The Monthly Hufflepuff | Where Did 2017 Go

I think that it was about half-way through November that I realised that I had completely forgotten about my October wrap-up, so I guess I’ll wrap it up along with NovemberΒ πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

πŸ’› Masked by J.D. WrightΒ β˜… – Yikes yikes and yikes. I went into a lot more detail in my review of course, but basically it had potential to be a fun read but instead it had a lot of problematic aspects

πŸ’› Danger! Women Artists at Work by Debra N. Mancoff β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… –Β Really interesting, fun and inspiring read, but I wish it had featured more women of colour and queer ladies. Frida Kahlo is featured, but her sexuality isn’t mentioned, so if you’re unfamiliar with her you wouldn’t know that. Maybe there are more queer artists featured in this, but at some point I got too tired to google every artist to see if she might be queer since until I quit none of them were (or at least it wasn’t known if they were)

πŸ’› Chasing Eveline by Leslie Hauser β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… – I have so much love for this book. It’s such a refreshing read: realistic, a wonderful friendship between a boy and a girl without any romance, a healthy romance that didn’t overtake the plot, family, fun antics… 10/10 would recommend

Me throwing Chasing Eveline at all of you

πŸ’› Zodiac Starforce: Cries of the Prince #2Β – uhhh I don’t really remember this issue woops. I love Zodiac Starforce though and I’m definitely enjoying this sequel

πŸ’› Giant Days #31 and #32Β – Have I shouted at you guys to read Giant Days yet because please do. I barely ever laugh out loud while reading comics and Giant Days made me laugh out loud multiple times. It’s about three amazing female college students, their antics and their wonderful friendship.

πŸ’› Hi-Fi Fight Club #2 – woops another issue I don’t remember?? Again, enjoying this one though. It’s about girls working at a record store who have a secret club in which they solve mysteries and kick ass

πŸ’› Ms. Marvel #23 and #24 – LOVED this team up and I love how they’re currently exploring how the past arcs are impacting Kamala. If you aren’t reading Ms. Marvel yet what are you doing

what u doing fam

πŸ’› The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Beats Up The Universe β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…Β – SO. MUCH. FUN.

πŸ’› The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar WildeΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… – For someone who’s been shouting for about four/five (?) years that I love Oscar Wilde I should really read more of his works. Thus I finally picked up The Importance of Being Earnest and I’m so glad I did. It was such a delight

πŸ’› Runaways volumes 1 – 8Β β˜…β˜…β˜… for the first 7 andΒ β˜… for the 8th volume – The first seven volumes were fun and these kids definitely grew on me. The problem I have with this comic is the pace. I felt it was way too rushed and it took so long for the characters to grow on me. They felt pretty flat to me and so did their relationships with each other (something I find the tv show is doing a better job of so far). Don’t even get me started on volume 8 I found it such a mess yikes. I don’t even want to consider it canon, especially with the way they treated Victor

πŸ’› Everything, Everything by Nicola YoonΒ β˜…β˜…β˜… – Ahhh such mixed feelings. I knew there was a lot of controversy about this one before going in and I definitely get where people are coming from. I can’t say anything about it without spoiling it though. My mixed feelings aren’t just because of that controversial thing* but also because it felt very insta-lovey and there were times were I got bored, despite that at first I really liked the writing style and the different formats. No scratch that, I’m in LOVE with the different formats. Controversy aside, this book is so artsy. Besides emails it also has really cool illustrations?? I wasn’t expecting that

πŸ’› Emma volume 1 by Kaoru MoriΒ β˜…β˜…β˜… – Fun and cute, but nothing special

πŸ’› Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertali (reread)Β β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… –Β For some reason I didn’t love it the first time as much as I loved it the second time around – I don’t know if it was the hype getting to me back then or my mood (sometimes I read/watch something and I feel a bit meh about it, but then the second time around I’m in love?? My brain is weird) or the fact that I wasn’t out yet and still struggling with my own feelings and couldn’t appreciate it as much as I could now. WHO KNOWS. Point is I love this book very much

πŸ’› Swan Song by Charlotte WilsonΒ β˜…β˜…β˜… Β – The way this one handles grief is very powerful and the romance is cute, but it didn’t blow me away

πŸ’› Lumberjanes #43 and #44 – What can I say about Lumberjanes without repeating myself? It’s still very much enjoyable, the magic and weirdness of it never gets old and I love my girls. FRIENDSHIP TO THE MAX

πŸ’› Vengeance Road by Erin BowmanΒ β˜…β˜…β˜… – Great action scenes, but unfortunately quite a few scenes in-between were a bit boring. Review will be up next week!

πŸ’› Karina’s Silver Shoes by Denise Marques LeitaoΒ β˜… – SO CONFUSING. I DON’T GET IT. AT ALL. If you want a few more details, you can find my review here

πŸ’› America #8 – eh I dunno? I really want to love this comic, and some of the issues so far have been really good, but this issue had a pacing problem which more of the issues have.

πŸ’› Lumberjanes 2017 Special: Faire and SquareΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… – The girls and Jen go to a Robin Hood themed fair!! And there’s a pterodactyl!! Also they re-enact a telenovela to cheer up Ripley!! If you love Lumberjanes and haven’t read this special yet I’d definitely recommend it

πŸ’› Lumberjanes 2016 Special: Makin’ The Ghost Of ItΒ β˜…β˜…β˜… – It’s still fun because it’s Lumberjanes but I felt a bit meh about it?

πŸ’› DC Bombshells #56 – #59 – Whyyy am I so slow when it comes to this comic while it’s one of my favourites.

πŸ’› Paintbrush by Hannah BucchinΒ β˜…β˜… – Mixed feelings galore!! This could’ve been a fun, cute read, and in a way it was? But it also wasn’t? Character driven novels are great, except when you don’t like the characters #woops Full review should be up soonish

πŸ’› The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertali (reread)Β β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… – Still as cute and fun and wonderful and wholesome as the first time around!! Read my review here

πŸ’› What’s a Girl Gotta Do? by Holly BourneΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… – Just what I needed oh my goodness. THIS WAS SO GOOD. Okay so it made me feel insecure about my writing, but it was also so empowering, inspiring and fun and just ahhh. ALL THE FEELINGS. GOOD FEELINGS. BUT ALSO RAGE BECAUSE SEXISM. Anyway I can’t wait to review this one

Favourites of the month: Chasing Evelyne and What’s a Girl Gotta Do?

πŸ’› Reviews: Β Doctor Who Myths and Legends | Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith | Masked | Chasing Eveline | Swan Song | Karina’s Silver Shoes
πŸ’› Writing: Recipe: How to Make Your Own Writer | When Books Make You Feel Insecure About Your Writing
πŸ’› Travel: London Day 1 and Day 2

Holidays!! Last month of 2018!!* Last full month until I leave for Manchester!!

Can you tell I’m freaking out a bit!!**

I mean obviously I’m excited but ahhh I’m also panicking. I don’t know yet how much I’ll blog. Like I said in my last weekly wrap up, I hit a bit of a blogging slump last week. This week I’m actually doing fine? So who knows what will happen. The most important thing is that I’m enjoying myselfΒ πŸ™†πŸ»

* Where did 2017 go?? What happened to it?? Why is time going so fast??
** A bit?? A bit?? Try a lot

How has your month been? Are you freaking out over 2017 almost being over? Any exciting plans for the holidays, and for 2018? What was your favourite book of the month? Let me know in the comments!

Swan Song // A Story About Overcoming Your Grief, Finding Yourself and Ballet

Author: Charlotte Wilson
Genre: Contemporary | YA
GoodreadsΒ rating: 4.31
My rating: Β β˜…β˜…β˜…

 

When iconic ballerina Beatrice Duvall died, a nation mourned – and a legacy was born. Sixteen years later, her daughter Ava comes to London to take part in a high-profile tribute to Beatrice, and to learn about the mother she never knew.

There’s just one snag: the tribute is a ballet, Swan Lake. Which is infinitely painful for Ava, because she can’t dance. Won’t dance. Not since she quit the Royal Ballet School last year and walked away from everything that defined her.

But this is London, colourful and crazy, and with actor Seb at her side, there’s so much to discover. Like Theatreland razzmatazz and rooftop picnics and flamingo parties. And a whole load of truths Ava never knew about her mother – and herself.

When the time comes to take the stage, will Ava step out of the shadow cast by her mother’s pedestal? And who will be waiting for her there, in the bright lights?DISCLAIMER:Β I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review

While Swan Song didn’t blow me away, I really appreciated that this was first and foremost about Ava and her grief for the mother she had never known. She knows barely anything about her mother, so when she’s in London for her mother’s tribute she also takes that opportunity to go to all the places that meant something to her mother. This was really the most powerful aspect of the book, especially when Ava finally ‘finds’ her mother and connects to her. It’s heartbreaking to read about every time she doesn’t feel anything and very relatable to see Ava avoid her grief.

Because it hurts. Not the way it should. Not because I found an echo of my mother resonating through time; not because I stood on a pavement where she’d once stood and suddenly she was real, there with me, and I could feel her. Because I felt nothing.

While in London Ava stays with her mom’s best friend Thisbe and her son Seb, who have taken her in like she’s one of their own, which was heartwarming to read.Seb is Ava’s love interest and does play a big part in the book, but it never overshadows her own journey of self discovery and finding her mother. They start out as friends and the relationship is built at a regular pace. There is a misunderstanding at some point, but it isn’t dragged out and is resolved realistically.

I do wish Ava’s father had played a bigger role, but plot-wise it made sense why he didn’t and it was realistic. All the other characters Ava meets are all interesting and add something to the plot and/or Ava’s growth. I also liked that there’s no antagonist – in a way Ava is her own antagonist.

I do want to talk about something that could be considered a spoiler:

One of the characters is bipolar, which is revealed in a chapter titled ‘A bit cuckoo?’. That title actually refers to another character talking about themselves, but from the way the previous chapter ended it sounded like this was about the bipolar character. This was just an unfortunate mistake, but I wanted to point it out if like me you’d get really mad at seeing that chapter title, because it has nothing to do with that character.

All in all it was a fun and cute read, sometimes emotional and overal it could be considered a powerful read, but something was missing for me.Β Maybe it wasn’t emotional enough?Β I really can’t put my finger on what it is, but it’s definitely worth the read.

Have you read Swan Song? Any books about grief that you’d recommend to me? Let me know in the comments!