The Monthly Hufflepuff December and January // Imagine A Catchy Title Please I Have No Inspiration

So I never got around to wrapping up December, and as January came to a close I just decided to wrap it up together with January. At least now I’m all caught up! This might get a bit long and for that I apologise, but I feel so much better knowing I’m not behind now

December and January were pretty okay reading months! I read quite a bit, especially considering how exhausted I am and most of them I enjoyed! I don’t remember much about my December reads, but I shall do my best

🐝 December 🐝

💛 From Twinkle With Love by Sandhya Menon ⭐⭐⭐ – This one was okay? I don’t remember much, except being a bit frustrated with the main character. She was so obsessed with popularity and a lot of her thoughts were about that? At some point I get it Twinkle, you don’t have to keep repeating yourself. It was interesting to see how she actually got a LOT worse before the actual growth happened, but I don’t think it was explored enough and the growth felt a bit rushed. Nonetheless it was a cute and fun read, and I do recommend it!

💛 Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe #2) by Neal Shusterman ⭐⭐⭐ – So for me this was definitely a case of second book syndrome. I had trouble putting down the first one because I just had to know what would happen next, but I actually skimmed parts of this one. It also didn’t help that it was so long? Also I’m still not sold on the romance #sorrynotsorry It feels so forced to me and that they only get together because they’re a boy and a girl. But there are some fantastic plot twists that kept me on my toes and the cliffhanger left me wanting more, so I will read the next one

💛 Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan ⭐⭐⭐ – A fun read, but I personally prefer the movie. The writing wasn’t that great and there were a lot of characters to keep track of, some of them disappearing for a long time before they suddenly popped up again and by then my Swiss cheese brain had already forgotten about them.

💛 Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – This is going to sound odd since it’s a four-star rating but, I’m a bit disappointed? Thing is I was way too hyped to read this since I loved Bennett’s Alex, Approximately, even being one of my favourite reads of 2018. I just missed the spark and the meaning of that one, but nonetheless it was a fun, refreshing read and can Lennon’s moms adopt me??

💛 Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – I already talked about this one in my favourite books of 2018 post but hey let’s gush some more! Firstly I forgot to mention in that post that Rumi realises throughout the book that she’s aroace and the conversation she has about this with one of her friends is so beautiful and heartwarming. The cast is incredibly diverse (all of them POC, I think most of them biracial if I remember correctly? And some other LGBTQ+ rep too) and it feels so realistic how Rumi slowly gets to know them and lets them into her life. I also loved how Rumi found solace in her elderly neighbour and how he taught her how to deal with her grief. If you want to know more about how I felt I recommend reading my favourite books post I linked earlier

💛 Forever Geek Girl (Geek Girl #6) by Holly Smale ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Oh what a bittersweet ending to such a comforting, fun, heartwarming series. While I’m sad that Geek Girl has come to an end as it meant so much to me last year while in Manchester, I’m very satisfied with the way it ended. Harriet has come a long way since we first met her and I couldn’t be more proud.

💛 American Panda by Gloria Chao ⭐⭐⭐ – Uhhhhh I don’t really remember much? Except that the beginning was a bit messy and I was a bit confused with the way chapters transitioned (I think?? don’t quote my Swiss cheese brain on this) and I wasn’t too fond of the writing style (don’t ask me why I don’t remember) but it was a cute read!

🐝 January 🐝

💛 The School for Good and Evil #1 – #3 by Soman Chainani (reread) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Been meaning to reread this trilogy for a very long time now, especially when I got Quest for Glory last year because it’s been years since I read this and I wanted to actually remember things when reading the new one. Rereading was SUCH a blast. I knew how much I loved my girls but I had kinda forgotten how much? I’d die for Agatha and Sophie, their growth and their love for each other. Also for my favourite coven of witches, my dumbass disaster bi* royal son and of course Hort. I reviewed the first one once upon a time but hahaha I ain’t linking to that if you really want to read it I’m sure you can find it but boy oh boy do I find it cringey. I’m planning on writing a post on the series sometime soon (possibly around the time the fifth one comes out?) but we’ll see

* mostly a headcanon, he does almost kiss what he thinks is a boy but it’s never explored apart from that so don’t get your hopes up too much

💛 Quest for Glory (The School for Good and Evil #4) by Soman Chainani ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – While I love the original trilogy, I was a bit worried going in, since back when The Last Ever After came out I declared it a perfect ending, and upon rereading I still agreed with that. I was especially worried if Sophie’s character development would be undone but thankfully that wasn’t the case. I loved reading about my kids again and meeting new kids. Also?? Are Heather and Anadil?? Dating?? Soman please confirm that my lesbian witches are canon lesbian witches and in love with each other please

Despite having guessed some of the bigger plot twists, it was still hard to put down and I couldn’t wait what would happen next. I’m so glad I don’t have to wait that long until book five haha

💛 We Are Here To Stay by Susan Kuklin ⭐⭐⭐ – To quote my review on Goodreads because I’m lazyWe Are Here To Stay is emotional, gripping and a very important read that should be mandatory reading for everyone. This book could open so many eyes and make people more sympathetic. The writing itself didn’t blow me away, but in this case that didn’t matter. It took me a while to read, but that’s because of the heavy subject matter and my mindset right now, thus why it was sometimes difficult to pick it up again. Definitely not the book’s fault!

💛 The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale ⭐ – Many years ago I read Hale’s Princess Academy and fell in love, thus I told myself I’d read all of her books. Over the years I kinda lost interest and that never happened, but when I saw The Goose Girl in my library’s ebook catalogue I decided to give it a go. What did I have to lose? My time, apparently, as I was bored to tears. I skimmed most of it instead of just dropping it since I was curious to see the ending, but

I’m?? So disappointed?? I was a bit worried I might not end up loving it since I was pretty young when I read Princess Academy, but I did not expect this. It was such a slow read, the main character felt flat, there were so many characters to keep track of that I did not care for… Yeah, not a fan

💛 The War Blog by Glen Sobey  – WELP SO THIS ONE WAS A MESS. The War Blog claims to be feminist and take on rape culture but um yeah no. I don’t even know where to start so if you want to know more read my review. Also if you want some recs of books that actually ARE feminist and/or take on rape culture, I included some in the review

COMICS: Young Justice Outsiders #1 and #2

Oh boy what did I do these past two months? If you’re new here or haven’t been here in a while (hi!) you probably don’t know this, but last month I realised I had a burn-out and that I wasn’t doing so well. I thus decided to take a break from school and just try to get some rest. So that’s what I’ve been doing. Apart from working a few times a week to keep my mind off of things and to combat the restless feeling I’ve been struggling with, I’ve mostly been reading (both books and webtoons), playing video games and watching things on Netflix (it’s been a very long time since I wrote a post on tv shows I’m watching, should I do one again?), but I have done some other stuff too! So here’s a list of some highlights:

💛 My best friend and I went to an indoor trampoline park and it was so much fun. 10/10 would recommend but definitely try to go on a day where kids are at school. We were there on a Friday afternoon wgjdfg At first we felt a bit awkward and old but?? who cares??

💛 My mom actually beat me a few times at Mario Kart???? What sorcery is this????

💛 Sometime last year Duolingo added Indonesian and while I immediately started the course since I’ve been waiting forever I was so exhausted before with everything that I had going on, that I was very inconsistent. I’m really working at it now and can speak and understand it a little bit, which is really cool! I may not know any of my Indonesian relatives because yay colonialism but it still feels like I’m getting a bit closer to my heritage

💛 I got a new bathrobe!! Yes this is a highlight as it’s very cute, soft and sdfjbghd so warm I’m just so happy with it as it’s been so cold. The hood is Winnie the Pooh’s head and the pockets look like honey jars.

💛 My mom and I went to the Hortus Botanicus, a botanical garden, which had a special event called ‘Hortus by Night’, which meant the garden was lit up with pretty lights and there was a campfire where you could get some warm drinks. It was really nice and definitely recommend going if they do this again next Winter!

💛 We had a Christmas party at work and I actually went?? And I had fun and didn’t feel awkward the entire night?? I mean there were parts where I felt awkward and a bit uncomfortable but still! Progress! I’m very grateful that there are quite a few colleagues that I like and feel comfortable with, or I definitely wouldn’t have considered going and come up with a lame excuse sdngdkjs

Mostly I’ve been thinking about my WIP, reading about writing, pinning on Pinterest… It still counts right? I’ve had some important realisations about things I need to fix, came up with some great new plot points and created two new kids for the sequel* and I can’t wait for you to meet them?? I’m still thinking about what kind of post I could introduce them in. I’ve also written a few scenes for this sequel** that have been on my mind and needed to get off my chest, so yay I wrote something!

* Help I’ve spent too much time thinking about this sequel asjsdgknj
** Like I said h e l p

🐝 The Writing Hufflepuff 🐝

💛 I talked about what I’d been up to since the Summer 
💛 I explained why I had kinda gone on another hiatus (spoiler it’s the burn-out)
💛 I discussed the books I read in August, September, October and November
💛 I reviewed The Enchanted Sonata, a cute retelling of The Nutcracker and The Pied Piper
💛 I talked about my favourite books of 20Gayteen
💛 Which didn’t fit in one post so here’s part two
💛 I reviewed The War Blog which pretends it’s feminist but it’s really not

📷 Aesthetically Dreaming 📷

Remember my other blog? Yeah I’m very inconsistent when it comes to that one! (rip) Managing two blogs was already hard* but with this burn-out? Um yeah not going so well. I posted once (1) which I guess is already an achievement considering how little I post on there. I decided to rewrite my old Orlando travel posts from this blog on there, because yikes are they cringey to read and I want to slowly move all my travel posts to that blog. I won’t delete my old travel posts because I don’t want to lose your comments, but I might make them private.

* It’s about travel, art and photography!
** Seriously what was I thinking

📸 Orlando Part I // The Wizarding World

What have you been up to this month? Favourite reads? Have you ever been to an indoor trampoline park? How’s your writing going? Let me know in the comments!

Goodbye 20Gayteen, Hello 20Biteen / 20Prideteen // My Favourite Books of 2018 Part II

It’s time for part two of my favourite books of 2018! And look, it’s still January, meaning even with two posts, I’m still faster than last year when I posted my favourite reads of 2017 in February. Go me! As I said in part one, this is in chronological order.

The Ship of the Dead – Rick Riordan

The perfect ending to the Magnus Chase trilogy, even though I did not want it to end at all. Despite not immediately falling in love with the series during the first book, I fell hard during the second and now I’m so sad to see it ended. But who knows, there might be a sequel series at some point. There’s definitely enough Norse mythology left to explore. I just really miss my kids?? Give me my sunshine pansexual son, my genderfluid – oh my god as I was thinking of a description for Alex I realised,,, green and pink, is her aesthetic, just like,,

I’ll see myself out

We all know Alex would DEFINITELY kill me if he saw this sdjghd

Anyway give me my kids back Rick Riordan

I Was Born for This – Alice Oseman

So I still have no words to describe and explain my love for I Was Born For This? There is just something so profound about Alice’s writing that is so hard to put into words, especially when trying to do it justice. I already said it before, but IWBFT should be a classic as it portrays teenagers in such a realistic way, deals with gender, sexuality, the internet, fame, fandom culture, mental health and so much more. IWBFT touched me in a way I just can’t explain.

Alex, Approximately – Jenn Bennett

Probably my surprise of the year, as I thought it would be a cute, fun, light Summer read. Which it was, but it was also so much more. Great father-daughter relationship, best friends, banter, working at a weird museum, silly adventures, enemies-to-friends-to-lovers and so much more. But best of all, is how both Bailey and Porter had their own trauma to deal with and found comfort in each other. Yet neither of them was magically healed. Read my review here

Ace of Shades – Amanda Foody

So?? Underrated?? There was some hype back when it was released, which is how I found out about it, but?? Where’s the hype now?? Ace of Shades is so intense?? And so good?? And the main characters are a black bi boy who pretends to be a ruthless gang leader but in actuality is Very Soft™ and a seemingly naieve, posh, nice girl who uhhh, is actually more ruthless? And kick-ass? The worldbuilding is so intriguing and I just want to know more?? Please read it??

The Brightsiders – Jen Wilde

SO!! QUEER!! God thinking of The Brightsiders just makes me tear up because I felt so loved, supported, embraced and empowered. I loved how The Brightsiders is such an iconic queer band, looking out for their young queer fans and writing songs for them and just making them feel loved. Meanwhile it also tackled so many other issues, like abusive relationships, abusive parents, addiction, and so much more. I especially appreciated seeing an abusive relationship portrayed as unhealthy and toxic, as it’s still often not just normalised, but even romanticised (stop romanticising the stalker in Netflix’ You!! It ain’t romantic folks!!) Jen Wilde is such an icon and I can’t wait for her next book.

Sadie – Courtney Summers

*awkwardly laughs as she brings up Sadie again* I mean, I know I bring Sadie up a lot (even in my latest review) but how could I not mention it in my favourite books of 2018 post? It’s been a few months since I read Sadie, but it made such an impact that I’m still not over it. It’s an incredibly important read so if it’s not triggering for you I definitely recommend you pick it up. It’s gruesome and chilling, but not because it’s graphic*, but because it’s true. I’ve been yelling about Sadie so much lately, I don’t even know what to say anymore without repeating myself, so instead I’ll just refer you to my review.

* Because it’s not!

A Thousand Perfect Notes – C.G. Drews

A Thousand Perfect Notes felt like reading Beck’s real, raw thoughts, as if he had been pouring them on the page instead of Cait. While Beck’s situation is a lot worse than my childhood ever was, I still related to him a lot, giving this book a close place to my heart.

My Whole Truth – Mischa Trace

Oh boy where do I even start. My Whole Truth was awful, heartbreaking, gripping, yet also warmed my heart, seeing how Seelie’s friends stuck by her through thick and thin, never doubting her, always standing by her side, willing to do everything for her. Of course they had their ups and downs, but their friendship persisted. There’s also a very cute f/f slowburn. The friendship and romance definitely helped getting through My Whole Truth. Although it is incredibly well-written and it’s hard to put down as you want to know what happens next, it’s still a heavy subject. Read my review here

Summer Bird Blue – Akemi Dawn Bowman

Honestly, I wasn’t sure if I was going to love this one when I first started reading it. I found it quite repetitive and wasn’t really enjoying it much. But at some point there was a switch, and now I can say Akemi Dawn Bowman has done it again. While I loved Starfish more, Summer Bird Blue is a very real, gritty and raw take on grief. Maybe that’s the reason I didn’t immediately like it that much, as it was a bit too real? I don’t like dealing with my grief. I’d rather ignore it and distract myself, so I guess it just got a little bit too close? I’m glad I kept reading though, because Summer Bird Blue is beautiful, touching and really gives you hope that you’ll be okay despite your grief.

Special mentions: Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu, All American Boys by Jason Reynolds, A Step from Heaven by An Na, Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali

I hate that I never made any aesthetics for the last few books because now the end of the post looks so empty and boring but I have no inspiration and energy to make them now rip

Have you read any of these? Are they among your favourites as well? What were your favourites of 2018? Let me know in the comments!

Goodbye 20Gayteen, Hello 20Biteen / 20Prideteen // My Favourite Books of 2018 Part I

January is almost over, so naturally it’s time to look at my favourite reads of last year*. Last year I read so many amazing books, that I was unable to narrow it down to 10, so I’ll be splitting this post into two parts. Apart from the first two (which are in a tied first place) this is all in chronological order.

* I’m actually earlier than last year! Last year I didn’t get around to it until February so yay progress

2018 was a very odd year. I almost immediately left for Manchester for almost four months, got a new job, finished an amazing internship, went to my first Pride, met and hugged Hayley Kiyoko (and saw her perform), saw Janelle Monáe, grew and learned a lot, became more comfortable with my sexuality, but also had so much stress and anxiety that I now have a burn-out. Like I said, an odd year. I honestly can’t say whether 2018 was a good year for me or not. But hey at least it was a good reading year! I read 134 books while my goal was 100*, the majority of them being 3-star reads or higher. So here’s hoping 2019 will be just as good.

* please ignore my widget in the sidebar, I haven’t updated it in forever adgknsdj If only it updated automatically *sigh* I’ll probably delete it soon instead of replacing it with the 2019 one

Anger is a Gift – Mark Oshiro

Are you all tired of me yelling about Anger is a Gift yet? If so, too bad because I’m going to continue to yell about it in 2019. Probably in 2020 too, if people keep sleeping on it. Please please read Anger is a Gift (unless it might be too triggering for you, as it’s quite graphic). It’s such an important look on police brutality and political corruption, plus it’s super queer!! Despite things getting worse and worse, in the end it still leaves you with hope that one day the world will be a better place. Read my review here

Starfish – Akemi Dawn Bowman

The best anxiety rep I’ve seen so far. I honestly never felt so represented when it comes to my anxiety then when reading Starfish. This one touched me in ways I don’t think any book dealing with anxiety will, at least any time soon. Starfish gave me hope that I too can learn to live with my anxiety and that things will get easier, and for that I will be eternally grateful. Read my review here

It Only Happens in the Movies – Holly Bourne

My first read of the year! And I’m very glad for it, as my year started out very stressful and chaotic – at least I also started it with a good book! Because things were so chaotic I never ended up reviewing it, but but I’m very grateful to this book for helping me through it. It Only Happens in the Movies slams down cliché and often harmful romantic tropes, making it both refreshing and a must-read.

The Geek Girl Series (books 3 to 6) – Holly Smale

I read the first two Geek Girl books a few years ago, but for some reason never ended up picking up the rest of the series. While not feeling so great mentally during my second week in Manchester, I bought the next three books in the series as there was a sale going on and I knew these books could cheer me up. And they definitely did. Harriet is such a fun and relatable protagonist, as I hardly ever see a realistic clumsy girl in YA. Harriet’s clumsiness spoke to my soul and while it made me cringe at times, it’s nice to see her clumsiness not being reduced to a lovable, quirky trait. Plus: cute friendships, cutest family, cute romance – just warm feelings all around!

Flight Season – Marie Marquardt

Flight Season deserves so much more love, as it deals with grief, moving on and the American immigration system. But my favourite thing is how all three characters are dealing with their own grief and trauma and find comfort in each other. The friendship between these three is one of my favourites and still makes me tear up. They just love each other so much and they’d do anything for each other. Flight Season is one of those quiet books that manages to blow you away without even fully realising it. A year later I’m still not over it. Read my review here

Cinderella Boy – Kristina Meister

A very cute and empowering read. If you’re looking for a queer fairytale retelling look no further. Cinderella Boy follows a genderfluid Cinderella, his queer prince and a bunch of other queer kids, all fighting for their rights. Despite its slow beginning, I love Cinderella Boy with all my heart and would recommend it to you in a heartbeat. Read my review here

Autoboyography – Christina Lauren

Yes hi this book broke me?? Autoboyography is just so emotional and raw and everything?? I never ended up reviewing it (CAUSE HOW) and look I’m still not gonna be coherent in this post either. So lemme just quote myself from an earlier post in which I mentioned Autoboyography*: ‘I think Autoboyography could really help a lot of LGBTQIAP+ religious kids, while it also has great bi rep. While it can get pretty intense it’s also just beautiful, fun and cute’

* Because why try to write some new, original thoughts down amiright

Are any of these on your favourites list? What were your favourites last year? Let me know in the comments!

The Enchanted Sonata // The Nutcracker vs The Pied Piper

Author: Heather Dixon Wallwork
Genre: Fairytale retelling // Fantasy // YA
Goodreads rating: 4.08
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐

 

Clara Stahlbaum has her future perfectly planned: to marry the handsome pianist, Johann Kahler (ah!) and settle down to a life full of music. But all that changes on Christmas Eve, when Clara receives a mysterious and magical nutcracker.

Whisked away to his world—an enchanted empire of beautiful palaces, fickle fairies, enormous rats, and a prince—Clara must face a magician who uses music as spells…and the future she thought she wanted.

Disclaimer: I was given an ARC of this book by Netgalley and the publisher (thank you!) in return for an honest review. Also apologies that this is a bit late

The Enchanted Sonata is a retelling of both The Nutcracker and The Pied Piper of Hamelin. While I don’t remember too much about The Nutcracker, it’s a story I always loved (most likely because of that one Barbie movie. I’m pretty sure I watched it over and over again. I also had the dolls. I LOVED it) so I was excited to read a retelling for it, especially since I don’t often see one? Despite it being a popular ballet? And then combined with The Pied Piper? Sign me up!

I have to admit I was a bit bored at times, especially because the story isn’t just told from Clara’s POV, but also other supporting/minor characters. At some point we even get the villain’s POV. This all just took away some of the surprise, plus I didn’t really care for the minor characters? I’d much rather follow Clara and the Nutcracker, who’s dynamic I loved. I’m weak for cute banter okay? Their romance definitely put a smile on my face.

As for the worldbuilding, I was a bit confused. It felt like the story relied too much on the reader knowing the original fairytale of The Nutcracker without explaining why there are giant rats attacking the kingdom? The rats are also kind of an afterthought, as the real villain is The Pied Piper. 

I was also disappointed in how they found out how to defeat The Pied Piper. Clara is whisked away to The Nutcracker’s world through a fairy book, which tells the story of The Nutcracker. Once she’s all caught up to the present, there’s nothing there for her to read anymore, as she’s now part of the story. But then the book updates, and literally tells her how she will defeat The Pied Piper. It felt so cheap and easy, whereas Clara figuring it out herself would’ve been so much more powerful, especially because in the beginning she’s very motivated by impressing the pianist Johann. Speaking of Johann, I do love how Clara realises that she barely even knows him and that she was more in love with the idea of him than with him.

That said, The Enchanted Sonata is a fun and cute retelling, that I definitely do recommend! I loved the atmosphere and the relationship between Clara and The Nutcracker. Maybe it was a bit insta-love-y (I don’t remember it that well) but in this case I didn’t mind.

Have you read The Enchanted Sonata? Do you know any YA retellings of The Nutcracker or The Pied Piper? What’s your favourite retelling? Let me know in the comments!

Wrapping Up August and September and October And – // LOTS OF BOOKS

So it turns out that I never got around to wrapping up August, which means I’ve got a lot of wrapping up to do. On the personal front I already did that here, so this post will only focus on the books. Considering I’m wrapping up 4 months this might be a long one. I started this post in December, so now I also have to wrap up December but this will be long enough already so I’ll wrap up December at some point. Probably like June* 

* Just kidding. Hopefully

🐝 August 🐝

💛 Two Spells by Mark Morrison ⭐ – Really not a fan of this one despite its cool premise (a magical library and you can actually go inside the books? Sign me up!) but I was incredibly bored. Read my review here

💛 Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Loved this one! It took me a while to read this because of my stupid reading slump, but I have a feeling that if I were to reread this when I’m in the mood for fantasy, it would be a solid five star read. Political intrigue, interesting world building, a soft black bi boy who’s the leader of a gang and a naive girl who seems like a goody two shoes at first but is actually a very cunning? Yes please

💛 Honey, Baby, Sweetheart by Deb Caletti ⭐ – So this was a major disappointment. I thought this would be a really powerful read about abusive relationships while also having a fun road trip on which they try to reunite two old lovers but well I got none of that. The writing was terrible, the abuse was barely touched upon, the characters were annoying, there was lots of (slut)shaming of other girls… It was just one big mess. Read my review here

💛 The Brightsiders by Jen Wilde ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Queens of Geek is one of my favourite books, so expectations were very high. Luckily The Brightsiders didn’t only live up to them, it exceeded them by far. I think I might prefer Queens of Geek (although The Brightsiders is!! super gay!! gayer than QoG!!), as that one resonated a bit more with me, but nonetheless this was a very powerful and inspiring read.

💛 Sadie by Courtney Summers ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – It’s been months and I’m still not over Sadie. To quote my review: Sadie is not a happy story, but it’s an important one. It’s not just the story of Sadie and Mattie, it’s the story of all the girls in the world who end up dead or missing simply because they’re girls. Throughout the entire book I just wanted to cry, because even though the story of Sadie and Mattie is fictional, it’s so so real. If you haven’t picked this one up yet, I definitely recommend it. Read my review here

💛 To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before Trilogy by Jenny Han ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – I’ve wanted to read this trilogy for the longest time (pretty much since I finished it last year) and with the movie coming out, this felt like the perfect time to do so. I’m happy to say I loved this just as much as last time, if not even more.

💛 Ultra Maniac volumes 1 – 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Very cute and fun story about two best friends, one of them being a witch, which of course gets them in all sorts of trouble

🐝 September 🐝

💛 Bonjour Girl by Isabelle Lafleche ⭐ – Welp this was a disappointment. I was so excited about this one as it sounded like a cute yet important contemporary. The main character (half-French and Half-Chinese) wants to be a fashion blogger who fights for diversity and inclusitivity in the fashion industry. Ironically the book itself is barely diverse (apart from the MC there is a stereotypical flamboyant gay boy and a girl in a wheelchair, the latter being a very minor character) and I often even forgot that the MC was half-Chinese, while it was impossible to forget her French side since that was brought up constantly. It was also just not very well-written. Read my review here

💛 A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – ATPN had been on my shelf pretty much since it’s release, but it took me a while to pick up since I was a bit nervous about it. Since I love Cait’s blog, obviously I wanted to really love her book, but what if I didn’t?? Despite loving all of her writing snippets she shares?? Turns out I had nothing to worry about. ATPN is beautifully written and resonated with me so much.

💛 Scythe by Neal Shusterman ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Uhhh I honestly don’t remember that much? Maybe it’s because I read Thunderhead (the sequel) last month so now I’ve got that one on my mind. I do think this one was better than the Thunderhead though. I skimread Thunderhead a bit as I got bored and found it too long, whereas I wanted to keep on reading Scythe and find out what would happen next. Maybe Thunderhead suffers from second book syndrome? We shall see once the third one comes out.

💛 Hearts Unbroken by Cynthia Leitich Smith ⭐⭐ – This one had potential, but unfortunately I think this still needed some editing. It didn’t really focus on the main plot as much as it focused on the MC pursuing different stories for the newspaper that didn’t add anything. If it had focused more on the backlash the school musical was getting for their inclusive casting it would’ve been a much stronger story. Read my review here

COMICS: Giant Days #41 and #42 // Lumberjanes #53 and #54 

🐝 October 🐝

💛 My Whole Truth by Mischa Thrace ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Yes hi this book broke me. Let it break you too! I promise it’s worth it. Although it can be triggering, so in that case you might not want to pick it up. My Whole Truth is a powerful look on rape culture, the justice system and sexism. I couldn’t stop reading but also wanted to stop at the same time. Thankfully the MC has amazing friends and a kickass lawyer that not only kept her going, but also me as a reader. There’s also a cute and beautiful f/f romance. Read my review here

💛 The Wendy by Erin Michelle Sky ⭐ – Not much happened, flat characters, boring. Could’ve been an interesting Peter Pan retelling but nope.

COMICS: Ms. Marvel #29 – #34 // Halloweeen ComicFest 2017: Boom! Box’s Some En-Haunted Evening // Giant Days #43

🐝 November 🐝

💛 Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore ⭐⭐⭐ – I’m?? So disappointed?? I really wanted to love this one because?? So many bi women?? Plus magical?? Plus I read a short story written by McLemore… at some point in the past I have no idea if that was in 2018 or 2017 who even knows

am I right

Anyway! I loved that short story so I was even more excited to read Wild Beauty. But unfortunately it took me forever to read this, put me in a reading slump and bored me. There was a lot of potential and I guess it was beautifully written, but also I had no idea which cousin was which. I barely got to know any of the characters and didn’t really care for them either.

💛 The Echanted Sonata by Heather Dixon Wallwork ⭐⭐⭐ – This was cute! As a kid I really loved the story of The Nutcracker, which this is a retelling of along with The Pied Piper of Hamelin. The main couple had some cute banter which I’m a sucker for, but I was a bit bored at times and I wished we didn’t see through the eyes of so many characters, as that took away the surprise a bit. Full review coming soon as this was an ARC and I’m very late already woops

💛 Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – I’ve wanted to reread this for the entire year so badly, and I’m so glad I finally got around to it. It was like coming home and I was filled with all these warm and fuzzy feelings until I got to The Titan’s Curse and all the not so fun things started to happen. I really want to reread Heroes of Olympus now as well but I’ve been spoiled for something that happens in The Burning Maze and now I lowkey don’t wanna reread HoO because it will h u r t

COMICS: Ms. Marvel #35 and #36 // Lumberjanes #55 // Giant Days #44 // Runaways (2017) #9 – #14

And that’s a wrap! It feels good to have FINALLY wrapped these months up, even though I’ve barely reviewed any of these books. While it’s a shame because I want to shout about my favourites among these, I also don’t want to pressure myself, especially with my burn-out. I can definitely see myself rereading them though, so I might review them once I’ve reread them. We shall see.

Have you read any of these? Do you share my opinions, or are you about to come for me because I hated on your fave?* Let me know in the comments!

* Pls don’t :(

The Weekly Hufflepuff #73 // I Got An Internship???

A day late but oh well

I wanted to post this yesterday but I was tired before I went out, then when I came back I was even more tired adgnjs

I FINALLY finished Ace of Shades and I’m pissed at my reading slump because I really did love it and I could’ve finished it so much faster?? I also finished Two Spells, which I reviewed on Goodreads. I didn’t enjoy that one at all, nor did I enjoy Honey, Baby, Sweetheart. It was free on Riveted (might still be? I don’t think this one is up for the entire month) and it had an interesting premise (abusive relationships, ‘kidnapping’ an old lady to reunite her with an old love and a road trip) but boyyyy it was a mess and so is my review on Goodreads thus why I’m not posting it here as well.

I finally read The Brightsiders (I have no idea why it took me so long considering Queens of Geek is one of my favourite books and this was one of my most anticipated releases?) and I loved it SO FRICKIN’ MUCH. The bi rep was amazing, just like in Queens of Geek, great relationships (platonic and romantic), abuse rep on point, anxiety rep, so much queer rep, multiple non-white characters (Chloe owns my heart I love my black bi non-binary child) and just?? It was everything? It’s SO QUEER I love it so much. Full review to come hopefully soon*

Lastly I’m rereading the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy before the movie comes out this Friday (!!) to sort of stay patient because I can’t wait for the movie I love this series so much

Oh and I started Sadie, since that’s coming out next month and I don’t want to read it at the last possible moment. I’m not that far in yet but so far I like it.

* No one remind me of all the books I read in June that I still haven’t reviewed hsjfdhsj

GUYS I GOT AN INTERNSHIP???? It’s at an art magazine and I’m just so excited!! I won’t be writing anything for the magazine itself as everything is planned and written far in advance so it’s not really do-able for me to write anything, but I may get to write something small. I will be writing for the website though, so that’s exciting too.

I also got a job??? As of this week I’ll be working at Ripley’s Believe it Or Not and I still can’t believe (haha see what I did there) I actually got hired?? I’ll still be working at the Stedelijk Museum when I can, but that was already freelance work anyway after my first year ended last Summer so I wanted something a bit more stable.

Other than that… I’ve been going out with friends and family, doing some fun stuff here and there, relaxing… I have terrible memory so I remember like 10% of it but last week I spend a few days at my best friend’s house since she lives at the other side of the country (which is not that far compared to most countries but it still a few hours away with the train and since we don’t get free transport during the Summer it’s not that easy to see each other. Highlights: my friend repeating ‘behhhh’ over and over again at goats, feeding cute baby goats, making edible cookie dough (and eating it duh), me sucking at Mario and Sonic at the Olympics (I’m so sorry I did you dirty Yoshi please don’t cry), eating THE BEST fries I’m in love why are they on the other side of the country and obviously just spending time with my friend. Other than that who knows what I did not me adbjhs This is why I try to do wrap ups each week but I’m lazy

🐝 The Writing Hufflepuff 🐝

💛 Let’s Celebrate Winning Camp NaNo With Some Snippets! // Part I
💛 Summery Contemporary Mini Reviews // The Summer I Turned Pretty, Alex, Approximately and The Museum of Heartbreak
💛 5 Books That I Need To Be Turned Into Anime
💛 The Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag // You Want Me To Pick One For Every Question??

📷 Aesthetically Dreaming 📷

📸 Tips for Studying Abroad
📸 Dreaming About These Aesthetic Instagrams // Surrealism Edition
📸 Nalini Malani and Immigration and the Oppression of Women

💛 Lu @ It’s Lu Again shares her 7 fantasy expectations
💛 Olivia @ Purely Olivia talks about her one major problem with Harry Potter and shares other thoughts related to the series
💛 Amy @ Bursting With Books is back!
💛 Eve @ Twist in the Taile shares their YALC 2018 recap
💛 Lily @ Sprinkles of Dreams talks about why we need (more) confident female characters
💛 Em @ Yellow’s The Word talks about her trip to Amsterdam. I linked back to Day 4 because it links back to all the previous days so you can easily find those
💛 Amber @ The Literary Phoenix shares five things she learned from Camp NaNo
💛 Elm @ Just Call Me Elm Or Something talks about when writing becomes stressful

How has your week been? Read anything good? Are you excited for the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before movie? 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!