Wednesday, August 31, 2016

August 2016 in Review

Wow. August was a busy month, to say the least. Full of firsts, lasts, and several to-dos, I rarely had a free moment. You know how time seems to slow down when we have new experiences and our brains rush to make new connections? Well, that's exactly what happened to me the entire month of August; the past 31 days feel like they lasted at least three months. But now that the month is somehow, unbelievably, almost over, here are the highlights.

(P.S. I'm trying a new recap style this month—instead of listing every book I read or added to my TBR, I'll just tell you about the ones I'm most excited about.)

highlights from my reading list

I'm sure you've heard plenty of praise for this title already, but in case you're still not sold, let me add my voice to the mix: if you're a fan of emotional, gritty, realistic-but-original contemporaries, you need to read this book. It's set in an atmospherically-built small town full of characters whose close-minded outlook will make you livid as well as characters who are tragically trapped in a cycle of missed opportunities. And at the center of the story are three best friends, all of whom are fascinating to read about. Dill is trying to decipher his religious beliefs and what it means to be loyal to family after his extremely-religious minister father gets sent to prison. Lydia has a superbly relatable dream of escaping from her hometown (and runs a popular blog!). And Travis is a quiet, thoughtful, caring person who loves books as much as we do. I can't stop thinking about this book—the emotions, the setting, and more—and, especially given its 4.25 average Goodreads rating, I'm fairly sure you'll feel the same way. 

This upcoming release is quiet, subtle, and stunning. Most of all, it's very timely. Told from several points of view—a girl whose superior autobiographical memory allows her to remember every tragedy she's ever witnessed or learned about, a boy whose father died on September 11, 2001, a girl who spiraled into depression after being the victim of a cyberbully, and more—it examines the roles of catastrophes (from the international to the personal) in our lives. The rotation through several characters makes the plot patchworked, but it always feels cohesive, and it always left me desperate to read another chapter. To top it all off, the story is set right after the Boston Marathon bombing, an eerily recent historical backdrop that will seem extra realistic thanks to readers' still-proximal personal memories of the event. Mark your calendars for September 13; you don't want to miss this one. 

highlights from my tbr

When I first heard about this book (AKA when the cover reveal dominated my Twitter feed a couple weeks ago), I didn't even bother reading the blurb; I simply saw that Nina LaCour had a new book coming out, questioned why I didn't know earlier, and slammed the "want to read" button on Goodreads. But now that I've finally checked what this book is actually about, I'm even more excited; it centers around college students, and it's sure to feature Nina LaCour's signature emotional writing. I can't wait for February. 

highlights from my life 

  • I went on a trip to Amsterdam! I didn't have time to do a recap post when I returned home, but I had a fantastic time. I went with my mom and my grandma, and we stopped by several museums (saving significant sums of money by using the membership cards that came with our Airbnb—an A+ benefit), took a train to Delft and the Hague, embarked on several walking tours, tried unsuccessfully to bike like the locals, and more. It was my first real trip out of the country, and I can't wait to head back to Europe (or elsewhere!) someday soon.
  • I started college. A few days after returning from the Netherlands, I left home again—this time to move in to my college dorm. For those of you who don't know, I'm studying business (and probably some journalism and PR) at Indiana University's downtown Indianapolis campus. Classes have now been in session for 1.5 weeks, and while I'm feeling overwhelmed by the classwork and the major life change, I'm doing my best to make time for socializing (and, of course, for blogging!). Stay tuned for more college updates in the future. 
If you want to know more about what I'm reading, you can friend me on Goodreads, and if you want to hear more about my collegiate adventures, you can follow me on Twitter. And be sure to let me know what you've been up to!


  1. I really need to read The Serpent King. It sounds perfect for me! Ooh Amsterdam! How fun. I'm going to London in a couple days and it'll be the first time I leave the country, so a bit scary in terms of being on a plane for that long (I've been on planes before though, so that helps) but I'm excited. We have a few things already planned and then a bunch of other things we hope to do/see!


  2. I just read The Serpent King and totally loved it, too! Such a great novel.

  3. Wow, August sounds like it was a really great month for you! I would love to visit Amsterdam one day! Good luck with college, I know how nervous and exciting that must be. Two more years and I'll be in your shoes (and I can't WAIT for high school to be over). And I really like your new recap style!


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