a bit of good and a bit of meh | july 2020

by - 4:37 PM

Hello friends and happy August! There are approximately a million things I should be doing right now but I'm subtly ignoring them as I usually do with deadlines (apologies in advance future me). July passed by so quickly and I could feel myself becoming more and more anxious at the uncertainties each day.

 First and foremost, covid-19 is nowhere near finished so please please continue to wear a mask and follow proper social distancing guidelines to keep everyone safe. I was so proud of my state at first for working hard and leveling numbers but people got too relaxed and now there's a small rise again (seriously, NJ beaches will survive - we can talk about climate change if you're really concerned 🙄).  

Secondly, the "trends" we saw in June are not just a trend. Black Lives STILL Matter and there are voices that still need to be uplifted (aka arrest Breonna Taylor and Elijah McClain's murderers it's not that difficult.) Performative activism is disheartening and unwanted so it's time to have those uncomfortable conversations because change is desperately needed.

Finally, there are so many things happening in the world and it's so important to stay informed. 
Many of our Filipino friends are having their voices and rights taken away after the Anti-Terrorism Act (Junk Terror Bill) passed so take some time to read up on how we can use our privilege and voice to help them. Lebanon has also recently experienced a horrible explosion in Beirut and they are struggling with the global pandemic. If you are able, donations to the Lebanon Red Cross are incredibly helpful especially since they are not affiliated with the government!

Continue using your voices friends - they are powerful when used together. ❤️
I'm definitely someone who easily gets stuck in their head and I think July was in some ways, one big rollercoaster of doubt and lack of motivation. I still managed to read six books which isn't bad, but I did slip a bit on blogging and Instagram so I have lots to catch up with in August. 
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muse of nightmares by laini taylor - ★★★★☆
moths, nightmares, and revenge
This book absolutely blew me away. I enjoyed Strange the Dreamer but always felt disconnected from the hype that it was receiving since I didn't fall in love with Lazlo and Sarai. However, Laini Taylor once again blew me away with her beautiful prose. Compared to the first book, so much happens in this sequel and I honestly was sucked in by the never-ending intensity of the plot.

serpent and dove by shelby mahurin - ★★☆
witches and witch hunters - an instant hate to love
I have been dancing around picking this book up for months because of the polarizing reviews I've read. My final opinion can be summarized in one word: indifference. I didn't care much for the story itself nor the characters, but I didn't find myself hating them either. This is probably a series I won't finish because I don't really care to see what happens, but I do have to admit the cover designs are absolutely gorgeous so there could be a lapse in judgment.

a song below water by bethany c. morrow - ★★★☆
the voices of the silenced are the most beautiful and bewitching
This book take the current events and weaves together different species of magical creatures. It shines a light on the voices of the oppressed using the clever metaphor of having siren characters who are discriminated against for their powers. In a world where reality blurs with fantasy, the author does a really wonderful job addressing people's discriminatory behaviors and elitist mindsets. My only problem would be struggling to feel invested in the plot, but I grew to love the characters and how the author crafted her story to highlight the systematic injustices of society.

i'll be the one by lyla lee - ★★★★
the friendship of kpop and books I need in my life
This is my happy book and I'm kicking myself at how long it took me to finally pick it up. If you need a pick-me-up with some sweet friendships, body positivity, K-pop fangirling moments, and a cute romance. Lyla Lee explores the toxic environment of the K-pop industry and our main character Skye is honestly such a strong and beautiful character. I'm ready to reread this again so I feel all the happy feelings.

the queen of the tearling by erika johansen - ★★☆
a new queen vs. the entire world
I have had this book on my shelves for years and finally finished reading it. Unfortunately, I just simply didn't care about the story (similar to Serpent and Dove) - I can't speak a lot from an analytical perspective about the writing, plot/character development. I did manage to read this during the Reading Rush so I had pre-divided a certain number of pages I had to read each day and that's honestly what made to finish reading. I've heard that the sequel is amazing but the conclusion is a bit of a letdown so I'm not sure if I'll continue.

clockwork angel by cassandra clare - ★★★☆
an army of neither heaven nor hell
I have finally started my reread of the Infernal Devices and I was honestly hit with so much nostalgia while reading. It was quite interesting how despite all these years, I still adore Jem so much and find Will slightly annoying - I even tabbed all of Jem's scenes in the book because they just made me happy. This definitely reads a lot younger than I imagine but it was so easy to fall back into the Shadowhunter world and I can't wait to continue on with Clockwork Prince

As of this moment, I currently have fourteen books on my August tbr and a huge factor of that is because I am planning on participating in two blogs tours, WIKATHON and NOSTALGIATHON so the ambition levels are quite high. The ones I am most excited for are probably the following:

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I have lots of goals for the month of August so only time will tell to see if I'll complete them all. As summer is winding down, please take care of yourselves and the people around you. I asked this on my Instagram already but I'm curious to see some other answers:

What are you most looking forward to in August?

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  1. I really loved your entry paragraphs to this post and how you highlighted a lot of what is going on in the world so succinctly and I appreciated that. I'm also planning to read the Wolf of Oren-Yaro this month and I am SO excited!! I hope you enjoy it, and your other reads, too!

  2. I am SO ready for this pandemic to end but it is just getting worse. In Virginia it is so hot and gross, all I want is to go to the beach but it is so crowded. The way people disregard this dangerous virus is shocking. Thank you for mentioning that Black Lives STILL Matter, as they always will even when it is not "trending." I feel kind of the same about The Queen of the Tearling. I read it ages ago and just felt...meh. I have not continued the series even though I have also heard the sequels are amazing. Have a happy August!