May and June... interesting months those two. Usually I have something to say about how the last two months went but honestly, these two kind of flew by in monotony. Is that weird? That's weird. June did end up being the first month in a very long time where I DNFed a book. In any case, I have plans to make July and August much less monotonous so here's to past boringness!
Pages Read: 8,169
Total Books Read: 21
There's this weird case of alternating productivity... I read more books in February, April, and June (alternating months) and fewer in January, March, and May. Does anybody else have this? It's like my reading slumps alternate months or something. My reading is also trending downward overall so something needs to be done about that. Also, there's a little sneak peak at how things are going in July for you (things are going terribly who am I kidding).
Reviews Posted: 16 (I bounced back from the last wrap-up!!)
So June marked the lowest average rating on record for me. I really want to be more frugal with my stars from this point onward. It just always seemed like I ended the year with an average rating above four stars which was kind of ridiculous. Still, it's weird to see.
Number of Authors Read: 15
Number of Series Books: 18
Number of Standalones: 3
The Books (in order of date read):
A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3.1) (5 stars) (Review)
Elephants Can Remember by Agatha Christie (Hercule Poirot #40) (3.5 stars) (Review to come!)
This was a pretty up and down month. High points include A Court of Frost and Starlight, Empire of Storms, Murder in Three Acts, Peril at End House, Restore Me, and Right Under Your Nose.
Low points include The Alfaeren Legacy, The Masterminds, and Thirst.
I also had a few meh books this month: Envious Existence, Poison Princess, and Elephants Can Remember.
All in all a pretty mixed bag. I was hoping to find more hidden gems as I whipped through 6 books I received for review. Typically, with that number, there are at least two good ones and at least one of those is a gem. I don't know if I'd go as far as to say Right Under Your Nose is a gem, but it's a very well-done book so maybe that counts with my new system. I'm still figuring this all out!
This was so surprising to me because typically, I never DNF books (I have this weird complex where I need to see how things turn out, even if I dislike everything about a book). Still, this book was just a hodge-podge of issues that I couldn't get over. Check out my review for more detail.
Q by Luther Blissett (4 stars) (Review)
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (Robert Langdon #2) (4 stars) (Review)
The Jewel by Amy Ewing (The Lone City #1) (4 stars) (Review)
The Mystery of the Blue Train by Agatha Christie (Hercule Poirot #6) (4 stars) (Review)
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa (Blood of Eden #1) (5 stars) (Review)
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2) (5 stars) (Review to come! Maybe, honestly I don't know it's been forever...)
A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3) (4.5 stars) (Review)
As per usual, there are the typical rereads in the mix. Honestly, since I've been tracking my rereads and paying more attention to them, I've been noticing that I read the same books like clockwork. I'll reread the same books every month or every two months depending (look up to the first chart at the beginning to see that cycle I was talking about). It's just so strange! I did reread Q, The Da Vinci Code, and The Mystery of the Blue Train so I could write a review so those aren't exactly pleasure rereads although I did enjoy them all the second time around. If you remember my last wrap-up, I started rereading Q then so it took me a whole month and a half to get through!
Nothing at the moment! I'm in a bit of a momentary reading slump. I've got a couple of Agatha Christie books that need reviews so I'll probably reread those and post another round up ASAP! (also, if you haven't seen my new project page, check it out!)
Movies (not counting rewatches):
47 Meters Down
Pink Panther 2
Murder on the Orient Express (1974)
Tomb Raider (2018)
I cut down a bit on my movie consumption from the last two months. There are a couple really good ones in the mix, though! Black Panther was absolutely amazing and I loved every second. The family dynamics were especially well done. I can't wait to see Infinity War and see how everyone meshes together. Game Night was hilarious and slightly ridiculous (still worth the watch, though). Tomb Raider was a pretty good origin story (just be aware that it is an origin story going into it) and I loved how they integrated the fantasy into the current world. Seeking Justice was... interesting. I started out strange and then progressed to creepy. More than anything, I just wanted more of a picture of the whole network (it's based on this network of people who get influence other people to kill their enemies). Pink Panther 2 was appropriately funny but not entirely memorable (a good mindless comedy, if you will). 47 Meters Down was a little vague but overall, a good thriller. Murder on the Orient Express was also pretty good (not overly memorable but I loved the casting). It was a good adaptation, though, and I'd recommend it if you're looking to see the precursor to the 2018 one and maybe compare the two!
I'm now on the 12th season of my rewatch of Criminal Minds and I'm still loving it! I'll probably end up rewatching it again! I really should start other things but it's just so good! I did start watching Mindhunter in the last week of June (I've literally only watched the first episode). It's interesting, for sure, but it's also kind of weird watching it after I've already seen Criminal Minds and kind of know all the answers... I don't know, I'm going to reserve judgement until I've watched the first season.
On the Blog:
Everywhere You Want To Be - Christina June
By a Charm and a Curse - Jaime Questell
A Court of Frost and Starlight - Sarah J. Maas
Empire of Storms - Sarah J. Maas
Q - Luther Blissett
The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
The Alfaeren Legacy - Marc Jacobs
Envious Existence - Katie Keller-Nieman
The Unlovers - M. Salomon
Agatha Christie Review Round-Up: Part Eight
Poison Princess - Kresley Cole
Restore Me - Tahereh Mafi
The Masterminds - Olivia Wildenstein
Right Under Your Nose - Holly Tierney-Bedord
Best/Worst Book Read in April
Series on Your TBR You'll Keep/Get Rid Of
Book You Can/Can't Bring Yourself to Reread
Book You Wish Was Recommended to You More/Less
Favorite/Least Favorite Read in May
Favorite Book Starting With A/Z
Favorite Book With a Short/Long Title
Favorite/Least Favorite Title
Favorite/Least Favorite Genre
March+ April Wrap-Up
I Heart Characters: Wicked Witch
A Guide: The Basics of HTML
A Beginner's Guide to 'New' YA Fantasy
Around the Blogosphere:
Nancy guest posts on Perspective of a Writer and shares her ultimate guide to graphic novels!
Bomma taught me how to create my drop down menus (this post went up last year but it's amazing and I had to share it!)
Clare shares her Pride Month TBR.
Dani talks about pingbacks and other ways that you can increase your blog traffic.
Lia discusses DNFing books and why it's so stressful.
Mia explores the different types of readers with literally the best memes ever.
Instagram: (follow me @blueeyebooks)
The spring semester is now over and that means summer (and my summer job) have arrived! I'm working at a department store again this summer (something I really didn't want to do but I was super late in applying to internships) but they did give me a raise for coming back so I'm not going to complain. I ended the school year on a high note. I didn't get a 4.0, but I got close enough and I landed on the Dean's List yet again so that's amazing. I'm also now the Vice President of Communication for the Honors Program Student organization at my university which I never thought would happen. I mean, I'm a self-described introvert and I don't really take charge but surprisingly, it's been working out well!
With the end of the semester also comes moving season. I moved back home for the summer and now I'm getting ready to move again into a house with my other housemates in the fall. I feel like I just got everything unpacked and now I have to start repacking and making trips to the house!
Finals were waaaaay more stressful than I anticipated but I did really well in all of them (in my Environmental Chemistry course, the professor even talked to me on the way out and told me that my group's presentation was excellent). The project was to find an issue that was an environmental chemistry problem and to propose a solution. My group chose ocean acidification (if you don't know what that is, this is a great informational website) and I even made a graphic (below) to go along with our 'organization'. Still, because they took more time than I anticipated, I wasn't able to do anything for my blogoversary (most notably, get that ever-anticipated giveaway going) so that'll happen this summer or this fall (likely in August because it's easier to ship things from my university than from home).
I also finished crocheting a blanket! This is the same blanket that I was 'finished' with last year but I finally got around to putting a border around it so that's really cool. Picture below! (also, sorry for the overall bad lighting. There's a terrible thunderstorm moving through right now that's going to last for a while so there's no natural light to be found)
|My blanket draped over a chair (is there any other way to display a blanket??) along with my new pillow I ordered from Society6.|
I also bought a few dresses from the thrift store that I'm hoping to have the time to transform this summer while I have access to my sewing stuff. I also need to embellish a dress for the ball that the university hosts every spring (which I'm hoping to FINALLY go to this year!). Pictures below (pardon all the books on the floor... I may have also run out of shelf space this summer... Never fear! I just bought a new bookshelf that I'll be taking with me back to university)!
|I LOVE the bottom of this dress but the top needs updating so I'll probably restructure the bodice and make it into a lower-cut sweetheart neckline and open up the arm holes a bit.|
|This is the dress I'm going to embellish. All it needs is an embellished belt (I'll probably go for beads instead of stitching) and some beading around the neckline (or possibly beading down the back a la Aelin's dress in QoS. That would be a bit more of a project but totally worth it). I'm also exploring the idea of building a petticoat underneath to lift the skirt a bit to make it fit for a ball.|
|I actually made this dress during winter break but after I finished, I didn't really like the design so much in person so I'm going to tweak it a bit. First, I'm going to get rid of the zipper in the back and make it a lace up (using grommets). Then I'm toying with the idea of adding some boning and making it strapless (or at least moving the straps further out). I'll also probably change the neckline to a sweetheart and add a belt. It has pockets already and I made it out of a light velvet and I love it :)|
I've also been getting to reconnect with a lot of my friends from high school which has been so amazing. We're all taking such different paths and it's really cool to see what everyone has been up to.
I've also been getting into editing photos and becoming more active on Twitter (as evidenced by the new Instagram section above!). I've finally been able to try out GIMP (basically free photoshop) and I've really been getting into it! I spent a year learning about photoshop and programming a while back and it was so much fun so I'm loving this. I highly recommend it if you don't want to go all in and buy Photoshop but you still love editing pictures. Once I get everything figured out, I'm hoping to post a sort of 'How to GIMP' post :) I read about it when I was researching my Wonders of Images post.
Lately I've been baking a bit more. I've been OBSESSED with The Great British Baking show and I finally made myself actually start learning all the things I've been wanting to. Lately, I've been trying out a few ice cream recipes (let me just say that fresh mint ice cream tastes so much different that mind ice cream that uses extract) as well as a few bark and truffle recipes. My goal by the end of the summer is to have made a pie entirely by hand (pastry, here I come!).
And last but not least, there's some construction happening on the blog! I've changed up my tab organization system (yay drop-down menus) and I'll be changing my header, button, profile image, etc (short version: basically everything) very soon as well. I'm also organizing my review archive in more ways so it's easier to find exactly what you're looking for (as well as helping me figure out what series' I need to finish) so while those links don't work right now, they will very soon.
Whew! That was some update! So tell me things!
How were your May and June?? Do you have the same sort of 'alternating month reading slump' that I do? Do you edit your pictures? Have you seen Mindhunter (opinions please because I don't know how to feel so help)? How do you feel about Nicolas Cage movies? Do you ever reread books just so you can write a review? Let me know down below and I hope you all have an amazing July and August (I think doing two months at a time is a winner because I'm much too disorganized to do a wrap-up every month)!