October TBR!

I can’t believe that it’s already October, where has 2017 gone? Personally, I’m excited that October is here because like most basic bitches, I love fall. I’m determined this year to go pumpkin picking, corn mazing, and all your other cheesy Halloween/fall stuff. I’m also excited, because I’m planning on reading some awesome books.

Last month I read a lot of books that I had to read, either for review or for book club. It’s nice that this month I can read all of the books I’ve been dying to get to. Hopefully, this breaks me out of the mini-reading slump I’ve found myself in.


1. One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake (Three Dark Crowns #2) — I’ve been waiting to get my hands on this book since I finished the first one. Admittedly, that was only two months ago, but it felt like so much longer. So much craziness happened at the end of Three Dark Crowns and I’m dying to find out what happens next. Out of all of the books on my TBR, this one feels the most in season. Since this is a sequel, I’m not going to give you a synopsis. I don’t want to accidentally spoil you. All you need to know is that this series is a multiple perspective fantasy that takes place in a matriarchal society. Each generation a set of triplets is born, but only one can become Queen. In order to become Queen, they have to kill the other two. I absolutely loved the first book and am so pumped to read this. I’m already 100 pages in and enjoying it so far!

2. The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn #2) — This is another sequel that I’ve been dying to get to, but just haven’t had the time. In fairness, the size of this book is a little intimidating. It’s a good 773 pages, which is just insane. That being said, I’m still really pumped to read this. I was absolutely blown away by the first book, The Final Empire. It had so many elements that I love to read about such as an ensemble cast, a complex/interesting plot, awesome characters that you root for, and heist elements. I cannot wait to dive back into this world and see how our characters deal with the after effects of what happened in the first book.

3. The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch (Gentleman Bastard #1) — It was my pick for book club this month, so I picked a novel I’ve been meaning to get to for a while. My friend who recommended The Final Empire to me, also suggested that I read this book. He knows that I have an obsession with novels that feature a heist and an ensemble cast, so he thought I would enjoy this. To be honest, I don’t know too much about the plot and that’s fine by me. I want to go in as cold as possible. I’ve seen some people compare it to Ocean’s Eleven, which both excites me and scares me. If they are right, I know I will love it. If they are wrong, there is a chance I will be disappointed. I’m trying to ignore those comments and see what I think. I really hope that I love this book though, and I’m so excited to have a reason to read it.

4. Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson —  With all of the fantasy on my TBR this month, I knew I needed to throw a contemporary on here in case I needed a break. What did I decide to go with? The giant YA contemporary that takes place in summer, of course. I know it seems weird to read “summer” book in October, especially after I went on a rant on how much I love fall. However, Morgan Matson has become one of my favorite authors recently. I’m currently trying to work my way through all of the books that she’s written. I’m trying to read them in publication order (sans The Unexpected Everything which was the first book I read by her) since there are apparently easter eggs. I don’t know too much about this book other than it takes place during summer and is supposed to be super sad. I say bring on the emotions! I’m ready to feel some things!

5. A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas (ACOTAR #3) —  I’m including this on my TBR again, because there is a chance I might end up finishing this. Bella and I are still slowly making our way through this book. We’re trying to savor it okay! I’m at the 300 page mark now and still enjoying it. It keeps building and building, so I’m looking forward to see what happens. If there’s one thing Sarah J. Maas does well, it’s writing action packed scenes. I can’t wait to get to a huge battles that I know are coming.


Those are all of the things that I plan to read this October. I didn’t mean to pick so much fantasy, it just worked out that way. I also didn’t mean to pick only big books either. I’m a little intimidated by the the size of all the books on my TBR to be honest. I’m determined to finish them all, because I desperately need to catch up with my reading challenge for the year. I’m currently four books behind, so I cannot afford to fall further behind.

What is on your TBR for this month? Are you planning on reading any of the books I mentioned? I feel like October is when a lot of people read thrillers and horrors. Send me recommendations if that is you! I’d love to read more in that genre. If you’re not a seasonal reader (like me), let me know too. 

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September Wrap-Up

Fall is finally here! Thank god. I was worried it was never going to come with the heat waves. Alas, it has arrived with the end of September.

Like August, September was not the best reading month for me. It was a pretty meh month overall, to be honest. There were a lot of books that I had to read, and that sort of put me in a slump. I’m not too torn up about it, because now I can get to the things that I’ve been looking forward to. Let’s talk about what I did read though.

Books

The Girl with the Red Balloon by Kathrine Locke — The first book I finished was an ARC/new release (the book came out September 1st) . It follows a teenage girl who accidentally time travels to the past. East Berlin circa 1988 to be exact. This is all thanks to a red balloon. No one’s  quite sure how this happened, not even this secret guild of balloonmakers who use balloons to help people escape East Berlin. This book was not what I was expecting it to be. With the interesting premise, I thought that it would be much more of an action adventure novel, but it turned out to be more character driven. Character driven books are pretty hit or miss for me, but this one turned out to be one that I loved! I absolutely fell in love with the characters, they are what hooked me. I liked how the book tackled tough topics like genocide and racism without romanticizing the subjects. I finished it only wanting more. I definitely recommend picking it up if you enjoy character driven books. (Rating: 4/5 Stars)

A Comfortable Madness by Francine LaSala — Out of all the books on my TBR, this was the one I absolutely had to get to. Not only was it one of the books I had to read for book club, but the author was going to be at our meeting. Our book club is still at three members, including myself, so it would have been super obvious if I hadn’t read it. Good news though, I finished it and had a blast reading it too. It’s been a while since I’ve read a solid romance, and this had elements every good romantic story needs. An adorable, swoon worthy male lead, obvious chemistry between our couple, and an addictive quality. I flew through this, because I loved the writing style. I really liked how this book talked about love, and thought that this story was told in an interesting way. Also, I loved the setting, mostly because it is around where I live and I don’t read enough books that are set on Long Island. Meeting and talking with Francine about her book was awesome. If you are looking for a good romance, definitely check this one out. (Rating: 4/5 Stars)

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan — I had two books to read for book club this month, and this was the second one. I was looking forward to reading this one because it involved punk rock musicians and interconnecting story lines. Two things that I love. Going in I knew that each chapter was basically like a short story, which definitely helped with my reading experience. My friend Kim did not know that and felt very confused while reading it. I personally have mixed feelings on the book. Some of the stories I really enjoyed, and I liked how Egan switched up the writing style with each POV character. On the other hand, this book was incredibly dense. Way too dense for me at times. Also, I thought that the interconnecting story lines could have been better executed. I thought that the whole music aspect could have been handled better as well. Even though this book revolved around punk rock musicians, it felt very generic and not authentic. I didn’t hate it, but I also didn’t love it. This book was just okay for me. (Rating: 3/5 Stars)

Films/TV

I really enjoyed talking about my favorite things that I watched last month, so I’m going to continue doing it. Unfortunately, I did not watch many films this month. The ones I did watch were nothing to gush over. On the flip side, I watched a TV show that I loved.

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Death Note (2006) — I was forced to watch the Netflix adaption of this popular manga at the beginning of the month. It was god awful. To be honest, I don’t know why I didn’t just walk away. Before I watched this sad excuse for a film, I had seen a good chunk of the anime back when it first came out. However, I had never finished the anime. Seeing the Netflix adaption inspired me to go back and rewatch the whole anime so that I could finally finish it. It was a great decision, because the anime was excellent.

I don’t watch a lot of anime anymore, but this was so good that I want to start watching some more. The plot was so intricate and intense. The characters were interesting too. I’m not sure what else to say other than it was excellent. If you haven’t seen it and you enjoy anime, what are you doing? Go watch it. All of the episodes are available on Netflix.


Those are all of the things that I really watched and read this month. As you can see, I didn’t read or watch anything too exciting.

My favorite book of the month is a toss-up between The Girl with the Red Balloon and A Comfortable Madness. I loved reading both of them, and it’s made me want to pick up more books from both authors.

Now that it is officially fall, I am planning on doing all of the reading. It is the perfect weather for curling up with a good book, and I can’t wait to do just that.

What books did you read this month? Did you read any of these? Let’s chat down in the comment section below. Also, let me know if you watched any awesome movies or TV shows. I’m always looking for some recommendations.

ARC Review | The Girl with the Red Balloon by Katherine Locke

Title: The Girl with the Red Balloon
Author: Katherine Locke
Publisher: Albert Whitman Company
Pages: 256
Release Date: September 1st, 2017

The premise of this book is what drew me in originally. I mean there are time-traveling balloons, how does that not hook you? I’m such a sucker for books that involve time-traveling. I expected this book to lean more on the adventurous side, but it was one that was all about the characters. For once, I was not mad about it.


SynopsisWhen sixteen-year-old Ellie Baum accidentally time-travels via red balloon to 1988 East Berlin, she’s caught up in a conspiracy of history and magic. She meets members of an underground guild in East Berlin who use balloons and magic to help people escape over the Wall—but even to the balloon makers, Ellie’s time travel is a mystery. When it becomes clear that someone is using dark magic to change history, Ellie must risk everything—including her only way home—to stop the process. 


Even though this book is only 256 pages, it tackles a variety of tough topics such as antisemitism, racism, genocide, what it’s like to live in totalitarian regime, and more. I applaud the book for not only tackling these subjects, but also not romanticizing them. It treats the situation our characters find themselves in in a very real, dark way. I think the reason it is able to do this so well is because of the character development.

This is a very character driven book. It is told in three different perspectives: Ellie, our accidental time-traveler; Kai, the Romani boy she meets upon arriving in East Berlin; and Benno, a Jewish teenage boy living in Germany during the Holocaust. All three story-lines interconnect to create a full picture. There is also Mitzi, who doesn’t get her own POV, but is definitely an integral part of the stories.  I loved all four of our main characters, and really felt like I knew them inside and out by the end of the story. The different perspectives allowed you to see the character from all angles.

Character driven books are very hit or miss with me, as I definitely prefer books with intricate plots. However, I didn’t mind the slow plot as much here, because I found the characters so interesting. Part of the reason why they were so interesting was because they all came from different walks of life. Ellie is a Jewish teenage girl who accidentally travels back in time thanks to a red balloon and finds herself in a place where practicing her religion is illegal. Kai is a Romani teen from London, who moves to East Berlin to protect his sister. Mitzi is a German teenage girl who was kicked out of her house, because she is a lesbian. Then there’s Benno who is a Jewish teenager that we watch live through the Holocaust. Each of them share the similarity of being forced to survive in a world that does not accept them. Not only are their backgrounds and stories intriguing, but their personalities just leap off the page. It’s hard not to fall in love with them.

Another thing that I really loved in this book, was it’s theme of faith. You don’t often read about YA characters who are religious or see religion talked about. I liked that it was a part of the conversation here. Both Ellie and Benno are Jewish, and each have a different relationship with their own religion. It was interesting to read about each of their own views on religion and how they differed. I should mention that none of this came across as preachy.

Some other things I loved, was exploring East Berlin through the lens of our characters. Since this is a multi-perspective story, you got to see East Berlin from different perspectives which was cool. The romance in this book was also very solid. I was definitely swooning over our male lead. I also really enjoyed the writing style. There were a few issues I had with the book though.

The biggest problem I had was with the plot. As I stated before, the plot was a little slow for me. I didn’t mind it so much, because the characters were so solid. However, the mystery plot line could have been much stronger. I thought that it needed more tension and could have been executed better. The reveal was surprising, but could have been much more shocking had the whole plot line been better developed. I was underwhelmed by the plot for the most part, which was a little disappointing because of the premise.

I will say, that there is a moment where the stakes are raised in an extremely effective way. However, it was only one moment. I wish that the rest of the whole mystery plot line was handled as well as that moment.

I also wanted to know more about the magic system. While it did make sense, I just wanted more information on everything and see it happen more on the page. I wanted to learn more about the inner workings of the balloon factory, the magic system, and basically everything. There are definitely some unanswered questions at the end of the book, and I hope we get an answer one way or another.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading The Girl with the Red Balloon. I absolutely adored the characters, and liked that the book went to some dark places without holding back. I finished the book only wanting more, especially with that ending. If you enjoy character driven novels, I definitely recommend picking it up!

There will be a second book in this world, but according to Katherine Locke it is going to be more of a companion novel. While I’m excited to read more in this world, I hope she does some sort of a follow-up with this book. I need to know what happens next!

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

I would love to hear your thoughts on this book! Did you love it or hate it? Anyone else have a major crush on Kai? Also, I’m still not over that ending. I literally screamed out loud when I got there in disbelief that that was the end. Let’s talk about it in the comment section below. 

 

 

The Sunshine Blogger Award (Take 3)

I’m so behind on my tags/awards. Last month I was nominated for this award by Milou @ Simply a Book Drunkard. Thank you so much! Sorry it’s taken me so long to actually answer your questions. Everyone go check out Milou’s blog, because it’s awesome.

I’ve actually done this award two times before, but it’s been a while. My favorite thing about this award is the fact that it’s different every time. Everyone comes up with such unique and fun questions.

Anyway, enough talk from me. Let’s get into it!

The Rules 

  1. Thank the person who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  2. Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
  3. Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write then 11 new questions.
  4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

The Questions

1. What are three of your favourite books you have read so far this year?

Only three? Gosh this is going to be a hard one. I’ve read some pretty amazing books this year, so it’s like choosing my favorite kid. Ugh, but if I must. These are in no particular order. I’m not ready to declare my absolute favorite yet!

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake — This is the first book that came to mind, because it was a recent mind blower. I originally picked it up because the premise sounded cool and I had heard people talking about it. I’ve recently gotten into YA Fantasy, so I figured I’d give it a go. The beginning was a bit slow, but once I got into it I could not put it down. It felt like this book was made for a reader like me, because it had so many favorite elements. There was a ton of characters, different POVs, romance, an interesting world, different kinds of strong female characters, and a complex plot with lots of twists. If any of this sounds interesting to you, I’d definitely recommend picking it up.

Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson — I couldn’t construct a favorites list of 2017 without this book. Two different people recommended it to me, and I’m so glad that they did. It was all around excellent and had so many of my favorite elements. The characters were great, the plot was complex and interesting, the writing was superb, and the world building was incredible. Lots of people say that Sanderson is the master of world building and I can see why. Also, I loved all of the heist elements. It was just so good and I’m hoping to read the sequel soon!

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson — Picking this last book was hard, but I went with this one. It is my favorite contemporary book that I’ve read all year. This was the first book that I have read by Matson, but it has gotten me hooked on her writing. I loved that this wasn’t just a romance, but also about friendship and family. I found Andie super relatable, because I went through some of the same things as her in high school. While my father is not a senator, I was left home alone a lot and her friend group reminded me of mine. Usually, when I read a YA contemporary the main character is either a loner or only has two or three friends. It was super refreshing to see a friend group featured and be so much a part of the story. Plus there are cute dogs in this book. How can you go wrong with cute dogs?

2. Of which blog post are you the proudest?

I don’t know if I have a blog post that I’m extremely proud of. I really enjoyed Top Ten Books My Mom Thinks You Should Read because I got to collaborate with my mom. I like all my Top Ten Tuesday posts, and I’m proud I am able to think of ten books each time.

3. Oz, Neverland, Wonderland or Narnia? 

I’ve got to go with Wonderland here, because I went through a huge Alice and Wonderland phase. It would be wrong of me to pick anything else, though Oz also sounds like a ton of fun.

4. What is the last picture you took on your phone?

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The last picture I took was this god awful selfie.

 

5. Do you eat any snacks while reading?

Generally no. Sometimes I read while I eat lunch, but that’s not very often.

6. What is the craziest thing you have ever done?

Surprisingly this is a hard question, because I’ve done a lot of crazy things in my life. What can I say? I’m just a spontaneous, up for anything kind of person. Up there would have to be the time I broke into my friend’s apartment to prank him, and the time that my best friend and I decided to walk like 20 plus miles to a bus terminal, because we didn’t feel like paying for a hotel room. There were many stops at 24 hour coffee shops along the way. I should probably mention this happened in a foreign country. We’re idiots, we know. It was fun though.

7. Where do you live? Tell us some interesting fact about your city/country…

I live on Long Island with my parents, because NYC is expensive. I actually grew up on Long Island and feel ruined for life because of it. There is excellent bagels and pizza, and my house is 20 minutes from the beach and 40 minutes from one of the greatest cities in the world. What more could I want?

8. If you could rid the world of one thing, what would it be?

Global warming, especially after recent events. It makes me sad and confused that we are not doing more to protect our environment.

9. You get one trip in the Tardis, which historical event would you go and witness?

I’m not sure if this counts as an event, but I would love to experience the roaring 20s. It would be a good time in history to witness, and then I can jet back to the present before the Great Depression happens.

Another cool event I would like to witness would be the Battle of Yorktown which was the final battle in the American Revolution. It was such an important moment in history that changed everything. I get goosebumps every time I listen to “Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)” from Hamilton. Being there would and celebrating with the founding fathers sounds like an amazing experience.

10. You can recommend me one book, which is it?

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel because it was an extremely interesting book with a lot of layers and excellent writing. Also, I think it is a book that has a little bit in it for everyone. Everyone in my book club loved it and we all have different tastes in books.

11. What is your happiest memory?

I don’t have a single happiest memory, there are many moments in my life that I’ve been really happy. Sophmore and Junior year of both College and High School were really happy times in my life, so I’m going to go with that.

My Nominees 

It’s time to nominate some awesome bloggers. I’m going to nominate my 11 most recent followers so that I can get to know you guys better.

My Questions

  1. What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
  2. What fictional character would you want to be best friends with?
  3. Do you believe in ghosts?
  4. What are your favorite three books that you have read this year?
  5. What do you think about when you’re alone in a car?
  6. Who is your celebrity crush? If you don’t have one, feel free to tell me your book crush!
  7. If were to write an autobiography about your life, what would you call it?
  8. What is your favorite film?
  9. What are you currently binging on Netflix?
  10. If you could have a superpower, what ability would you want to have?
  11. Who inspires you?

 

If you’ve already done this award and don’t feel like doing it again, please feel free to ignore this and appreciate the love. Also, if I did not tag you but you want to answer my questions, consider yourself nominated! Ping me if you’ve done the tag so that I can read all of your wonderful answers.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll catch you guys in another post soon!

 

To BookTube or Not to BookTube?

I want to preface this post by saying that I do not plan on abandoning this blog at all! The book blogging community is wonderful and I feel lucky to be a part of it.

With that being said, I must confess that I have been thinking about starting a BookTube channel. I’m sure I’m not the only blogger who loves watching BookTube videos. Ever since I learned that BookTube was a thing, I’ve been hooked. It is definitely a huge reason why I decided to blog about books in the first place.

Originally, I chose to focus on blogging over vlogging because it was low risk and a place where I could remain anonymous. There is something about putting a video of yourself talking on the internet that is super scary! Also blogging is something that I am just more comfortable with, because I love to write.

However, recently I have been hit with this desire to make videos. I was a Film Studies major in college, so I used to make short films (or really music videos) in college with my friends. It’s honestly something that I miss doing. After consuming so much BookTube content, I feel like it is something that I could realistically do. I have a nice camera, editing software, and am not camera shy.

In my mind, I think the idea of having an occasional video on my blog would be cool. For example, I really want to do a monthly Book Haul post. My book buying has gotten a little out of hand recently and I want to tell you all about my awesome finds. However, I personally think that watching a Book Haul is way more fun than reading about one.

Another thing I would love to do is create video diaries about my writing. I just think it would be a cool way to document my writing process. Also, I think it would be cool to do these in a time lapse sort of fashion, because I do some weird things when I write.

While all of these things sound like fun, I’m still very hesitant about doing it. I’m concerned that it will be just too much to handle. Right now I work a 9-5 job, take improv classes, blog, and am trying to write a novel. I just signed on to do this community theatre show, so adding a BookTube channel to the mix might be a terrible idea. I’m already doing so much and I don’t want BookTube to take away from that.

I’m also pretty afraid of putting myself out there. It’s scary okay! When I used to make videos, they were more for me. The idea of people watching me be ridiculous is nerve wracking. Also, I don’t know if I will add anything new to the BookTube community. I already struggle with coming up with content for my blog, so coming up with video ideas will be just as hard.

I don’t want to my blog to suffer either from making a BookTube channel. I said it before, but I’ll say it again, I love the blogging community. It’s a cool place and I feel like I get more book recommendations here than on BookTube. I want to keep improving my blog and making it better.

Basically, I’m just a confused person who wants to make videos, but isn’t sure if that’s necessarily a good idea or not.

I’m curious if anyone else in the book blogging community has thought about making a BookTube channel. Why did you or didn’t you? I’d love to hear your thoughts. For the moment I’m just sticking to blogging. I will let you know if that changes.

September TBR!

This post is way overdue seeing as how we’re already eight days into September! I visited my friend in Seattle Labor Day weekend, so I didn’t have a ton of time to blog. The time I did have, I spent resting. Did you know there are so many god damn hills in Seattle? I swear, my friend walked me all over the place.

Since I failed at reading all of the things I planned to last month, I have a lot of catching up to do. On top of that, I have to read two books for my book club. We’re trying to read 12 books in 2017 and since we missed the first month, we picked this month as our double header.

Basically, I just have a ton to read. Let’s get into what exactly that entails.


1. The Girl with the Red Balloon by Katherine Locke — I received an eARC from NetGalley for this book in exchange for an honest review. I intended to finish this book last month, but time got away from me. It follows Ellie Baum, a sixteen-year old girl, who accidentally time travels back to 1988 East Berlin thanks to a red balloon. Nobody’s quite sure how this happened, not even the members of this secret guild who use balloons to help people escape to West Berlin. I’m currently half-way through and really enjoying it! Ellie is such an awesome main character and I’m interested to see where the plot goes. This book was just recently released, so check it out if any of this interests you.

2. Murder, Magic, and What We Wore by Kelly Jones — This is the other ARC I need to get to this month, as it comes out later this month. I’m so excited to pick this book up, because there are spies. I am all about the spies. Also, I am really feeling the historical fantasy too, so this book sounds like a match made in heaven. It follows sixteen-year-old Annis Whitworth who has just learned that her father’s dead and that all of his money is gone. Her next course of action? To become a spy of course. This story takes place 1818 in the city of London, and Annis has the ability to sew glamours into clothes which can disguise the wearer completely. I’m just so into the premise and cannot wait to dive into it. It’s been a while since I read something involving spies.

3. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan — This is my book club’s official book of the month. It was my friend Will’s pick, and he chose this because he is planning on applying for grad school for writing. Jennifer Egan is one of the professor’s at the program he’s looking at, so he wanted to get more familiar with her writing. Personally, I’m really excited to read this. I don’t know too much about it aside from the fact that it deals with the music industry (specifically punk rock), and has interconnecting story lines. From what I can gather the book plays around with time as well. I love all of these things, so hopefully I end up enjoying this book.

4. A Comfortable Madness by Francine LaSala — My book club decided a few months ago that this would be the book we read during our double header. Will is friends with the author and suggested it. I don’t know know too much about this except for the fact that it is a romance. From what I know it sounds good, and I’m excited to read something by a fellow Long Islander.

5. A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas — At the rate that Bella and I are reading this, I’m not sure if we’ll actually finish it by the end of this month. However, I’m about 200 pages into this so I thought I would mention it. I’m obviously really enjoying it so far! Sarah J. Maas just writes book crack that you can’t help but get into. This is the conclusion to the ACOTAR Trilogy and I’m really scared, because I know someone dies (or at least, I can only assume someone dies as it’s the last book). With that in mind, I’m sort of glad I’m reading it slowly. I can savor it even more.


Those are all of the books I plan to read. I am determined to have a super productive reading month this September. I’m hoping to finish all of these quickly so that I can squeeze in an extra book possibly. One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake comes out this month and I want to read it asap. I read Three Dark Crowns a few months ago and have been obsessed with it ever since. Hopefully I have time, if not this will be first on my TBR for October.

What is on your TBR for this month? Are you planning on reading any of the books I mentioned? Let’s chat about it in the comment section.

August Wrap Up

I wish that I could say that August was a great reading month for me, but it wasn’t. I did not get through everything that I wanted to, which sucks. Now I’m left playing catch-up.

On the bright side, I didn’t read any bad books! I also saw some pretty awesome films that I want to talk about. I know this is a book blog, but I thought I would expand on my wrap-up by including all of my general favorites. (Also it’s a good excuse for me to blab about my favorite things).

Let’s get into what I read this month!

Books I Read

I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maureen Goo —  This is a carryover from July that I finished early on in the month. It is a cute YA Contemporary about a girl who uses K Dramas to get a man. I was pretty pumped to read this book when I heard the premise. I am into Korean pop culture and it’s a love story, so I thought that it would be right up my alley. Unfortunately, this book fell a little flat for me. While I thought Desi, our main character, was hilarious and loved all of the Korean culture references, it lacked depth. I wish that the story lines were more fleshed out and that Desi had a stronger personal journey. This book is like k drama, but without some of the complexity. This was just okay for me. (Rating: 3/5 Stars)

Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller  – Mask of Shadows is the first book in a YA Fantasy series that follows Sal who is auditioning to be an assassin for the Queen. Mostly so that they can get their revenge on. I was lucky enough to receive an digital ARC through NetGalley in exchange an honest review.  It was pretty enjoyable. Something that sets this book apart from your average YA Fantasy is that the main character is genderfluid. I really enjoyed all of the action in this book. I did not expect it to have nearly as much action as it did. My biggest problem with it was the writing itself. It could have been stronger on all accounts. To read more of my in depth thoughts, please check out my review. That being said, I am interested to see what happens next. Miller has got me hooked. (Rating: 3/5 Stars)

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman  – This was my book club’s book of the month. It was the month that my friend Kim finally picked a fantastic book, loved by everyone. Especially me. It is hard to summarize this book without giving away too much. What I can tell you is that this book follows Ove, a grumpy old man whose world gets shaken when a young couple moves in next door. It is a quirky tale that manages to be hilarious, but also heartbreaking and sweet. I was bashed over the head with feels. I don’t know what I enjoyed, more the characters or the writing. Ove leaps on the page, and it’s hard not to fall in love with him. The writing was also fabulous. I loved how it was light hearted, but still incredibly deep and sad at times. I laughed, cried, was touched, and felt sad. It made me feel a range of emotions, sometimes in the same chapter. I think that is hard to do, and I give major props to anything that manages to make me laugh out loud and cry my eyes. This was easily the best book that I read all month. (Rating: 4.5/5 Stars)

Writing Goals

Last month I set some writing goals for myself, in attempt to push myself to be more productive. However, I got into a really bad funk that set me back across the board. Spoiler alert, I’m pretty sure I failed at all of these.

Blog Goals

1. Post at least 1 review a week – I posted a solid two reviews this month, Mistborn: The Final Empire and Mask of Shadows. Technically, it’s only one since I posted my Mask of Shadows review yesterday, the first of September. I’m counting it though since I wrote it in August.

2. Try and come up with discussion topics – This one didn’t really happen either. While I did start a series revolving adaptations, I did not post any discussion topics.

3. Post at least 3 to 4 times a week – Okay, so this was a MAJOR fail considering I took a two week break from Book to the Becky. My funk is completely responsible for that.

Creative Writing Goals

1. Finish a full chapter – My blog was not the only one thing that suffered due to my funk, my novel did as well. I honestly haven’t touched it since the beginning of the month. I really need to get back to it.

2. Come up with a sketch idea – I did not come up with a sketch idea, big surprise. I wasn’t terrible in the sketch writing department though since I completely rewrote an old sketch. I’m gonna say I half completed this goal.

I did do some writing though despite the fact that I failed most of my goals. I started working on a scene for my wedding series which has been a lot of fun. I’m almost finished with it too! So, I haven’t been a complete failure.

Favorite Things I Watched

I wanted to share and gush about my favorite films that I watched this month. I would mention some of favorites in the TV world too, but I sadly haven’t watched a ton of TV this month. The only thing I have been religiously watching is Show Me the Money Season 6, which is a Korean rap competition show. It’s been good, but there have been so many heated moments that I’m still not over. Enough random TV, let’s talk movies.

Dunkirk – Alright, so Christopher Nolan is my favorite director of all time. I love the way he tells stories. It’s always in a unique and interesting way. Needless to say, I have been excited for this film’s release since it was first announced. I wouldn’t call this a war film. It more accurately tells the story about how all of these British soldiers were rescued. I didn’t know what to expect going in, but this was a complex film about heroism. I loved the way the story told and the many layers in this film. On top of that this film had incredible cinematography that Nolan is sort of known for. It was especially highlighted by the fact that there was little to know dialogue. I would say this film was an experience and one that lends itself to viewing it in a movie theatre. While it is definitely not my favorite film by him, it was still solid. (9/10 Stars)

Girls Trip – This film took me completely by surprise. I went into it thinking that it would be a fun rom com, but holy crap! I was absolutely blown away. First things first, I was so wrong about it being a rom com. This was a straight up comedy. I can’t remember the last time I laughed this hard at a film. It was hilarious! Tiffany Hadish stole the fucking show and had me tearing up, that’s how hard I was laughing. Aside from being a brilliant comedy, this film also had a ton of heart. I loved that it was about female friendship and female empowerment, black female empowerment at that. There were a few moments that hit me so hard and that I related to so much. I said this about A Man Called Ove, but anything that can make me piss my pants and cry gets a high rating from me. I loved this film so, so, so much. Honestly, it might be my favorite film of 2017 so far. That’s how good it is. If you have not seen it, please go watch it. (FYI, it is rated R. If you’re under 18, make sure it’s either cool with your parents or something that you feel comfortable watching). (Rating: 9.5/10)


That about sums up my August, at least in terms of books, writing, and movies. Even though I was in a funk, I watched and read some pretty cool things. So I can’t complain really.

What books did you read this month? Did you read any of these? Let’s chat down in the comment section below. Also, let me know if you watched any awesome movies or TV shows. I’m always looking for some recommendations.