Summery Contemporary Mini Reviews // The Summer I Turned Pretty, Alex, Approximately and The Museum of Heartbreak

Last month I read a few summery contemporaries that were up for free on Riveted and since I can’t write full reviews for any of them why not review them all in one post?

Author: Jenny Han
Genre: Contemporary //  YA
Series: Summer #1
Goodreads rating: 3.95
My rating: ⭐⭐

Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer–they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one terrible and wonderful summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.

To be honest if this hadn’t been free on Riveted I wouldn’t have picked it up. I love Jenny Han, but the blurb never appealed to me and it turns out my intuition was right. I’m honestly surprised that this is written by Jenny Han, because I absolutely love To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, but The Summer I Turned Pretty is nothing like that. Not much happens in this book, the characters are flat, Belly is whiny and annoying and the writing is just not that good? I know there are mixed feelings about this book out there, but personally I wouldn’t recommend anyone who hasn’t read TATBILB to read this, because it could seriously turn them off. There are more important topics discussed in this book, but it’s barely there and kind of felt like an after thought. I rated it two stars because it WAS a quick read. Don’t get me started on the romance though. I don’t see the appeal of one of the love interests at all and the endgame romance just didn’t feel built up to me? It didn’t come out of nowhere, but that’s mostly because it was predictable not because it was well written.

Author: Jenn Bennett
Genre: Contemporary //  YA
Goodreads rating: 4.01
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Classic movie fan Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online as Alex. Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.

Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new archnemesis. But life is a whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever it is she’s starting to feel for Porter.

And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes, because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…

I ABSOLUTELY loved this one. I gave it four stars because I was missing something (not sure what? Sometimes that just happens) but oh my goodness I flew through it and it was so much better than I expected. It has some of my favourite tropes, including characters not realising who the other is, enemies to lovers, great banter and silly adventures. It’s adorable and fun, yet also meaningful as both Bailey and Porter have to deal with their own trauma. Bailey tends to avoid pretty much everything that’s difficult and that was SO relatable. I loved seeing this in a main character.

And the fact that she and Porter worked at this really weird museum? SOLD. What I didn’t know about this book before going in is that Porter is half-Hawaiian and Bailey’s new best friend (who’s amazing and I loved their friendship) is black. Bailey also has a great relationship with her dad so what more do you want??* Despite my four star rating this is definitely a new favourite. Maybe soon I’ll realise that this is more of a five star read? Who knows I change my ratings all the time lol #reliableblogger

* Honestly I should be asking myself this considering I gave this four stars but as I finished it that just felt right??

Author: Meg Leder
Genre: Contemporary //  YA
Goodreads rating: 3.7
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Welcome to the Museum of Heartbreak.

Well, actually, to Penelope Marx’s personal museum. The one she creates after coming face to face with the devastating, lonely-making butt-kicking phenomenon known as heartbreak.

Heartbreak comes in all forms: There’s Keats, the charmingly handsome new guy who couldn’t be more perfect for her. There’s possibly the worst person in the world, Cherisse, whose mission in life is to make Penelope miserable. There’s Penelope’s increasingly distant best friend Audrey. And then there’s Penelope’s other best friend, the equal-parts-infuriating-and-yet-somehow-amazing Eph, who has been all kinds of confusing lately.

But sometimes the biggest heartbreak of all is learning to let go of that wondrous time before you ever knew things could be broken.

My rating is probably more a 2.5 than three stars to be honest. I really loved the premise of this one. Each chapter starts with an item Penelope has curated in her museum of heartbreak: it comes with an illustration and a very short description (title, number of the item and how she’s gotten it, if I remember correctly). I love it when books have formatting like this, but the story itself… I wasn’t very impressed with. It had a lot of potential as Penelope gets into an unhealthy relationship, but the thing is it never really gets addressed how unhealthy and toxic it was? In the end she’s just like ‘I guess I never really liked him that much’ instead of addressing all the red flags that you should definitely avoid in a relationship. This could’ve been such a powerful story, but now I’m afraid it does a little bit more harm than good.

I was also really annoyed with the way Audrey treated Penelope. She wasn’t a bad friend per se, but her new friend Cherisse treated Penelope horribly and she never stood up for Penelope. Even after doing something really horrible to her at the end, Audrey is all ‘I want to be friends with you both I hope you understand’ and Penelope accepts that. In my eyes this just isn’t a healthy friendship and shows readers that you should just put up with everything

Other than that, it just felt a bit flat and underdeveloped to me and I honestly couldn’t tell you what really the point was? I did like the new friends Penelope made and it was a fun and cute read most of the time. If the book had addressed the toxic relationships in Penelope’s life it would’ve already been a lot better.

Phew, I’m glad I got those out of the way. I’m surprised at how long my review for The Museum of Heartbreak turned out because I really thought I had forgotten most of it lmao

Also I love how I reviewed books I read in July before pretty much all the ones I read in June adsgjh (help me)

Have you read any of these? What did you think? What’s your favourite summer read? Let me know in the comments!

Let’s Celebrate Winning Camp NaNo With Some Snippets! // Part I

As promised in my July wrap up I will share some snippets from my WIP! I randomly selected some stuff that my eyes fell on/that I remembered liking while writing them, as I’m not ready to reread everything that I’ve written yet dsnkgj

Yong-sun An is worried about a lot of things, but at the top of his list? The future. Worried his anxiety will get in the way of everything he does, he has no clue what he’ll do after graduation. If he even graduates. Because that’s another thing he worries about. Not that his grades are bad, far from it, but one time it’s bound to go wrong, right?

Meanwhile, his not-best friend (except he is his best friend) Drew suddenly starts to act weird. Yong-sun has no idea how to help, but he has a feeling that it has to do with the mysterious text messages Drew has been getting.

My son is a (hopefully lmao) relatable Mess™

I love how Hye-su included Peach’ title – gotta show that girl the respect she deserves

sdhgj I couldn’t resist

More relatable Mess™ Yong-sun An. But seriously this is me. I have a hate/love relationship when it comes to presents. I love giving people I care about presents!! But what do I do with my body!!

I initially liked this snippet but now I don’t really anymore abfjh I can’t exactly put my finger on it but?? Something’s missing. I wanted to include it though because I started to worry that my book was going to look like one big meme

Long story short: Yong-sun ended up with Benny as a nickname adjg If you’re wondering who Benny the blue cow is then we can’t be friends

I’m going to leave it at that for now, but I have a few more snippets to share for a second part! Please believe me when I say this is NOT a big meme sdgjh There are lots of serious topics and moments but most of those are pretty spoilery plus I’m not in the mood to reread them now because I’m in a good mood and most of it is very personal, so I don’t want to be affected by it.

Want to know more about my WIP?

💛 Introducing My Characters
💛 Sharing 7 lines from the WIP
💛 Snippets: How To Flirt 101 by Andrew Lewis and Yong-sun is a Blue Cow
💛 All Hallows Write Tag 
💛 Winter Is Here Write Tag
💛 Your WIP in Gifs Tag

How did Camp NaNo go for you? How is writing going in general? Can you relate to Yong-sun? Have your friends given you a nickname which you’d rather not have? Let me know in the comments!

The Monthly Hufflepuff July // I WON CAMP NANO

I GOT A VIP TICKET TO SEE LESBIAN JESUS I REPEAT 30 OCTOBER I WILL MEET HAYLEY KIYOKO 😭😭😭

On one hand I’m freaking out that it’s August already?? But on the other hand I now can’t wait till October so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Plus Janelle Monáe in September!! Guess who has a bit of a reading slump

This is due to several reasons:

💛 As you know I’ve been trying to focus on my writing (thus my lack of blogging)
💛 The weather has been uncomfortably hot and it’s hard for me to concentrate
💛 Trying to live more in the moment and do fun things
💛 I’m trying not to pressure myself to much and just do whatever I want whenever I want, and apparently that means barely any reading??
💛 I’d… just… rather… do other things? Who am I

I’m STILL reading Ace of Shades even though it’s really good and I’m enjoying it?? I know I could’ve finished this in a few days but,,, I don’t know what happened. I did have some trouble getting into it because I’ve gotten so used to the faster pace of contemporaries, but uhhhh It’s been over a month. I’m planning on rereading it at some point when I’m no longer in a slump

Anyway, I DID read during July despite still not having finished Ace of Shades, because I wanted to read Riveted‘s free reads of the month before they were gone. I also had to catch up on some of my favourite comics

💛 Fawkes by Nadine Brandes ⭐ – I had to put Ace of Shades down for this one because it was an ARC. And I didn’t enjoy it one bit :’) They were planning to kill the thing but they barely did anything?? It was very boring and I wasn’t impressed with the worldbuilding

💛 The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han ⭐⭐ – The only reason I gave this an extra star is because it was a very fast read, but I wasn’t impressed by this at all. Mini review coming up soon, but I’m in awe of how much Jenny Han improved after this? I wouldn’t have guessed this was written by the same person who wrote To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

💛 Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – My favourite read of the month! This one was just so much fun, yet it also deals with more heavier themes like trauma. 10/10 would recommend

💛 Museum of Heartbreak by Meg Leder ⭐⭐⭐ – Maybe more like 2.5? I don’t know I’m torn on this one. I barely remember anything sdbghs I’m going to try and write a minireview for it depending on how much I’ll remember

💛 Cotton Candy by Ringo Hamano ⭐⭐⭐ – A very cute manga about two girls falling in love! It’s very short, thus my three-star rating since there’s not that much build-up, but let me just say that the title is PERFECT for it.

COMICS: Giant Days #39 and #40 // Lumberjanes #51 and #52 // Zodiac Starforce: Cries of the Fire Prince #4

YA GIRL WON CAMP NANO ON THE VERY LAST DAY LIKE SHE DOES EVERY YEAR BECAUSE PROCRASTINATION IS HER BEST FRIEND

I’ve written little over 20k this month and I’m SO close to the actual end?? I might even finish it this week, but to be honest I might need a break from all the pressure and stress I’ve been giving myself over writing lol

I won’t share any snippets here, because I’m planning a post for that, so hopefully I’ll share some soon

As mentioned before, I decided to take a break from blogging this month. Even though I didn’t spend all of my time on writing, it did feel really good to not have that pressure and just enjoy my Summer? Don’t get me wrong, I still love blogging, but I do have a feeling I might reduce the amount of time I spent on it and pressure myself a lot less.

🐝 The Writing Hufflepuff 🐝

Reviews

💛 Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour // Not Really That Epic?
💛 Fawkes // Bored and Confused??

Bookish

💛 The Book Blogger Insider Tag // Did I Just Expose Myself As The Bad Blogger I Am

Writing

💛 Why I Often Don’t Write Even Though I Love Writing // A Cry For H e l p

Wrap ups

💛 The Weekly and Monthly Hufflepuff #71 June // Sad Because Pride Is Over, Freaking Out Because CAMP NANO HELP ME
💛 The Weekly Hufflepuff #72 // Writing What Is That I Don’t Know It

📷 Aesthetically Dreaming 📷

📸 The John Rylands Library // Absolutely Gorgeous and Magical
📸 Michelle Turns Art Into Memes

How has your month been? Did you participate in Camp NaNo? What was your favourite read? Let me know in the comments!

The Weekly Hufflepuff #72 // Writing What Is That I Don’t Know It

HOW ARE WE HALFWAY THROUGH JULY ALREADY CAN TIME JUST STOP PLEASE

I started Ace of Shades at the end of June and am still reading it. I am enjoying it, but the beginning is a bit slow and I’m just in the mood for contemporaries. So meanwhile I’ve been reading quite a few of those as well. Riveted has some summery contemporaries up for free this month which were perfect for my mood. In theory anyway lol. I didn’t enjoy The Summer I Turned Pretty, though it was a quick read, and The Museum of Heartbreak was cute but not much else? Alex, Approximately is a new fave though. Absolutely loved it. Expect a mini review soon! I also read Fawkes, as that came out this week and I needed to get my review up but… Eh. Not much happened? And finally I read a short manga called Cotton Candy about two girls falling in love. Though a bit short, it was really cute.

I skipped last week’s wrap up because I’ve been struggling with my mental health, stress and just lack of inspiration and motivation when it comes to writing (and thus blogging). It’s been really difficult for me to actually do something, which definitely has to do with the pressure of finding an internship. I absolutely hate writing motivation letters and that’s really getting in the way of me actually taking care of things. I did end up writing one for a job and now I feel like I need to take a nap for 1000000 years. I haven’t heard back yet which is not helping for my stress.

But that doesn’t mean I haven’t done anything these past two weeks. The start of last week was actually pretty good, especially writing wise. I actually ended up writing quite a bit, but then by Thursday I didn’t really have much time and tadah before I knew it I was out of the flow and it’s been really difficult to start again, with me feeling anxious about it again. The reason I didn’t have time to write on Thursday was because I went to Scheveningen with my best friend,which was definitely fun because it’s been a long time since I went there. It’s a seaside resort in Den Hague and since the weather was really nice it was beautiful to look at. I loved walking down the pier (which we did several times).

On Friday I got a haircut which I barely told anyone about, so it’s been fun seeing people’s reactions because…

I am no longer Rapunzel. I had been thinking about it for quite some time now but I was too scared to actually go through with it, so I didn’t even mention it to my mom. Two weeks ago I finally found the courage and showed my mom a picture of what I was thinking of (Kimberly from Power Rangers 2017) and since she was excited, that made me decide to just do it. I did have shorter hair when I was 13 but not quite as short as this, and I started to grow it out again at 15 so it did take some getting used to, but I’m really happy with it*

* My first reaction when I looked in the mirror was ‘BOY DO I LOOK GAY’ so mission accompished

On Tuesday my mom and I took my grandpa to Stedelijk Museum, where I work, which was a lot of fun, especially since he hasn’t been there in quite some time and a lot has changed since then. Though honestly that man needs to stop moving like he’s still 18 because the amount of times my mom or I had to grab him before he fell over on some piece of art was getting exhausting sdjgsh

On Thursday my mom and I went to the Efteling, which is a fairytale themepark in the Netherlands, which I had been looking forward to for quite some time now, but we kept waiting because one of our favourite rides was closed due to maintenance. Unfortunately this week they changed the info on their website, saying they didn’t know when it would open again, so we decided to just go this week since not all of the elementary and secondary schools are out for the summer yet and according to the park’s website Thursday would be less busy than the other days after that. Which was true! The longest we had to wait was 40 minutes, which is doable. We even managed to ride some of our favourite rides multiple times. I’m thinking of doing a post on the Efteling on my other blog, but if I do I’ll share it here in a wrap up.

Talking about why I often don’t write felt really good, especially after getting all of your lovely comments. It’s good to know I’m not alone (although obviously I don’t wish this on anyone!) and it really helped. After writing that post I immediately opened word and wrote quite a bit, which I really didn’t expect. Things were going great for the first half of the week, as I mentioned before, to the point that I wrote around 6000 words. I honestly thought I was going to be able to keep that up and reach 10k, which is half of my goal for this Camp NaNo. I chose that goal because I didn’t want to pressure myself too much and I have no idea how many more words I need to finish this? I’m SO close to finishing it. Like I’m about to resolve a huge plot point, but am I writing? No, because my stupid anxiety is getting in the way again. Even though I desperately want to write. Granted, I didn’t always have time to write these past two weeks, but I’ve spent hours doing nothing except scrolling through social media because I felt like crap and I hate it.

I did suddenly write a little bit yesterday evening. I’m not sure how happy I am with it, but I try to keep telling myself that it doesn’t need to be perfect and that’s what editing is for but dskgj Gotta love having anxiety and being a perfectionist :’)

Here are some tweets to sum up the time I actually spent writing:

HAHA YES I ACTUALLY DID THIS. All day I was struggling to get started because I was so tired and then all of a sudden I got inspiration?? For another WIP?? Thankfully I did end up working on my actual Camp NaNo project after but still

Here’s a snippet that I actually like:

wOW whAT a CoInCIdence ThAT it’S VAleNTine’S

Anyway, I’m hoping to get some writing done today so fingers crossed that my anxiety will just go away for a few hours

🐝 The Writing Hufflepuff 🐝

💛 Why I Often Don’t Write Even Though I Love Writing // A Cry For H e l p
💛 Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour // Not Really That Epic?
💛 The Book Blogger Insider Tag // Did I Just Expose Myself As The Bad Blogger I Am
💛 Fawkes // Bored and Confused??

📷 Aesthetically Dreaming 📷

📸 Plan Your Feed With Preview App
📸 The John Rylands Library // Absolutely Gorgeous and Magical

💛 Nyx @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books did The Book Aesthetics Tag
💛 Shai @ Cade Under Books shares seven favourite Harry Potter characters
💛 Sophie @ Sophie’s Corner shares 4 reasons to do Camp Nano
💛 The Orangutan Library talks about telling vs showing
💛 Fadwa @ Word Wonders pairs up books with songs
💛 Holly @ Nut Free Nerd talks about her trip to Edinburg
💛 Julianna @ Paper Blots shares 10 things about her new WIP

I’m probably going to be a bit inactive for a while, both when it comes to writing blog posts and bloghopping. I’ll blog when I feel like it, but I’m mostly going to try and focus on my writing when I do feel inspired and motivated. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens. Oh! I almost forgot woops. My giveaway ended yesterday, and I’ll be emailing the winners later today! If I don’t forget because let’s face it I’m Dory dsgjh

How is Camp NaNo going for you? Should we start a support group?? Are you enjoying your summer? Let me know in the comments!

Fawkes // Bored and Confused??

Author: Nadine Brandes
Genre: Fantasy // Historical // Retelling //  YA
Goodreads rating: 3.84
My rating: ⭐

 

 

 

 

 

Thomas Fawkes is turning to stone, and the only cure to the Stone Plague is to join his father’s plot to assassinate the king of England.

Silent wars leave the most carnage. The wars that are never declared, but are carried out in dark alleys with masks and hidden knives. Wars where color power alters the natural rhythm of 17th century London. And when the king calls for peace, no one listens until he finally calls for death.

But what if death finds him first?

Keepers think the Igniters caused the plague. Igniters think the Keepers did. But all Thomas knows is that the Stone Plague infecting his eye is spreading. And if he doesn’t do something soon, he’ll be a lifeless statue. So when his Keeper father, Guy Fawkes, invites him to join the Gunpowder Plot—claiming it will put an end to the plague—Thomas is in.

The plan: use 36 barrels of gunpowder to blow up the Igniter King.

The problem: Doing so will destroy the family of the girl Thomas loves. But backing out of the plot will send his father and the other plotters to the gallows. To save one, Thomas will lose the other.

No matter Thomas’s choice, one thing is clear: once the decision is made and the color masks have been put on, there’s no turning back.

Disclaimer: I was given an ARC of this book by Netgalley and the publisher (thank you!) in return for an honest review

I’ve started to make aesthetics for my reviews but I had no clue what to include for this one? Masks? London? I don’t know because barely anything happened.

I really don’t have that much to say about this book. I was honestly very bored and started to skimread early on, because I just wanted it to be over with. Just being bored with it just didn’t feel like a good reason to DNF it, considering it’s an ARC but oh my god if it hadn’t been.

I wasn’t impressed with the writing style at all, or with Thomas, as he’s very dull and whiny. There are quite a few characters in this book, but barely any of them stood out. By the end of it I had no idea who was who, nor did I care what happened to them. I was just very disattached from everything that was happening.

Also I have NO clue how the ‘magic’ works. They can control colours?? But I have no idea what that means or how it works? Nor do I know much about the world? It did help knowing a lil bit of the actual history, as the entire book is basically a religious allegory. Basically this war is between Catholics and Protestants, but in the world of Fawkes it’s not very clear WHY there’s a war. Just basing this on real history isn’t enough, I mean I had no clue who Guy Fawkes was so I had to look that up. Your readers shouldn’t do your work for you.

And uggggh you’d think a plot to kill the king would be exciting to read about, but they mostly just talked and talked and talked and

Basically I was bored and confused throughout most of this book. The only interesting character was the girl Thomas is in love with. I forgot her name. Does make you wonder how interesting she really was dsfjb No she really was, but since it’s told from Thomas’ pov and the writing was just so dull it made her less interesting as well. What I’m saying is, she had potential and I much rather would’ve read from her pov. Being black and a girl, she has to hide her skin colour because of the abusive family that has taken her in, but she’s determined to make a life for herself as an artist and fights back against racism. MUCH more interesting than whiny Thomas.

Fawkes is out today! Don’t let my negative review stop you from picking this up if it sounds like your cup of tea. This one just wasn’t for me, but maybe you’ll fall in love with it!

Have you read Fawkes? Or are you planning on it? What’s the last retelling you read? Let me know in the comments!

The Book Blogger Insider Tag // Did I Just Expose Myself As The Bad Blogger I Am

Thank you May @ Forever and Everly for tagging me like,,, a year ago*,,, Go check out their blog if you haven’t yet, it’s absolutely lovely (and so is she!!)

* y’all there were tags from 2015!!! on my to do list. I deleted them lol. I have no motivation to do them, the people who tagged me have forgotten by now and if I haven’t done them by now, three years later, I’m never gonna do them and that list was getting STRESSFUL

Where do you typically write your blog posts?

On the couch in the living room, at the diner table, in my bed or at my desk. My desk was unavaibale for a long time due to the mess I made lol. During the schoolyear I just drop everything at my desk and desk chair until it’s lost its entire purpose and I can’t use it. Until the end of the term and I clean everything, only to have the entire cycle repeated ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

How long does it generally take you to write a book review?

This depends on so many factors. Generally negative reviews come easier to me, so I write those a lot faster than reviews for books I absolutely loved, but sometimes the negative ones are really hard to write as well, especially if the book was problematic (like Snowsisters). Honestly I have no clue how long it takes me, as I don’t really keep an eye on the clock. I just wrote a review for Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour though and I was surprised by how quickly that went.

When did you start your book blog?

2014! I’ve seen some things

What is the worst thing about having a book blog in your opinion?

Uggghhh the pressure and the stress, but that probably comes with every kind of blog? Especially if like me you have anxiety, are super insecure and set high standards for yourself

What is the best thing about having a book blog in your opinion?

All the lovely people in this community! I know it’s not without drama and some horrible people, but I feel like that’s mostly on Twitter? Or maybe I’ve just been lucky so far. I’ve met so many lovely people through blogging and made great friends though, and that’s definitely the best thing ❤

What blog post have you had the most fun writing so far?

Hmmm probably the post in which I talk about all my current writing projects and ideas! Writing them down and making aesthetics for them made me more excited for them, and all of your lovely reactions really motivated me ❤

What is your favorite type of blog post to write?

I don’t knowwww like this changes all the time?? Like generally reviews can be a bit stressful as I feel like I have to write them ASAP before my goldfish brain forgets everything, but once I actually sit down and start writing I really like writing them? But I also like lists like LGBTQIAP+ Books I Want To See Turned Into Movies, talking about my writing, silly reaction posts like the one I did for Hogwarts Mystery… Seriously it changes all the time and really depends on my mood!

When do you typically write?

Whenever I feel like it lol

Seriously, it really just depends on my mood? Sometimes I don’t have any energy, motivation or inspiration until like 10 PM and then start writing like this:

I don’t write any posts during the middle of the night though! I need sleep

Do you review every book you read?

Nope! I used to when I first started blogging but that stressed me out and I would stop reading any new books until I caught up on all my reviews, which meant I sometimes didn’t read for a long time even though I wanted to. This mindset put a lot of pressure on me, so now I just see what happens. If I want to review something, I’ll definitely try, but if I never end up reviewing it that’s okay too. Sometimes I just can’t find the words to explain why I loved a book so much, so that’s also a reason why I might not review something.

How do you write your book reviews? With a cup of coffee or tea? With Netflix? cuddled with your fur baby?

With a cup of tea or a glass of water, sometimes with a snack*, most likely listening to music. If it’s an ARC I have my phone next to me so I can take a look at my notes and the stuff I marked. Unfortunately I don’t have a fur baby :(

Though let’s be real if I did I wouldn’t get any work done lol

* Great now I want a snack

When do you write your book reviews? Right after finishing the book? Two weeks after finishing the book?

This really depends on my mood?? Sometimes I review almost immediately, sometimes a month later (and sometimes I don’t remember anything so I just give up lol). I do try to review books as soon as possible if I want (or need to) to review it, but I really try not to pressure myself

How often do you post?

I don’t know? 😂 I used to post three times a week plus a weekly wrap up, that changed to two posts a week for a while, then it changed to ‘whenever I have time and feel like it’ and now that it’s summer vacation I’m not sure yet how often I’ll post? I’ll try to post twice at the least but I don’t want to pressure and stress myself too much as I really need some rest. As much as I love blogging, it does recquire quite a bit of energy

Some of these answers make me sound like such a bad blogger lmao #exposed I remember when I had it all together

Bert is past me, ashamed of what I’ve become. Ernie is current me not caring ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Because I’m lazy I won’t tag anyone in specific. If you want to do this tag consider yourself tagged!

What are the worst and best things about (book) blogging for you? Do you have a fur baby? Let me know in the comments!

Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour // Not Really That Epic?

Author: Morgan Matson
Genre: Contemporary //  YA
Goodreads rating: 4.03
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐

 

 

 

 

 

Amy Curry is not looking forward to her summer. Her mother decided to move across the country and now it’s Amy’s responsibility to get their car from California to Connecticut. The only problem is, since her father died in a car accident, she isn’t ready to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger. An old family friend, he also has to make the cross-country trip – and has plenty of baggage of his own. The road home may be unfamiliar – especially with their friendship venturing into uncharted territory – but together, Amy and Roger will figure out how to map their way.
When I saw that Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour was up for free on Riveted (this was last month) I immediately started to read it, as I loved The Unexpected Everything and Since You’ve Been Gone. Unfortunately this one fell a bit short for me.

Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour was just a little bit too long for me, while not much happened. Or at least it felt that way to me. Of course everything they go through is important for Amy to overcome her grief and for her and Roger’s relationship to develop, but at times I wondered if certain events were really necessary to the plot. But most of all I really missed the things I fell in love with while reading Matson’s other novels: family and friendship. It does make sense plotwise why Amy’s family isn’t in this much, except for flashbacks, but I still wish we could’ve seen more of them. I felt incredibly detached to Amy’s family and while I’m a very emotional person, her having lost her father didn’t really make me feel anything. The book also ended before Amy’s mom could play a bigger part, which was disappointing (even though I did find the book too long) and left me with a lot of questions.

And then there’s the lack of friendship. Okay, so Amy and Roger start out as friends and that was great! I loved them! But I still really missed the friendship element that I loved so much in The Unexpected Everything and Since You’ve Been Gone. Amy does have a best friend, but she has moved away before the book begins and barely plays a part. Plus there’s some conflict there, as Amy has ignored her for quite some time now due to her grief. We never see this resolved which just felt weird to me. During the trip Amy does make some friends, but we never see them again.

Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour was both too long and too short at the same time. Too short because there’s just too much missing, too much left hardly touched upon or resolved, whereas the actual book was just a bit too long for me. I’m glad that this wasn’t my first Matson book, as I probably would’ve been hesitant to pick up her other books and missed out badly.

That said, it was a fun read – I mean road trip! I’m a sucker for road trips. Seeing Amy overcome her grief and trauma was also great. There’s a lot of potential for this to have been a great read, but it just fell a bit short.

Have you read Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour? What’s your favourite Matson book? How do you feel about road trips in books? Let me know in the comments!

Why I Often Don’t Write Even Though I Love Writing // A Cry For H e l p

With Camp NaNo having started I definitely feel the pressure to write. Of course I put that pressure on myself, because I know that something like Camp NaNo really helps motivate me, but lately the thought of writing has stressed me out. I’ve struggled with this for quite some time now (can I go back to being my ten year old self who didn’t think things through at all and just wrote and wrote and wrote even though it was absolute garbage) but lately I’ve been thinking a lot more about it.

With school being over, I have time to write. I even want to write. But do I write?? No.

There are obvious reasons why I don’t write: most of the time I’m too busy or tired. But there is plenty of time that I could spend on writing yet I don’t. And why?

Honestly, as strange as it sounds I recently figured out that I think I might be scared? I have NO IDEA why. I don’t know if it’s my anxiety, my insecurities or something else. But it’s why I often don’t write. I don’t feel like writing and when I do think of writing it almost feels like I’m having a panic attack, which is super odd and makes no sense because I love writing and often it’s a stress reliever?? It wasn’t always this bad, but now?? I’m very confused and annoyed. There’s really no point to this post beside me letting this out and hopefully finding a few people who go through this as well?? Because help??

I do think it probably has something to do with my anxiety and insecurities, but I have no idea WHY. Like if they could tell me what’s going on that’d be great thanks

I AM going to try and write. Not just because it’s Camp NaNo, but because I really want to write and finish my unnamed contemporary. But it feels like I’ll keep this feeling, at least for now, and uh I’d like to not feel like I’m about to have a panic attack over something I love to do thanks

Does someone wants to come with me and beat up my anxiety. We could make it a group outing and just beat up everyone’s anxiety it will be fun

Can you relate to this???? Or do you relate to not writing a lot in general despite loving it? Let me know in the comments!

The Weekly and Monthly Hufflepuff #71 June // Sad Because Pride Is Over, Freaking Out Because CAMP NANO HELP ME

Y’all I’m so sad Pride Month is over??? It went by so fast I blame exams because I couldnt’ fully enjoy it because of them but on the plus side those were probably my last ever exams??? SO YAY

💛 Cinderella Boy by Kristina Meister ⭐⭐⭐ – A fun, cute read and if it weren’t for the slow beginning this would’ve been a sold four-star read. If you want a genderfluid Cinderella, queer Prince Charming and queer kids fighting back then look no further

💛 Autoboyography by Christina Lauren ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – I STILL HAVE NO WORDS FOR THIS?

💛 Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – This was such a fun and cute read! Plus the main character is ace and while that is definitely discussed, it’s not the main focus. It’s just a part of who she is.

💛 Magnus Chase and the Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – SUCH a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy! Absolutely loved it. A perfect Riordan read. Loved that we got more focus on Magnus’ hallmates as they’ve been quite absent in the other two books, that it was Ramadan during their quest so Sam was fasting, the power of friendship!!, Magnus being a loveable bean, the slowburn between him and Alex, Alex being Alex… God I loved it

💛 Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertali ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – There is a conversation in this that did make me a bit uncomfortable, especially since it wasn’t addressed, but despite that I really loved and enjoyed it. The moment I started it I felt like coming home and I read it in one day. I will definitely address my main problem in my review, and it is possible that I’ll change my rating to four stars, as I rated it five after reading the adorable ending. I need to gather my thoughts a bit more

💛 I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – I HAVE NO WORDS FOR THIS ONE EITHER I WAS JUST ABSOLUTELY BLOWN AWAY AND I’M SO MAD AT MYSELF FOR NOT GIVING INTO THE HYPE SOONER AND PICKING UP OSEMAN’S BOOKS

All in all a perfect month! My only three star read was still a gem that I love very much and look! at! all! the! queer! books! A perfect Pride reading month

Ahh this was such a weird week?? Like it started out pretty relaxed but then the end of it?? SO MANY PLANS. Thus why I’m writing most of this in advance because this weekend is a busy weekend. Last Sunday we went to a friend of my mom’s for her birthday in the late afternoon. This friend is basically family to me and her son is like my brother. At some point in the evening we decided to take a walk and that ended in us going to all the playgrounds in the neighbourhood lmao. The next day we went to one of the playgrounds again, and discovered there were also trampolines!! We are in our twenties but we had the best time 10/10 recommend. The day after that he texted me that he had gone to the playground again, as he biked past it and noticed that it was deserted 😂 I can just imagine the headline: ’24 year old has the time of his life at deserted playground’

what was going on inside my mind when he texted me

Tuesday was a ‘relaxing’ day at home in which I finally got around to cleaning my room and reorganising my shelves as I didn’t have enough space for my newest books (this includes books I got for Christmas which I never got around to finding a place on my shelves for since I left for Manchester not long after) and uh I ended up taking quite a few books off my shelves for good? I’m not sure yet what I’ll do with them, but of course I’ll make sure they’ll find a new home.

Wednesday I took the time to blog, but I don’t remember much else? Thursday my mom dragged me to the beach. I’m not very fond of the beach but she loves it, so I went with her but dansgh sand

me @ sand

Don’t get me wrong it was still a fun day but I prefer to not go again until like,, next year. Friday I spent at home as I had to take care of some blogging and school stuff and my weekend was pretty full. Though I did leave for a bit to go to a YA/comic books/manga sale at my favourite bookstore and found some gems! As usual I’m too lazy to take a picture but I found some Pokemon Special XY and Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphirevolumes that I didn’t have yet, volume 2 of Patsy Walker A.K.A. Hellcat, Ms. Marvel volume 4 and Labyrinth Lost (that same day I found out it had queer rep?? I DID NOT KNOW THAT?? WHY IS NO ONE TALKING ABOUT THAT)

Saturday I went to my best friend’s dorm as it was her last weekend in Amsterdam (for now) because her internship is finished and we decided to celebrate that. Before our celebration we went to a protest march against the seperation of immigrant families in America. It was the first time for both of us that we went to a protest – somehow we both always missed them until afterwards? I always see them on social media or the news and I’m like ?? how did y’all find out about this. I was a bit anxious because you know, anxiety, but everything went fine and while I wished a lot more people had showed up, it was already great to see everyone who did.

In the evening we had dinner at an all you can eat tapas restaurant which was really good, except for the loud, rude, sexist men not far away from us. Thankfully they left us alone, but sgjh I felt uncomfortable.

Today I’ll be meeting up with another friend and just enjoy the weather. It’s ridiculous how warm and nice it’s been lately. Usually the weather is really nice during exam time and then the moment that’s over and I actually have the time to enjoy it, it’s back to regular Dutch weather. But now?? Nope. Gotta love that climate change

CAMP NANO HAS STARTED AND I’M NOT PREPARED AT ALL HAHAHA.

I’m hoping to FINALLY finish my unnamed contemporary – it would be the third time I use this project for Camp NaNo and third time is the charm right? RIGHT? I really want to finish it (or at least work on it) but I also don’t want to pressure myself?? But if I don’t pressure myself I never write??? Like seriously for someone who claims to love writing I barely ever write dkngjsh

Oh but while on the beach I did get around to writing a few ideas/plot points for the sequel to the unnamed contemporary asdfdgk They’ve been going around in my head ok I had to write them down before I forgot I didn’t mean to work on the sequel

🐝 The Writing Hufflepuff 🐝

Reviews

💛 All Of This Is True // Boring, Flat Characters and Possibly Redeeming A Character Who Commited Sexual Assault???
💛 Cinderella Boy // Genderfluid Cinderella and Queer Kids Fighting Back

Pride

💛 LGBTQIAP+ Comics You Should Read Part I
💛 LGBTQIAP+ Comics You Should Read Part II
💛 LGBTQIAP+ Books I Want To See Turned Into Movies Part I
💛 LGBTQIAP+ Books I Want To See Turned Into Movies Part II
💛 The Pride Tag // In Which I Shower Becky Albertali With Love
💛 I wrote a guest post for Bethany @ Bethany and Books about growing up bisexual in Amsterdam

Writing

💛 My Current Writing Ideas/Projects That Are All Gay Duh + Aesthetics!

Wrap ups

💛 The Weekly Hufflepuff #69 // HAPPY PRIDE Y’ALL
💛 The Weekly Hufflepuff #70 // I’M A FREE ELF also 21 now ahhhh

Other

💛 My Fourth Blogoversary??? + Aesthetics Giveaway!

I would’ve loved to blog more, especially about Pride, but considering I had exams until the 19th I think I still did pretty well?? Plus apart from my All of This is True review and my blogoversary post sort of all of my other posts can be seen as Pride related as well lol

📷 Aesthetically Dreaming 📷

📸 I (awkwardly) introduced myself and the blog
📸 I shared a photoshoot of some ‘under the sea’ photography
📸 I did the photography tag in which I shared my best photo, favourite instagrams and my love of cats
📸 I shared some of my favourite Instagrams (theme: Paris)
📸 I talked about the struggles of being a photographer
📸 I shared my photography essentials
📸 I shared 6 LGBTQIAP+ artists for Pride
📸 I looked at the pros and cons of a Canon camera and iPhone 6
📸 I talked about the South-African lesbian photographer Zanele Muholi
📸 More LGBTQIAP+ Artists To Share!

💛 Aimee @ Aimee, Always gives 5 reasons why the bookish community rocks
💛 Lu @ It’s Lu Again talks about whether LGBTQIAP+ rep in YA is varied enough
💛 Anna @ Reading Peaches shares some LGBTQIAP+ books with the hate to love trope
💛 Mel @ A Word and a Whisper shares their favourite moments of Pride Month
💛 Hannah @ Mortal Reader talks about her experience at the Harry Potter Studio Tour
💛 Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books shares 15 contemporaries to read during summer
💛 Shai @ Cade Under Books shares 5 graphic novels with f/f relationships
💛 Lia @ Lost in a Story talks about romance in media, aphobia and happy endings
💛 Jordyn @ Jordz the Bibliophile talks about people not taking YA seriously
💛 Julianna @ Paper Blots shares 12 Asian-inspired fantasies coming out soon(ish)
💛 May @ Forever and Every shares how she keeps track of her reading and I don’t know how they do it?? SO ORGANISED WHAT

Seriously how is it July already. Does anyone else remember how everyone was complaining how slow January was?? AND NOW IT’S JULY? How was your June/Pride? Did you do anything special? What was your favourite read this month? Are you prepared for Camp NaNo? Let me know in the comments!

My Fourth Blogoversary??? + Aesthetics Giveaway!

WHERE HAS THE TIME GONE. For real. How has it been four years? I vaguely remember sitting down at the dinner table and just,, making a new blog. Being sure that this one wouldn’t last that long anyway, since I had never been able to keep up a blog for long. AND NOW HERE WE ARE. FOUR YEARS LATER. WHAT

Right now it’s easy to believe that I actually stayed with this blog for so long – I absolutely love blogging, shouting about books, meeting so many lovely people… Blogging has become a huge part of my life and it’s hard to imagine a life without it, but I’m sure if I were to go back in time and tell myself ‘hey this little blog you just made? I just celebrated its fourth blogoversary!!’ I wouldn’t believe that lol. I don’t know how many blogs I had before this, but there were quite a few. One of them I stuck with for about two years I think, but I didn’t blog very regularly nor was I that passionate about it. I guess I never really blogged about something that motivated me enough to keep blogging – it never even occured to me I could blog about books and writing, and that there were so many people blogging about those things!! (I was very clueless when I started this blog)

So things have changed a lot since I started this blog. This blog looks very different now compared to back then:

Can we,, can we just talk about that design? Or more like the lack of it dsjgh This is terrible. Also I had no clue what I was doing and my posts were terrible. Don’t even get me STARTED on my reviews. I reviewed all the books I read at the end of the month in a wrap up but since I barely remembered anything and had no idea how to review books it was like two sentences bjdhsg I wasn’t very critical either. I’ve improved a lot since then, thankfully. After this design my blog went through a few others, but my heart can’t handle more ugly designs sgjh So I’m just leaving you with my very first design because that one was definitely the worst

I’ve also changed a lot as a person of course, which really reflects in my blog posts. First of all I realised that I’m not straight, like, at all. And secondly I’ve become a lot more open about a lot of things. Of course I don’t share everything on here, but I do talk about my mental health and I even managed to open up about the abuse I faced in my Starfish review – which is not something I could’ve done four years ago, and I’m very proud of that.

I’m very grateful for the past four years. Blogging has taught me a lot, changed me for the better, helped me accept myself and brought so many lovely people in my life. Thank you all for sticking with me, whether you’ve been here since the beginning or just yesterday. You guys are what makes blogging so so worth it ❤

Giveaway

To thank you all, I really wanted to give something, but since money is tight and international shipping is a big no-no (and only doing a giveaway for my Dutch followers wouldn’t feel right), I’ve decided that I’d do an aesthetics giveaway instead. I will make an aesthetic for five winners, who can pick whatever topic. I can make an aesthetic for you yourself, your blog, books, tv shows, certain characters, ships, your WIP or characters, etc. though you might have to give me some guidelines because I may not be familiar with whatever you choose. It’s all up to you, but I do have some things I won’t make aesthetics for:

💛 No NSFW
💛 No MBTI and zodiac stuff unless you give me something to work with because otherwise I’ll be a confused lil bean (more than i already am lmao)
💛 No Ilvermorny Houses – I’m not that familiar with them (again, unless you give me guidelines! So if you explain what these Houses stand for I could still make aesthetics)
💛 Stuff that’s triggering for me. There are certain ships that I consider abusive, so please don’t feel offended if I don’t want to make an aesthetic for me, but for example Kara and Mon-el from Supergirl where incredibly triggering for me, so I really don’t want to make an aesthetic for them. Also please don’t request anything that has to do with 13 Reasons Why
💛 It’s possible that there’s other stuff I’m not comfortable making aesthetics for that I currently can’t think of, so please keep in mind that I might ask you to come up with something else

If you’re not sure, you could always give me more options so I could choose!

Here are some examples of aesthetics I have made:


One of my WIPs

Starfish

Over Raging Tides

Cinderella Boy

Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour

One of my characters

Autoboyography


Agatha Wellbelove from Carry On

That time I made an aesthetic for a Hufflepuff writer without realising that’s basically me/my blog name sdjgh

Mal and Evie from Disney Descendants

Me

Me

The giveaway runs from today until the 14th. Click here to enter

How long have you been blogging? Is your blogoversary coming up as well? How has your blogging experience been so far? Let me know in the comments!