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Books I Read
- Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone // An utterly absorbing look at friendship, forgiveness, and mental health so well done that the reliance on the "popular clique" trope didn't even bother me
- The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God by Carl Sagan // A fascinating and beautiful discussion of science, religion, and the intersections between the two
- She is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick // A characteristically thought-provoking and strange story, but one that disappointed me a bit after the pure brilliance of The Ghosts of Heaven and Midwinterblood
- An Infinite Number of Parallel Universes by Randy Ribay // A road trip story with plenty of emotions and a diverse cast but that had something missing—I wanted more fleshed-out backstories and a stronger conclusion
- Virginity or Death!: And Other Social and Political Issues of Our Time by Katha Pollitt // A collection of columns on feminism, foreign policy, and more dating from 2001 through 2006—some of the specific topics seem a bit dated, but the ideas are overwhelmingly (sometimes sadly) still relevant
- Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn // A sex-positive story with a creative premise but that feels a bit melodramatic toward the end
- We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach // A stunning pre-apocalyptic novel with impeccable character development
- Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton // A fantastic story full of dance, diversity, and drama that made me desperate for the sequel
- 5 to 1 by Holly Bodger // A quick, partially-in-verse read that had me fascinated as one girl questions her society's traditions in futuristic India
Books I Added to My TBR
- You in Five Acts by Una LaMarche // I love this author, and I love books about performing arts, so this novel is sure to be a hit.
- Just Another Girl by Elizabeth Eulberg // If you're looking for a fun, lighthearted contemporary, Elizabeth Eulberg should be your go-to writer. I've been waiting for another title from her for quite a while, so I was thrilled to hear about this one.
- The Gospel of Winter by Brendan Kiely // I added this one to my TBR after reading a review on Ciao Bella! that made it sound like just the book for me. I've seen comparisons to Spotlight, a movie at the top of my to-watch list, and I can't wait to follow both sure-to-be-fascinating stories.
- Not Exactly a Love Story by Audrey Couloumbis // Set in the 1970s and featuring a quirky-sounding cast of characters, this book sounds like the kind of offbeat romances I adore.
- Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton // The raving reviews combined with the beautiful cover convinced me to give this out-of-genre book (I'm not much of a fantasy reader) a try.
- Thanks For the Trouble by Tommy Wallach // I didn't even need to read this book's blurb; I immediately added it to my TBR after finishing We All Looked Up.
- The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle // After seeing positive thoughts and Catcher In the Rye comparisons from some of my trusted reviewers, I decided I needed this book in my life.
In My Life
- I started a podcast! A Novel Chat debuted on March 7, and we have been releasing new episodes every Monday since. We've gotten such great feedback, and I'm so happy to be working with two of my best blogging friends—all of which makes me so happy to be part of this amazing community. So far, we've talked about books we think will be classics, the boarding school trope, family in fantasy, and the Internet's impact on author accessibility, and we have some exciting topics lined up for April. If podcasts are your thing, check out A Novel Chat on SoundCloud, Stitcher, or iTunes.
- I was named runner-up for Indiana Student Journalist of the Year. I attended a ceremony at the Indiana Statehouse and was ecstatic to receive the recognition (and the scholarship that comes with it). As my newspaper advisor always says, we don't produce content with the goal of winning awards, but it's always satisfying when we do win, especially an honor like this.
I received a fancy plaque, too.
- I traveled to New York in mid-March to attend a scholastic journalism convention at Columbia. It was a school-sponsored trip, but we had a small group—just me, my newspaper advisor, his wife, and one of my friends who's on staff. Aside from attending educational sessions and picking up a few tips to apply during my last two months as editor-in-chief of my school's newspaper, I spent the evenings exploring the city. I saw Wicked (which was amazing), spent more than an hour in The Strand, and visited tourist attractions like the Staten Island Ferry and the Brooklyn Bridge. I had done most of it before, but it was my friend's first time in New York, and I loved watching her experience everything for the first time.
Two gingers on the Brooklyn Bridge!
- Continuing my spring break travels, I left for Salt Lake City a few days after returning from New York. A blizzard left my family and me stranded in the Denver International Airport for 12 hours, then in a hotel for the entire next day, but we finally made it to my grandparents' house. We visited museums and such in their city, then drove to Zion National Park, where we hiked several trails in the beautiful canyons. As of yesterday, I'm back in Indianapolis with a few days to get some reading, blogging, and studying in before returning to school.
We took this picture at the beginning of a day spent hiking in the canyons of Zion.
How was your March? Did you read anything great? Travel anywhere new? I'd love to hear what you've been up to.