April/May Wrap-Up + June TBR

April was a horrible reading month for me. I was finishing up writing massive term papers for each class, and then dove straight into finals. It was hectic, and resulted in me only reading one book. May started off rocky but ended much stronger. I read two books in the first three and a half weeks, and then powered through the last two in three days! It took me a little while, but I’m officially back on my reading track!


APRIL/MAY WRAP-UP —

1. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

[April]

As far as debut novels go, this book was incredibly strong and I enjoyed it very, very much. It was twisted and dark and compelling, and even though I guessed the twist before it happened, it was so well done that I still found myself impressed anyway. The characters were all flawed and captivating – I especially the protagonist and narrator, Camille Preaker, to be fascinating. All in all, an extremely impressive first novel from Gillian Flynn.

Rating: 4/5


2. The Secret History by Donna Tartt

[May]

This book was absolutely mesmerizing. The writing was stunning and I was a little bit in love with each of the characters. It was one of those books that, when I was done, left me sitting in a stupor, wondering what I was going to do without those words or those characters. It would be very easy for this novel to come across as pretentious, but I loved every bit of its New England, liberal arts pretention. It was incredibly twisted and dark, but the language was gorgeous.

Rating: 4.5/5


3. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

[May]

I did not find this novel as good as  ‘Sharp Objects’. While the writing was still well done, I was not as as captivated by the plot. Also, although I appreciate the fact that Flynn was representing a side of tragedy that doesn’t get reported by the media, or seen by the public – the side where the victim isn’t brave or heartwarming or inspiring – I found Libby Day to be beyond insufferable. She was not an interesting character to me and I felt like there was minimal development in her personality.

Rating: 3.5/5


4. Burn For Burn by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian

[May]

I did not enjoy this book at all. I had heard so many good things about it, and the series, beforehand and was expecting great things from it. I was extremely disappointed. While the likability of a character doesn’t affect my perception of whether they’re a GOOD character or not, the characters in this novel were not likeable or compelling/interesting. Not a single one. Every one was petty and vapid and narcissistic. It’s only been three years since I was a senior in high school, so I think I have a pretty good idea of what highschoolers sound/talk like and I did not find any of this dialogue or narration to be believably. I will not be continuing with this series.

Rating: 2/5


5. This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

[May]

I am completely in love with this novel. It was simultaneously hilarious – in a dry, sarcastic and biting way – and heartbreaking. I’ve always had a soft-spot for stories of dysfunctional families and this one definitely fit the bill. I will be writing a review in the next few days, so for now that’s all I’ll say about it, but I absolutely recommend this novel (specifically, reading it before the movie is released on September 12th!).

Rating: 5/5


JUNE TBR —

I’ve already started reading Gillian Flynn’s latest novel ‘Gone Girl’ so that’s the first one up. I also have a shipment coming that includes four books so those are the ones I will be taking a crack at next! I doubt I’ll be able to get through five novels (work is still partially burying me), but I’ll do my best. Those books are ‘The Goldfinch’ by Donna Tartt, ‘To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before’ by Jenny Han, ‘The One & Only’ by Emily Giffin and ‘We Were Liars’ by E. Lockhart.

 

A (Re) Introduction

I have been away from this blog for a long time. I found myself unbelievably swamped with finals, and now that school has ended, I amazingly find myself with less time to blog – thanks to my two jobs. So, I figured the best way to get back into the swing of things would be to (re)introduce myself.

Without further ado, here are 50 Random Things About Me.

  1. I am in my twenties.
  2. I just completed my third year of University where I am minoring in Psychology and majoring in English.
  3. I’m from Vancouver, Canada.
  4. At any given time, on any given day, you can bet that I will be over-caffeinated.
  5. I’m a choral nerd. I was in choir for thirteen years, and am still traumatized that I had to quit (stupid University). I love choral music, I get excited about composers and conductors. I had more fun at various choir camps and retreats growing up than I ever had before or since.
  6. If I could eat any food every day for the rest of my life it would be sushi (or I would, if mercury wasn’t a thing).
  7. My closest friends now are the people I was friends with in high school. They’re my second family.
  8. I have one sibling (a younger sister).
  9. I swam competitively for nine years, and coached for four.
  10. I don’t have anything against people using ebooks, I just won’t ever use them myself. I’m too attached to the feeling of the book in my hands.
  11. I need to surround myself with pictures of people I love. The first thing I do when I move in anywhere – dorm rooms, my apartment – is put up tons and tons of pictures of my friends from back home.
  12. love Christmas. As in an unhealthy obsession. I go way overboard every year.
  13. My TV DVD collection is out of control.
  14. I am incapable of starting multiple books at one time. It’s some kind of psychological thing but I have to finish one before I start another.
  15. I work in retail, part-time year-round. And hate it.
  16. I work as an office administrator during the year, and really enjoy it.
  17. I’ve always considered myself a dog person but I’ve never actually had a dog (or any other pet other than a fish).
  18. I hate hardcover books. Yes, they look good on shelves but I hate carrying them around, I hate holding them up when I’m reading on my back. I would take a paperback over a hardcover any time.
  19. As my level of stress increases, so does the amount of hot sauce I eat.
  20. I love stories about dysfunctional families, in any medium. Books/TV/movies, literally anything.
  21. I just do not get poetry. I try all the time to decipher it, and I went through a poetry writing phase (I even got one published in two anthologies), as almost every teenage girl does, but I cannot wrap my head around it.
  22. When I’m sad or anxious, I watch YouTube videos of my favourite actors on talk shows (Kristen Bell’s sloth meltdown is a constant fixture in the rotation)
  23. There is something so soothing about 1990’s/early 2000’s television shows. Dawson’s Creek, Felicity, Everwood, 7th Heaven. I just find them comforting somehow.
  24. I. Love. Cheese.
  25. My favourite thing about every new year is being able to pick out a new agenda. This year, I splurged and bought a Moleskin one and I don’t think I have ever been more in love with a purchase, ever.
  26. I am incredibly organized. To a pathological degree. I routinely stress-organize/clean at insane hours of the night, which is absolutely why my room is so neat.
  27. I don’t like flowers. I fully appreciate beautiful flowers… when they’re outside… in a garden, but I don’t understand the purpose of buying a bouquet, sticking them in a glass container full of water and watching them die.
  28. I have a phobia of vomiting. Don’t try and feed me that “You’ll feel better if you puke” bullshit, I will not, and if you suggest that I will, expect a fist to make contact with your face.
  29. I am a nail-painting expert. I’m not even kidding. If this whole ‘university’ thing doesn’t work out, I could totally have a promising career as a manicurist. Also, this talent is saving myself so much money.
  30. My drink of choice at bars/parties is Vodka Cranberry, but mention the word ‘shot’ to me and I will start pounding back the tequila.
  31. I was once told by multiple classmates in my Children’s Literature course that my picture book was “way too dark and depressing for children”.
  32. I’m allergic to the cold. Walking around in the cold directly leads to me being covered in hives. One time, I put an ice pack on to help my tennis elbow and ended up having to take Benadryl because I had broken into hives and my entire arm was swollen. Good times.
  33. I am addicted to chewing ice cubes.
  34. I didn’t always love roller coasters, but I went on a trip in grade 10 to Orlando, Florida and my friends made me get on every single one and I fell in love.
  35. I would rather have pie than cake. Every time.
  36. I cannot handwrite for the life of me. My printing is beautiful, I am a little bit in love with it, but my handwriting (including my signature) always looks like it’s the product of a drunken six year old.
  37. I really, really wish I was the kind of person who loved music festivals. I love live music, but I went to a music festival in the summer of 2013 and hated it. Concerts, yes. Festivals, hell no.
  38. Beer is the worst. This less a fact about me and more of a statement. Beer is the worst. I will never understand why anyone willingly drinks it.
  39. I was given a subscription to OwlKids magazine when I was little and that is still probably the best gift I’ve ever received.
  40. In elementary school, I spent an entire lunch period on the gravel field, memorizing the dance routine from ‘Madness’ in From Justin to Kelly. Yep.
  41. Growing up, I would write in diaries every single day (from like grade two, all the way until grade 11). I have kept them all. I’m saving them for what I’m sure will be a very entertaining evening over a bottle of wine.
  42. I have a very good memory. For names, for things other people tell me. It’s at the point where I have to pretend I don’t remember things so I don’t freak people out.
  43. I hate candy. I could eat chocolate forever, but I will not touch sour keys or gummy worms or f**king fuzzy peaches.
  44. I traveled a lot when I was growing up. My parents were all about saving money to go on trips so the first time I was on a plane was when I was 3 years old (to Hawaii), and I went to Europe for the first time when I was 10 (I’ve been on five very long European trips since then).
  45. I have written a novel. It is a piece of shit and I’m pretty sure I will never look at it again, ever. Yes, it was about a dysfunctional family. And death.
  46. I cannot cook. There are a total of five dishes that I can make confidently (quesadillas, stirfry, pasta, salads with chicken and omelettes), and I rotate through them constantly with almost no deviation.
  47. I have tried and failed to learn to play multiple instruments – clarinet, ukulele, guitar. I haven’t followed through with any of them and I have an acoustic guitar sitting in the corner of my room that stares at me, judging.
  48. I am a Disney fanatic. My favourite way to stay awake during late night studying is to have 2am Disney jam sessions.
  49. For someone who considers herself a writer, I find myself writing less and less. Which is one of the many reasons I began this blog.
  50. I have no idea what I’m doing with my life.