Books in August 2018

For 2018, I have challenged myself to read 80 books. This month I read eight!

 

New Favorite(s): The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas

Childhood: The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka

New Kid’s: The Mermaid by Jan Brett

Group Reads: Hunger by Roxane Gay

Nonfiction: Hunger by Roxane Gay

I enjoyed everything I read and aside from The Stinky Cheese Man (5 stars), everything had a 3.5-4 star rating. I highly recommend both Hunger and Uncommon Type as audiobooks since both authors narrate.

 

My favorite read for August mostly for the last 20%, which was hard to put down

 

Mini Book Club selection as well as another Nonfiction. I could relate so much to this book. I listened to it on audio and some parts were hard to listen to.

 

My childhood read. Still love it!

 

A beautiful and interesting take on the Goldilocks story with an undersea theme

 

I also participated in my first Booketube-a-thon at the end of July/beginning of August but I’m going to do a separate post on my experience with it.

 

What did you read in August and what were your favorites? Have you read any of these? Would love to hear from you in the comments!

 

 

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August Goals Wrap-Up & September Goals 2018

 

Here are my reading and writing goals for August. Let’s see how I did!

Reading Goals

1. Work on reading The Count of Monte Cristo.

2. Read a childhood book.

3. Read a new children’s book

4. Read Hunger by Roxanne Gay for Mini Book Club

5. Read White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland for Peter’s Book Club

6. Read Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

7. Read When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

8. Participate in Dewey’s 24 Hour Reverse Read-a-thon

9. Participate in Booktube-a-thon

Writing Goals

1. Work on my VCA recaps for the blog

2. Work on editing The Birthday Bash 

 

I’m obviously still struggling to get back into The Count of Monte Cristo so I am considering just trying again later on. I didn’t get My Life As A White Trash Zombie until just recently from the library because it was on hold. And while I did start When Dimple Met Rishi, I didn’t finish it in time for August. I feel I did pretty well with my Reading Goals.

I’m doing pretty well with my editing and have continued to work on the VCA Recaps–I just haven’t posted them–so I feel I did great for my Writing Goals.

 

Here are my goals for September:

Reading Goals

1. Read White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland for Peter’s Book Club

2. Read a childhood book.

3. Read a new children’s book

4. Read The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken.

5. Read All the Light That We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr for Buddy Read

6. Finish When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

 

 

Writing Goals

1. Work on my VCA recaps for the blog

2. Work on editing 15-20K of The Birthday Bash 

 

 

What goals did you accomplish so far this year or are there any you have for September? I would love to hear them!

 

Books in July 2018

For 2018, I have challenged myself to read 80 books. This month I read eight!

 

New Favorite(s): Chi’s Sweet Home Part 1 by Konami Kanata

Least Liked: Animorphs: The Extreme by K.A. Applegate (apparently ghostwritten)

Childhood: Humphrey the Lost Whale by Wendy Tokuda

New Kid’s: Neighborhood Sharks by Katherine Roy

Group Reads: Chances by Jackie Collins

Nonfiction: Jaws: Memories from Martha’s Vineyard by Matt Taylor

I enjoyed everything I read, though I did expect more from To Kill A Kingdom. It still ended up being enjoyable.

 

My favorite read for July

 

I read Chances for Peter Monn’s book club. While I did like it (3 stars), it had a lot of unnecessary filler that detracted from the story and kept it from getting a higher rating.

 

My Nonfiction read. It was pretty interesting but I do wish it had been an easier book to read physically. The size (coffee table) made it difficult to read at times.

 

My childhood read for July

 

My new kid’s read. Ended up being a nonfiction just like my childhood book.

 

In July, I participated in Dewey’s 24 Reverse Readathon and ended up reading both my children’s books, 98 pages of Chi’s Sweet Home, 215 pages of To Kill A Kingdom, and 42 pages of Jaws: Memories from Martha’s Vineyard. I had a blast!

 

So what did you read in July and what were your favorites? Have you read any of these? Would love to hear from you in the comments!

 

 

July Goals Wrap-Up & August Goals 2018

Here are my reading and writing goals for July. Let’s see how I did!

Reading Goals

1. Work on reading The Count of Monte Cristo.

2. Read a childhood book.

3. Read a new children’s book

4. Read Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes

5. Read Chances by Jackie Collins for Peter’s Book Club

6. Read Lucky by Jackie Collins for Peter’s Book Club

7. Read Hunger by Roxane Gay for Mini Book Club

Writing Goals

1. Work on my VCA recaps for the blog

2. Work on editing The Birthday Bash for Camp NaNo (15K)

 

I feel I did pretty good on my reading goals even though I’m still struggling to get back into The Count of Monte Cristo and didn’t get to Hunger because it took me a while to get it from the library. After finishing Chances, I decided not to continue with Lucky. I may revisit Lucky in the future but I’m definitely not in the mood for it. I liked Chances, but it had a lot of unnecessary filler and took me over three weeks to read.

I exceeded my goal for Camp NaNo and have managed to keep working on the Recaps so I’m happy about that.

 

Here are my goals for August:

Reading Goals

1. Work on reading The Count of Monte Cristo.

2. Read a childhood book.

3. Read a new children’s book

4. Read Hunger by Roxanne Gay for Mini Book Club

5. Read White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland for Peter’s Book Club

6. Read Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

7. Read When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

8. Participate in Dewey’s 24 Hour Reverse Read-a-thon

9. Participate in Booktube-a-thon

 

Writing Goals

1. Work on my VCA recaps for the blog

2. Work on editing The Birthday Bash 

 

 

What goals did you accomplish so far this year or are there any you have for August? I would love to hear them!

 

Camp NaNoWriMo 2018 Week 2-4 & Conclusion

 

Hey guys, apologies for the lack of updates. The truth is, I wrote nothing during Week 2 or 3 so it seemed a bit pointless to update. But then, on July 20th, I went to my first music concert (Evanescence and Lindsey Stirling), which then inspired me to listen to their songs the week after. I remembered my Spotify playlist for The Birthday Bash since I had both bands songs on it and just like that, I was writing during the last week.

 

Here’s my stats so you can see just how much I accomplished within a week!

 

Words Written During Week 4: 11,091!

Total WC Goal: 15,000.

Total Words Written: 18,167!

 

This time around instead of writing per day I seemed to get around 4K done within a single day whenever the mood struck. I did about three days of writing during the last week. I am beyond thrilled that I met and exceeded my goal. My hope is to continue editing the rest of the book until it’s time for NaNoWriMo.

 

How did your Camp NaNo novel go? I hope you at least had fun with it!

 

 

Mid Year Freak Out Book Tag 2018 Edition

I did this tag last year and thought it would be a fun one to do for this year. I probably should have done this in June but oh well!

The original tag was created by Chami (who’s video has apparently been taken down).

 


1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2018:
You by Caroline Kepnes

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2018:
Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to:
The Outsider by Stephen King

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year:
What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli

5. Biggest disappointment:
Endless Night by Richard Laymon

6. Biggest surprise:
She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb

7. Favourite new author (Debut or new to you): 

Becky Albertalli

8. Newest fictional crush:
No idea

9. Newest favourite character:
Alice 
from Let’s Talk About Love.

10. Book that made you cry:
The Great Wall of Lucy Wu by Wendy Wan-Long Shang

11. Book that made you happy:
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

12. Favourite book to film adaptation you saw this year:
TV, but Big Little Lies

13. Favourite review you’ve written this year:
No clue.

14. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received):
This edition of Beauty and the Beast by Minalima.

 

15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?:

Slice of Cherry, Rooms, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Rebel Heart: The Dust Lands, Afterparty, Crank, Anne of Green Gables, The Count of Monte Cristo.

 

 

If you want to do the tag, consider yourself tagged! Let me know you’ve done it so I can see how your reading goals are going!

 

 

VCA Recaps: Dawn Part 6

 

On to Part 6!

 

Again, this recap will contain SPOILERS so read at your OWN risk!

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

 

This recap will consist of Chapters 9, 10, & 11.

 

Mrs. Boston insists on calling Dawn “Eugenia” until Mrs. Cutler otherwise says and basically tells Dawn not to even go to her parents about it because her grandmother is queen. Dawn is seriously wondering WTF is up with her “parents” who haven’t even bothered to set eyes on her.

 

 

Dawn is shown to her room, which is a really small servant’s room. Welcome home, kiddo. You can tell just how much you’ve been missed, right? Dawn discovers that Mrs. Boston is annoyed with her because Mrs. Cutler fired a woman named Agatha so that Dawn could work instead. Because that is totally Dawn’s fault and not her grandmother’s.

 

 

Finally Randolph, Dawn’s father, shows up to introduce himself. He explains that her mother is resting and in no condition to see her due to her mental health. He also refuses to budge on her name because eventually her grandmother will “convince her” to accept it.

 

As if to rub salt into the wound, Dawn receives the uniform of the chambermaid, Agatha, that she is replacing. She has a tough time getting to sleep that night and in the morning Grandmother Cutler pounces on her for not being up early to do her work despite only yesterday learning the truth about everything.

 

 

Grandmother Cutler notices a picture of Sally Jean that Dawn kept in plain sight and gets so angry about it that she tears it up. Instead of getting to work when her grandmother leaves, Dawn gets dressed and flees from the hotel. She finds herself in the family cemetery, coming across her own gravestone.

 

Dawn decides to return to the hotel and show her grandmother just what she’s made of. She puts on her uniform and discusses the grave with a chambermaid named Sissy, who reveals that Mrs. Cutler had decided to make it after a few years of Dawn’s disappearance.

 

Later on, Randolph comes to tell Dawn that her mother is finally ready to see her. On the way to her room, he explains how emotionally fragile she is. In a really gorgeous sounding suite, Randolph introduces Dawn to Laura Sue, her mother. Dawn learns that her grandmother was the one to name her Eugenia. When Dawn refuses to accept the new name, Laura Sue moans about how difficult all this will be.

 

Laura Sue shows her narcissism right away in making everything that happened to Dawn about her.

“My nurse, Mrs. Dalton, knew you longer than I did,” she whined.

She then tells Dawn that she must spend as much time with her as possible catching up. When Dawn refuses to betray the Longchamps as being bad, Laura Sue again states just how difficult all of this is going to be.

 

She’s quick to assume Dawn’s etiquette and pretty much insults the way her hair and looks are. Laura Sue is not happy that Dawn has to be a chambermaid but promises Dawn that things will get better and one day all of this will just seem like a bad dream. When Dawn and Laura Sue part ways, she realizes just how little warmth her mother seemed to have even though they looked a lot alike. Laura Sue hadn’t even attempted to hug her.

 

 

Dawn tries to settle into her new life, barely ever seeing either of her parents because Randolph is always busy and Laura Sue keeps to her room. Then one day Laura Sue emerges and the transformation shocks Dawn. Instead of seeming frail, her mother suddenly looks very healthy and energized.

 

 

The next day Dawn discovers a dusty attic room filled with things like family photos and newspaper clippings about her kidnapping. Maybe it’s just me but it seems like that would be something you wouldn’t really want to remember. Of course her grandmother finds her in the room and is pissed.

 

Nervous, Dawn starts playing with Sally Jean’s pearls around her neck. She’d been missing SJ so she’d put on the necklace. Grandmother Cutler sees the necklace and is further enraged, accusing Dawn of stealing them from one of the trunks in the room. She grabs the necklace and rips it off Dawn, saying they are hers now.

 

 

When Dawn protests and tries to get them back, her grandmother shoves her to the floor and yells at her for raising a hand to her. She then insinuates that Sally Jean stole the pearls on the day she stole Dawn but Dawn is unwilling to believe it. When her grandmother finally leaves the room, Dawn waits for her tears but they don’t come. She realizes that her grandmother can take the pearls and tear up photos but that her memories can never be snatched away.

 

 

The next day Dawn is given old clothes that Clara Sue no longer wears. When Dawn realizes some of the clothes will still be too big, Mrs. Boston tries to guilt trip her by saying she should be grateful and that plenty of poor people would be happy to them, especially Agatha. It amazes me that Mrs. Boston would say this to someone in Dawn’s position. Yep, a long lost teenager who doesn’t even want to be here is totally responsible for your friend being fired.

 

 

Not too long after, Dawn encounters Philip as her brother and it’s as awkward as you’d imagine. Philip even tells her that he can’t think of her as his sister but Dawn insists that they have to. Thankfully Philip had only supposedly told their grandmother that Dawn was a good friend but I’m sure that omnipresent bitch suspects more. Philip suggests that they keep their past relationship a secret. In her mind, Dawn bides goodbye to her first romantic love.

 

 

Dawn later encounters her wonderful new sister, Clara Sue, who is just as nice to her as she was before. She especially harps on her and Philip’s romantic relationship and how disgusting it was even if neither of them knew the truth. She tries to get Dawn to give her intimate details by playing “nice” but of course Dawn refuses to tell her the truth.

 

The past comes up but Clara Sue is weirdly obsessed with Dawn and Philip’s relationship. Almost like she’s jealous?

 

“I hope he doesn’t forget you are his sister now,” she added curtly.

 

 

After Clara Sue brags about never having to do menial work in the hotel and how she helps out at the receptionist desk, she finally leaves. Dawn gets to thinking about the Longchamps and is inspired to write Ormand a letter. She pleads with her new father to mail it to him and he tells her he’ll try.

 

Dawn decides to try to dress nicer before joining her family (without her grandmother present thankfully) in her mother’s suite. Randolph suggests Dawn play them something on the piano and of course everyone raves about her performance but Clara Sue, who is obviously jealous. In an attempt to hurt her mother for lavishing attention on Dawn, she makes an excuse to go see her grandmother, who Laura Sue obviously has issues with and vice versa.

 

The next day is Mrs. Cutler’s birthday so the entire hotel is full of energy. Dawn has no money for a present so she decides she will sing a song for her grandmother. That night for dinner she takes special care to dress. The rest of Dawn’s family and the guests are pleased with the song Dawn sings for her grandmother but she doesn’t seem impressed at all, though she claps for appearances. You can imagine how this makes Dawn feel.

 

 

The next day Dawn is still feeling down about her grandmother’s song. Noticing, Philip takes her on a tour of the hotel and the grounds. He later shows her to his “hideaway”, which is a little room in the old section of the hotel. Philip admits that he can’t seem to get over her and insists on holding her even though it makes Dawn uncomfortable. When he gets too frisky, Dawn gets him to stop and he apologizes.

 

But of course he has to be creepy not too long after when he turns off the light and says:

 

“In the darkness we can pretend we’re not brother and sister. You can’t see me; I can’t see you.”

 

 

He plays it off as a joke, but still. As they are leaving, who shows up other than Grandmother Cutler? And who else but Clara Sue would have suggested where they may be? Seems like Philip’s “hideaway” isn’t quite as secret as he’d like. Grandmother Cutler marches Dawn back to her office and asks point blank what is going on between her and Philip.

 

Dawn is further offended when her grandmother asks if they did anything that would shame the Cutler family. Her grandmother doesn’t seem to completely buy Dawn’s innocence because she says that Dawn will be responsible for proper behavior when it comes to her and Philip.

 

 

And as if her grandmother can’t get any more controlling, she presents Dawn with a name badge that says “Eugenia.” If Dawn refuses to wear it, she will stay in her room without any food. Dawn is sure that her parents won’t allow this and openly defies her grandmother. Grandmother Cutler laughs and reveals that Randolph brought the letter to Ormand to her and forbids Dawn from seeking any future contact with him. Feeling defeated, Dawn heads straight to her room to begin her punishment.

 

 

Next, Dawn learns more about her past and gets a surprise visitor.