April Wrap-Up

So, I’m blogging from my phone because my landlord still doesn’t offer Internet. On the upside, I’m reading much more than I usually do.

I read 5 books this month which is a record for me. I’m halfway done with Trylle #3 as I type this.

It’s hard to say that I have a favorite from the bunch. Most were all 3 star reads, which means that I liked and enjoyed them, but they’re not amazing. I’m looking forward to finishing The Selection series, Trylle series, and Dorothy Must Die series.

My least favorite was definitely The Thousandth Floor, which I gave 2 stars for reasons I can’t even remember now. Disappointing because I was really looking forward to this one after all the Gossip Girl comparisons. This story just fell flat for me and I didn’t care about the characters at all.

Book Haul

This is my haul from Yallwest this past weekend. It was a good event but a bit unorganized and chaotic. I would go back if I’m already in the L.A. area or could spend a few days vacationing, but I wouldn’t do a turn around trip just for this event like I did this year.

I also got a ton of swag which you can see pics of here. I got to meet the amazing Cassandra Clare and Angie Thomas and a few new authors.

Other books I got this month are Crooked Kingdom, Girl in Pieces arc, and Plus One all via #booksfortrade on Twitter.

Other

I also went to NYC for the 2nd time for a few days and it was much too short. I crammed in a few Broadway shows: Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, and Come From Away. I was nervous seeing the new cast of Hamilton, and while they will never rival the originals, they were still pretty amazing. But can we talk about Ben Platt in Dear Evan Hansen? That show is amazingly beautiful and poignant, and his performance was awe-inspiring. (Tony nominations are today and I’m throwing all my good vibes to this show!) Come From Away was also great. I loved the story and learning about some of the more positive stories that came from one of the darkest moments in recent history. It had great songs, and a good mix of humor and seriousness and focus.

Last, but not least, I went to see The Maine again on their world tour and holy crap it was amazing. They played the best setlist that they’ve ever played (almost 2 hours long with a good mix of old songs, new songs, B-sides, and everything in between). I want to ugly cry just reminiscing.

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Quarterly Wrap-Up

This is my first quarterly wrap-up because it’s been over 3 months since the last time I wrote a blog. It’s been longer than that but I’m not going to think about what I didn’t do in 2016.  I’m a terrible, terrible blogger now but it is what it is. So here’s my wrap-up for January, February, and March.

  • Books I’ve Read in 2017… So Far

My favorite book so far (and probably for the rest of this year) is The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. If you live under a rock and haven’t heard about this book yet, it’s a fictional but very accurate account of the Black experience in America, for those of us who grew up in predominantly Black low-income neighborhoods. It stems from the Black Lives Matter movement. The story is told from the perspective of 16-year old Starr Carter, who witnesses the murder of her childhood friend Khalil by a white police officer. Although most people focus on the BLM aspect of the book, it really is so much more than that. It’s the catalyst that sends the protagonist on her journey of self discovery, but Angie Thomas did an amazing job of recreating this environment that most people who aren’t forced to live in don’t see or understand. I could easily call to mind classmates, friends, and relatives who could easily be any of the characters in this book, mistakes and all. Most importantly, it really challenges readers to look past the ideas and misconceptions that you have about Black people based on what they look like or where they’re from. It challenges the images that the media constantly shoves in our faces that demonizes Black victims.  And this is so important for people, Black, white, or whatever, who have grown up in the suburbs and with certain privileges–people who’ve gone their whole lives without meeting a Khalil, or meeting a Devante, or even meeting a Starr–a character that I see so much of myself in. I hope that everyone reads this book with an open mind, and that when you’re done with it, your heart is more open too.

My least favorite book so far was Zipped by Laura and Tom McNeal. I actually decided to DNF this book. I hate read my way through another novel by these authors last year hoping for a payoff that never came. I decided I’d save myself the trouble this time. It was just so boring. It was also really creepy. The main character had this weird crush on his step-mom.  My last straw was when he decided to spy on step-mom by going through the dirty laundry to inspect her underwear–he suspected she was having an affair–because he knew her underwear schedule and what kind she wore depending on the occasion. I think he sniffed them, but my mind may have invented that because I was already creeped out by this point. If that’s not enough, there were too many characters with shifting POVs, none of them interesting by the way. It was just all bad.

Other than Zipped, I loved all of these books for varying reasons. You can check out my Goodreads for thoughts on most of them. Others I’d highly recommend right after THUG are The Heartbeats of Wing Jones by Katherine Webber and The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli.

  • 2017 Book Haul… So Far

Between January and February I only bought 3 books, 2 of them were digitals on sale for $1.99 each: The Thousandth Floor by Katherine McGee and Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy. I bought a hardcover of Deep Blue by Jennifer Connely used.

But then in March things got a little… out of control. Here’s a picture of what I got. I think the titles/authors are pretty clear so I’m not going to list them because laziness wins. I didn’t spend as much as it looks like though. Chamber of Secrets was given to me as a gift and We Can Be Mended was a Carve the Mark pre-order gift. Six of Crows was a trade. The Casual Vacancy was another cheap used buy. The rest I bought but they were part of really, really, really good sales.

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June Rewind: Book Haul, Reviews, & Recap

Okay, I’m going to attempt to do my first ever wrap up post which consist of books I received this month, a recap of posts from this month, and a little lifestyle update (i.e. just talking about my boring life), and a little look into what’s ahead for July, including my tbr.

Book Haul

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First, let’s start with all the physical books that I picked up or were sent to me this month. I grabbed the Harry Potter: The Creature Vault when it was on sale at Book Outlet. It’s SO beautiful. I can’t wait to be able to take beautiful pictures of it with the rest of my Harry Potter books and merchandise. Then, I got Hamilton: The Revolution, or the Hamiltome, from eBay for only $18. I’m in love with it. Yes, I have been practicing all of Angelica’s scenes.  I bought Friday Night Lights, L.A. Candy, Paper Towns, An Abundance of Katherines, The Darkest Evening of the Year, and Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation from the thrift store for a whopping $4.50.  Not pictured, but I also picked up The Square Root of Summer on sale at Target. Last, I received five physical books free from authors and publishers for review: The Killing Jar by RS McCoy, Gifted by J.A. George, and Just A Few Inches by Tara St. Pierre;  not pictured, Ink and Bone and Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine.

It was also a great month for my Kindle. I bought a ton on Amazon because there were so many great sales and I received a lot of e-ARCs from NetGalley.

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e-ARCs From Netgalley

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Boxing Day Book Outlet Haul

My Boxing Day book haul from @BookOutlet has finally arrived. I’ve already read the Caster Chronicles series via Kindle, and I really enjoyed them so I couldn’t pass on having these beautiful hardcovers for so cheap! The rest of this haul is a gamble, but I hope I find a new favorite among them. I will say the J.J. Abrams book is stunning visually. I will take more pictures of it’s contents.

The Haul (Links to Goodreads):

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Book Mail!

This was my last book haul of 2015 from Book Outlet. I’m so excited to read The Devil’s Only Friend. I absolutely love John Cleaver!

Also includes Lux Beginnings and Opposition (but I won’t even start the series until I get Consequences), Afterworlds, Dangerous Creatures, and End Game: The Calling.

 

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