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

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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).

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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.
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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?

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Gifts and ARCs I Need to Prioritize (AKA Winter TBR Part #2)

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This week’s TTT topic is “Books I Hope to Find Under My Tree” but I decided to tweak it to “Book Gifts and ARCs I Need to Prioritize (AKA Winter TBR Part #2)”? Get it? Because all of these books and ARCs have been “gifted” to me? (See how desperately I’m trying to stay on theme?). But yeah, I didn’t want to stick to this week’s topic because 1) even though I’m fortunate enough to have family that are able to gift me books, it’s awkward to put my wish list up here and 2) I feel uncomfortable participating in a theme that only caters to one religion/culture, ya know?? Not to mention, I have SO MANY books I want to read this winter. It’s getting very overambitious, but oh well. ๐Ÿ˜…

If you want to see what’s on the first part of my Winter TBR, you can see it here.

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.


Upcoming ARCs:

1. The Will and the Wilds by Charlie N. Holmberg

Release Date: January 21st

OMG GUYS, this is my first ARC that I’ve been contacted by a publicity agency to read and review. I was so shocked and honored when I got the message. And not to mention it’s a fantasy standalone?! I’m so excited! I will definitely be reading this ASAP (hopefully when I finish my current reads).

2. A Queen in Hiding by Sarah Kozloff

Release Date: January 21st

I won this ARC in a Goodreads giveaway! Look how beautiful the cover is! I hope the story is just as awesome.

3. What I Want You to See by Catherine Linka

Release Date: February 4th

I’m participating in the FFBC blog tour in February, so reading this eARC is kinda a must. But a contemporary/mystery set at art school?? Yay for YA books that are really NA! *insert a hint of sarcasm*

4. The Unspoken Name by A.K. Larkwood

Release Date: February 11th

A fantasy novel that tackles gods, sacrifice, and fate?? I’m so grateful I got approved for this eARC on Netgalley. But yeah, fam, I don’t know how I ended up with ARCs that all release back-to-back??

Fingers crossed I can start the year off right and read these all in a timely manner!


Past ARCs:

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5. Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc by David Elliot

Release Date: March 26, 2019

6. Two Girls, a Clock, and Crooked House by Michael Poore

Release Date: September 10, 2019

7. Gravemaidens by Kelly Coon

Release Date: October 29, 2019

Though I got these from a take-shelf during my publishing internship in the spring and technically have no obligation to read & review them, I still want to. I totally meant to get to all of them in August and completely forgot. In fact, I think I had these all listed on both my Summer and Fall TBRs.


Book Gifts & Loans:

8. The Power by Naomi Alderman

I got this from a white-elephant-styled book exchange last year and I still haven’t read it. The premise is so intriguing and I wanna be able to discuss it with my friend before we both graduate college in the spring.

9. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Same gift exchange, though this is the book I got this year. But it was from the same person as last year, so I need to put in the extra effort to get these two read. She’s a really good friend and I don’t wanna disappoint her!

10. Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

My grandpa’s wife loaned me Sager’s latest thriller! I actually read Sager’s two other books this summer, so I’m super excited to pick up his latest release. I probably won’t see my grandpa and his wife for at least another 5 months, so I thankfully have more leeway on when I read this one.


Are you excited for any of these ARCs on my list? Have you already read any of these books? If so, what were your thoughts?

What ARCs do you need to read ASAP? What books have your friends and family gifted or loaned you lately?

If you did a TTT post, feel free to share your link in the comments below, I would love to check it out!

Top Ten Tuesday: Fall 2019 TBR

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Yessssss, a seasonal TBR, one of my favorite TTT posts to write! This week’s TTT topic is “Books On My Fall 2019 TBR”, in case that wasn’t clear. ๐Ÿ˜

Eeek, there’s gonna be a couple repeats on here from my Summer TBR…Lol, I only managed to read 4 of the 10 books on my Summer 2019 TBR. Honestly, this TBR will probably yield similar results; fall semesters are always really busy for me, so I’m only really aiming to read the first 4 or so books on this list. But if the book and homework gods decide to work in tandem, perhaps I’ll be able to accomplish more?!? *fingers crossed*

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 Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

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Technically, I’ve already started this book, but I’m only 15 pages in, so it’s really still on my TBR. Honestly, I really have no motivation to read this book, but my bookclub picked it out and I’m kinda a Co-President, so I really have to read it…Ugh though, I just can’t believe that they picked a 770 page book to read during the semester, that’s really what’s dissuading me from this book.

(If you’ve read this book and liked it, please let me know and motivate me to pick it back up!)

2. The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith

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I’m part of the FFBC blog tour for this book at the beginning of October, which means I also need to pick it up ASAP. But seriously, vineyards, magic wine, and witches–how great does this book sound?

3. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

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Another book club read! I’m so excited, because I’ve been wanting to read this book since I saw the movie!

4. Normal People by Sally Rooney

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My book club’s final read! I’ve heard mixed things about it, but I’ve also been intrigued by it since I first learned they were publishing it in the U.S.. Fingers crossed I enjoy it!

5. Gravemaidens by Kelly Coon

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Release Date: October 29th

Here comes all the ARCs I failed to get to during ARC August. Thankfully, this one hasn’t released yet, though I don’t know how realistic it is for me to read & review it before it releases on October 29. I have a feeling that October is gonna be a crazy month homework-wise.

6. Two Girls, a Clock, and a Crooked House by Michael Poore

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And here be another ARC! I picked it up because I’ve been hoping to get more into MG. Alas, this book released on September 10th and I truly don’t know when I’ll get around to it. But it looks like a great Halloween-y/Fall read, doesn’t it?

7. Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

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I keep hearing more and more about this book and all these amazing things too AND OMG I JUST WANNA GO READ IT SO BAD NOWWWWWW. Like screw homework, life, and responsibilities, I should just go read this book instead.

8. King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

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I’m almost caught up on all the LB books (tho once Ninth House releases, I’ll also need to read that). It just warms my heart that LB is continuing to write books in the Grishaverse and ahhh, I can’t wait to see Nikolai and Nina again! I can’t believe I haven’t picked this book up already.

9. Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

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Release Date: October 8th

I mean, you knew this was coming, didn’t ya? Honestly, I just couldn’t not include this book. Eeeek, this book is almost here! I need to remember to go pre-order it, but ahhhh, there are so many different editions to chose from, how do I decide?

10. The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

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Release Date: November 19th

And of course, no Fall 2019 TBR would be complete without THE QUEEN OF NOTHING! November is always a hectic month, so I don’t know how likely it will be for me to drop everything and pick up this book, but you better bet I will damn well try my best.
(Also another book I gotta remember to pre-order)


Lol, this is such an ambitious TBR for the fall, especially since I’m taking 3 English classes and reading lots already, but a girl can dream, right?

What books are on your Fall TBR? Do we have any that overlap? Have you already read any that I mentioned?

If you participated in TTT this week, feel free to link up your post in the comments belowโ€“I would love to check them out!

WWW Wednesday: September 11th, 2019 | Blogging Schedule Update!

WWW Wednesday

Hey, guys! Sorry I’ve been rather absent this last week+! The busyness of homework has finally reared its ugly head so I’ve been scrambling to stay on top of everything! I will definitely be getting to all of your guys’ lovely comments within the next of days!

But yeah, I just wanted to drop in real quick and give you guys a quick update on what I’ve been reading lately and to let you know my new blogging schedule going forward for the rest of the fall semester.


NEW BLOGGING SCHEDULE

(effective now through mid-December)

During the past couple of months I was regularly posting twice a week, but now that I’ve return to college, that will no longer be possible, as much as I wish it otherwise.

My plan for the next couple of months is to post about once per week, with about 4-5 posts per month. This may be subject to change as I get deeper into the semester, and I will likely take another semi-hiatus during the last month of the semester.

Posts for each month will look somewhat like this:

  • a Wrap-Up for the previous month
  • 1-2 Top Ten Tuesday posts
  • a WWW Wednesday post in the middle of the month
  • a book review and/or tag

Thank you guys so much for understanding! And stay tuned for my August Wrap-Up (finally, lol), sometime next week!


Now for the WWW Wednesday portion of this post…

(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 are you currently reading?

  • The Storm Crow– I haven’t picked this book up since August, but hopefully I’ll be able to get back to it this weekend! It’s not the most amazing YA fantasy I’ve read, but it’s interesting and I love seeing the depression rep woven into it!
  • Educated– Such a “yummy” memoir, as my prof puts it, lol. It’s such a fascinating story and I’m curious to see how it ends!
  • Before We Were Free– A reread for me (my first one of the year, eep)! We’re reading this for my Children’s & YA Lit class because the author is visiting campus in November!

What did you recently finish reading?

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THIS MG BOOK IS SO GOOD! The Birchbark House often described as a parallel story to Little House on the Prairie but from a Native American perspective! I love Omakayas and her family and I was SO IMPRESSED by the grieving/depression rep in this book.

I definitely want to continue on with the series some day.

What do you think youโ€™ll read next?

  • The Goldfinch– My book club’s first book of the fall semester! I’m excited, but I also can’t believe they picked a 770 page book to read during the semester. ๐Ÿ˜‘
  • The Vine Witch– I’m a part of the FFBC blog tour for this book at the beginning of October! Though to combat school busyness, I’m hoping to get started on this sooner than later.

What are you guys currently reading? Discover any new favorites recently? Have you read any of the books I mentioned?

Are any of you guys also struggling to balance school and blogging?

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