Goodbye August

Hey guys! Wow this month went by fast. I can’t believe it’s fall already and we only have a few months left of 2021. How did that happen?! O.o

Well I think my reading life was pretty good this month, and my regular life was pretty good too. Let’s get into the stats.

*Also sorry this is up later than I said it would be again. :/ My cold made me really tired yesterday and I had no brain power left to finish it, but I’m feeling a lot more energetic today thankfully!

Reading Stats:

  • Read during August: 9
  • Finished this month: 9
  • Total pages (not including audiobooks): 1,565
  • Average rating: 3.8

Books Finished:

Owned:

I gave All the Stars and Teeth 4.5 stars. It was so good! I loved the worldbuilding. It was just so interesting and well thought-out, and the map inside was awesome! It had so many details, and I love that there was also a page listing each island and their respective gemstones and magics. That was a nice touch, though it has more to do with formatting than the actual book. XD But all the different islands and their magic systems were so cool, and I love that Visidia is based on the Southern Hemisphere, so the farther south they sailed the colder it got. That was just so awesome and unique, and I’m sure anyone who lives in the Southern Hemisphere would appreciate the representation in fantasy, cuz that’s something I’ve never seen or heard of before. 🙂 I didn’t like Amora’s magic, though. It was so dark and creepy and I didn’t think I’d enjoy the story as much because of it, but thankfully I was wrong! There’s a reason her magic is the way it is and has to do with a huge plot twist, so I’m glad that made it really important to the plot and Amora’s character. I also loved that despite the darkness of her magic, she truly wanted to do her best to do the right thing and protect her people and be a good ruler. Also, I loved how Vataea, the mermaid, had an important role in the plot and worldbuilding, which was so cool, and kinda reminded me of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides a little bit. I also liked the friendship between Amora and the crew, and the romance with her and Bastian was sweet. 🙂

Now, Luck of the Titanic was sadly kinda disappointing, but I’ll get to that in a second. The things I did like about it though was the writing style, which was honestly so beautiful. Despite my issues with the plot, there are definitely some lines in there that will stick with me awhile, and that I had to stop and just go “wow” and write it down. ❤ I also liked some of the scenes and characters, like Val’s brother Jamie and his friends. But, the plot felt really tedious in the middle and something about the whole thing just felt kinda…off. I wasn’t sure some things were historically accurate, and I just spent most of it wishing we’d get to the sinking, cuz honestly that’s 95% of the reason I wanted to read this book in the first place. I feel like if you’re going to set a book on the Titanic, you need to have the first half be able to compare with the last half where it turns into more of a thriller with the sinking. I get that it’s based on real life and nobody on the ship knew it was going to sink, obviously, but the readers do, so you need to keep our attention up until that point. The circus plot was cool, and there’s a little bit of romance, but it ended up ultimately being more about reconnecting with her brother, which I really liked, but I think it just wasn’t executed that well and kinda ends up being all pointless once the ship sinks. :/ I felt like Val could be a brat sometimes and kinda hard to connect with, I think April could’ve been completely cut out and it wouldn’t have affected much, and I just was really struggling to care from about the 20% mark until the 70% mark. I’ve heard other reviewers say it was easy to forget it was set on the Titanic, which I agree with, but I didn’t think it was a good thing. It didn’t feel that well-researched and it felt like 70% of the plot couldn’t taken place anywhere else. :/ Though, once the ship sunk, I was sure I knew who would die and who would survive, and I guess very wrong, and it made me cry real tears…so it’s got that going for it. XD The ending was so heartbreaking, and then I realized the foreshadowing when I thought about it later and started crying again, so that was really good, but yeah…very mixed feelings. I just wish I enjoyed the rest of it more, so I gave it 3.5 stars. I’m still intested in reading Outrun the Moon and The Downstairs Girl by this author, so hopefully I’d enjoy those more.

Now, for my favorite reads of the month! I gave these both 5 stars, so I’m excited to talk about them. 🙂

I really loved Changes in Latitudes! The romance and all the sarcastic conversations between Cassie and Jonah made me laugh, and all the settings of the places they sailed to were so fun and cool to explore, but the writing was actually so good and had much more depth than I was expecting. I just love it when contemporaries are equally heavy and fluffy, don’t you? I just really enjoyed the fun sailing aspect of it and also sympathized so much with Cassie and what she was going through with the divorce and the anger and grief that that brought. I went through sort of similar things that she did, and I totally understood her pain and where she was coming from even though she could be a little bratty and ansty. I just wanted to hug her, and I really appreciated that there was a scene where she was self aware of her attitude, but she couldn’t help but be wrapped up in her emotions and ahhhh my hurt so much for her cuz I understand! I this this book balanced those serious life/relationship issues along with the fluffy romance and I just really loved it. Though I do think the ending was a little abrupt, I actually liked that it was left kinda open-ended. I had always heard of this author’s other book, Wanderlost, which is also on my TBR, but nothing about this one, so I’m so glad I picked it for my August TBR jar cuz it’s definitely a hidden gem in my opinion!

Now, Coral. Ahhhh Coral. What do I say about Coral? XD Honestly, I think it’s a masterpiece. Seriously! XD I loved it SO SO SO much. I’m SO glad I finally have a clear contender for my favorite book of the year cuz it’s been a long while since a book blew me away like this. The writing was just so gorgeous and amazing. Every little question and issue I had in the beginning was resolved by the end and even though I caught onto one of the twists early on it was still so engaging cuz I wanted to know SO BAD how and when and why all the characters got to the point that they’re at. And the fact that the story is told non-linearly really makes it the poignant amazing story it is. I don’t think it would be nearly as good if it wasn’t written that way. GAH I LOVED IT SO MUCH! ❤ I’m already thinking about rereading it by only reading Coral’s POV, then going through only Merrick’s, then only Brooke’s just to experience it in a different way and see if it has the same impact. 😛 All the characters were so lovable and relatable and I love the truths it clearly states about mental health and even the little things like The Little Mermaid aspects and bookish pop culture references and that Coral and Brooke used writing to cope. This book made me cry SO many times in the second half. It broke my heart and healed it again and it was just SO beautiful and amazing and one of my favorite books ever! I had no idea how everything was going to connect in the beginning, and I thought I knew what to expect going into it but I was so wrong. It went in a completely different direction than I was expecting and it was just absolutely amazing! I was shocked when I found out the main plot twist. It was just SO amazing, and I loved Brooke and Hope’s friendship, and Merrick and Coral’s romance was just so sweet and wholesome and just AHH! So so good. I want to recommend this to absolutely everyone who can handle all the trigger warnings, since it does deal with suicide and a lot of other heavy topics. But if you are in a good headspace to be able to read this, you absolutely should! Seriosuly one of the best books I’ve ever read. ❤

This was going to be in the “Currently Reading” section since I started it after September first, but it was so short I already finished it so I might as well include it here. This is my blogger friend/pen pal Allison @ A Farm Girl’s Life’s, first poetry book that she published in 2018. She sent me her newest one, Spark, for Christmas in 2019, which I did and interview with her about it here, if you want to check it out. 🙂 I finally bought myself this one a few months ago because I really wanted to read it. I didn’t like it as much as Spark overall, but there were I few poems I really loved, like Endurance, Roots, Jars, Home, Pool, Transplanted, Small Things, Stone Stories, Birds and Balloons, and Peaches. 🙂 I think my absolute favorite was Molasses Man, though. It was so adorable and sweet, and I loved that it told a whole story! ❤

“Borrowed”:

I went to our State Fair a couple weeks ago and stopped in a booth of one of my favorite local artists, Amanda Rose Warren, and stumpled upon this adorable children’s book about a real disabled musk-ox that she illustrated! I read the whole thing in like a minute, and looked it up on Goodreads to see if it was on there, and it was! So I added it to my challenge because why not? XD I loved this cute and inspiring little story so I gave it five stars. 😛

And I signed up to be a beta reader for Kellyn’s new edition of Beyond Her Calling! I really enjoyed it and gave it four stars. Ivy will always be one of my favorite and most relatable characters. Her struggling to find her purpose made me cry multiple times reading this because I feel like I’m going through pretty similar things right now too. I really liked that Violet has grown a lot from the earlier books in the series, and I loved the introduction of some new lovable characters like Aunt Daphne, Ena, and her daughter Bridget.<3 There were some issues I had with the romance, but I really liked how it ended and I was able to give my feedback and had a discussion with Kellyn about it so I’m glad we were on the same page and that I could be helpful. 🙂 I also loved the important themes of grace and forgiveness and how she handled the heavy sensitive topics. The ending was really sweet and hopefull, and I’m excited to see how these characters will grow and where this series will go in the future. 😀

I also read free ebooks of Riden’s Chapter by Tricia Levenseller, which was the first chapter of Daughter of the Pirate King told in Riden’s POV, and First Impressions: A Firebird Ficlet by Claudia Gray, which a an extra little short story about Marguerite’s first date after the events of A Thousand Pieces of You. They both had links shared on their Goodreads so I decided to read them to boost my yearly challenge a little, and I really enjoyed them both and gave them 4 stars. It was interesting to experience that first scene in Riden’s POV instead of Alosa’s, and First Impressions was really short and cute. 🙂

Sooo I guess I kinda failed at my “only read books in August that have to do with the ocean” challenge. XD I can argue that the short stories and beta reading and children’s book don’t count, but…oh well. 😛

Audiobook:

This I also read in September already, and was going to put it in “Currently Reading” but since I got through it before I finished this post I decided to include my thoughts on it too.

I have a lot of mixed feelings about this one too. I really liked the intro/outro music the audiobook had, so that was cool. And I was really liking the plot and romance and everything until the last 1/3 or so. The three-way conflict with the Indians, and the rivalry between Sam and Rachel’s paleontologist fathers was really fun, kind of like competitive archeology. XD I thought a book about dinosaur fossil hunting might be boring, but I really loved the writing and the budding romance between Sam and Rachel despite spying on each other for their dads. Their bonding over their mutual love and nerdiness of paleontology, the hunt for the T-Rex skeleton and high stakes, kept me interested. And I loved Rachel’s spunk and feminism and wanting to be considered a serious paleontologist in her own right. But…then Sam and Rachel made a really stupid decision and everything went downhill. I mean, I understand why they did it, and I get that the alternative wasn’t very good or fair either, but as soon as it happened the plot took a backseat to all the terrible graphic disgusting sex they were having. Yeah. It was BAD. And then at the end Sam stumbles upon the skeleton randomly and it just..it was weird. I wasn’t even sure what was happening. I wanted to feel a sense of victory for them once they found it, but instead I was just kinda like…that was it? What even just happened. And then it tried to make a profound point with something about when we die all that’s left is our bones and no one can know anything about us that mattered like love and relationships and stuff. But after all those gross unnecessary sex scenes and terrible ending it just fell so flat. It was so confusing and disappointing. I was loving the first 70% or so and thought it would be at least 4 stars, but that last 30% knocked it down to 3. 😦

Currently Reading:

This is my TBR jar pick for September and I just started it last night. 🙂 I’m really liking it so far! I’m really in the mood for more contemporary, and that this is a mystery/thriller has me excited to read for the fall season. I already feel so bad for Meg and her family. Right off the bat you see how bad an affect being in Witness Protection for months has taken a toll on her family. I feel so sorry for them. It’s just so sad and heartbreaking, and I understand Meg’s frustration and determination to find out the truth of why they were placed in the program. I’m so excited to see where it goes and find out the answers along with her!

Accomplishments This Month:

Blogging:

Blogging:

Posts This Month:

Writing:

As I suspected, I wasn’t able to meet my goal of 21,500 words for August. I knew once I finished my first draft of Project Gander it would be hard to get much of a word count, so I wrote a total of 18,967 words this past month, which is still pretty good. And I finally finished Project Gander with a total of 97,556 words, the longest project I’ve ever finished, so I’m pretty proud of that. 😀

Here’s my filled out tracker for August. 🙂

Bujo Tracker/Favorite/Book Haul:

And here’s my filled out reading tracker! I wish I made it a little shorter and rounder so it would look more like an actual shell, but oh well.

Favorite of the month:

Definitely Coral! If you cant tell from my rambling above. 😛

Book Haul:

I picked up Millie’s Unsettled Season, Elsie’s Endless Wait, and Elsie’s Impossible Choice all by Martha Finley at a thrift shop when they were having a book sale. 🙂 I used to own the Millie Keith books when I was younger, but now I only have the last one in the series and had been wanting to recollect them, so I’m happy I found the first book in the series for only $1. And the first two books of the spin off series, Elsie Dinsmore, which I’d been wanting to read too. 🙂

Life:

I got to go to the State Fair with my mom, and then again with my friends from church which was fun. 🙂 We also had a movie night at my friends’ house where we watched The Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting, which was…interesting. XD I didn’t hate it, but I wouldn’t have picked it. 😛 But spending time with friends is always fun. We had pizza and popcorn and made a party out of it. 🙂

Also our young adults’ pastor was on sabbatical for a couple of months and just got back, so last week we threw a little surprise party for her, which was SO fun. We had it at one of our houses and hid out cars in the backyard so it would look like nobody else was there, and then they invited her over for dinner, but really all of us where there waiting to surprise her! I was nervous about getting my car in and out of the backyard and if we would pull of the surprise, but luckily it went really smoothly. 😀 She was really happy we did that for her and it was awesome to be able to surprise her and let her know how much we appreciate her. ❤ We had streamers and balloons everywhere, banners with her name on it, and we just ate tacos and talked and hung out. It was really really fun. I’d secretly always wanted to be a part of a surprise party, so now I get to check that off my bucket list! XD

Movies/Shows/Podcasts:

Movies watched:

  • Luca (Disney+)(This was SO cute!)
  • The Hobbit Trilogy (We had another marathon at church the weekend after we saw the LOTR trilogy. I liked that it wasn’t as long or confusing as LOTR, but by the end I kinda thought the entire plot was pointless cuz…everybody dies? And what made Bilbo change his mind to go with them in the first place? He didn’t have to. And wouldn’t it have been better if he didn’t? Cuz then he wouldn’t have found the ring and everything in LOTR wouldn’t have needed to happen? *shrugs* Idk, I don’t understand it. I like the LOTR universe now that I’ve seen them, but I don’t think I’ll ever be a huge fan.)
  • The Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting (Netflix) (This was…interesting? It definitely seemed like it was setting up for a sequel, but idk if I’d watch it.)
  • The Original Jumanjii (DVD) (I watched this at a friends house cuz I had only seen the newer ones, and I actually liked it better than I thought I would. 🙂 )
  • The Perfect Date (Netflix) (This was SO cute. The part where she tricks him into taking her to the bookstore instead of her school dance was so great. XD And he’s just like…You’d rather go to a bookstore than the dance? And she’s just like YES! I thought AHHH that’s so meeeee. XD )
  • Underdogs (Netflix) (I remember seeing the trailer for this years ago and wanting to watch it, but I think it’s release got canceled or something? Well, I finally saw it on Netflix and…now I know why. It was so bad. XD I mean some parts were cute, but the writing was terrible.)
  • Gunpowder Milkshake (Netflix) (This was awesome! I just loved the whole idea of an assassin saving and adopting a little girl, and my mom and I both love action movies like this. It was pretty gory in most parts, but somehow also funny? Idk it was just so good and fun to watch. XD My tastes can be weird.)
  • The Secret Diary of an Exchange Student (Netflix) (This was…interesting too. XD I liked it for the most part, but the romance drama got kinda annoying and then a bunch of crazy random things all happened at the same time at the end and I was just kinda like…uhhhh what the heck is going on?! XD But it was fun.)
  • Candy Jar (Netflix) (This was SO GOOD ahhhh! I loved it! I still don’t understand why they named it Candy jar though. It didn’t really have much to do with the actual story, but oh well.)
  • Us Again (Disney +) (This short was SO cute!)
  • Shark Attack Investigation: Paige Winter Story (Disney +) (Don’t ask me why I watched this cuz I have no idea. XD It was really inspiring though.)

Shows watched:

  • American Ninja Warrior (NBC) season 13 episodes 6-9
  • America’s Got Talent (NBC) season 16 episodes 9-12
  • To Tell the Truth season 6 episode 5 and 15? (I think? ABC’s website has them all out of order which is annoying.)
  • Chip and Dale Park Life (Disney +) season 1 episode 1 (This is equal parts cute and weird. 😛 )
  • The Baker and the Beauty (Netflix) episodes 5-9
  • Sister Sister (Netflix) season 3 episode 22 and season 4 episodes 1-2
  • The Chosen (The Chosen website) season 1 episodes 7-8 and season 2 episode 1
  • Country Comfort (Netflix) episode 9
  • Gilmore Girls (Netflix) season 6 episodes 21-22
  • Monsters at Work (Disney+) episodes 2-3

Podcasts:

  • Books Unbound episodes 69-72
  • Talking Beasts episodes 1-2 and interview with Georgie Henley on their website. (This podcast is all about Narnia and it’s so cool!)
Well that’s it for my loooong post! What have you been up to lately? Let me know what ggood things you’re reading and watching! I’ll be back on Tuesday (Lord willing) with my Goals for September! Bye! ❤

All credit goes to the authors of the images.

What Do You Think?:

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Book Covers:

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One thought on “Goodbye August

  1. Pingback: Goodbye September

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