Hello, friends! It’s been… quite a while.
In my last post, I said that I would try not to disappear… but then I proceeded to go on a 4 month hiatus. So much has happened since then—including me trying to draft numerous blog posts that I just ended up never posting—but I’ve decided to finally come back to blogging and thought I would chat with you all today about what’s been going on with me in the past few months!
Because 4 months is a long time and I tend to write long wrap-ups, I’ll try my best not to make this post extremely boring by only discussing the major things!! But I’m truly so glad to be back because I missed blogging and this lovely community ❤
I’m not going to be including a goals section in this wrap-up because I haven’t really been making monthly goals, but look out for my 2020 yearly wrap-up + 2021 goals post coming soon!!
Since so much has happened in these past few months, here are just a few brief highlights!!
- I discovered Notion a while ago and it’s been such a huge help in organizing basically… my entire life?? My pages have gone through way too many redesigns, but I’m really happy with how they look right now and I would highly recommend using Notion if you haven’t heard of it!
- I went on a few social-distanced road trips with my family during week-long breaks in September and November, and they were so much fun!
- School continued to be the absolute worst! It continued to take up most of my time throughout all of these months, which is the main reason why I had to take such a long hiatus 😭 Thankfully, though, I managed to survive my semester 1 finals and I’m currently loving being on winter break!! (and dreading going back to school…)
- Also, time is still unreal and I can’t believe it’s almost 2021??
In terms of music and TV:
- I finished Avatar: The Last Airbender in September and it was just. SO. GOOD!! I absolutely adored everything about it and it’s one of my favorite shows of all time now.
- I also finished The Good Place in October (I think?) after Season 4 finally came to Netflix, and the ending was so bittersweet!! Although I prefer the earlier seasons to the last one, this is still such a great show and definitely one also of my favorites.
- As I talked about in my last wrap-up, I started getting into kpop in August, and I’ve discovered so many amazing girl groups!! If I had to choose my top 4, though, it would definitely be BLACKPINK, ITZY, Red Velvet, and Twice.
- Taylor Swift also destroyed me with the release of evermore a few weeks ago!!! I adore all the songs so much, but my top three might be gold rush, champagne problems, and long story short.
Because I’ve read quite a lot of books ever since my last wrap-up, I’ve decided not to talk about every single book from September, October and December, but just highlight my favorites…
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- Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim (4.5 stars): This had the most gorgeous writing and worldbuilding ever (which is saying a lot!), and the romance was also beautiful!!
- The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi (4.5 stars): Roshani Chokshi’s prose is stunning, and the characters were so three-dimensional and well written!
- Also, an honorable mention to the ATLA comics I read: I adored getting to see what happened exactly after the series ended and they were just so cute 🥺
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- Miss Meteor by Anna-Marie McLemore and Tehlor Kay Mejia (4.5 stars): This was one of my most anticipated 2020 releases, and it did not disappoint!! Anna-Marie McLemore and Tehlor Kay Mejia crafted such a powerful and beautiful story about friendship, family, and finding your worth.
- Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas (4.5 stars): After reading this, I can assure you that it lives up to the hype!! Yadriel and Julian had the most beautiful romance, and reading their story made me so, so happy.
- Iron Heart by Nina Varela (4.5 stars): Although I gave the first book in this series (Crier’s War) 3.5 stars because I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would, I actually ended up loving this one so much more!! The relationship between Crier and Ayla was the absolute highlight of the book, but the themes explored about humanity and power were also done so well.
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My mental health in November was… kind of awful, so I fell into a bad reading slump and read only two books—one of which was a comfort reread of one of my favorite books.
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston (4.5 stars): This was probably the most hyped book last year, so I’m very late to picking it up, but now I can see why everyone loves it!! The humor was so good, and I adored all the characters too.
What I Carry by Jennifer Longo (reread; 5 stars): I read this in March for the first time and absolutely adored it, so I picked it up again because I really wanted to delve into something comforting!! Thankfully, it was just as good the second time 😌
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- The Girl and Ghost by Hanna Alkaf (4.5 stars): I love Middle Grade books and reading this book reminded me that I need to pick them up more often!! This was a heartwarming, beautiful story about friendship and I would highly recommend it.
- Tell Me How You Really Feel by Aminah Mae Safi (3.5 stars): Although I had problems with the writing style and slow beginning, the romance was so cute and I enjoyed reading this!
- These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong (4.5 stars): This was one of my most anticipated 2020 releases, and I’m so happy that my expectations were met!! I adored the characters, romance, prose and commentary on imperialism. (also the ending broke me 😭)
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Overall, I finished my reading challenge of 60 books in September, and even through my slump, I’m pretty happy with my reading overall? All the books I highlighted (except two) were 4.5 star reads for me, which means I’m getting better at picking books I think I’ll enjoy!
or it could just be that I use a 4.5 star rating way too much…
Also, make sure to stay tuned for 2020 reading wrap-up publishing next week where I share my favorite, least favorite, surprising and disappointing books of the year, along with a bunch of stats!
I may have given up on the short story I talked about in my last wrap-up, but!! I participated in NaNoWriMo for the first time in November! I set a goal of 15,000 words for myself, because I knew 50k was too much to write while I still had school. Although I didn’t meet my goal, I still managed to write around 10k words, which is the most I’ve written in a while!!
I had the idea for a new WIP in October, and so I mostly planned and wrote specific scenes for that during NaNo. However, because this was an idea for a fantasy WIP and I’ve barely written fantasy before, I was truly overwhelmed by worldbuilding. If you have any tips for worldbuilding, please let me know because I would love any advice 😅
I was able to come up with a very brief outline for my WIP, though, and I’m hoping to continue working on it next year! Here’s a snippet from my current project:
During my hiatus, I was mostly absent from the blogosphere and barely kept up with all of your amazing posts, so I hate to do this but I’m not going to be sharing any posts today. However, comment down below if you’d like me to check out any of your posts I missed, and I would love to!!
I do have a few announcements, the first of which being that I now have a Ko-Fi page! You can click here to visit my page if you would like to support me. 🥺 Any donations will be used to help me continue creating content on my blog and youtube channel!
Also, I’m going to be deleting my MailChimp email list and email automations because the graphics and subscriber downloads I designed are kind of embarrassing and outdated, and most of my followers are following with WordPress anyways! 😅 So, if you’re currently subscribed to only my email list, make sure you follow using WordPress instead by entering your email in the sidebar or clicking the “follow” button.
As always, thank you so much for supporting me (even as I continue to disappear) 🥰
how have you been? are you excited for the new year? what are some of your recent favorite books??
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