Hi friends, and happy Tuesday! I hope that your January, your chapter 1 of 12, was full of happiness, great surprises, good books, and fantastic company.
This is when you start thinking to yourself, “wow Lauren, it’s almost mid-month and we’re not really talking wrap-ups anymore.” But, better late than never, right?
February has already been a whirlwind even though we’re only 11 days in—hence the lack of posts—and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the month brings! But, how could I move onto a new month before even talking about the last? And honestly, we better get straight into it because January was as jam-packed as February already seems to be.
January was absolutely FANTASTIC for reading, no word of lie. I read more than I usually do, and 70% of those books were by one author because I’ve found a new series to obsess over.
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer-★★★★★. I absolutely fell in love with the way that Marissa Meyer writes sequels. All of the sequels from The Lunar Chronicles feel absolutely necessary, and they all build onto each other in the most perfect way. Honestly though, I started Scarlet off pretty wary. I’ve never been a fan of wolves in YA for some reason, and as this book is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, a wolf is unavoidable. But let me tell you, let me tell you, this book was nothing short of astounding. It picked up right where Cinder left off, and new characters were introduced so organically that it felt as if they were there the whole time?
Cress by Marissa Meyer-★★★★★. Admittedly, I was beyond-myself excited to finally read Cress. In the past, I’ve been told that I’m similar to Cress, and I needed to find out why. And boy oh boy, I’m not sure that I’ve ever related this much to a character in any book. It was also by this point when I started noticing and paying attention to how strength is portrayed differently, yet equally, amongst each of our main characters. It’s so, so beautiful. I could go on about it forever.
Winter by Marissa Meyer-★★★★★. Did you mean the most stunning conclusion to a series that I’ve thus far?? I really don’t have the words for it. The new problems presented in this final installment didn’t feel forced, but inevitable. And the actual ending was wrapped up in the most wonderful and satisfying way. Not to mention, the whole book focuses on a character with a mental illness that no one takes seriously, but she knows that she can save the world?? I’m here for this everyday.
**PS: I can gush about The Lunar Chronicles for forever, but I already wrote a post about why I love it so much! Go check it out.**
Verity by Colleen Hoover-★★★☆☆. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before, but a while back, I was addicted to Colleen Hoover books; I couldn’t read them fast enough. I started buying my bookstore’s stock before reverting to ordering signed books from her website. And, over the years, I’ve come to grow apart from her writing as I run into elements of her stories that don’t sit well with me. Nevertheless, and weirdly enough, her books always manage to get me out of any reading slumps because of how quick they are. I also wanted to pick up Verity solely because everyone was talking about how fantastic it was. Having now read it, I thought it was alright. It was a thriller-esqe book and was pretty predictable. Although, I will admit, the fact that you don’t really know who to trust was kind of great.
Regretting You by Colleen Hoover-★★★☆☆. I’ve got to be honest with you; I know that I enjoyed this story in ways that I’ve been enjoying Colleen Hoover books: they’re okay for the time being, and help me get a quick read in, but I don’t remember much of anything about this one. I know that Colleen Hoover is a popular author and many people’s favorite, but I think they will always just be quick and easy reads for me!
Fairest by Marissa Meyer-★★★★★. Ah, here we are back on the Marissa Meyer train. Where I truly belonged this month. I love, love, love learning about villains. Don’t get me wrong, I’m always so conflicted when I learn their traumatic back story and I’m suddenly feeling sorry for them, but I LOVE that internal conflict. No one’s past excuses the way they act in the present or in the future, but I love being able to dissect characters like that. Queen Levana is truly horrifying, and reading about her as she grew up and became the terrible monster that we know was astounding.
Stars Above by Marissa Meyer-★★★★☆. My heart is so full and so sad now that I’m officially done with The Lunar Chronicles. Stars Above was, unsurprisingly, just as spectacular as the rest, and one particular story in the collection made me feel very !!!!!!.
Currently reading: So, I’m currently reading a lot of things because I’m indecisive and fighting the inevitable reading slump that comes after reading a series that you fall head over heels for. Just me? But, because it’s almost Valentine’s Day, I’m focusing on Tweet Cute by Emma Lord. It’s so teen angsty, and perfect for the reading mood that I’m in.
Schitt’s Creek. I. Am. Obsessed. Over the course of the past year, I’m fairly certain that at least a million people have told me that I needed to watch Schitt’s Creek. Much like my TBR, my to-watch list is forever growing, and it’s safe to say that this show wasn’t exactly at the forefront of my mind. Then I watch the first episode. Then the whole first season. Now, I’m way too attached to these characters, and a normal weekend day now consists of me binging ten episodes in a row. Schitt’s Creek has the driest, most incredible humor, and if I’m not watching it, I’m probably wishing I am. Please watch it if you haven’t yet.
Six: The Musical. A musical about King Henry’s six wives and the lives they led outside of what we’ve learned of their marriages? Yes, please. A friend recommended this soundtrack a few months back, but I swear you guys, I cannot go a single day without listening to it. I’ve found myself constantly putting the album on repeat and listening to it for my 8-hour work day. Honestly, a moment not spent listening to “Don’t Lose Your Head” is a moment wasted, as far as I’m concerned.
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. As a twenty-three year old adult that grew up on Disney Channel, owned High School Musical bedding, and begged for tickets to see HSM On Tour, it was my duty to watch this show. I really had no choice in the matter. I’ve watched enough Disney Channel Original shows in my lifetime to know that they’re unbearably cheesy, and it seems like that didn’t change whatsoever. What I didn’t expect though, was to get so attached. Like, I have so many questions now. How are things going to end with Nini and Ricky? Who’s going to be cast as the leads in the new musical? And what on earth is Big Red’s real name?!
Fine Line by Harry Styles. Trust me when I say that I was never a One Direction girl. I never really cared for their albums like my friends did, nor did I constantly think about Harry Styles’ hair. But, I’ve gotta say, Fine Line is an incredible album. I’ve been constantly listening to it this past month, and I never expected to love it as much as I do.
For the past few months or so, I’ve openly written about my struggle with writing and blog-hopping and posting in general. I was feeling pressured about always putting out incredible content, and I felt as if it wasn’t worthy if I wasn’t posting as often as I perceived to be normal. But the thing is, I was pressuring myself.
Over the course of January, I’ve really taken the time to reflect and think about my blog and what I want it to be and look like. I want to be proud of the content I put out, and I want to want to write posts, not feel forced to.
This past month, I’ve allowed myself to just be. If I wanted to go out to dinner rather than stay in and write, if I wanted to watch a full season of Schitt’s Creek in one day, I allowed myself. And the most important thing is, I didn’t let myself feel guilty.
I only posted twice in January, but I loved those two posts. I loved writing them, formatting them, and sharing them with you. I don’t feel guilty like I normally would. And, normally, when a monthly wrap-up would approach, I would feel horrible if I didn’t have many posts to share under this section. Thing is, I’m pretty positive that I’m the only one worried about how much I’m posting.
I’m taking blogging and writing one day at a time, and it’s fantastic. So, I apologize for my irregular posting schedule, but thank you for letting me be me.
SO MANY AMAZING POSTS FLUTTERED INTO MY INBOX THIS MONTH; I genuinely couldn’t keep up. It’s kind of unbelievable but also not because everyone in this community is wickedly talented, and I’m super pumped to share some of my favorite posts this month with you.
Marie from Drizzle & Hurricane Books discussed why she does and why she doesn’t comment on blog posts. I thought it was so insightful and thoughtful, and Marie is asking all of the hard questions. You seriously need to go give it a read if you haven’t already.
Margaret at Weird Zeal shared one of my favorite posts to ever even, in which she discusses why she personally doesn’t buy books from Amazon and why you should try avoiding it too. I’m a big advocate in resisting Amazon’s 2-day shipping temptations, and Margaret laid out the exact reasons why Amazon hurts the publishing industry so well that I couldn’t not geek out about it.
Sofii over at A Book. A Thought. bared her thoughts on all things book reviews: how she views reviews, how they affect the blogging community, and how she writes her own reviews. This post was so impactful and well-thought out, I found myself reading faster and faster, as if I could inhale all of Sofii’s ideas.
Xandra from Starry Sky Books shared her most-anticipated releases and predicted what will happen in each one. As someone who is, at the same time, horrible and good at guessing endings, I loved the idea behind this post! Plus, I got tons of titles to add to my TBR.
Clara from the bookworm of Notre-Dame discussed how she tracks her reading, and it blew my mind. So much though and organization is required, but the end product is SO lovely. Honestly, Clara’s way tracking of tracking her reading is nothing short of incredible.