MARCH WRAP-UP [2017]

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THE MONTH OF MARCH

March has been a marvelous month. I’ve felt productive and accomplished, more positive as the sun now lingers on the horizon. Spring is here and it is stunning. The world seems vivid again, a beautiful landscape of watercolors I’ve missed dearly.

Instead of explaining the various events of this month in a series of paragraphs, I thought it would be best to simply tell you in pictures. (My love for photography has only been growing, which is why I want to begin incorporating more photos into my blog. I hope you all don’t mind. *wink*)

I LEARNED TO SHOOT IN RAW

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I’ve had my Canon Rebel T6i for about three months now. Considering this is my first DSLR, I think I’m doing okay. But within the first couple of weeks of March, I began reading about RAW images. JPGs are compressed images that have some form of editing already completed that you cannot reverse, whereas RAW images are, well, raw.

This was one of my first RAW photographs, and I must say, I was so impressed by the quality of the image, even before editing. I couldn’t get over the sharpness in the sand and the overall texture of the image. The world has become even more beautiful through my lens, and it continues to leave me awestruck.

I HAD MY ONE YEAR BLOGIVERSARY

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That’s right. On March 27, my blog turned one. It couldn’t have come at a better time considering the day before I finished going over edits with the lovely and intelligent Sofia @ The Literary Casanova and began sending out queries to agents the morning of. I took this as a sign that I’m doing the right thing and should continue to pursue my dreams. To never give up.

I GOT MY THIRD TATTOO

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The day after my blogiversary, I got my third tattoo. Keep in mind, this appointment was made a couple of weeks in advance and this tattoo is something I’ve been wanting for a while. So again, my blogiversary fell on a perfect day.

This tattoo symbolizes a couple of things. It firstly represents my passion for writing, how it has helped me grow and blossom, and how it will only continue to do so.

But this tattoo is also a reminder that I come first. I must love myself and maintain my happiness and health. “I am mine” is the beginning of one of my favorite poems: “I am mine. Before I am ever anyone else’s.” –  Nayyirah Waheed

I am so proud to now be able to carry these words, and this beautiful artwork, with me wherever I go.

I MET THIS ADORABLE DOG

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Honestly, I felt blessed to be in its presence.

I READ TEN BOOKS

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One of them being the legendary milk and honey. And yes, I really liked it. In fact, I enjoyed most of the books I read in March, so you can see why this has been a great month.

Now, allow me to review over all of this month’s reads.

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THE BOOKS OF MARCH

IRON TO IRON (WOLF BY WOLF #1.5) BY RYAN GRAUDIN

REVIEW:

Luka Lowe was one of the most mysterious characters in Wolf by Wolf. We know there used to be a deep bond between Luka and Adele, but we don’t learn how they connected and why it went wrong. But in Iron to Iron, our questions are answered.

This was a short, easy read. I loved reading from Luka’s perspective. He’s such an interesting character with a past that was much deeper than I was initially expecting. He had all of these layers and thoughts—these ideas of doubt and mistrust—I could relate to myself. I look forward to picking up the sequel, Blood for Blood.

RATING: ★★★

{GoodreadsAmazon}

CAPTAIN AMERICA AND BUCKY: THE LIFE STORY OF BUCKY BARNES BY ED BRUBAKER

REVIEW:

MY PAL, MY BUDDY, MY BUCKY.

If you know me well, then you know I’m a wee bit obsessed with Bucky Barnes. I’ve watched all of the Captain America films (Civil War, three times), I have a Bucky Barnes funko pop, and a Bucky Barnes Tsum Tsum who I cuddle with every night. (But shush, that’s a secret.)

If you are also obsessed with Bucky Barnes or interested in becoming obsessed with Bucky Barnes, then I recommend you pick up this graphic novel. It has a classic vibe to it, yet it shares some individuality compared to other graphic novels by putting someone like James (aka Bucky) in the spotlight. And I don’t want to give things away, but Brubaker may have brought a little bit of #WinterWidow into this. JUST THROWING THAT OUT THERE.

RATING: ★★★

{GoodreadsAmazonBook Depository}

OLD MAN LOGAN #1 BY JEFF LEMIRE

REVIEW:

I feel as though I may be cheating by adding this to my list considering I only read the first issue, which was about thirty pages, but you know, you gotta do what you gotta do for the Goodreads reading challenge.

Anyways, Old Man Logan, from even the thirty pages I read, was incredible. The illustrations are stunning and the plot was instantly intriguing.

I would’ve purchased the rest of the issues and continued reading, but I was simply offered this issue for free with the purchase of my movie ticket for Logan. I actually read it while I was waiting for the film to start. (And yes, I cried watching the film. MULTIPLE TIMES.)

I hope to pick up the rest of the issues eventually and read the entire graphic novel. Logan is such a critical character in the Marvel universe, but I want to learn more about him. I hope to dive into more graphic novels starring the fan-favorite.

RATING: ★★★

{GoodreadsAmazonBook Depository}

BIG MUSHY HAPPY LUMP (SARAH’S SCRIBBLES #2) BY SARAH ANDERSEN

REVIEW:

Big Mushy Happy Lump was just as, if not even funnier than Adulthood is a Myth. I came across Andersen’s comics a couple of years ago and instantly fell in love.

This sequel, so to speak, of Adulthood is a Myth had a whole new array of jokes along with a couple of personal stories from Andersen herself. I read the entire thing in a single sitting and closed the book with a smile plastered on my face.

I think everyone, especially all introverts, should read this book.

RATING: ★★★

{GoodreadsAmazonBook Depository}

THE STRANGE AND BEAUTIFUL SORROWS OF AVA LAVENDER BY LESLYE WALTON

REVIEW:

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender was certainly strange. I was not expecting to love this book, being that it was described to be lyrical and peculiar. And as much as I love lyrical writing and peculiar stories, novels with descriptors such as these tend to be quite dense and confusing. But that was not the case for this novel.

The amount of the depth and layers within The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender left me in awe. Walton is an incredible writer who was able to weave such a detailed world and cast of characters. I admire her attention to detail and how she creates such vivid scenes without anything being too opaque.

For my full review on this wonderfully strange masterpiece, click here.

RATING: ★★★

{GoodreadsAmazonBook Depository}

UNFILTERED: NO SHAME, NO REGRETS, JUST ME BY LILY COLLINS

REVIEW:

Lily Collins is one of my favorite actresses and role models, so when I heard she was realizing her memoir, I was ecstatic. I pre-ordered it as soon as it was announced and began reading it the moment I received it in the mail. And I must say, it did not disappoint.

Unfiltered was full of gorgeous quotes and honest insights on everything from friendships, relationships, self-love, and mental health. Collins doesn’t hesitate with telling her story. She bares her whole soul for us, all of the bright spots and shadows, the joys and depressions. And in a world where people—including myself—are constantly trying to cultivate their social media feeds to display perfection, it’s refreshing to read an honest memoir such as this. Life and people aren’t perfect. Simple as that.

For my full review of this funny and heartfelt memoir, click here.

RATING: ★★★

{GoodreadsAmazonBook Depository}

BLACKHEARTS BY NICOLE CASTROMAN

REVIEW:

Going into Blackhearts, I was quite excited. I love pirates and stories by the sea, classic adventures with plundering and battles and maybe even a bit of romance. But with Blackhearts, it was more like a lot of romance and drama and no plundering or battles.

I’m not one who’s particularly fond of romance in general, so this was a disappoint in itself. But on top of that, the relationship between Teach and Anne was controlling and somewhat forceful.

Teach, who eventually becomes the legendary Blackbeard, quickly becomes enamored with Anne. He wants her to spend her free time with him and only him. If she attempts to leave to run errands of her own, he demands to come along or instead do something else with him. She basically couldn’t go anywhere alone.

This was in no way okay or endearing. Characters aside, the story started out and ended strong, but the majority of the novel didn’t feel important or interesting.

I had a lot of expectations for Blackhearts, but it simply wasn’t for me. I do, however, love the concept of the story and reading about Blackbeard’s origin. Also, the cover is stunning.

RATING: ★★

{GoodreadsAmazonBook Depository}

FORGIVE ME, LEONARD PEACOCK BY MATTHEW QUICK

REVIEW:

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock is one of those books that I’m not quite sure how to rate it. Quick creates very real and vivid characters and drags them down into dark depths. I have to first applaud Quick for having the courage to write about tough topics such as suicide among other heavy matters. This is a difficult task for many reasons, so I admire the author for braving the road and writing this novel.

I think the main conflict I have with this novel is the protagonist, Leonard. As the synopsis says, Leo wants to murder his former best friend and then himself. I just couldn’t relate to or encourage certain thoughts and actions. And Leo committed a couple of very wrongful acts.

However, when learning of his past and everything he’s been through, my god, I just wanted to hold him. Again, this is all difficult subject matter. But overall, I think Quick handled it well and created this shadowed story that was unafraid in its honesty.

RATING: ★★★

{GoodreadsAmazonBook Depository}

A MONSTER CALLS BY PATRICK NESS

REVIEW:

I’ve heard nothing but good things about A Monster Calls. I’m happy to say that again, this novel did not disappoint in any way.

A Monster Calls explores a very gut-wrenching topic where we know the ending, yet we hope for a different result. But Ness takes the story deeper than this, exploring the feelings of loss and anger in a poetic way.

I’m afraid I can’t say much more without spoiling the novel. I highly recommend you pick it up for yourself and give it a read. Oh, and keep a box of tissues nearby.

RATING: ★★★

{GoodreadsAmazonBook Depository}

MILK AND HONEY BY RUPI KAUR

REVIEW:

If you’re in the book community, I’m sure you’ve probably heard of milk and honey. It’s all over bookstagram and Pinterest and Twitter—it’s everywhere. And from those snippets that I’ve read, I could see why. These words were beautiful and lyrical, sweet little tastings that I wanted more of.

My TBR jar finally blessed me by giving me milk and honey. I curled up with the smooth little book that night and read it within one sitting.

I loved how Kaur divided her poetry. How she was so raw and blunt with her stories. Kaur’s poems explore abuse, rape, feminism, self-love, and relationships. She takes us through the hurting and the loving and the breaking and the healing. All of the pain and suffering, and you could feel that in her words.

I loved milk and honey, but it wasn’t quite a favorite. As much as I loved this book, I found some of the poems to be extremely short and barren. Poetry, of course, doesn’t always have to be long and flowery, but quite a few of these were incredibly short and I was left wanting more.

Nonetheless, this was a gorgeous work of art that brought me on the edge of tears a couple of times. Along with that, it helped me reflect on some of my own personal issues and emotions, and I’m extremely thankful for that.

RATING: ★★★

{GoodreadsAmazonBook Depository}

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LET’S CHAT

Well. This was a long post. I hope you all don’t mind me getting more into depth with my own personal life experiences rather than just books all the time. I thought it would be nice to reflect over the month as a whole, rather than just the literary pieces. I want to begin making my blog into more of a diary.

I look forward to the month of April. To the books to read, the stories to write, the places to travel, and the memories to be made. I hope your March was marvelous and your April is just as wonderful.

taysignoff

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6 thoughts on “MARCH WRAP-UP [2017]

  1. Glad you had such a great March Taylor!! I’ve never heard of RAW images but the one you took is so pretty, I can’t wait to work on my photography skills in the summer. (Also, that dog is adorable and I squealed a little bit when I saw it!) 🙂

    Like

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