WRAP-UP // JULY 2017

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THE MONTH OF JULY

I DECOUPAGED MY BOOKSHELVES

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Some of you may remember my Peter Pan bookshelf, which was really a cubby below my bed where I pasted pages out of—you guessed it—Peter and Wendy. There, I kept my collection of various editions of Peter Pan. But after a little furry monster *side-eyes Maisie* chewed those pages, I decided my books needed a new home. Besides, it was difficult to see them in their full glory when they were below my bed.

So after decoupaging one shelf and moving Peter Pan to his new home, I fell in love with the look of it. I then decided to decoupage the rest of the shelves, which ended up turning into this beauty. I used a variety of old books, including Grimm’s FairytalesThe Wizard of OzThe Little White Horse, among many others. I couldn’t be happier with the result, and I look forward to decoupaging my stand-alone bookshelf.

(I have yet to take a picture of the whole bookshelf, so apologies about that.)

I REACHED 70k IN MY WIP

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As I previously discussed in my latest writing update, I’ve become obsessed with my work in project, to the point where on the days I do write, I’m putting about 1k words towards my WIP. As of now, it sits at 77k, and I estimate the final word count will be near 100k, if not more. Keep in mind, there are scenes that I already know will need to be cut or shortened, but still, this will be a lofty, fantastical book.

I HAVE NEW HAIR

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After keeping my brown hair for about a year (okay yes, various shades of brunette), I decided it was time for a change. Ever since I was a tween, I have loved dyeing my hair and giving it a whole new look.

I had my hair dyed at the salon for the first time, and though they weren’t able to bleach most of my hair because they wanted to avoid damaging it too much, I’m so thrilled with the outcome. I think it has this edgy, I-bleached-my-hair-but the-roots-grew-in-and-I-don’t-even-care kind of look. If that is a look. (It is now.)

I READ EIGHT BOOKS

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Thank the universe, for I have finally gone back to my old ways of reading close to ten books a month. I don’t know what it was, but I was simply devouring novels this month. Perhaps it was because I enjoyed most of the books I’ve read, or I’ve been managing my time better. Either way, I’m progressing towards my reading goal of 70 books and I only hope to continue this reading streak.

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THE BOOKS OF JULY

THE FALLEN KINGDOM (THE FALCONER #3) BY ELIZABETH MAY

REVIEW:

The Fallen Kingdom is the third and final book in The Falconer trilogy. This series takes place in Scotland during the 1840’s. We follow eighteen-year-old Aileana who is an aristocratic lady by day and a hunter of the fae by night. She’s also a falconer, a female warrior with the ability to hunt and kill the fae.

I can’t say much in this review without spoiling the entire series, but I will tell you that the development of this series left me an awe. May did an incredible job of building up this plot into something I wasn’t even anticipating, along with giving each character a significant arc. The character development in this series was phenomenal, and this final was easily the best of the trilogy, in my opinion.

“Revenge makes us all monsters in themed. Remember that.”

I urge you to give this series a read if you haven’t already. The first book isn’t the absolute best (I still loved it, though), but the second and third books are incredible. Full of fantastical elements, thrilling action, strong female characters who support each other, and sassy dialogue, you will be sure to love this book.

RATING: ★★

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THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST BY EMILY M. DANFORTH

REVIEW:

The Miseducation of Cameron Post was a perfect for read for Pride Month, being that this novel is all about a teenage girl called Cameron who is gay. But living in a small, religious town in Virginia in the 80’s, this obviously doesn’t bode well for her.

I really enjoyed reading Cameron’s story, beginning from early childhood to her teenage years. Danforth has this way of making her book and characters feel real by including this tiny details most people wouldn’t think twice about. But it’s those teeny things that make characters feel more alive.

Maybe I still haven’t become me. I don’t know how you tell for sure when you finally have.

As much as I loved the writing style and gaining more insight and perspective on such an important topic, I unfortunately found myself dragging on throughout this book. This novel was almost 500 pages, which is A LOT for a contemporary.

Still, it was great novel and I look forward to seeing The Miseducation of Cameron Post as a film starring one of my favorites, Chloe Grace Moretz.

RATING: ★★

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GOTHAM ACADEMY (VOL. 1) BY BRENDAN FLETCHER

REVIEW:

A reading goal of mine this year is to read more graphic novels, so when I came across Gotham Academy, I knew I had to have it.

This sort of reminded me of a smaller version of Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, and I loved that. The illustrations were gorgeous and colorful, telling a clear story within a few panels.

I loved the characters, the plot, and the setting. This was easily one of my favorite graphic novel I’ve read yet, and I look forward to continuing the series.

RATING: ★★

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THE CROWNS OF CROSWALD BY D.E. NIGHT

REVIEW:

If you’re a fan of Harry Potter, you are sure to enjoy The Crowns of Croswald. In this fantastical world, our protagonist Ivy is taken away to the Halls of Ivy. In this mystical school, her powers are awakened and she finds that she has deeper roots with the magical world than she realized.

This was such a fun, light read. I really liked Ivy and her friends, especially Fin. He was such a darling, and the romantic tension between he and Ivy was adorable.

For my full review of this magical middle grade, click here.

RATING: ★★

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PETER PAN BY AGNESE BARUZZI

REVIEW:

There isn’t much to say about this one. It’s a short retelling of Peter Pan, but the whole reason I bought it was because A) it was on sale B) it’s Peter Pan and I collect Peter Pan C) the illustrations are gorgeous and some of them even pop out D) it’s Peter Pan. It was a lovely thing to flip through.

RATING: ★★

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SOME KIND OF HAPPINESS BY CLAIRE LEGRAND

REVIEW:

I can say with confidence that Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand is easily one of my favorite books of the year, if not of all-time. Despite this being a middle-grade, which I typically don’t reach for, I wanted to give this a try because I had read work from Legrand before and loved her writing style.

From the first page, I was in love Some Kind of Happiness, and I don’t say that about many books. Following eleven-year-old Finley, who is being sent away until her parents work things out, we are taken into the depths of the Everwood—the Hart house. In this house, everyone is perfect (if there was such a thing), but Finley is not. She has blue days and Dark Ones on her back.

This novel discusses such important topics like anxiety and depression, and I cannot recommend this book enough. To read my full review on this mystical masterpiece, click here.

RATING: ★★

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TO ALL THE BOY I LOVED BEFORE BY JENNY HAN

REVIEW:

I’ve heard nothing but good things about To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, and when it was announced it was going to be adapted into film, my TBR jar realized it was time to finally give it a read.

I wonder what it’s like to have that much power over a boy. I don’t think I’d want it; it’s a lot of responsibility to hold a person’s heart in your hands.

In my opinion. I think this book certainly lived up to the hype. I love the way Han weaves in these tiny details and stories. It made it feel as though I was reading the diary of a real person. And if you know me well, you know I’m all about realistic characters.

I want to say yes, but I don’t want to be with a boy whose heart belongs to somebody else. Just once, I want to be somebody’s first choice.

At times, I did find Lara Jean to be a tad childish and her love interests a wee over the top, but something many of us (including myself) fail to understand is that we humans are unpredictable little specimens. We may act in ways others may not understand or agree with, and that’s okay.

To All the Boys I Loved Before was darling, filled with love and family and food. I look forward to continuing this series and seeing the film adaption.

RATING: ★★

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SHADOW (WENDY DARLING #3) BY COLLEEN OAKES

REVIEW:

In July, another series of mine has come to a close. Wendy Darling is a retelling of the classic Peter and Wendy. But in this retelling, Wendy isn’t the innocent, weak girl and Peter is not the hero. (Not that he ever really was because let’s be real, he’s pretty awful even in the original story.)

This is a wonderfully dark retelling, and I thoroughly enjoyed my journey through this version of Neverland. Again, I can’t say much without spoiling the series, but I love the way Oakes concluded these tales. It left my eyes misty and my heart at war with the outcome, which I love.

If you’re in the mood for a twisted retelling of Peter and Wendy, you should definitely reach for the Wendy Darling series.

RATING: ★★

{GoodreadsAmazonBook Depository}

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LET’S CHAT

Well, that was a long wrap-up, but it feels good to be getting back to my old reading habits where I would finish between seven to ten novels a month, sometimes more. I’m hoping to keep that streak going by reading even more this month.

And do tell, how many books did you read in July? Any other accomplishments? How many books are you planning to read in August? I’d love to hear your statistics and thoughts!

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