Friday, April 20, 2018

March Recap

highlights + notes
  • My mom's youngest sister and her family confirmed that they're flying out from England to attend our wedding here!!! I rarely get to see them, so this means *a lot* to me. I think they'll be spending two or three extra weeks here too ☺️
  • ALL THE WEDDING STUFF // Starting pre-marital counseling, a FaceTime call with our videographer (my fiancรฉ didn't have time so I had to do it alone ๐Ÿ˜ฌ), visiting Crate & Barrel to put stuff on our registry, and a food tasting!
  • I'm starting my third year of women's mentoring at church, and we'll be going through a handful of Psalms with the help of Sing a New Song by Lydia Brownbeck. This makes me both nervous and excited because 1) poetry is the hardest for me to study and 2) there are *150* psalms but 3) I'm not doing it alone! I get to hear from other sisters!

books i read ๐Ÿ“š

FIVE books read + 1,255 pages

If you want more reading statistics + to read my reviews, check out my post on books I read in March!

favorite music ๐ŸŽต

movies watched ๐ŸŽž️
  • Black Panther (2018) // SO GOOD.
  • Brink (1998) // I'm hoping to watch/re-watch all the Disney Channel Original Movies this year, so I started with one I've seen parts of. This was so cheesy but because I grew up while DCOM was becoming a thing, I love it for the nostalgia. Also, my fiancรฉ is the same age as me but he hasn't watched a single one of these?! So of course I'm exposing him to my childhood, haha.
  • Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017) // I was a little skeptical going in, but WOW this was so much fun and hilarious. A lot less creepy than the original, from what I remember! I have never been a Jack Black fan, but I'll make an exception for him in this one.
  • Ready Player One (2018) // I haven't read the book yet (๐Ÿ™Š) so I can't compare the two, but I really liked it. The story was pretty immersive, even though I didn't understand a lot of the gamer references. There were some parts where I literally gasped out loud and looked my fiancรฉ with excitement because of the twists that happened. I will eventually read the book, hopefully soon so I can spot all the differences!

I thought I only watched two movies this month but wow, four! I normally don't watch a lot of TV or movies, but my fiancรฉ loves it so it's what we do when we get the chance to hang out. These were all movies I watched with him, haha.

things i wrote ๐Ÿ“

favorite posts from around the web
I only have one for the month of March: "Everyone is Going Through Something" by Kevin Love, a basketball player for the Cleveland Cavaliers. To see him honestly speaking (well, writing!) on his mental health while society holds him at such a high standard speaks so loudly to me.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Books I Read in March

quick statistics ๐Ÿ“ˆ
one anthology, two contemporaries, one faith-based non-fiction, and one fantasy
one 2 stars, one 3.5 stars, two 4 stars, and one 5 stars
three YA, one middle grade, and one adult
four physical copies and one ebook
four women* and one male
one 2018 release
five books read
1255 pages

Meet Cute: Some people are destined to meet // 3.5 stars
One of the best anthologies I've read thus far! But I'm definitely a little biased because contemporary is my favorite genre, haha ... and the only other anthologies I've read are the ones Stephanie Perkins edited ๐Ÿ™ˆ Either way, there's your disclaimer and my recommendation to pick this one up if it interests you! My top three favorite stories were The Way We Love Here by Dhonielle Clayton, Oomph by Emery Lord, and The Unlikely Likelihood of Falling in Love by Jocelyn Davies. I shared my thoughts for all fourteen stories in a separate review here, if you want to read more!

Not Now, Not Ever by Lily Anderson // 4 stars
This is the companion novel to The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You, which you *must* read — one of my all-time favorites! Not Now, Not Ever follows a new character, Elliot, but many (if not all?) of the characters from Lily's debut novel make an appearance. And they aren't introduced right away (Elliot meets them over the course of the story) so it was fun to guess who was who, by how she described them! The love interest is quirky and quiet-cute, which I loved ☺️ What this book includes: nerdy banter + so many laugh-out-loud moments. Although I was, initially, a little disappointed at the ending, I chatted with Lily Anderson last month and thought her explanation was perfect: some things are open-ended because life is still happening, and there's not always a happy ending right away.

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green // 4 stars
I haven't enjoyed the majority of John Green's books — The Fault in Our Stars was the only one I loved — but this one surprised me! (The only reason why I didn't give it a full five stars was because I couldn't decide if I liked this book or not until the last fifty or so pages.) Turtles All the Way Down was less about plot and more about character, which I normally don't prefer *but* this was done well. I don't have OCD and anxiety in the exact same way Aza does, so reading her thoughts helped me understand what she was feeling. And I think this is why #OwnVoices books are so important — it's not trying to get as close to the feeling as possible, it IS the feeling. It's allowing us to step into another's shoes, someone who is putting their own experience into words.

"I would've told her that Davis and I never talked much, or even looked at each other, but it didn't matter,
because we were looking at the same sky together, which is maybe more intimate than eye contact anyway.
Anybody can look at you. It's quite rare to find someone who sees the same world you see." (p.9)

"I have the soul of a private jet owner, and the life of a public transportation rider." (p.43)

Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin // 5 stars
Since some of the eighth grade girls at church and I have been meeting to study the Bible, I wanted to re-read this to refresh my memory. If you are a believer and aren't quite sure where or how to start examining Scripture, I highly recommend picking this one up. Jen Wilkin breaks down sound study into five P's: study with purpose, perspective, patience, process, and prayer. She's quick to the point and honest in sharing her past and present experiences. It may be short, but there is so much wisdom packed in. This is one I'll definitely be re-reading over and over again in my lifetime!

"The heart cannot love what the mind does not know." (p. 31)

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle // 2 stars
What a strange book! By no means was this a difficult book to read, but UNDERSTANDING it is a whole 'nother story. The pacing was slow, which made it so tough to follow. I felt like this whole thing could've been condensed into fifty pages. It pulls verses from the Bible but I honestly had no idea what it was alluding to. There are, however, some good things — like CALVIN! I was drawn to him from the moment he shares a little about his relationship with his mom and family: "But I love her. That's the funny part of it. I love them all, and they don't give a hoot about me. Maybe that's why I call when I'm not going to be home. Because I care." (p.37) I do admit I'm a little curious to find out what happens ... but not enough to continue reading the entire series, since there are so many other ones I want to start and/or finish. I can see why people enjoy it though — I think it's just too abstract for me.

* All of the stories in Meet Cute: Some people are destined to meet were written by women.


What did you read in March, and which book was your favorite?

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

April Goals + TBR

this month's goals (mostly wedding related) ๐Ÿ’ช

  • Create and complete our wedding website + double-check registries // This includes uploading all of our guests' information, writing "how we met" and "the proposal" stories, asking our bridesmaids and groomsmen to send us a short bio of themselves + our friendships ... we need to have this up and ready before we send out our invitations, since guests will need to visit the website to RSVP.
  • Finalize wedding invitations + get them printed and mailed out // I'm definitely late on this because my hope was to have them printed by the end of March. But I've finished designing them, so I'm just waiting a couple of days before I look at it again and make sure it's perfect. If you are or know a designer, you know what I'm thinking ... gotta look at it with a fresh mind on a separate day.
  • Decide on all floral items + centerpieces // It's tough to make a decision because there are so. many. choices. but I just have to pick and move on. I met with my florist in January and am still "thinking" about it ... *headdesk*
  • Compile and print out all the photos for Joe's wedding gift! // No specifics in case he takes a peep at my blog, haha.
  • Update my "books read in 2018" Twitter thread // If there is one blog-related thing I want to maintain this year, please let it be this! To be added: Not Now, Not Ever; Turtles All the Way Down; Women of the Word; and A Wrinkle in Time.

april tbr ๐Ÿ“š

I committed the crime of watching Ready Player One before finishing the book by Ernest Cline ๐Ÿ™ˆI normally don't do this at all (I still haven't seen The Book Thief, Big Little Lies, or The Handmaid's Tale!!!) + I've literally been plugging my ears whenever the trailer comes up but I caved because my fiancรฉ was curious and we just got MoviePasses. I don't mind too much though, because I'll be able to spot all the differences since the movie is fresh in my mind. Crossing my fingers that I won't be disappointed!

I interviewed Lily Anderson earlier in March and she so kindly gifted me an ARC of her upcoming book, Undead Girl Gang! It's about this girl who, using witchcraft, brings her friend back from the dead to find out who murdered her and some other girls. Lily's editor and/or agent approached her with the idea of a witch book (so cool!) and if you didn't know: I absolutely loved her previous books, The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You and Not Now, Not Ever.

Maurene Goo and Mary E. Pearson are making a stop in my city during the Fierce Reads tour in May, so I want to read I Believe in a Thing Called Love and The Kiss of Deception before they visit. I'm 70 pages into I Believe in a Thing Called Love and it's hilarious and so easy to read. (So much secondhand embarrassment from Desi, the main character!) Also, I know I'm in the middle of what-feels-like ten million fantasy series, but what's one more ¯\_(ใƒ„)_/¯

Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi — another fantasy series I want to start but will probably end up finishing in 2050 if I live that long. This one is the first in Rick Riordan's imprint under Disney! I recently realized I am incredibly drawn to FIRSTS. I like to start things. This one fits the bill in so many ways — first book in a new series, first time reading a book by Roshani Chokshi, first book in a new imprint ... let's do this!

I added The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn to this list just because I wanted to read more psychological thrillers. But if I don't get to it, IT'S ALL GOOD! As long as I get to the other ones ๐Ÿ˜‚


Okay friends, tell me what you're reading this month! Will we be reading any of the same books?
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