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Monday, February 1, 2016

January 2016 Recap


January was a rough month for a number of reasons, but I can happily say that I'm okay now and can look forward to all the things that are happening in February. For the past couple of months, I've felt like I am just waiting for a new job so my life can continue on. Luckily, I made it to the second interview for a position at a company I'm really interested in! I was told that I'd hear back by early next week at the latest, so I'm crossing my fingers for this opportunity :)

There were a couple of days that weren't terrible though, so I am really thankful I can one day look back at this month and think of only the good things.

  • Spending New Year's Eve at Disneyland — it's really not something I would recommend (there were SO many people) but it was fun to count down and celebrate right after riding Hyperspace Mountain.
  • Attending NightLife — California's Academy of Sciences holds an event every Thursday night for those over 21, so I decided to join a couple of my friends going on the 7th. We got to watch a show at the Planetarium, observe jellyfish, and experience San Francisco's two biggest earthquakes in a simulator.
  • Making minestrone — I know this one is kind of silly, but minestrone's my favorite soup and I couldn't not add it. My boyfriend came over to cook for my family again and we followed a Food Network recipe! It smelled so good and was delicious too.
  • LA Dance Magic (LADM) — My boyfriend's sister is a dancer, so we decided to support her and watch her compete! I am probably the world's most terrible dancer, so I'm always excited to attend these things. And by that, I mean watching people do things I 100% cannot do :p

Favorites: First & Then by Emma Mills, The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski

Books read in January: 6
Pages read in January: 1,959

Seriously ... I'm Kidding is the first audiobook I have ever listened to, and I found it to be just okay. I'm generally a fan of Ellen DeGeneres and her show (though not a huge one) but it wasn't what I was expecting. First & Then and Reign of Shadows reviews are coming very soon (sorry for not posting any in January!) so you can look forward to that. But spoiler alert: I LOVED FIRST & THEN SO MUCH.

Poison Princess was another I listened to on audiobook, and it was pretty bad. I was cringing the whole way through. Thankfully, I smartened up after reading PP and chose a book I knew I would love — and that, I did. I flew through The Winner's Crime. It was beautifully written but a painful read. Do not read when you are emotional.

Lumberjanes, Vol. 2: Friendship to the Max
I wasn't sure how I felt about this series after reading the first volume, but Friendship to the Max was fairly enjoyable. Whereas the first one left me in a bit of confusion, this one tied up a lot of loose ends. I would highly recommend reading the first and second volumes back-to-back, since it feels like the same story arc. There wasn't anything I disliked, but there wasn't much I liked either. The best thing going for this series is the emphasis on friendship, which is displayed very well in all the characters.

Alex + Ada, Vol. 2
A guy's grandma buys him a girl robot to use and fall in love with — how strange is that? But what makes it interesting is that Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn explore the idea of robots being more than just robots. What would happen if they could think for themselves? The art is nice but not spectacular, and I felt there were parts when I was just waiting for things to happen. I will, however, finish the series (I think the third volume is the last, anyway.) It'll be interesting because there's still a lot more to the story.

  • First book purchased this year = Truthwitch. I wanted to go and get it signed at the PassTruth tour event in my city, but I had previous obligations and wasn't able to attend. Still, I'm happy knowing that most readers love it so I'll get around to it one day!
  • I won a Twitter giveaway (hosted by Sarah from What Sarah Read) and won these cute little CRAFTEDVAN BOOKMARKS!!!
  • Sense & Sensibility ended up at my door because 1) it plays a part in First & Then by Emma Mills, and 2) it's a read-along book in March for Reads with Friends :)

I meant to start the year off strong, but I didn't post anything aside from my bookish + blogging goals for the year. Yikes. But coming soon: Love-a-Thon (!!!), at least two reviews, and videos!

  • New Girl — If you need a great show to watch, please start New Girl. You will thank me later. I've loved it since it first aired, but I stopped after season three for no reason. Netflix has now released the entire fourth season, so you know ... I binge-watched that. Of course. I love all the quirky characters, and it is a show I can (and will) watch over and over again.
  • All I Ask by Adele — I love a good song accompanied by the piano. Part of the reason I keep listening to this one is because it's fun to sing, but also THAT KEY CHANGE. And just how perfectly it builds.
  • Star Wars — Yes, yes. I've finally taken the time to watch the Star Wars movies. I still have yet to watch Episode III, but they've all been great. Baby Anakin is so cute (no, Google autocorrect, I meant so with three o's. It's supposed to be "SOOO" instead of so, okay?) and Jar Jar Binks is WEIRD!!!
  • And now that we're talking about Star Wars, I have a lot of feelings about this Star Wars in 99 Seconds video. Jon Cozart is already my obsession all year round, so him + this song = everything.



Books I'm looking forward to this month:
  • Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys — a story that takes place during World War II
  • Starflight by Melissa Landers — a space opera? I'm not sure about the opera part but I'm all about space right now so it doesn't matter to me, I'll read it anyway
  • The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine — a Snow White retelling
  • The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury — an Aladdin retelling (that Sarah from What Sarah Read already read and LOVED!)
  • Amulet, Book 7: Firelight by Kazu Kibuishi — another addition to an amazing fantasy graphic novel series
Okay guys, I'm done talking in type so it's your turn — what was your favorite book this past month? Did you buy any new releases? HOW MANY OF YOU WATCH NEW GIRL?! What are you planning to read in February?

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