July 2020 Wrap-Up

So, as you may have noticed this past month, I wasn’t super active on the blog. That mostly had to do with the art challenge I was participating in (more about that later). It all swallowed up so much time, I could neither read nor blog very much.

A Pocketful of Crowsad ONE book. It was called A Pocketful of Crows by Joanne M. Harris and the reason I did not review it on here was because I did not enjoy it. Despite it being told in a very fairytale-like fashion, which is usually very much in my wheelhouse, I ended up giving it 2 stars only. I neither liked the characters nor the message of the book and I was very unsure about a white author using this to also talk about the topic of racism. Something about it all just felt off.

I don’t feel worried about my reading challenge though! I am still three books ahead, because I made sure to set a very achievable goal for myself.

As per usual, click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy! I don’t have any reviews this time around, but normally you can find them by clicking on the titles in the text!

As mentioned above, but just in case you missed it, I did a little art challenge for the entirety of July. It wasn’t with different tasks every day, but rather establishing a routine and being consistent with your output. I set mine for drawing AND writing every single day, while friends joined me along the way to just do one of the two or something they wanted to work on. It was really motivating and I got a lot done!
If you want to know some details, you can read up on my half-way check-in and the entire recap. However, here are my favourite art pieces I made during the time:

Having finished this art challenge and having gotten some of my creative spirits up and moving again, I decided to start a new unrelated challenge. I am currently doing Chloe Ting’s 25-day-hourglass-workout. It’s already day 11 and I am actually having fun with it. Don’t think that I can do all the exercises at high intensity the way Chloe can, but I was happy that my lockdown workouts have prepared me for it to some extent and helped me with finding alternatives to exercises that made sense when I couldn’t do the suggested versions. So far, there is no weight difference, but my clothes definitely fit differently! I am super intrigued to see results.

MY FAVOURITE THINGS

I could say Stargirl again and it would not be a lie. But there is only one more episode and I think I will have to move on from it after that … maybe … probably … hopefully? That show took up a lot of my mental space.

I did also watch Outer Banks this last month and kind of get the hype, because I keep thinking about it and totally can’t wait for the next season. I feel a bit betrayed, because youtube ship videos made me believe that Kiara and JJ were gonna be a thing and that just wasn’t the case? But now that’s what I want, neigh, NEED! Like, I did not make these videos, but watch them and tell me there’s nothing there!?!?

As almost per usual, I’ve unfortunately still not been as active as I would have liked to be on everyone else’s blog. If you are up for it, feel free to share one of your own posts that you consider one of your faves from this past month in the comments below! I’d love to check it out!!

MY OTHER POSTS

VARIOUS POSTS AND TAGS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

TRAILER POSTS


Hope your August started out well and that your July was as good as can be expected during these times!

Never Have I Ever – Writing Tag!

One of my favourite blogger buddies, The Orang-utan Librarian, has tagged me for the Never Have I Ever Writing Tag. I read their answers and it was great to read and I implore you to check out the post yourself, that is, after you read mine, because this is going to be fun!

The original was created by the Long Voyage – so definitely check out that here!

NEVER HAVE I EVER …

. . . started a novel that I did not finish.

Ha! That’s a good one!! I started about 15 different stories and finished one of them. My track record in that department is abysmal.

. . . written a story completely by hand.

I … don’t think so? I think I started stories and maybe I’ve written a short story here or there by hand, but definitely not a full one. I already get annoyed with regular editing, I can’t imagine having to transfer everything to my laptop first.

. . . changed tenses midway through a story.

Not on purpose. I think, sometimes, when I return to a story after a long time, I have to get back into the tense maybe and mess it up a bit. But never on purpose.

. . . not researched anything before starting a story.

What is research? No, in all honesty, I probably should do research sometimes, but I love winging it and then despairing in the middle of the story because I have no clue what I am doing. I really do the bare minimum sometimes …

. . . changed my protagonist’s name halfway through a draft.

Nope, not the protagonist’s name, but definitely some side characters.

. . . written a story in a month or less.

YES! The one and only story I ever finished writing – Break Up Buddy – was one I did during NaNoWriMo. I was so proud to have finished it in a month and I still am. I admire people that just throw out stories in days or weeks (and there are more than you might think).

. . . fallen asleep while writing.

I don’t think so?

. . . corrected someone’s grammar irl / online.

Guilty as charged. I’m not running around correcting everyone all the time, but sometimes I just couldn’t not say anything? Most of the time I just keep it to myself, especially since I make plenty of mistakes myself.

. . . yelled in all caps at myself in the middle of a novel.

Like … “started writing in all caps unrelated to the story, because I was frustrated with myself”-all caps? That’s not really something I do?

. . . used “I’m writing” as an excuse.

I just don’t think that people leave me alone or listen to me when I say that I am writing. At least I know a certain someone who will interrupt me like a thousand times, even if I have made it clear that I was trying to focus on writing. Guess that excuse doesn’t fly with people in my life?

. . . killed a character who was based on someone I know in real life.

I’m not even sure I’ve killed a character on page yet, so that’s a no? But also, no one is based on someone I personally know. On actors? That’s a whole different story … but not actual real life friends and/or enemies.

. . . used pop culture references in a story.

These questions should be so easy to answer, but I really have to think hard about them. I am pretty sure there must have been some kind of reference, right? Something to indicate a time period? I just literally can’t think of a single example …

. . . written between the hours of 1am and 6am.

100% YES!

. . . drank an entire pot of coffee while writing.

I don’t drink coffee ever, so that’s a clear no from my side. (Tea all the way!)

. . . written down dreams to use in potential novels.

I actually have a designated journal for my dreams. They are wild sometimes, people! I still like the timey-wimey one where Adam Driver turns out to be my son, but I am technically younger than him? We shall, however, never mention the dolphin story again. That was borderline body horror and that’s not my genre …

. . . published an unedited story on the internet / Wattpad / blog.

Yes, yes and yes? There used to be this website called figment, where I posted a lot of my really, really old stuff. But also recently, totally!

Arcadia is on wattpad. Click here to read it!
Dreamer was on wattpad, but is not published there anymore …
The witchy WIP is published on a private blog that’s password protected. However, friends can request the password and I’m pretty easygoing in sharing it.

. . . procrastinated homework because I wanted to write.

Absolutely! I have to agree with the Orang-utan Librarian here, I sometimes even spaced out in class to write my story. And honestly, even at work from time to time (imagine me doing retail work and there being zero customers for over an hour).

. . . typed so long that my wrists hurt.

That happens so easily, but also, I just don’t have the best set up for writing.

. . . spilled a drink on my laptop while writing.

Thank the heavens that never happened!!! THE HORROR!

. . . forgotten to save my work / draft.

No? I think I forgot to save something for school a couple times, but never the really important stuff aka my stuff.

. . . finished a novel.

As in, written a beginning, middle and end to a story? Yes. As in, edited the story to make it presentable and potentially marketable? No. no no no.

. . . laughed like an evil villain while writing a scene.

I WISH!

. . . cried while writing a scene.

I was close, but I don’t think so?

. . . created maps of my fictional worlds.

YES! But funny enough, not for a fantasy world, but rather a contemporary novel instead. I just printed out maps from Google maps from places that I’ve been to and liked/lived at. It was hilarious in hindsight.

. . . researched something shady for a novel.

I think I researched some illnesses and symptoms. Or “what to do when someone has a seizure”, but that’s not really all that shady, is it?

I TAG THEE

I would love for the sister-writer-duo Nyx and Marie to do this tag and also Caro!


I hope you enjoyed this tag and if you feel like doing it yourself, GO FOR IT! I’d love to chat some more in the comments and also feel free to ask me anything, if you want to know more!

June 2020 Wrap-Up

I don’t know what it was at this point, cause it could be a number of reasons if we are being honest, but June was also just yet another weird month. I didn’t read as much, but I am still very much on track with my Goodreads reading challenge (probably, because for once I didn’t overshoot with the goal), so let’s start with the usual – the books I’ve read:

Tyler Johnson Was Here       The Changeup (New Beginnings Book 1)

As per usual, click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy! My own reviews you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above.

So, what else is new? My country, like many others, has mostly reopened … everything (?) now. Numbers have gone up since then, but mostly in certain clusters and not everywhere. Considering that I am living in a city with about 2 million citizens, we’re doing okay? I’ve just lost all ability to gauge how things are going, because it’s been going on for so long now. I’ll just have to continue to be patient and try to be kind to myself and others.

Because June was so utterly unmotivated in terms of creativity, I decided to set up a challenge for myself. I am doing a 30 Day Art Challenge (daily updates on my Insta and Twitter account if you want to follow them). It’s nothing too out of the ordinary, basically I’m challenging myself to write and draw SOMETHING every day for 30 days. I don’t think I will count blog posts towards the word count, as I am trying to really actively work on the Football WIP, but I don’t need to do a full on watercolor portrait every single day. A simple pencil sketch will also do. I’m going to use the #Kats30DayArtChallenge, if anyone wants to join in or needs motivation.

If you missed the art I posted this past month, here’s a selection of the ones I did (and yes, I know that I am not great at taking pics of my art):

MY FAVOURITE THINGS

There were a couple of really, really great shows this past month and I had a lot of fun binging them. My brain is still trying to process the fact that Dark is now over, but I intend to talk about it in an upcoming post. However, I think, my greatest TV obsession is currently Stargirl.
It’s this mix of CW ridiculousness and DC aesthetic, but it actually has great character exposition and moves along at a speedy but not rushed pace. I am really into it (hence, the upcoming Stargirl portrait series I am working on).

As almost per usual, I’ve unfortunately still not been as active as I would have liked to be on everyone else’s blog. If you are up for it, feel free to share one of your own posts that you consider one of your faves from this past month in the comments below! I’d love to check it out!!

MY OTHER POSTS

VARIOUS POSTS AND TAGS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

TRAILER POSTS

I hope you have a great start into the month of July! Let’s chat about June if you want to! I’ll see you in the comments section.

Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag 2020

I have not done this tag regularly, but a lot of my friends are apparently way more devoted to (book) blogging than me and are blessing my timeline with their takes on the Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag every single year, which is a look at our reading so far! So, I wasn’t technically tagged this time around either, but I saw so many people do it, that I just decided to join in on the fun (as I tend to do bi-annually). I have seen the questions vary a bit, but simply went with the ones I used in my 2018 version of this.

BEST BOOK YOU’VE READ YET IN 2020

Normal PeopleI didn’t give Normal People the highest rating, but it sure is the one book that just sticks with me. I’ll just go about my day and be reminded about it in some way and then find myself thinking about the characters for hours again. It sure has made an impact. (Read my review here)

BEST SEQUEL YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2020

Ruthless Gods (Something Dark and Holy, #2)I haven’t read very many series this year so far, which thankfully makes answering all the easier. I read both the first book in the series, Wicked Saints, as well as the sequel, Ruthless Gods, in 2020 and I have no regrets. I don’t know what exactly it is about these books that fascinates me so much, but I am having the time of my life getting tortured by them.

NEW RELEASE YOU HAVEN’T READ YET BUT WANT TO

A Song Below WaterAlright, let’s not pretend that I am not always perpetually late to the party when it comes new releases. I almost want to call myself the queen of backlisted reads, but that would also not be entirely correct. I just don’t keep track of when things release, but just trust that I will find the right stuff eventually?
Anyway, I want to read A Song Below Water! I mean, yes please, set it in one of my homes away from home (Portland, Oregon) and fill it with sirens. I am so here for that!

MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR

Watch Over MeThere are a couple, but not a huge amount, of auto-buy authors out there for me. Nina LaCour is someone I’d read anything from. Give me a shopping list and I’d gladly take it. However, we are getting lucky and will have another emotionally charged and character driven release of hers coming up this year – Watch Over Me! I seriously cannot wait!!

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT

Again AgainIt wasn’t the worst thing on the planet, but I really expected more from Again Again by E. Lockhart. Having read several of her previous books, this was such a letdown in comparison. Something about it just didn’t connect. (Read my review here)

BIGGEST SURPRISE

Anna K: A Love Story (Anna K, #1)Describing why this was a surprise is a little difficult, but having neither watched or read Anna Karenina before and associating with an old-timey classic had me surprised how much I liked Anna K. But it was always obvious to be set in modern day and just be a fresh take in general, so I don’t know why I was a bit nervous? (Read my review here)

FAVOURITE NEW AUTHOR

Ben Philippe totally charmed me with his Field Guide to the North American Teenager and had me fall in love with his easy-flowing style of writing. He has another book scheduled to release later this year (Charming as a Verb) and yet another one for early 2021 (Sure, I’ll Be Your Black Friend) and I am just here for all of it. I am so glad I picked up his book!

Ben Philippe (Author of The Field Guide to the North American ...

NEWEST FICTIONAL CRUSH

Sorry to have to double down on an answer, but I kind of fell hard for Connell from Normal People. He was quiet and kind, genuinely just wanting people to like him and being afraid of what others might think of his choices. Sure, he had his flaws, but that just made him more real. The fact that they cast him perfectly in the TV adaptation with newcomer Paul Mescal was just the cherry on top.

NEWEST FAVOURITE CHARACTER

I don’t make character aesthetics (except for my own peeps) very often these days, but Darlington from Ninth House got one. That means A LOT in my book! I just like charming boys with the potential for darkness they don’t want.

There’s a lot of other characters I liked too, such as Serefin from Wicked Saints, Madison from The Field Guide to the North American Teenager, Pepper from Tweet Cute … I am bad at picking faves.

BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY

Tyler Johnson Was HereI don’t think I cried because of a book this year yet, but Tyler Johnson Was Here had me close to tears multiple times. The subject matter is bound to do that to you for sure. (Read my review here)

BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY

Tweet CuteTweet Cute made me so happy. I found it during my peak obsession with Bon Appetit videos, so, the food component, twitter feud and flirty banter was EVERYTHING to me. The characters were so funny and I just had a great time with that book. (Read my review here)

FAVOURITE BOOK TO FILM ADAPTATION

I watched Little Women this year and even if I haven’t read the book, it’s my favourite adaptation and film and overall story. I just love it with all my heart.

FAVOURITE POST YOU HAVE DONE THIS YEAR

I loved doing a series of posts where I talked about which book, movies and TV shows I made you watch and read. It reminds me that what I am doing here isn’t just shouting into the void, but actually talking to people and sharing interests. It warms my heart every single time.

MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK YOU’VE BOUGHT THIS YEAR

Aphrodite Made Me Do ItExcuse me while I lust over the cover for Aphrodite Made Me Do It. Poetry collections often have the prettiest designs! Obviously, this book is also great on the inside, but I find the cover to be a real eye catcher.

WHAT BOOKS DO YOU NEED TO READ BY THE END OF THE YEAR

If We Were VillainsDark Age (Red Rising Saga, #5)As always, I continue to work on the physical copies I have at home. There’s books that might remain unread on my shelves forever, but some I REALLY want to get to this year are If We Were Villains and Dark Age. Let’s hope that Dark Age doesn’t actually take me the entire year …

I TAG THEE

I tag whoever wants to do this as well! YOU!!!


What did you think of my answers and the general mid-year reading recap? Let’s chat!

The Changeup by Nicole Falls (Book Review)

Publisher: Self-published
Page Count
: 144

CW: explicit sex scenes

Lately, a lot of conversations have centered around black pain, but there are also many stories of black joy out there and we should talk about them as well! When I saw the cover of this book and read the blurb, I was immediately reminded of one of my all time favourite sports dramas on TV, Pitch (seriously, if you haven’t watched that show yet, it’s SO good! It’s now streaming on hulu and if it makes numbers we might get another season even after FOX cancelling it). Having a black woman make it in Baseball is just always something worth writing and talking about. There was no way I could pass up on this book based on that alone and I am glad I read it, because it was such a cute story.

As you could likely tell from the very short page count, this is a fast read. You accompany Geffri on a whirlwind of a summer where things just get progressively more awesome for her. It’s rare for me to read a book where the main character has to face so few struggles, but I am definitely not complaining. It’s refreshing to not be confronted with unnecessary drama and miscommunication, but just a wave of support and good things happening.

I loved how deep it went into Baseball sometimes. While I enjoy the idea of this particular sport, I don’t know heaps about it, but I never felt overwhelmed or confused by anything I was reading. Obviously, I cannot attest on how accurate any of it was, but I could sense a deep appreciation and fondness for the sport, which makes me think that the author knows what they are talking about.
Geffri had that really special talent and I liked when we went a bit into how she struggles with praise and pressure as well. She seemed so cool and collected most times that those moments grounded her. I think we’ve all felt like that sometimes and stood in our own way.

Being singled out for excellence always caused me to put undue pressure and stress on myself which ultimately led to me being … where I was currently – plagued by doubts of whether or not I could really pull this off.

Another thing that was really cute, were the various relationships. I feel like some things were teased only and could result in spin-off books, but maybe that’s just the vibe I was getting. Geffri had such a great group of friends and such a deep and loving relationship with her very supportive dad. I loved that for her!

Again, I am sorry for comparing it to Pitch, because I do realise it’s very much its own story, but it’s really just a huge compliment from my side. Geffri and Noah, with their competitive flirtation, definitely gave me Ginny and Mike vibes (if Mike hadn’t been a slightly older white dude). There was mutual respect and common ground that would have likely been a great base for a friendship, but those folks were just too darn attracted to one other to keep their hands off each other. The progression of Geffri and Noah’s relationship was pretty quick, but not in an uncomfortable or rushed way. Sometimes you just hit it off with a person and while it got steamy, they also just talked a lot and got to know each other, so I have no quarrels with that at all.

There really isn’t that much more to say. I liked reading this story and I think we can all need something that is just so effortlessly positive in our lives every now and then. While I do think that it could have gone into depth more in certain areas had it been longer, I have no regrets in picking it up.

Fazit: 3/5 stars! If you enjoy happy romance set in the world of sports, this is for you!

Do you think this book might be for you? Were you as obsessed with Pitch as I was back when it first aired? Let’s chat!

Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles (Book Review)

Publisher: Little Brown Books
Page Count
: 305

TW: police brutality, murder, violence, racism

Tyler Johnson Was Here was on my TBR before it ever even got released. When I saw the cover and read the blurb, I knew this was yet another very important read. It’s not the first time I am tackling the issue of police brutality through fiction on my blog. The thing is, those reads are never easy (and they’re not supposed to be), but that’s not the reason I hadn’t gotten to Tyler Johnson Was Here earlier. I don’t know why it slipped through my fingers, but the murder of George Floyd and the protests that followed in the US and all over the world were a terrible reminder of how this is still very much the reality for Black people and people of color out there. So, I felt more compelled than ever to finally get to this book.

Jay Coles does not shy away from making it very clear that police brutality is a constant companion in some people’s lives. I hate the thought that children who should be carefree and playing with friends have to be educated by their parents about how to behave when the police stops them. How they could have done not even the slightest thing wrong, but everything they say or do could be construed as dangerous at the whim of some stranger. While most of the novels I have read before focus on one specific event of police brutality, Coles shows several incidents, each one shaking you to the core alongside the characters. So, while the main turning point that is mentioned in the blurb “only” occurs at the half-way point, you get this build-up of this constant companion of fear.

The cop yells, “Everybody shut the fuck up.” He looks at the three of us. “You three better get out of here before you’re next.” And now I’m wondering: What does next mean? Next to be treated like a punching bag or an animal? Next to lose my life?

I found myself very quickly attached to Marvin, the main protagonist. He is gentle, kind and smart and has a voice I loved to read about. Tyler is different and similar to him, two sides of the same coin. They were on the verge of growing apart a little bit, but still had that unbreakable bond. Marvin’s sadness was palpable on every single page while reading and I was close to shedding tears more than once. I never doubted that he was stronger than he thought himself capable of (albeit sad he had to be), but he was so incredibly brave towards the end. It was great to see his development throughout the story and see him stand up for what he believes in.

Yes, I’m willing to die for this cause, but the fact that there’s even a chance that I’ll die, become a hashtag, be remembered briefly, and then be completely forgotten and marked as a statistic fucking terrifies me.

I only wish I would have learned as much or at least a bit more about his friends and love interest. I understand that his mind was very much occupied by a traumatic event and I could see how much he cared for and appreciated the people in his life. But still, they fell a bit flat for me in comparison to Marvin, who we got a great feel for! Nonetheless, I enjoyed the focus on community and how it can be a source of strength in such trying times.

Some days, when I do, I just stare at the blackness I see in the mirror hanging on my closet door. I tell myself that I love this skin, that I’ve always loved my blackness, that if the world doesn’t love me, I will love myself for the both of us. After reminding myself that I matter, that I’ve always mattered, that Tyler mattered and still does, I make a promise to myself. I promise to never be silent about things that matter.

I don’t think the story needed a stronger focus on the trial, because the outcome wasn’t what was most important to Marvin in the end. He found his meaning of freedom and what mattered most to him through other means and in honoring his brother in his own way. Still, I’d like to say something: Video evidence should not be necessary to get people heard or to get a conviction or even as much as an arrest. People should not have to be excellent in order to not get killed by the people who were supposed to protect them. It all makes me so very angry, but I’m not surprised anymore. If you are still surprised by any of this, you haven’t been paying attention, because this has been happening for a while now.

Fazit: 4.5/5 stars! Another very important read!

If you want to engage with this topic through fiction some more, here are a couple books I have read and can recommend (as I am sure there are many more that I have not yet read that are really great):

The Hate U Give (The Hate U Give, #1)          Dear Martin (Dear Martin, #1)          All American Boys

Having said all that, I also encourage you to check out some non-fiction books. I have to work harder on that myself, but I found Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (part memoir, part essay) very insightful. I have also heard great things abut Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad.

More resources: https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/


Have you read Tyler Johnson Was Here? Do you plan on picking it up? Let’s chat!

Even More Songs I Wish Were Books!

I have done this before (check out the old post here) and everyone always really seemed to like me sharing some of my at times strange and at times super mainstream music selection. Just to summarize what this post is, I will be sharing songs that I think either make for a great story based on the lyrics or the music video and then describe what I’d expect the book to be like in a couple sentences. I hope you all enjoy and feel inspired to maybe do the same!

Hard Place by H.E.R.

This makes for the perfect base for a toxic relationship novel. I’d imagine this to be more in the adult genre than YA, but it could be on the cusp between the two. Either way, I think it shows the struggles of loving someone deeply, putting them before yourself and losing bits of yourself through that, because nothing ever changes and resentment grows. The challenge and ultimate goal would be to break free from being stuck and accepting heartbreak (the hard place) rather than a love that does you wrong.

 

Pleader by alt-J

When I first saw this music video, which is basically a short film in itself, I was so mesmerized. I wouldn’t want it to be the exact same glum thing as the video (which is based on Tarkovsky’s The Sacrifice along with the music), but here’s what I imagine: A small, close-knit community has been prophesied a life altering extinction-level event (the meteor), but they manage to save one child. The story follows that kid as it grows up in an unfamiliar environment and as to reclaim its roots.

 

I Lost a Friend by FINNEAS

I just think there aren’t nearly enough books about friend-break-ups, which can honestly be just as heartbreaking and earth-shattering as romantic break-ups. I don’t know what specifics I would give for this book, I’d just like people to talk about this more, because not everyone has the same best friend from High School to old age?

 

IDK You Yet by Alexander 23

In my head, this is not a contemporary novel, but something with Fantasy or Science Fiction elements instead. The main character would go through a hard time (“cause lately it’s been hard”) and maybe they’re not human (let’s take the lines “They’re sellin’ me for parts, And I don’t wanna be modern art” literally). An old model of an android, forgotten by humanity and used for parts, yearning for a place in this world, until they meet the person that fits them (does not need to be romantic).

 

Now You’re Gone by Tom Walker feat. Zara Larsson

Again, this is very much inspired by the video. Let’s make him a real magician, constantly putting the life of his true love and assistant at risk, because he wants more global recognition. His mania and drives him to desperation, making it impossible for her to stay. I’d imagine this to be the kind of cruel book with an open end where you don’t find out if she survived the last trick or not.

 

Devil Town by Bright Eyes

This is a comedy about a person who’s living in “Devil Town” and all their friends are vampires as well as themselves, but due to some curse, they keep forgetting it and always have to rediscover it again. Underlying messages about consumerism and the darker side of human nature are an option, but it would generally be on the light-hearted side.

 

Graveyard by Halsey

Honestly, lesbian ghost love story and have it set at a deserted amusement park. Enough said.

 

Every Time I Breathe by Arlissa

I just want this to be a love story spanning over decades, where one tiny decision in the grand scheme of things tore them apart while they are still pinning for each other. (Or, considering it’s connection with Charmed just more Hacy fan fiction. I’d be down either way)

 

Play With Fire by Sam Tinnesz feat. Yacht Money

A firefighter with secrets they can’t share with anyone else. They live on the edge, “playing with fire”, but are at a breaking point when they become too reckless and endanger their entire team. Will they be able to overcome their need for adrenaline?

 


Gosh, I hope I articulated myself alright with some of these, but I’m pretty sure everything sounded better in my head? What did you think of my selection and book wishes? Let’s talk!

May 2020 Wrap-Up

I usually start these posts by just jumping right into what I have read, but it wouldn’t sit right with me to do that amidst everything that’s happening. If you follow me on Twitter, the social media platform I’m probably most active on, I hope I’ve made it clear and obvious where I stand. I stand with Black Lives Matter and all intersecting identities and I beg of you to educate yourself and support Black people during this time. We are now entering Pride month, which obviously also deserves attention, but you can do both! You can show up for the LGBTQ+ community as well as people of colour!

Also, please, don’t add to the exhaustion and pain by demanding more emotional labour from them, but instead look up resources yourself. Staying silent in the face of oppression is complicity. There are so many links and threads all over the internet for you to get information from. Click here for ways to help right now and here for tips on allyship! (This is by no means all there is out there, but it’s a start.)

No one can do everything, but everyone can do something!

Having said all that, I’m now not so smoothly transitioning to the books I read. It wasn’t the most productive month in terms of reading, but my mind was really occupied with other things. For the first time since June 2017, I’ve actually reviewed an ARC though, so I don’t know if you want to count that as a win or not?

  • Lore Olympus (Season 1) by Rachel Smythe (5 stars)
    Lore Olympus is a web comic about the story of Hades and Persephone. It’s stylish, modern and drama-filled, but also cute. I loved it! You can check it out here.
  • Again Again by E. Lockhart (3.5 stars)
  • Normal People by Sally Rooney (4 stars)

Lore Olympus, Season 1 Again Again Normal People

As per usual, click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy! My own reviews you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above.

I’m not going to lie to you, May was a tough month. I felt like there was blowback after blowback on a personal as well as global level. My country is actually reopening pretty much everything mid-June though and I’d like to think we are ready for that step. Still, I feel like this year will stay with a lot of people and no one will be able to escape it unscathed entirely.

Wow, I’ve rarely sounded this glum, but I’ve tried to stay as busy as possible, just finding activities for myself to do since I didn’t have a job to bury myself in. Like the month before, I’ve continued writing my Football WIP and am currently at 21.5K words. It’s not exactly double what I had last month, but’s progress and I’m very proud of it.

I actually did a thread of aesthetics for all my characters, even the ones that hadn’t been mentioned at the time. You can check it out here:

And then, on top of that, I also started drawing my own characters from the Football WIP. Some looked better than others, but I’m generally really pleased. It’s only three so far, but I think I’m going to continue with the rest of the Football team and other side characters.

I did some more drawings of various actors and actresses. You can check them out on my instagram account here. I am not too happy with the quality of the photos I take sometimes, as the colors often look washed out and less vibrant or clear than in real life, but I’m learning and maybe going to share close ups or random shots of my notebooks in the future, instead of a head on photo.

MY FAVOURITE THINGS

I’ve unfortunately not been as active as I would have liked to be on everyone else’s blog. If you are up for it, feel free to share one of your own posts that you consider one of your faves from this past month in the comments below! I’d love to check it out!! But here are a couple I liked:

  • The Orang-utan Librarian wondered if reviews can truly be unbiased (spoiler alert: no)
  • Marie @Drizzle and Hurricane Books is one of my oldest blogging buddies and she took a look at how much this community and platform of book blogging as changed in the past 5 years. (Yep, we are blogosauruses over here)
  • Lois @My Midnight Musings talked about SciFi and Fantasy books she would like to see adapted to the small and big screen and I couldn’t agree more with … ALL of it!!!
  • Trang @Bookidote clarified what it is a blogger actually does and how much work goes into it.

MY OTHER POSTS

VARIOUS POSTS AND TAGS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

TRAILER POSTS

I hope you are all taking care of yourselves and allow yourselves to take a step back when things become too overwhelming! Whatever June will be (let’s hope it’s good), we’re going to get through it!

Normal People: Book vs. TV Show

Normal People has been all the rage when it first released with people binging it up and down. Since the book it’s based on is also a bestseller, I can only say I missed out on that hype as well. Late to the party, as I tend to be quite a lot sometimes, I really wanted to catch up on the phenomenon and indulged in both recently. So, what else would be the perfect subject for yet another book vs. TV show post?

General Plot

Connell and Marianne have known each other since school, running in different circles and yet finding and undeniable connection between them. Even when life takes them into separate directions, they find themselves gravitating towards each other continuously. Told through snapshots of specific moments and turning points in their lives, often with time jumps of several months in between them, you get to witness their unending love, their platonic and romantic entanglement.

TW: emotional, physical and sexual abuse, depression, suicide and suicidal ideation, anxiety/panic attacks (+for the show especially: graphic nude scenes, full frontal nudity)

Book

Normal PeopleI went into this book without any sort of expectation. I might have come across the trailer at that point, but I’m consuming so much media, I hardly remembered anything. I was a blank slate going into Normal People.

Reading it ended up being exhausting and frustrating and intimate and soul-crushing and strange. I was not ready for the harshness that the reality of the situations brought with them. In the beginning, I was too distracted by the format and lack of quotation marks (which I really, really missed) to realise just how deep this story was going to cut.

It’s rare that you find someone you click with on such a profound level. Connell and Marianne could be their best and their worst selves with each other and I found very little judgment that came with it. They were infuriatingly frustrating in that they lacked the communication skills to just tell the other person outright what they wanted, when all they seemed to need was each other, happy. A connection like that is nonetheless rare and even when they, once again, messed everything up with each other and hurt deeply, it was undeniable that they preferred to be in each other’s lives.

It’s a tough read, because it feels truthful and real in a frightening way. The situations were always portrayed as vulnerable and ugly, but also warm and hopeful in far fewer but still existing moments.

This book carves a hole into your soul and leaves you with an empty pit inside you. There’s simply nothing there afterwards and you want to fill it with something, but just like the characters have proven time and time again, it’s really difficult to find something that will actually make you feel better instead of just more miserable. I don’t know if this open end was genius or the final cruel gut punch. It leaves it up the reader to interpret whether happiness is fleeting and we should appreciate the moments we get, or whether this is not the end. Not truly at least.

Fazit: 4/5 stars! The only reason I subtracted a star is because this book made me feel miserable in so many moments, but that’s a very personal reason.

Page Count: 290
Publisher: Faber & Faber

*click on the cover to get redirected to Goodreads*

TV Show

For those of you who know me, you are well aware that I watch a lot of shows and movies that have been adapted from books (sometimes even vice-versa), but this one truly hit me in an unexpected way. It’s rare to see something so flawlessly translate to the screen, where the vibe, the expressions, the dialogue, the atmosphere and the feeling remain exactly the same as I had felt them during my reading experience.

The casting of (at least to me) rather unknown Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones was a bold choice that paid of in its entirety. The show hinges a lot on their talent, but they were magnificent in their roles. Their performances felt authentic and raw, dragging you into the tumultuous emotional life of the characters even deeper. There was something so utterly intimate in the way they portrayed Connell and Marianne, I would have believed they were those people instead of acting if anyone had claimed it to be the case.

There’s a couple things that are hard to watch. All these moments are existent in the book as well, but there is something so very different about imagining it and seeing it actually happen in front of you.

The only real difference I could spot was maybe Marianne’s mother. It’s not that she was necessarily a better person, but while I found her completely uncaring and cruel in the book, I thought she had glimpses of thought and care for her daughter on the show.

I must give great credit to the various directors of the episode, editors and just all crew involved. Whoever did the score (actually let me look that up real quick to tell you) … it’s several people, but the score is comprised of mostly acoustic and instrumental tracks, with some covers here and there that fit the atmosphere perfectly. So, whoever did the song selection, you also did a phenomenal job! Everything about the show managed to convey emotions, be it in the framing of the shots, the music, the silences, the colors, the set design or looks interchanged between the actors. Everything felt intentional and there’s very few instances that don’t manage to hit home.

From the massive response the show has received, I can tell that there is a certain want or need for a second season. This sequel would be completely unrelated to the book, because it finishes the exact same way as the show has. Open, free to interpretation, mournful. I would be interested to see this end on a happier note, although I am not sure that’s what the story is destined to be. For now, the cast has said there is no definite talk of a continuation. Maybe that could change with the increased interest?

Until then, you can lust after Connell’s chain with me and the rest of the internet. I love how iconic it has become and that it has its own Instagram profile. Even more so do I love the fact that Paul Mescal is raffling off one of his chains for a good cause. You have until the 8th of June, 2020, to try your luck here. Paul chose a great organisation, Pieta, which provides free therapy to those engaging in self-harm, with suicidal ideation, or bereaved by suicide in Ireland.

Conclusion

There is no better or worse in this case. I have rarely encountered such a faithful adaptation that doesn’t just match the actual dialogue, but also manages to convey the exact same vibe of the story. While I do think that the book adds a bit of inner monologue that’s helpful in some scenes, and I’d therefore recommend reading it first, they are equally as good as the other.


Have you read Normal People? Have you watched it? Are you as obsessed with Connell’s chain? Let’s chat!

The “I Should Have Read That” Book Tag

I wasn’t very consequent with my Friday is tag day proclamation, but the lovely Kirstie Ellen @Upside-Down Books tagged me for the “I Should Have Read That” Book Tag and it seemed deliciously fun. I feel like I’ll have to expose myself with some of those answers, so, I want to thank her for the opportunity and hope you all enjoy it!

RULES

  • Thank the person who tagged you and link back to their post
  • Link to the creator’s blog (booksnest.co.uk) in your post
  • Answer the questions below
  • Tag 10 others to take part (I’ll just leave this up to whoever wants to do it)
  • ENJOY THE TAG!

A book that a certain friend is always telling you to read

Beartown (Beartown, #1)Alright, so, Lois never specifically urged me to read Beartown in any way, but she knows me so well and every time I see her talk about it, I just want to pick it up right away … I just haven’t even bought it yet …

For real though, it’s a small town sports drama with deep human emotions and I just know I’d be so here for it!

A book that’s been on your TBR forever and yet you still haven’t picked it up

Testament of YouthI actually have briefly picked it up, because I adore the movie with all my heart, but I never made it all the way through Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain. It’s quite heavy and since they are her diaries, it’s all real life stuff and I just couldn’t … I think I’d rather rewatch the movie.

A book in a series you’ve started,  but haven’t gotten around to finishing yet

Dark Age by Pierce Brown is still chilling on my shelf. That book scares me SO much! I don’t know why, but it’s just MASSIVE and I haven’t really read any big books like that for a long time and I know it’s likely going to wreck me emotionally on top of it all too.

Just look at it compared to some other books on my TBR …

A classic you’ve always liked the sound of, but never actually read

War and Peace? I don’t know … it’s just that I know quite firmly that I don’t enjoy very many classics, but I quite like movie adaptations of Russian materials, so that’s one of the few I could think of.

A popular book that it seems everyone but you has read

HA! I know that one! Harry Potter, and I truly mean the entire series. Sometimes (looking at you Percy Jackson), I start a series and then life gets in the way and I forget to continue, but I’ve literally never picked up the Harry Potter books and at this point, I just don’t see it happening.

A book that inspired a film/TV adaptation that you really love, but you just haven’t read it yet

The GoldfinchLet’s not go overboard by saying I really loved loved The Goldfinch, but I loved the trailer? I enjoyed the movie, I just thought it would have been a better fit for a limited series or some other longer format. Anyway, haven’t read it, but can definitely see the appeal.

A book you see all over Instagram but haven’t picked up yet

The Priory of the Orange TreeHmmm … a confession that wasn’t even prompted her but that is coming regardless is that I’m not really in the bookstagram realm. A book I kept seeing everywhere, especially on Twitter too was The Priory of the Orange Tree and it’s another very daunting size.

 

 

 

 


I TAG THEE

I haven’t really been up my blogging game, so I’d like to leave it up to anyone who sees this tag and wants to do it. CONSIDER YOURSELF TAGGED!


What did you think of this post? Can you relate? Are you shocked? Let’s talk!