I’ve recently come back from a week at New York, and woww was it a fun time. I’ve never been to New York to sightsee on my own, so this was a huge, eye-opening experience. I got to meet up with a lot of friends – both old and new – and eat delicious food that you can’t find anywhere else in America. In this recap, I’ll be splitting my week up to two blog posts – one here and one on Happy Indulgence – and these will subsequently be split up between days. This will also be a fairly specific recap of my own experiences, so please skim if you don’t care about this stuff. Seriously, I won’t blame you. Without further ado, let us begin! Continue reading “BookExpo/BookCon Part 1: Tell Me More About New York + Giveaway!”
Okay everyone, apologies in advance because I really need to get my blog commenting back in the game.
February was a… hectic month for me. I was constantly tired and slept for 2-3 hours multiple nights a week, which was severely unhealthy. In addition, I started eating at the wrong times and eating a lot per meal, which was really not good for my metabolism. Suffice it to say, I’m trying to be more healthy in terms of food and sleep these next five weeks of college (and then summer!). Continue reading “Monthly Wrap-Up: Stress, Stress, Slump, And Stress”
I hope y’all had a great February. It was my birthday month, and I turned 19 (am I officially not Young Adult? Wow). It’s a weird time because I’m supposed to be an adult, but I also have no idea what I’m doing half the time and need guidance. Very weird dynamic.
So for my birthday, which was also the day Black Panther came out, a friend and I went to see it together. (Technically it was during opening night but we were too excited.) It was absolutely AMAZING. By far, one of the best that Marvel has to offer. It only took – what – 10 years for the Marvel cinematic universe to get to a POC main superhero and cast? Nice. :’D
A couple weeks ago, I watched Love Simon<with the wonderful ladies at YATL and it was a blast! I couldn’t stop smiling after the advanced screening and it was just soooo wholesome and pure and inspiring. The acting was top-notch and it featured the kind of high school drama that I could totally buy. Two thumbs up for this movie!
Sometimes I have to remind myself (or get reminded) about being selfish. I’m too much of a people-pleaser, I feel like. This became a big deal with a friend of mine who was way more invested in my life than I would ever be in theirs. In the end, I chose the action that would best preserve our healths. Life is too short to be hung up on relationships and decisions, and I hope they find their path successfully, just as I am trying to establish mine. Hopefully in a way where our paths don’t intersect.
As most of my friends have been saying: It’s 2018. The year we focus on us. The year of self-care and self-love. And I am trying to live that statement to the best of my abilities.
Wrapping up in a more positive note, I’ve been oddly thriving at school (superbly balancing my time! I usually get 5 hours of sleep though, so I’m still working on it). I’m excited for many more releases coming out over the summer, and can’t wait for spring break this upcoming month! Continue reading “Monthly Wrap-Up: It’s the Year of Self-Care (Also of GREAT MOVIES)”
Wow, I can’t believe I’m doing a wrap-up. The last one I did… was October of 2016. It’s been more than a year! I’m glad to be back though, because I feel like wrap-ups are great ways to kind of organize where you’re at, especially reading-wise. I’m trying to get better on this aspect of my blogging/reading life.
I ended winter break around mid-January and started my second semester of my first year of university! Even though we had the first two days of classes off because of winter (thanks Atlanta weather), I’ve been feeling the stress accumulate since the moment I stepped back on campus. It’s been pretty tough balancing classes, extracurriculars, a new job, and reading/blogging now that I’m back, but hopefully my scheduled posts are enough for the next months! I read a LOT over the break (in case you couldn’t tell).
College is weird because the peer pressure is SO extreme. I recently applied to this club called Consult Your Community because my good sophomore friends were in it, even though the club is business-related and I’m a STEM major. (That interview was sooo nerve-wracking.) I also recently interviewed to become a Sophomore Advisor next year, which is basically like a Resident Advisor but they volunteer to do the work instead of having it as their job. I’m actually pretty excited about this, and helping future first-years! Continue reading “January Wrap-Up: I Read 21 Books This Month + Updates From A College Freshman”
May was pretty busy, in regards to book releases and finals in school! So many amazing books came out in May, and now we’re looking forward to the summer reads that you just want to savor under the sun (well, at least I am). I feel like this was one of the longest months of my life… Because, well, loads of exams happening.
I’m so excited that the end of school is near! The beginning of June also marks the month that ALA will happen, which is just *bounces around energetically*. Over the summer I’ll probably be looking at colleges and starting applications, which will be simultaneously interesting and busy. I’ll be going to China to visit my dad and family on July 1 as well, so I might have to go on a semi-hiatus around that time too. 🙂 We’ll see!
Continue reading “Monthly Wrap-Up: Mayhem in May!”
I’m honestly quite satisfied with my schedule for April. I got lots of reviews out, and an amalgam of books read and posts scheduled for the upcoming weeks. I’ll try my best with May, but we’ll see how it goes, considering my exam schedule.
If you’ve seen my semi-hiatus post here, you’ll know that I’ll be a very very busy bee. In fact, right now I’m probably holed up in a study cave with an amalgam of colored pens, fervently studying. This school year has been… surprising, with how much I’ve slacked off. I guess to someone else’s standards it’s fine, but I’m a bit disappointed in myself with how far I’ve tried to reach this school year. (Which isn’t that far, I guess.) Either way, that’ll be changing as I get ready to go to college. I guess I should enjoy life as it is now, right? Carpe diem and all that jazz.
(Btw we watched Dead Poet’s Society in English the other day and I fell in love with the movie all over again.)
- The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi | Perfect in almost every way. It had luscious writing, the most incredible characters, and a world that I wanted to trap myself in. | 5 stars
- A Criminal Magic by Lee Kelly | Okay, but what’s not to love in a book set during the Prohibition Era, where magic is against the law? We got mobsters, gangs, characters that are on opposite sides of the law, and a scorching romance. | 4 stars
- Wanderlost by Jen Malone | In this review, I give readers a tour of what to expect when reading this book. While the situation was horribly unrealistic, it still made for a cute summer read with life lessons. | 3 stars
- The Summer of You & Me | This time, we get transported to a summer at camp! Cute guys on wheelchairs, very very odd use of a certain colloquial phrase, and random conflicts made it a quick, fluffy read. | 3 stars
- The Wedding Pact by Katee Robert | I need to go back to the first book of this series, but this mafia-type story was not what I had in mind. An annoying main character and plot full of romance rather than action had me a bit disappointed. | 3 stars
- The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson | HOLY CRAP, every time I think of this book, my heart just wants to burst. It touches on family dynamics, friendships, and young love so beautifully I just want to reread it all over again, despite its length. Definitely one of my fave contemporaries. | 5 stars
- Letters From A Fictional Life by Kenneth Logan | A very cute read of the journey of a boy coming out, and the letters he writes to people with words he can’t seem to say aloud. The words were very direct, but his attitude made me a bit exasperated. It was a really nice ending though, and the character relationships were quite realistic. | 3 stars
- The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye | Aka one of my most disappointing reads of this year yet. I had been loving the hell out of it and all the promotion behind it until I actually read the book. In the words of Mana from Book Voyagers, “Everyone was falling in love with everyone else,” and Joey from Thoughts and Afterthoughts, “WTF IS THIS HOME MAKEOVER SHOW.” Words have never been so accurate to describe a book. | 3 stars
- Summer of Sloane by Erin L Scheider | As if I’m not already tired of contemporary books set in the summer! What happens when your boyfriend gets your best friend pregnant? Sloane sets out for a summer in Hawaii to rediscover herself, as well as fall in love with a cute surfer guy. For some reason this book is fixated on the concept of cheating and every character either done it, had it done to them, or is accused of doing so. | 3 stars
I also reviewed these books on Happy Indulgence:
- Stitching Snow by RC Lewis | I actually read it a while ago but really liked it so I did a review. Yes, it’s yet another fairy tale retelling set in space, but it really stands out on its own and is full of feels! | 4 stars
- Ruined by Amy Tintera | A forgettable fantasy that is a bit reminiscent of the author’s first duology, where the main character completely forgets her tough attitude in favor of falling in love with the love interest. The twist at the end was worth the read though. | 3.5 stars
- Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes | I’m getting really lucky with contemporaries, because this one also became an all-time-fave. Quirky characters, an awkward but adorable romance, and therapy sessions that will make you laugh out loud. Btw you should totally check out my fanart in that page. | 5 stars
I hope everyone has been reading the raddest books! With the rest of the energy I have left, *hugs*
*looks sadly at my blog calendar for March*
I planned for so many more posts, but ended up not having the energy to write them… 😥 This month was mainly a review month, with an interview and no discussions or quirky posts. I’m hoping this changes for next month, but my spirits were just “meh” in general.
Upcoming ACT on April 9 (it’s a standardized test in US) that’ll decide whether or not colleges want me. Or something like that. So I’ve been hardcore studying and getting nagged at my parents.
Speaking of nagging, my mom also hid a couple of my book packages (the ones from UPS that get delivered to the door while I’m at school). WOE IS ME. :’) Apparently I have to get at least a 34 on ACT (out of 36) to get them back. MY BOOKS ARE BEING HELD HOSTAGE, so you can see why I need to study to get them back lol.
Spring break was pretty mellow. I studied a bit and mostly slept haha. While kids were going out and having fun, I was just cruising at home.
- Air Awakens by Elise Kova – This hyped-up fantasy is riddled with cliches and hackneyed plot elements that had me laughing the whole time while reading.
- Once Upon a Dream by Liz Braswell – A retelling of Sleeping Beauty where the prince falls asleep after kissing Aurora. Interesting characterizations that I didn’t particularly like, and a plot-twisty plot. Seems more like fairy tale fanfiction than anything.
- Dearest Series by Lex Martin – If every NA book were like this one, my life would be a happier place.
- Captive Prince by CS Pacat – Although this features a grotesque world that exemplifies rape culture, the oddly endearing characters make it worth the read. The slow as turtle plot did not.
- Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard – A not-so-solid sequel for the famed Red Queen series, with more banal plot elements and an explosive ending that may inflame readers.
I also reviewed these books on Happy Indulgence:
- The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins – Increase the drama, decrease the action and it’s the perfect book for readers! For me, the silly romantic entanglements and banal world and hysterical characters made it a pretty sucky read.
- Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan – This A Tale of Two Cities retelling was supposed to enchant me but ended up boring me. Hello, 20% info dump!
- Future Shock by Elizabeth Briggs – Follows a group of teens with special abilities as they go forward 30 years in time to find the cure for cancer.
- Dreamology by Lucy Keating – An innovative, refreshing contemporary that explores the the main character Alice as she finds out her dream boyfriend Max was actually real.
I’m so sorry for the lack of posts during March! It was just a lackluster time for me in regards to life in general. Rest assured that I have a bunch more posts planned for you guys in April. 😀 Happy reading!
HELLO MARCH! For some reason it’s still pretty chilly (well, as chilly as Florida can be haha) even though winter is over. Sorry for the semi-late monthly wrap-up! More details can be explained in the next section, but mainly I’ve been feeling like a bum because of a conference last weekend. NO WORRIES, because I have finally gotten back in the game and am commenting and drafting more posts as we speak! (or, as I type haha.) Without further ado, I give you One Way’s second wrap-up.
Okay so February was full of stress. I think my name is associated to stress, man. The other day I was saying in AP Lang how much I hate my life (but in the type of half-joking manner one does when one has tests and projects foisted upon one’s shoulders the period before) and my teacher goes “Don’t you say that every day?”
IT’S PRETTY BAD.
Luckily enough, I recently got an inspiration/motivation journal on sale from Michael’s to help me out on that. I’ve been lazy in writing it, but seeing it at least encourages me to be more positive.
On a fun note, I went to a Model UN conference last weekend, and am still recuperating from that. Basically we act as delegates to the UN and create resolutions for topics. So technically it’s still a lot of work, but fun work lol. We also met some Turkish students who were visiting America during the conference and they were interesting to talk to! My school won best delegation for the country of Cyprus (yay).
- A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro – A modern retelling of Sherlock Holmes, featuring his descendant Charlotte Holmes and her counterpart, Jamie Watson. The murder mystery is just intriguing from start to finish!
- The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury – A freakin’ awesome retelling of Aladdin with a girl as the genie, a hot street rat, and a kickass princess. I seriously fell in love with not only the lovely atmosphere on this book, but the delightful characters as well.
- Their Fractured Light by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner – This stellar conclusion to the Starbound trilogy was just all the amazingness wrapped up in a book. The story of the characters draw to a close as we finally confront the mysterious things that plague our characters.
- Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton – Desert setting, hot djinn, mysterious foreign strangers and a fierce girl who can shoot like no other – what more can a reader ask for? Definitely not to be missed out on.
- The Skylighter by Becky Wallace – The sequel of The Storyspinner, this book starts straight from where we left off in terms of action as the groups of characters, narrating with numerous POV’s, figure out how exactly to save the place they live in. I miss the characters already in this one.
- The Forbidden Orchid by Sharon Biggs Waller – Elodie joins her father to China during the time of the Opium wars on the hunt for a famed orchid that will save her family. Along the way, we see some a sweet romance and friendship develop, all while Elodie discovers who she truly wants to be.
- Riders by Veronica Rossi – Although this was fun and fast-paced, I had an odd disconnect with the characters and how immature they acted. Gideon almost dies and wakes up to realize that he become a reincarnation of War, one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse.
I also reviewed these books on Happy Indulgence:
- Sword and Verse by Kathy MacMillan – Featuring an intricate world featuring a made-up language that highlights the art of language and fully-developed characters that you can’t help but root for, this book now has a solid favorites place on my bookshelf.
- The Shadow Queen by CJ Redwine – A Snow White retelling with all the greatest aspects of fantasy put in one book! While it had cliche elements, they were executed so nicely that this reader didn’t even care. AND I WANT MORE.
- Forbidden by Kimberley Little Griffith – While the romance in this book was heavy, I enjoyed it because of the lovable characters of Kadesh and Jayden. The Mesopotamian setting of Babylon also made it a delightful read.
- Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie – The main character Sonya could be a trifle annoying at times, but at least the plot was intricate and quick enough to keep me reading.
- Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie – “You are not a curse.” His brows lifted in earnestness. “You are a gift,” he said softly. “You are my gift. A savior to me.””
- Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton – “His breath vibrated through me until I couldn’t feel anything anymore except want. More than want. Need.”
- 5 Popular Descriptions in YA Literature – In which I regale the different types of character descriptions that are SO POPULAR in young adult books. It’s like people without those features don’t exist as main characters.
- Book Graphics Request – In which I ask you guys to send me some suggestions for my next graphic. The release date will be a surprise!
As you can see, this month was just GRAND in terms of books reviewed. I didn’t even realize I had so many 4-5 stars posted until I listed all of them! How are you guys doing for the past month?
Welcome to my first monthly wrap-up! Why not start with these as the new year sweeps by? January had its ups and downs, but the majority of the books I read were quite enjoyable. I also started cross-posting some reviews from Goodreads because I actually like some of the ramblings I post on there (lol).
As I said on Twitter, school basically lit a fire up my butt and is roasting me alive. I’m not even kidding. Each week I’m inundated with tests, and I have major projects (called Internal Assessments) that call for my attention. In class we don’t really do much, but then we get to tests and it’s like a bomb has been dropped. Thus, my peers and I have been teaching ourselves haha. My days are basically filled with school, extracurriculars, and books/blogging.
- Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan – This was a dark, twisty retelling of Rapunzel. The romance was absolutely delightful, although I didn’t really learn much about the world.
- Until We Meet Again by Renee Collins – Featuring a time-traveling romance, this one brought upon a bunch of feels. It also has a mystery to be solved and a bittersweet ending.
- Revenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto – If you’re looking for a unique, western read, then definitely hit this one up. The western-magic fusion is just thrilling from beginning to end.
- The Rose Society by Marie Lu – A solid sequel for the Young Elites trilogy. Adelina is spiraling into the darkness and no one is there to stop her… or is there?
- The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry – Absolutely stunning debut that features a romance that spans time and space. Despite the beautiful writing, the ending left a bit to be desired.
- This Love by Nazarea Andrews – I was so pissed at this NA featuring not only a student/teacher relationship (I could work with that), but a love interest that was still married. The moment I read that, I was ready to get out ASAP.
- Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire – This book was definitely a disaster, no doubt! The appalling writing and equally appalling romance makes me wonder why this is so popular.
- Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover – One of the ugliest romances I’ve ever read. The review is filled with gifs of people making gagging faces, which was mine while reading this one.
- The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson – If you haven’t picked up this trilogy, THEN THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOU. Just kidding; I’d highly recommend you to check it out for your next fantasy read. I think it’s ruined all other fantasies for me.
5 fantastic stars for all three books
I also reviewed these books on Happy Indulgence:
- Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell – This dark twist of Peter Pan features a total swoon-inducing pirate love interest, but a weak-willed main character. It’s Neverland like you’ve never seen before!
- Starflight by Melissa Landers – A SCIENCE FICTION READ THAT IS FANTASMIC. The characters were charming, the plot extremely exhilarating, and the setting just takes you outta this world.
- These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas – Historical fiction that features a supernatural twist! The subtle romance and mystery plot makes it a fun read set in 18th century England.
- Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan – “He made me feel extraordinary and beautiful.”
- The Shadow Queen by CJ Redwine – “Heat that had nothing to do with his dragon’s fire filled him, pressing against his chest like he’d swallowed the sun, and he couldn’t breathe without taking in her scent.”
That’s it for this month! You guys holding up okay so far in 2016? I’m so prepared for all the awesome books coming out in February!