GOODREADS 2017 READING CHALLENGE // UPDATE #3

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UPDATE

It’s September, which means the time has come yet again to review over my Goodreads reading challenge. We’re only three months away from the end of the year, therefore it’s time to buckle down and dominate this challenge.

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In my last update, I had read a total of 34 books. I’m happy to see after three months I’ve made a significant leap in my numbers and jumped ahead of schedule.

I have to thank the fact that I recently joined comiXology—a website affiliated with Amazon that sells digital graphic novels. I signed up for their unlimited service, which allows you to borrow a massive selection of graphics novels. It’s basically a library for comics and it’s the best thing ever.

As I’ve said multiple times this year, I want to start reading more graphic novels but the price tags make it difficult to do so. Until now. I’ve already devoured three graphic novels this month, one of them being my very first manga.

I’m so glad I took this step not only to get ahead in my reading goal, but mainly because there are SO many amazing graphic novels out there and I love learning more about the comic book world.

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Finally, ya girl here has read over 200 BOOKS.

I feel so accomplished to have reached a new milestone in my reading. I cannot even begin to describe how every single one of these books I’ve read have impacted me in some way. It is books and poetry—the most beautiful of words—that have opened my mind to new thoughts and ideas. It is stories that have carved me into who I am today, and I’m so thankful for that.

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Finally, as I review over my statistics of this year so far, I’m not surprised to see that fantasy has once again taken over my shelves. Coming up behind is adult and graphic novels, which makes sense considering all of the adult graphic novels I have recently read. Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix still remains as the longest book I’ve read so far this year and honestly how could I forget.

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LET’S CHAT

What are your reading goals for 2017? How is it coming along so far? I’d love to hear your statistics of this year and what you’re hoping to achieve as the last few months of 2017 come to a close!

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BOOK REVIEW // SEASONS OF THE MOON BU JULIAN ARANDA

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SYNOPSIS

At the close of World War II, a chance encounter sets the course for one man’s destiny…

During the Nazi occupation, fifteen-year-old Paul Vertune, the sensitive son of wheat farmers, prefers gazing at the ocean and contemplating life’s mysteries over toiling in the fields of the Brittany coast. One fateful day, Paul’s life is spared by a compassionate German soldier with eyes as blue as the sea. When Paul’s village is liberated, an angry mob turns against their occupiers. The German soldier, near death, asks Paul to promise him one thing: find his daughter and tell her that her father loved her.

As Paul becomes a man, he fulfills his childhood dream of sailing the world, even as twists of fate steer his life in unexpected directions. But through it all, Paul never forgets his promise.

Beautifully moving and deeply profound, Seasons of the Moon evokes a sense of wonder at the mystery of human connection and the powerful ripple effects of kindness.

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REVIEW

Seasons of the Moon was one of those books that had me captivated by the first few chapters with its rich setting and intricate detail of emotions. I find most novels that have been translated from another language are often, well, lost in translation. But with Seasons of the Moon, I found myself flying through the pages and getting lost in the story.

That is how I grew up, amid a whirlpool of emotions nipped in the bud, suppressed, without realizing that one day all the corpses at the bottom of the river would float to the surface.

One thing this novel addressed throughout the entire story was the inequality of how men and women were treated. Women were not meant to have opinions or take part in anything serious. Men were not meant to be sensitive and kind, nothing more than soldiers made to kill.

Women didn’t have much of a choice in those days. They were born, grew up helping their mothers, got married, had children, took care of the household tasks, then died, worn out by domestic chores. No emancipation or liberty; men determined everything. Only a few, more resilient women managed to succeed I’m this battle between the sexes.

I think Aranda did a wonderful job of discussing these topics, which are still relevant in our day. Men and women should be allowed to do and feel the same things.

Typically, when it comes to this time frame, I haven’t read about many male characters that are kind and sensitive (which is understandable with everything going on), so Paul was a breath of fresh air. He was a dreamer, always looking up to the moon, so full of hope despite the darkness of the world. And he actually acknowledged the inequality several times throughout the novel.

War is nothing but the bloody projection of a pained soul lashing out. Because when everything is going wrong, it’s easier to hate than to love, easier to pick up a weapon than to open one’s arms.

Paul didn’t want to fight. He didn’t want to kill. Ever since he was little, he has this overwhelming urge to explore the world. To take to the sea, embracing the hold of the earth. And no matter what this man experiences, he always finds a way to smile again. To keep his promises.

“Of course. Some people avoid other people’s gaze for the fear of being unmasked. Looking someone in the eye means exposing oneself, revealing one’s fragilities. Some men hate doing that, my darling, because they don’t want to show their sensitivity, their feminine side. It’s frowned upon in the adult world.”

All right, now about the romance, I actually didn’t hate it. I know, shocking. Despite Paul falling in love with a girl from his village the instant he saw her, I actually found their relationship very truthful and endearing. Through everything they experienced on their own and together, it only brought them closer together. I also admired Paul’s fearlessness to fall in love, how he wasn’t afraid to be in touch with his feminine side.

Our days pass like shooting stars in the sky. We pause to watch them for a moment, fascinated by the strangeness of their origins. When they start to fade, when the show is no longer entertaining enough, we return to our everyday business, already bored with their enchanting trails.

I could go on and on about how beautiful and heartbreaking this novel was, how many beautiful sentences I collected from this one story, but then I’d basically end up writing a novel.

If you’re interested in a lyrical historical fiction, I highly recommend picking up Seasons of the Moon. Do be warned, however, that this novel takes place during World War II and therefore discusses the events around then, which can be traumatic.

Thankfully, this book didn’t focus on the events of the war too much, but still, understandably, it may be tough to read for certain people. But if you have no issues with this, then be sure to pick up Seasons of the Moon!

Thank you to AmazonCrossing and Netgalley for giving me access to an early copy of Seasons of the Moon in exchange for an honest review. Seasons of the Moon is expected to be released September 26, 2017. Pre-order your copy with one of links below!

RATING: ★★

{GoodreadsAmazonBook Depository}

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LET’S CHAT

What are some of your favorite historical fiction novels of this year? Have any of you already read Seasons of the Moon? What are your thoughts on it? Be sure to let me know!

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WRITING PLAYLIST // DISARM YOU WITH A SMILE

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DISARM YOU WITH A SMILE

As some of you may know, in my current WIP, there is romance. This has been a new subject for me to write about, being that my first manuscripts focused instead on family and friendships with very little romance. But in WIP, there are quite a few relationships blooming, particularly with my main character.

To those who have been following me for some time now, you’ll know I often struggle with romance in literature. I find it often feels forced or rushed, unrealistic in its approach. I always appreciate a genuine romance, and that’s something I’ve been trying very hard to write within my own work.

I’ll admit, being someone who has about zero experience with relationships, this has proved to be quite difficult. After some time, I think I’ve found my footing with these characters and their relationship, although it will need some work in edits.

Now I wouldn’t have been able to get this far in my novel and develop these feelings so thoroughly without the assistance of music. Music has always been one of my core muses when it comes to writing, and in this novel especially, it has helped take my mind to new places and ideas.

So I’m here today to share some of my favorite lovey-dovey songs that have helped me construct this unbreakable bond between these two broken little lovers of my book.

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PLAYLIST

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LET’S CHAT

When it comes to romance in literature, what are some things you want to see more of or less of? I would love to hear feedback from both readers and writers alike as to what you think would help improve relationships within books to make them more realistic.

And while we’re on the topic, what are some of your favorite love songs? Which melodies give you those lovely little thoughts, those romantic scenes for your stories? I would love to hear your recommendations!

Before you go, be sure to follow me on Spotify to delve further into my wild writer’s mind.

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