulaic, but the consistency was definitely a comfort and a nice palette cleanser. And I love how Stone’s characters’ relationships always stress the importance of communication. Hmm, I’m not sure that I could pick a favorite out of these. I love Being Hers because it particularly showcased communication and its importance. I enjoyed Her Surrender because one of the women was a sassy librarian and it had less BDSM elements. And I adored Hers to Keep for the relationship and the setting. Lol so basically I loved them all for different reasons.
I definitely plan to read all of Stone’s books now and continue to follow her career, so prepare to see more of her books in my future wrap-ups!


MARCH TBR:

  • The Woman in the Window– This month’s read for the book club I read
  • The Downstairs Girl– The next read for a YA book club I wanna participate in!
  • House of Earth and Blood– Come my spring break later this month, I am ready to devour this book
  • The Girl in Red– One of my GR groups is reading this is month and I actually own a copy so fingers crossed I can also squeeze it in, tho it’s relatively low priority

Well, these were my TBR plans at the beginning of the month, but due to the pandemic/my college shifting to online classes/my book clubs no longer able to meet, there’s not really any motivation to read these books. And I just finished House of Earth and Blood, lol. So for the rest of the month I will probably just focus on mood reading and finishing my current reads. (lol I say this as if there aren’t only 5 days left)


RANDOM LIFE UPDATES:

Honestly, February feels like ages ago and kinda irrelevant, so this will be a short list

  • Mid-Winter Break– Basically this was just a long weekend at the beginning of February where I got to go home! I got to see my fam and animals which was great but I also spent most of my time doing homework & studying for a midterm so it was not as relaxing as I had hoped
  • I was accepted to NYU’s Summer Publishing Institute! And one of my friends did to!
    • From today’s standpoint with the corona virus pandemic, I don’t know if the program will actually be able to run this summer. But if it doesn’t, I will likely defer to next summer.
  • Finally posted my 2019 Wrap-up! You can check it out here if ya want.
  • Had our first (and technically last) book club meeting of the semester. We read Little Women, which I mentioned above. There were only 3 of us there, but it was a fun discussion!
  • Finished a season of intramural inner tube water polo. Yes, you read that right. Water polo, in inner tubes! It was a fun and crazy season and even though we didn’t win the final game, we def won in my heart *not bitter at all here*.

How was your February? How are you all holding up? Have you read any of the books I mentioned?

Would love to talk with any of you, so please comment or feel free to friend & message me on Goodreads!

WWW Wednesday: January 29th, 2020

WWW Wednesday

Wow, I just realized I haven’t written a WWW Wednesday post since October! Last semester was crazy (as you probably noticed by my sparse and late postings), but I really missed these fun little update posts!

I haven’t been able to do as much reading as I would have liked this month, but hopefully it’ll pick up soon!

Also, stay tuned for a 2019 Wrap-Up post coming from me (finally). Fingers crossed I’ll get it up by Friday!

Also, for those of you who donโ€™t know: WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words where you answer 3 โ€˜whatโ€™ questions about your reading.


What did you recently finish reading?

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Frederick Buechner’s Telling Secrets. It’s only the second book I’ve finished so far this year *cry* (I’ve been so slow!). I was required to read this for a seminar I’m currently taking. Buechner has a lot of great thoughts and ideas (and notes about writing!), but for a memoir that’s only 106 pages, I struggled way too much to get through it. The author spends the majority of this book in his head sharing his ideologies and contemplations and I completely stumbled through these sections. I guess in memoir I expect the sections to be grounded in scenes and concrete imagery and that was definitely not the case here.


What are you currently reading?

A lot! All these books, with the exception of What I Want You to See, are books I’m reading for class. Yes, I’m finally reading Tolkien (as you can see above, we started with The Silmarillion and The Tolkien Reader)! I’m actually taking a whole class on his work and Medieval literature!

What I Want You to See is a book I’m reading for a (rapidly approaching, eek) blog tour! My plan is to finish this book and Blankets before the end of the month. *fingers crossed*


What do you think youโ€™ll read next?

Hopefully many things! In early February I’m starting my (first!) buddy read and reading The Unspoken Name with Sammie @ The Writerly Way. After that I think I might pick up the Dragons & Tea February group read, Let’s Talk About Love. But who knows?! Maybe I’ll pick up something totally random and mood read! But most of what you’ll probably see on my blog are more books for classes, lol.


Have you read any of these books? How often do you participate in WWW Wednesday posts? Hope everyone is having a great reading month!

Also, if you participated in WWW Wednesday this week, feel free to drop the link in the comments; I would love to check it out!

December Wrap-Up: Too Much Homework-Related Writing, Fun Family Visits, and (once again) Lots of Graphic Novels!

monthly wrap up

Oh oh oh, here we are, starting 2020 off right with another late monthly wrap-up! There’s a grace period for 2020 goals, right? Because I’m already failing big time.

But yeah, sorry for the absence! I returned to college at the beginning of the month (for my last semester holy crap) and I’ve spent the last 2 weeks trying to get myself to remember how to do homework and balance commitments instead of reverting to my natural state as a couch potato.

But no more about my laziness–I’ll no doubt talk about that in my (late) January wrap-up. Despite having finals week in the middle of the month, I was on winter break for the last two weeks of December and I had an really good reading month! I read a total of 12 books, and similar to my November Wrap-up, it was due to cramming in a bunch of graphic novels for my Kid Lit final project.


BOOKS READ:

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1. Super Fun Sexy Times by Meredith McClaren

Rating: 4 stars

Tehehe. Honestly, not a book I ever thought I picked up, but I was searching for smutty content for a friend for Christmas. Honestly, this book was a great time with a glass of wine. I only wish it had been longer so I could know more about the characters!

2. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Rating: 4.5 stars

THIS WAS SO INCREDIBLE! It challenges the idea of heroes, villains, and monsters in a new, fresh way. Everyone was morally gray and I adored it. And that ending totally got me in the feels. Why isn’t there moreeee?

3. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

Rating: 4.5 stars

This is the final book that I read for my memoir class and wow, just wow. Kalanithi’s writing can only be described as purely unique and brilliant. This one seems like it needs to be read multiple times over to be truly appreciated.

4. Normal People by Sally Rooney

Rating: 3.5 stars

Oooh, this is a hard one to rate. Rooney’s voice is original and blunt, not afraid to delve into the deep and raw. But the characters were also extremely FRUSTRATING. And then there was that ending that I both loved and hated…

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5. Drama by Raina Telgemeier

Rating: 4 stars

The graphic novel follows Callie as she juggles crushes, friendships, and trying to make sure her school’s musical is a success.
It was so CUTE! How can I get more? Will definitely read more from this creator.

6. Real Friends by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham

Rating: 4 stars

A graphic memoir that delves into the trials of childhood friendship! And it was by one of my favorite authors–Shannon Hale! I can’t wait to pick up the sequel. ๐Ÿ˜€

7. Paper Girls, Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, and Matthew Wilson

Rating: 2.75 stars

This was…truly bizarre. Don’t think I understood half of went on. There wasn’t really much of a plot to it–just the repeated setups of freaky situations. A part of me is curious to see how it will continue, but I kinda doubt I’ll actually pick up the next volume…

8. Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol

Rating: 3 stars

Another weird graphic novel. Though it was definitely easier to follow, it also wasn’t very satisfying. The ending seemed rushed and I felt that there needed to be greater exploration in the topics it touched upon (e.g. body image, smoking, loneliness).

a black cat standing by a pile of four books in front of a christmas tree
My cat Lucky came to say hello as I was attempting to take pictures of my last 4 reads of 2019! (Lol, I had to brighten up this photo a lot so he could be seen)

9. The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson

Rating: 3.5 stars

I really only read the last 40 pages of this book in December, but I’m still gonna count it. (Yeah, I don’t know why I didn’t just finish it back in September).
I enjoyed this book, but it wasn’t a new favorite like I was hoping it would be. You can read my full review here!

10. The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

Rating: 4.5 stars

OMG, THE TRILOGY HAS COME TO AN END! It was definitely a bit cheesy and rushed, but I also love these characters so much and enjoyed how Holly Black played with fairytale tropes in the trilogy. I literally devoured this book in a single night. Can’t wait to see what she writes next!

11. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

Rating: 4 stars

If you don’t know who David Sedaris, he’s one of the most famous humor writers out there. This was my first time reading his work and I really enjoyed it! Sedaris is both hilarious and thought-provoking in this memoir.

12. The Mere Wife by Maria Dahvana Headley

Rating: 3.75 stars

This was…definitely unique and something else. It’s a contemporary retelling of Beowulf focused on Grendel’s mother with dash of fantasy and it was just…bizarre. There were some really cool and unique perspectives, but I feel like I need to reread it multiple times over to understand what happened.


JANUARY TBR:

  • The Will and the Wilds— I’ve actually already read this one! It was my first read (and so far, only read ๐Ÿ˜…) of 2020!
  • A Queen in Hiding— Wanted to read this before its release date on the 21st, but *sigh* that’s not gonna happen now.
  • Children of Blood and Bone— A bookclub at my school is reading this and I’m unrealistically hoping I’ll be able to read it before the meeting. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ
  • The Bear and the Nightingale— Some day, some winter day, I will read this book!
  • What I Want You to See— I’m on the blog tour for this one in early February, so I need to get to reading!

Random Life Updates:

  • I finished my first semester of my senior year of college!
    • I had so much reading and writing to complete during the last week of classes and during finals. Afterwards I was like “What’s a sentence? What are words?” I was definitely burnt out.
    • My friends and I did manage to sneak out during finals for beer, bowling and exchanging Christmas gifts, and it was honestly so much fun.
  • I was sent my first physical book from a publisher/publicity agency! It was The Will and the Wilds and it was a really fun read. Stay tuned for a review coming soon!
    • I actually got sent an extra ARC copy of this book, so if anyone wants it, please let me know! I will happily send it to ya!
  • I spent 3 weeks at home for winter break! It was great to do nothing and see my dog and cats.
a girl hugging a chocolate labrador in front of a christmas tree
My dog did not appreciate taking pics with me
  • I was fortunate enough to see lots of family for the holidays–my mom’s side, my maternal grandpa, and my dad’s side. Even my cousins from Tennessee!
  • Saw a handful of old high school friends for coffee dates and at a New Years Eve party. It’s crazy now because with graduation approaching, I don’t know when I’ll see most of them again.
  • My family went out and saw the new Star Wars movie! An end of an era (saga?)! Personally, I thought it was a decent movie–I didn’t love it, but I also didn’t hate it.

    How was your December? Are you glad it’s 2020 now? What have you been up to lately? Have you read any of the books I mentioned above? Any recommendations for graphic novels I should pick up next?

December Wrap-Up: FINALLY Completing My Fall Semester + Finishing My Current Reads

monthly wrap up

How are we already on December 31st? How have I already been on winter break for 2 weeks?

December was a crazy month. The first two weeks were extremely busy and stressful with all of my final project work and then the last two weeks have been…extremely lazy, whoops. Even though I enjoyed a couple of my classes, I’m really grateful that they’re over and that I survived my semester (because honestly there were a couple of points where I thought I might suffocate under all the work I had to do)! I still can’t believe that next semester I’ll be studying off-campus in New York instead of back at my small college. Hopefully I have lots of (fun) adventures ahead of me!

Tomorrow I’ll be back with a Top Ten Tuesday post of my favorite reads of 2018 and a couple days after that (so January 3rd or 4th) I’ll be posting my wrap-up of 2018 and my goals for the new year!


BOOKS I READ:

eight books stacked in front of a christmas tree with a mini plush dog on top

1. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Rating: 4.5 stars

I finally read Six of Crows! I adored the book and it was such a fun book to discuss with my book club (this book probably produced the best book discussions all semester). My only real complaint with the book is that the protagonists should have been in their late twenties, not 17-ish, but oh well, that’s YA for ya. ๐Ÿ˜…
I can’t wait to continue onto Crooked Kingdom!

2. Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me by Ellen Forney

Rating: 5 stars

This is a graphic memoir about about a cartoonist who finds out she has bipolar I. Her memoir follows her through manic and depressive episodes and as she struggles with how to value her creativity with her overall health. This was such an insightful book in so many ways and I would recommend this book to essentially everyone!

3. Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn

Rating: 3.25 stars

A really fun read that parodied the expectations and perfections of superheroes, but I wasn’t sure what else I was suppose to get out of it besides that? And at times, it was just TOO ridiculous. I really love the cover though, so I’m tempted to go out and by the other 2 books in the series…

4. Rule by Ellen Goodlett

Rating: 2.25 stars

Essentially this was a shallow and clichรฉ fantasy that wasn’t very remarkable. It took me months to get through my ARC of this book. You can read my full thoughts here.

5. Celtic Tales: Fairy Tales and Stories of Enchantment from Ireland, Scotland, Brittany, and Wales by Kate Forrester

Rating: 3.5 stars

This was an interesting collection of tales that I had never heard before. But maybe because I didn’t have any familiarity with them was the reason I found them a bit lackluster? The illustrations are all gorgeous tho and I loved how the collection was divided up into 4 sections: Tricksters, The Sea, Quests, and Romance. The last section was of course my fav. ๐Ÿ˜‰

6. Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Rating: 4.5 stars

It only took me a year, but I finally finished my reread of the Grisha trilogy! It had been ~4 years since I last read all these books and it was so much fun to dive back into this series. I love Alina’s morally grey character and I can’t wait to read more Leigh Bardugo in the future!

7. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

Rating: 5 stars

I read this collection of short stories for my fiction writing class and I enjoyed it! Elizabeth Strout’s writing is so unique, amazing, and powerful. I can only dream of writing like her. I’m quite curious to see the mini-series inspired by this book now…

8. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
**hopefully**

Rating: 4 stars??

I haven’t actually finished this book yet (I’m about 2/3 of the way through) but I wanted to include it since I’m planning to finish it before 2019. I also wanted to post this wrap-up before the end of the day since I’m hoping to participate in Top Ten Tuesday tomorrow and I don’t like to post back to back.

Mandel writes in a nonlinear timeline and uses a somewhat blunt writing style which is quite captivating. I’ve been partly spoiled for the end but I’m still eager to see the book through.


January TBR:

three books lying against a red background

But then again, who knows at this point? There are so many books I want to read, but I can only take so many with me to New York. Not to mention I have so many to choose from (check out my December book haul here)! And I just realized that I haven’t read any of the books on my Winter Break TBR, yikes. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ


Random Life Updates:

  • I FINISHED MY FALL SEMESTER OF CLASSES!! Praise the lord it’s overall– all that work was so stressful.
    • But I am really sad that I won’t be able to see my roommate for at least half a year now, given that we’re both studying off-campus next semester.
  • I got to see a bunch of relatives for Christmas!
    • My family hard core procrastinating on decorating this year. We didn’t get our tree up until the evening December 23rd. ๐Ÿ˜
  • My sister is trying to pressure me into cleaning my room. We’ve had little success so far (my room really needs it tho; you can barely see the floor)
  • I really should be writing, but I haven’t since I submitted my final portfolio for my fiction writing class. (This was probably not the best thing to confess here since my writing buddy reads my posts, whoops)
  • There’s probably more I’m forgetting to include on this list, but I’m totally blanking. Goal for 2019: Stop making this the last section I fill out on these wrap-ups before posting. I always rush this section and thus it always ends up being half halfheartedly filled out.

Wow, this is my last post of 2018! Thank you to everyone who has read my posts this last year! โค

How was your December? Did you do anything fun for the holidays? If you posted a December wrap-up, feel free to link it up in the comments; I would love to read it!