Music of the Month
1. Fefe Dobson – Stuttering: This is an older song that I can never remember where I initially heard it, but occasionally pull it up on YouTube to listen to and finally decided to go ahead and buy it on iTunes. I’ve been listening to more of Fefe Dobson’s music in general, and I’ve got to say that buying more of her songs is definitely in my future.
2. JoJo – Too Little, Too Late: I remember talking about JoJo pre-middle school days, so sometimes I listen to this song or her earlier, Leave (Get Out), when I want a bit of nostalgia – so I was definitely excited when this song was only 69 cents on iTunes! I hope she comes out with some new music soon and that it’s a blend of nostalgia and new.
3. Foxes – Youth (Adventure Club Remix): I’ve started listening to more remixes of songs lately, and this is one of my favorites, from an artist I brought up last month (or February – can’t remember for sure). Luckily, this song is on the US iTunes, so I might end up getting it along with my regular copy of Youth, which is just as great.
4. Eliza Doolittle – In Your Hands: Eliza Doolittle is a singer who my sister and I used to listen to (and she still does, as far as I know), but I was never a huge fan of her, so I didn’t keep up with her work – so I was surprised when I found some new songs from her that I quite liked, including this one.
5. Angus and Julia Stone – The Devil’s Tears: I’ve heard some of their music in TV shows and such, but I had never even heard of this song until I found in the sidebar of YouTube and loved it after listening to it just once. The lyric video that I linked to is also pretty cool – well, I like the font, and that equals cool in my book!
Top Books Read
1. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender (Leslye Walton): This is what I want and love from magical realism – so atmospheric and magical and interesting, wrapping me up in a charming and terrifying story of a very unique family.
2. Frostbite (Richelle Mead): The second book in the Vampire Academy series was just as entertaining as the first – which makes me sadder that the movie was apparently so disappointing.
3. Burn Bright (Bethany Frenette): The second book in the Dark Star trilogy was also just as exciting as the first one – the romance was cute, even though some of the drama frustrated me (just be together and cute already!) and it definitely set up an interesting-sounding finale.
4. The Nightmare Dilemma (Mindee Arnett): Notice a pattern? This was another second book, also quite entertaining and has me excited for the next (final? I don’t know if this is a trilogy or not) book.
5. Sea of Shadows (Kelley Armstrong): I was a little worried that I wouldn’t like fantasy from Kelley Armstrong as much as her paranormal series, but apparently I had nothing to worry about – I practically devoured this book just as much as I did with her previous series.
Favorite (Non-Review) Posts
1. Common Archetypes – People Who Only Like Old Music/Books: This is such a huge pet peeve of mine, and it partly has to do with the fact that it seems like a character trait thrown in to catch the reader’s attention, but is a case of telling rather than showing.
2. Top Ten Tuesday – Bookish Things That I’d Like to Own: I liked this post because it was fun looking for things I’d love to buy and playing with the filters and such when I put together the pictures.
3. Surveying Series – The Darkest Powers: And speaking of Kelley Armstrong, I showcased her first YA series with my second Surveying Series post! Definitely a favorite series of mine, ever since I discovered the first book so many years ago (although it doesn’t feel nearly that long ago).
4. Top Ten Tuesday – Characters Who Would Be My BFF: I liked this post because it was fun and interesting to look at all these books I love and figuring out which characters I could possibly befriend if I were lucky enough to live in their world.
5. Discussion – What It’ll Take For Me to Read (And Really Enjoy) A Dystopian: I’m not a big dystopian fan, so it was great to kind of analyse myself and figure out why that is, and what elements are missing from dystopians, at least for me. Now I just need to find a book that fits all these criteria…
Books I’m Excited About
I bought What I Thought Was True! I’m not going to read it yet, but only because I decided it would be my post-finals reward – so I just have to hold out another week or so and then I’m going to be reading this and rereading My Life Next Door! I also bought Ink is Thicker Than Water recently, and plan on reading it soon as part of my post-Speak collection of books meant to make me happier. All American Girl is also one of those books, because it’s a book I already know I enjoy, and the TTYL series might finally work their way into my reading schedule as part of that group – if not, the end of school means I should be able to get to them finally anyway.
Upcoming Releases I’m Excited About
A lot of great books are coming out in the early summer months, these are just some of the highlights that I’m anxiously awaiting!
Challenges – Progress
Ooh, I only read 9 books since the end of April, and one of those was a DNF – not my greatest month, that’s for sure. I’m currently reading three different books between ebooks and secondary books and such, so once I finish them my number will definitely go up, but I need to actually read them in order for that to happen. Anyway, I’ve currently read 57 books – so, I’m more than halfway to my final goal, so at least there’s that!
Hmm, I’m wondering if I counted something wrong, because I also read 9 new books, but the DNF shouldn’t (and didn’t) count, so I don’t know how that happened. I may have to go back over my list later, but right now I need to finish up this post before heading off to class! Anyway, I’ve currently read 47 new books – wow, I’m almost to my goal, I hadn’t even realized that!
I didn’t get a hold of many debuts this month; I have a few on hold and there have been some new ones coming out recently that I hope to read in the coming months, but I only had the opportunity to read one this month, so I’ve read 4 books total for this challenge so far.
I didn’t get the chance to read any Sophomore Author books last month, so just reading two this month, with a few more already in my possession and just waiting to be read (like What I Thought Was True! So excited for that one!), I’m quite happy with my progress of 5 books so far this year!
I haven’t actually read any new Adult books this month, so I’m still at 3 books, but I do have one in my possession (and it’s a Shakespeare play – can’t get more grown-up than that! Of course, high school students read him…) and another on hold, so hopefully this challenge will begin to improve in the next few months!
Favorite Non-Book Things
1. Pramface: This is a show on Hulu (and originally a British show possibly on the BBC) that I’ve been watching since the first season (it’s on its third) and just love. It’s a cute little comedy that only has six or so episodes each season, so it’s easy to work my way through it quickly. It just has so many funny characters and absurd situations that they find themselves in.
2. Faking It: I’ve only seen the pilot so far, so it’s too soon for me to know for sure if I really like this show, but the pilot was certainly intriguing: it’s about the one Texas city/school that’s quite progressive and where you basically have to stand out to fit in, and two girls accidentally get mistaken for lesbians and decide to go with it for the popularity. It doesn’t sound like the greatest premise for a show – seems like it could get a bit offensive – and I feel like bisexuals don’t “exist” in this world (at least, it seems like that’s a word/idea that should have been brought up in the pilot), but the creator is gay, so I think that’ll help, and the pilot was pretty funny and interesting, plus it sets up the idea that one of the girls might be feeling more than just fake love, which seems really interesting for the future! (Also, I just don’t like the male love interest for one of the girls – he seems kind of slimy, and just doesn’t seem that cute, so I’m definitely rooting for the fake relationship to become something more!)
3. Duolingo: I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this site here before – I actually discovered it on another monthly wrap-up post (one of Jamie’s, from The Perpetual Page-Turner), and started using it almost right away. In the past month or so, I’ve been really good about using it and have used it at least a little every day, and I’m starting to see some results. I’m studying French mainly, and I got so excited when I recognized some words on my conditioner bottle (I know, weird thing to notice in the shower, but oh well) and when I was watching The Muppets and recognized Miss Piggy’s name in French!
4. Emma Approved: I’ve never seen The Lizzie Bennett Diaries, and I don’t think I plan to anytime soon, but I am enjoying this companion series. I had to read Emma for high school (and Sparknoted most of it – that tells you how interested I was, and am, in Jane Austen and the like) and wasn’t a huge fan, but I did think Clueless was amusing and entertaining and am really liking this web series based on it now. At first I didn’t like Emma, just like Emma from Emma (who didn’t really grow on me) and Cher from Clueless (who did), but now I like all the characters and am forcing myself to go through this kind of slowly since I was an idiot and didn’t wait until they had finished making all their episodes to start watching. Anyway, I think this is something non-Jane Austen and Emma fans will like just as much, if they’re in the same boat as I am.
5. Countdown Doodles: This is something I’ve been doing a lot in slightly boring classes in the last month or so (oh, who am I kidding – I’ve been doing this since the first month of the semester) – drawing/writing elaborate countdown doodles, either counting down the days until the last day of school or just including all the days in the month for me to gladly cross out the closer I get to the last day of school! It keeps me awake in class and gives me something to love looking at everyday! If you can’t tell, that’s very exciting for me. And, because I like showing off, here are a couple of them (there are at least three others and I still have a week and a half of class, so that might go up!):
A Goal for May
Actually start writing. I was technically participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this past month, but if you were keeping track of my progress in the sidebar, you probably noticed that I never really made it past the first week or so. There were a few different reasons – school stuff, not feeling well, all that fun stuff – but the point is that I often did want to write and just didn’t. So, once school ends in a couple weeks (which still feels like too long, especially when many of the colleges my friends attend have already let out), I hope I’ll be able to read and write a lot more!