September 1, 2018

A Bittersweet Tale of Summer | August 2018 Wrap-Up

Most people think that I am crazy, but I love dark chocolate. I would rather eat one bar of dark chocolate than have one thousand white chocolate bars. I guess that there is a metaphor in there about my preference for preferring my sweetness to be mellowed with a little tartness.

Just like dark chocolate, August is always bittersweet. It is the end of summer's freedom, but also the beginning of a new school year with promises for new opportunities and amazing people (as well as homework, but that isn't the main point right now). The blogging news this month is also a mixed bag; I have been making a lot of progress but the impending school year is going to stunt some of it.

Posts Around the Blogosphere that I Loved

Sophia @ Bookwyrming Thoughts makes the back to school transition better by imagining what it would be like to have a book character as your roommate

Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight discusses how book blogging has changed her views on books and the monsters that come with it

Luana @ Book Storm Girl wants to see your spam and sass for an upcoming post that I am SUPER excited for

Aimee @ Aimee Always graciously shares a master list of book blogging post ideas (with a promise to keep it updated!)

Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books broke down the many ways you can support international bloggers (plus a list of even more great posts from international bloggers on the topic!)

Anyssa @ Booked Shelf answered my tough questions for the Sunshine Blogger Award. 

Blogging News

1. Little blog improvements

For the first time in forever, I adventured into the jungle of HTML and CSS to fix a few (minor) things that have been bothering me. The tweaks are so minor that most of you probably didn't notice, but I am extremely proud of them. For starters, I changed the color of my links from blue to a teal. It's not a dramatic shift, but I think it brings the color scheme together.

In addition to the aesthetic value of my new link colors, I have also added a widget to follow my blog posts via email subscription through Feedly. Check out the sidebar to the right or the link below to get updated by email whenever a new post is live.

I also have some plans for other tweaks, like updating my profile pic, in the works for the upcoming months.

2. 80% on Netgalley for the first time

Even though I hardly request any books on Netgalley (mostly due to an intense fear of rejection, but we can unpack that issue later), my ratio was never in the best place. I would always hover right above the 70% mark, within grasp of the coveted 80%, but then a cool new release would pop up and my self-control would disappear. But, I managed to post three Netgalley reviews this month and brought my total up to 81%. I know that the next book that I inevitably request will bring me back down from that percentage, but I am going to take advantage of my success at least for a little while.

3. Back to school and its inevitable effects

According to previous patterns, the transition back to school never really goes well at Crazy for YA. I have less time and less motivation to blog due to the drain of schoolwork and extracurricular activities. I really don't want to lose the momentum that I have built up over the summer, but I would also really like to pass my classes. That being said, I am going to try my best to post at least twice a week and be active on social media (especially Twitter), but please remember that I am a student as well as a blogger. I love you guys and I hate to cut back on my time in the community, but it is necessary at the current moment to ensure my success in school as well as in the blogging community.

Things that I am Loving

1. To All the Boys I've Loved Before (The Movie)

Before discussing this brilliant movie, I would like to give the shameful caveat that I have not read the book yet. The book is on the top of my September TBR (along with Crazy Rich Asians) so that I can properly fangirl about Peter Kavinsky and Lara Jean, plus figure out what this whole cliffhanger ending was about.

That being said, you definitely don't have to read the book to enjoy the movie. I am always in favor of reading the novel, but you could easily convince some of your non-bookish friends to watch this movie with you.

There will be a full blog post dedicated to the insane cuteness of this story, but I don't feel like I can do it justice without actually reading the book first.

2. Brooklyn 99

After finishing The Office for the third time and Parks and Recreation for the second time, I was desperate for a new comedy TV series. Not that reruns of either show will ever get old, but I need some new material to get me to laugh.

Thankfully, Brooklyn 99 (available on Hulu) is exactly what I need. The humor reminds me a lot of Psych and the police station setting reminds me strangely of The Office. I love all of the characters and how I feel like I know all of them even after just finishing the first season. Whoever wanted to cancel this show was truly a monster. The humor is not offensive and the cast is diverse. Brooklyn 99 has everything I could ever want in a TV series.

Tweet of the Month

Best Book

Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire

At first, I just picked this book up because it is only around 150 and my Goodreads Reading Challenge situation was getting desperate. I knew it was popular a couple of years ago, but I just really needed a quick read to get Goodreads off of my back.

However, I ended up really enjoying the unique premise and execution of McGuire's story. There is magic, murder, mystery, and more depth that I ever thought possible for such a short read. There were many characters and many different stories woven into one book, but I never felt overwhelmed. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series, and not just to improve my Goodreads challenge.

Other Books I Read

Post I Wished Got More Love

I have been raving about Children of Blood and Bone since I finished reading it, but I knew that a review would not be enough to do this story justice. So, instead of screaming my feelings, I talked about my five takeaways (or "lessons") from Children of Blood and Bone. The true testament to a great novel, a life-changing story, is the lessons that it teaches you. Children of Blood and Bone is not only a great work of fiction, but also a perceptive mirror into society that works to undo today's chaos.
What did you accomplish in August? What non-bookish things (music, TV, food, etc) did you love this month? What was the best book you read? Do you prefer dark chocolate or milk chocolate? 

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